NBA Graveyard 2016: A Jazz Funeral (For Now)

It’s April and the season is over for 14 NBA teams. We have one last team to examine – the Utah Jazz, who were eliminated on the final day of the regular season. For a breakdown of the other 13 teams click on the “NBA Graveyard 2016” section.

The Utah Jazz, man, somehow, managed to die at the impotent hands of the 2016 Rockets and 2016 Kobe Bryant

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Postmortem: The Jazz were straight-up abused this year. Many jokes have been made about their role as the Washington Generals in Kobe’s 60-point explosion in the final day of the regular season. But the Jazz – who found out just before the Kobe game that they were eliminated from the playoffs – were victims of oppositional brilliance all season. In NBA Countdown’s video of the top 10 plays of the 2015-16 regular season, four of those plays came at the expense of the Jazz. In a 30-team league what are the odds that 40 percent of the best plays (admittedly subjective, but still) of a season would occur against one team?

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NBA Graveyard 2016: Two Abrupt Falls From Grace

It’s April and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. This entry will be unique, as we are mourning two teams simultaneously, as they are forever linked due to their collective disappointment. Everyone is to blame in the demise of these two.

We lay to rest the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards together, two teams that half-assed their way through disappointing seasons, and thus, don’t deserve separate graves.

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Postmortem: In a deviation from our normal NBA Graveyard format, let’s take a quick look at the Bulls’ and Wizards’ failings at each level of the organizations. Everyone fell short of expectations, starting with the men upstairs: Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: The Magic Was Gone By January

It’s April and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

The Orlando Magic showed surprising life early in the season, before flatlining in the dead of winter…

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Postmortem: Orlando’s season can be summed up as the tale of two calendar years. With multiple high Lottery picks playing key roles they came into the season as an intriguing, if incomplete, team. New coach Scott Skiles brought a reputation for turning young teams into playoff contenders quickly and in 2015 this season looked to fit nicely into that pattern. Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: Bucks Take a Step Back

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

For the second straight year, the Milwaukee Bucks are figuring things out in the final stretch of the season. Unfortunately for them, the East is no longer a cakewalk. You must win more than you lose to stay alive in 2016…

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Postmortem: I’ve written about the disappointing 2015-16 Bucks extensively back in December, when it was already clear this was a lost season. I won’t rehash too much here. It will suffice to say that it’s nearly April and the Bucks haven’t had one winning month. Here are their monthly splits: Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: The Knicks’ Bermuda Triangle

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

That sound you hear may be the death knell of the fabled Triangle Offense, which is being driven to obsolescence by this iteration of the New York Knicks.

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Postmortem: The Knicks won 17 games in 2014-15 in Derek Fisher’s first season as head coach. Their offense ranked dead last in the NBA, producing just 91.9 points per game. By far, this was the worst output for a Phil Jackson-involved team that ran the fabled Triangle offense. The idea of the Triangle as a catch-all was on life support, while the narratives about Phil’s success being owed solely to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal (three of the best players of all time) gained steam. Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: The Nets’ Cautionary Tale

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith. 

Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov shot for the moon after moving the Nets from New Jersey to flashy new digs in Brooklyn. His aim proved disastrously awful, and today we sort through the aftermath.

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Postmortem: The 2015-16 Nets never had a chance to win; they also had no incentive to lose. This is Dostoyevsky’s inevitable pain and suffering. Continue reading

NBA Graveyard 2016: An Over-Processed Philly

It’s March and that means the season is effectively over for a number of NBA teams. We’ll be picking through the remains of the fakers, pretenders and never-had-a-chancers to determine what went wrong. More importantly, what can be salvaged going into next season and beyond? Cuz the great thing about the NBA is even when all is lost, the dead still have hope. There’s always room for wild optimism thanks to coaching carousels, the siren song of the big free agent, the franchise-saving Draft pick, the unknown potential of young assets and blind faith.

I’m tardy with this blog post – it could’ve been written in October, given the sorry state of the 76ers. We’ll keep this short and sweet for our own sanity.

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