Clippers slowly learning Rivers’ defense
Shaquille O’Neal, analyst for NBA TV, said that as inept as the Los Angeles Clippers are on defense, they will be much better by the end of the season. “If you look at the team Doc Rivers won a championship with in Boston, he didn’t have a defensive stopper per se, and neither do the Clippers. Doc teaches team defense, and this is Doc’s first year, so it’s a learning process.”
Kenny Smith, appearing with Shaq on NBA Game Time, said: “There are some question marks at the 2 and 3 positions athletically. Are they gifted enough to guard and defend?
“Also, when the game goes into half court, and you can’t just toss alley-oops and you have to play at a pace to win in the last seven minutes of a Game 5 or 7, do they have an offense other than a high pick and roll with Chris Paul?”
Mike Lupica, on ESPN’s Sports Reporters, dared to take on the most sensitive of subjects, the N-word. “The ones defending the use of the word, like Charles and Shaq and even Matt Barnes of the Clippers seem to want this to be another example of a primarily white thought police infringing on their apparently God-given right to use a word that should have been shot out of a cannon a long time ago by all people because it’s a symbol of hate and intolerance.
“The ones who defend its use now are not the intolerant ones. The men who use it, though, in locker rooms or in tweets or songs, they’re the intolerant ones, and need to stop lecturing the rest of us, whatever the color of our skins, as if they’ve got the high ground here. There IS no high ground on this word. There never was.”
Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall isn’t winning admiration with his football playing, but he’s getting a well-earned following for his poetry tweets (@R_Mendenhall):
‘Solitude has such soft silky hands,
fingers that grasp the heart
and make it ache with sorrow. . . .
Out of suffering have emerged
the strongest souls;
the most massive characters
are seared with scars.’
ESPN football analyst Trent Dilfer on San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick’s uneven play this season: “Force him into true passing downs, take away his first read, and he’s very remedial at that point.”
Informed of Dilfer’s comment, Kaepernick said: “He’s not in the building with us, so what he’s saying doesn’t affect me at all. . . . I think you should ask him if he knows what my progression is first, before he says that.”
The real problem: When Vernon Davis is injured, as he often is, there is no progression option after Anquan Bolden.
Jim Rome (CBS Sports News) says Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe “is in the pot-head hall of fame because the details of his arrest are pulled right out of a Cheech and Chong flick. . . . Bowe’s first question to the officers was, ‘Do you know if Sonic is still open?’ That’s the lamest bit of munchy humor from every screwball stoner comedy ever made.”
Rome also discussed Houston Texans rookie DeAndre Hopkins and “a video of his private parts. But just as Brett Favre, Greg Oden and Marcus Jordan were about to welcome him to the club, his girlfriend tweeted that he was hacked, and advised his followers to ‘have some respect.’”
Of course, the media converged on Hopkins to confirm his girlfriend’s story, which led to dialogue that Hopkins now wishes had never occurred. With cameras and recorders going, Hopkins was asked: “So it’s not your genitals?”
Hopkins replied: “Negative. It’s not my genitals. . . It’s hilarious to me. I had a pretty simple Instagram password. . .”
Perhaps too simple, DeAndre.
Rome: “Next time, do not make your password ‘Password,’ and then maybe you won’t get hacked. Keep it in your pants and keep it off the ground.”
More from the Disgusting News front, Redskins left tackle Trent Williams reported that during Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, umpire Roy Ellison cursed at him and some teammates, using such phrases as “garbage-ass” and “disrespectful mother-bleepers.” Asked if he could confirm Ellison’s invective, Washington coach Mike Shanahan said, “A lot of players said they heard it.”
Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network’s AFC Playbook, said of Mario Williams: “How do you play in a football game for four quarters and not have a tackle?”
Phil Simms, on CBS Sports Network’s NFL Monday QB, said of Chicago’s Marc Trestman: “If I could be a quarterback for any coach in professional football, with no hesitation I will take him as the coach along with the quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, and I want to run their offense. It’s so clear, so precise.
“Jay Cutler was playing exceptionally well, and now we see Josh McCown. He knows what he’s doing every play. There’s a calmness about him. Why are they so calm? Because they’re so prepared and they feel good about what they’re doing. They protect the quarterback; they’ve got the players.”
On the same show, Rich Gannon said Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Hayden “has dominated A.J. Green. In fact, he’s dominated every wide receiver he’s matched up with this year. I think he’s the premier corner right now.”
Tony Barnhart on CBS Sports Network’s Tim Brando Show, said of the catch by Auburn’s Ricardo Louis of a Hail Mary to beat Georgia: “He had no idea where the ball was. He just looks up and goes, ‘Oh, there it is. OK.’ . . . The two Georgia defenders were in perfect position. One of them was going to catch the ball, and the other one comes in to knock it away.”
Looking to the Nov. 30 Iron Bowl, No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn, Barnhart said: “The Auburn run game is unlike anything we’ve had in the SEC. You’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to stay in your lanes. There’s a lot of misdirection going on, your eyes over here and the ball’s over here, and Gus (Malzahn) is as good a play-caller, sequencing plays, as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
Houston Texans running back Ben Tate told the Houston Chronicle: “These fans here in Houston are so up and down and so wishy-washy. I’m just shocked at that because the organization has come a long way.”
Follow-up Question: How many more losses before Texans players own up to their failure?