Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
7:00 p.m. PST
February 21, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Tonight the son of John (and nephew of Don) may debut.
1. Is George Karl the right man for the job?
Rui Thomas, Cowbell Kingdom, (@MrRuiThomas): Hard for a perennial lottery team to say no to 1,131 career wins and 22 playoff berths in 25 seasons. Karl runs a more exciting brand of offense than most coaches, but he rarely forms an elite defensive unit. If the Kings are content with some May flameouts, Karl may be the man.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): Sure. George Karl is a good, stable coach. The Kings need a coach and stability. So, why not? The bigger question is, why hire him now when you could tank the rest of the year with Ty Corbin and then bring Karl in over the offseason?
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): George Karl is a really good coach that might wear down players and management in time but all that barely matters on a team that’s forever in flux. Mike Malone was decent and was unceremoniously hired. This front office is clueless but at least they got the right hire.
2. DeMarcus Cousins has a way of manhandling the Clippers, how do you slow him down?
Thomas: The Kings lack consistent outside shooters, so double-teams are a good solution. But if Doc Rivers decides to play one on one, DeAndre Jordan and company need to avoid biting for pump fakes and leaving their feet. Cousins gains a full head of steam when driving from the elbow, so force him to “settle” for jumpers.
Katz: There’s nothing you can do to slow him down. Cousins is the most dominant low-post presence since prime Shaq. That’s how great he’s become. Your best chance is to throw loads of double-teams at him and hope he gets lazy enough defensively that he starts reaching in a bunch and gets into foul trouble (an all-too-common trait of his).
Liu: Pray he doesn’t get DeAndre Jordan in foul trouble. If that matters, Big Baby and Spencer Hawes might literally be eaten alive.
3. True or False: The NBA needs a rule change to eliminate the Hack-a-DJ strategy.
Thomas: False. Few things are more intense to watch than Jordan lining up a crucial free throw. Critics of the odd rule tend to ignore that opposing players risk foul trouble to employ the strategy, and it only works when opponents are in the penalty already. So there’s little reason to remove these gift-wrapped, hair-pulling, comical moments of NBA action.
Katz: True. The “make your free throws” argument never made sense to me. That’s the strategy for how teams can get opponents to stop executing hack-a-whomever against them, not necessarily a reason for why it should stay in the game. Make any obviously purposeful off-ball foul officially intentional. Two shots and the ball. Or let the team getting fouled choose if it wants to shoot free throws or not. There are plenty of solutions. Any of them would be better than what’s going on now.
Liu: False. The problem with the rule is an exception only beholden to certain players (Jordan, Larry Sanders, Andre Drummond are the only players to come to mind). Perhaps there’s some tweaking to be done but there isn’t anything drastic worth changing if you can count the number of people affected on one hand.