June 19, 2012

Thunder coach Scott Brooks has been so woefully incompetent in these playoffs that it almost appears as if he is taking a dive.  His insistence on playing Kendrick Perkins big minutes and having Derick Fisher matched up against Dwyane Wade is almost as dumb as sniping in Carrington.

The Heat are an amazing basketball team and might have beaten the Thunder the last two games given competent coaching from Brooks, but unfortunately we will never know.  A good basketball coach should be able to use strategy and motivation to make his team better.  A decent coach should just let his players do their own thing and hope talent wins out.  Then we have Brooks who has taken off his pants and taken a steaming dump on the Thunder’s championship hopes.  To prove my point I am going to break down a few of Brooks’ decisions on the incompetence scale.  The incompetence scale ranges from 1-10 with 1 being the boom goes the dynamite guy and 10 being the Zimmerman Note. (Boom.  WWI joke.  I knew I would get some value from that history major.)

This list could be a mile long but for the sake of time, and to keep me from getting too angry, I’m going to keep it at three.

1. Refusing to go small with Serge Ibaka at center. (Incompetency rating: 5.5)

The Miami Heat are an incredibly versatile team, mainly thanks to Lebron, and force opposing teams into awkward match-ups.  By playing James at power forward the Heat have taken one of the Thunder big men out of the game.  This shouldn’t be a problem for the Thunder as they have Kevin Durant who can play power forward and then one of the most athletic big men in the game, Serge Ibaka, to anchor the defense.  Ibaka is one of the best defensive players in the game and led the league in blocks.  And when Brooks decides to put him in the game he does things like this.

Unfortunately Ibaka is barely playing this series.  Nick Collison is getting almost as many minutes.  And Ibaka has played single digit minutes at center in crunch time lineups.  C’mon Scotty.  Play your best guys together at the end.

2.  Having Fisher try and guard D-Wade. (Incompetency rating: 7)

Derek Fisher is old as hell.  The man is 38.  He was so bad earlier in the year that the Lakers cut him to pick up Ramon Sessions.  And Session sucks.  So what in the world would possess Scott Brooks to try and have the short, old, slow Fisher guard Dwyane Wade?  This is just an incomprehensible decision.  The only reason it doesn’t rank higher on the incompetence scale is that foul trouble for Kevin Durant has forced Brooks into some weird match-ups.

3.  Playing Kendrick Perkins over 30 minutes per game (Incompetence rating: 9.7)

This is the crown jewel of Brooks’ inane decisions.  It makes absolutely no sense to have Perkins in the game against the Heat.  Perkins has a few elite skills.  He is one of the only players in the league who can credibly defend and rebound against Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.  He was acquired by the Thunder precisely so he could help them handle Bynum, and the rest of the tall Lakers front line.  Unfortunately for him, the Heat do not have anyone resembling a dominant center for Perkins to battle down low.  Their center rotation consists of Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.  Bosh is a quick perimeter oriented power forward an Haslem is a complete non-factor on offense.

Since the Thunder don’t need Perkins to play interior defense it is completely and utterly insane for him to play over 60% of the game.  His offensive game is so miserable that it bogs down the entire Thunder team.  Perkins is beyond a net-zero on offense.  He is a net-negative.  If Perkins keeps up his stunning incompetence for the rest of the series then he will have “accomplished” a feat unmatched in the history of the NBA; finishing a post-season with more turnovers than made field goals.

I don’t want to be too hard on Perkins.  He sucks, but he has been put in an impossible position in this series.  Perkins has never been very fast and after knee surgery 18 months ago he moves roughly at the pace of erosion.  And yet Brooks had him guard Shane Battier in game 1.  Battier may have lost a step with age but he was always going to dust Perkins.  And this is exactly what happened to the tune of a playoff high 17 points.  Brooks needs to get Perkins the hell out of the game and back where he belongs.  In a glass case with a sign that says, “Break in case of Dwight Howard.”

The sad thing about all of this is that Brooks doesn’t need to be the second coming of Red Auerbach for the Thunder to win this series.  His opposing number, Erik Spoelstra, is also a joke of a coach.  Jeff Van Gundy broke down the coaching match up after game two by saying that Spoelstra was playing chess while Brooks was playing checkers.  This is giving both of the coaches too much credit.  Spoelstra is playing Connect Four. (He can do simple things like never take Lebron out, and look into the stands to see if Pat Riley approves of his line-ups.)  Brooks however is playing with his dick over in the corner.  If he doesn’t figure his shit out immediately then the Heat are going to win this series in five games.


One Response to “Saboteur!”

  1. wombat said

    Brooks is bad, but while Game 3 was his fault, 4 was KD and Harden’s. I don’t remember KD playing in the second half. I remember Harden pouting his way up and down the floor after he had a couple misses at the rim. Thunder is showing his, his, his, and his ages. Game 5 is all on KD’s shoulders. Brooks = Spoelestra. Coaching is a wash. It’s all up to the players now. Thunder Up.

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