Monday, May 26, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 26th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford--TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Kevin Love---- I have spent the day thinking and talking to sources about just what will happen with Kevin Love and where will he be playing in the future. Love is terrific player, who probably would be able to give any team, 15 more great years, the way he takes care of himself.

One of Love's biggest fans is Kerry Keating, the outstanding head coach at Santa Clara University,  who worked with Love when he was an assistant at UCLA and also did all the major recruiting to get him to UCLA. In a March conversation I had with Keating he told me nothing that Kevin Love does in basketball surprises him and at the same time he is so proud of Kevin the way he keeps improving his body and works at it every single day, something that even surprises Keating with the transformation of Love's physicality.

As mentioned sources close to Love offered some insight to me this morning, that are quite interesting.

1. It was re-affirmed to me that if Love is traded by Minnesota he wants to play for a team that is ready to win right away, not into rebuilding. That narrows the field of suitors big time when it comes to NBA teams.

2. While Love has no single preference of the winning teams he would like to go to, or a priority list, one team he would "Love" to play for would be the Portland Trail Blazers,  who play in the state where Love was one of the best all time high school players, while attending Lake Oswego High and where his family still lives. Very few people ever talk about Love becoming a Portland Trail Blazer.

3. It was also interesting to learn that Mychal Thompson, a very talented player in his own right when he played in the NBA and the father of talented Golden State Warrior player Klay Thompson would "Love" for Kevin to hook up with his son in Golden State, especially since Mychal has maintained a  friendship with  Kevin's father Stan, who as most people know probably was the greatest player ever for the Oregon Ducks and went on to play in the NBA, most of his career with Washington Bullets. Mychal Thompson has actually made several recruiting pitches to Stan Love about Kevin becoming a Golden State Warrior.

4. It should also never be ruled out, that Miami Heat president Pat Riley is a huge fan of Kevin Love and Riley is one of the shrewdest minds in the game today. No one should ever count Riley out when it comes to seeking a player, as I can remember five years past no one was giving it the slightest chance that Bosh, Wade and LeBron would be on the same team.

Gregory Crawford On Basketball BOTTOM LINE:  It will be surprising if Love winds up anywhere else but Golden State, but you can never rule out the Los Angeles Lakers or the Miami Heat.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, For May 25th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---Print, Radio and TV Basketball Analyst ----twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Erik Spoelstra----It is always baffling why Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Miami Heat gets very little credit for being not just a good coach, but a great coach.

There is no denying in the fact that Spoelstra has the best player in basketball on his team in LeBron James, not to forget two other great players in Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. But after those three, most basketball fans can't name three other players on the Heat team.

For the record, let's not forget the Heat are on there way to their fourth straight appearance in the NBA Finals. Spoelstra himself has three NBA titles to his credit, one as an assistant in 2006 with the Heat and of course the last two NBA seasons as their head coach.

If you really watch Spoelstra in action, he is a master at in-game changes and halftime adjustments. It should also be noted that after losing a game in the playoffs, in the next game the Heat have now won 11 straight games. That alone is great coaching.

Just another example of great coaching, in game two of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana, it took lots of courage and guts for Spoelstra to basically put LeBron James on the bench in the fourth quarter for three minutes with his team trailing by seven points. But the move was brilliant, as when James re-entered the game he willed his team to victory by having a spectacular final six minutes.

In all of sports, the basketball coach is the most important coaching assignment. It is rather evident, that at the present time, Erik Spoelstra is the best coach in all of basketball, end of story and yes even better than Gregg Popovich.

Equally as important, Spoelstra does not care about being the greatest coach, he just goes out and does the greatest job with little fanfare and always a call to business. As basketball fans, it is time we recognized just how great a job he does.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 24th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst ---twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Wayne Tinkle----Yes, most people would say it was a surprise that Wayne Tinkle last week was named the new men's coach of the Oregon State Beavers. After all, few basketball fans follow the Big Sky Conference, where Tinkle played, was an assistant coach and head coach for the Montana Grizzlies, long time members of the Big Sky Conference.

It is safe to say Tinkle earned the right to be the Oregon State coach. He is not only a tremendous coach, but he is an engaged person. Perhaps eye contact is overrated often, but being engaged is underrated. No matter who Tinkle is talking with, or the stature of the person, Tinkle is engaged.

As most basketball fans do know, for the last 25 years Oregon State men's basketball has been in disarray and going not very far. No appearances in the NCAA tournament since 1990 says it all.  It is ironic that when Craig Robinson was let go the first week in May, he has without question been the best basketball coach at Oregon State since the heyday years of the great Ralph Miller.

No question the pressure will be on Tinkle to win and win big. Oregon State fans are starved for a winner and so is the prestigious basketball alumni with the likes of A.C. Green, Mel Counts, Gary Payton, Charlie Sitton and Steve Johnson, just to name a few.

So the bottom line, how will Tinkle do at Oregon State? I think he will do really well, as matter of fact better than well. For the record, I think Tinkle will get the Beavers to the NCAA tournament in his third year on the job. I also think, as noted above, boosters will really be impressed and will get behind the program. And something which has not been talked about much by anyone, Tinkle will recruit the Northwest big time, as he has done at Montana and he starts with a leg up, knowing all the coaches.

If you are an Oregon State basketball fan who has wallowed in mediocrity for 25 years, it is time to get out of the mud. You have a good man and good person steering the ship right now, get behind him, cause Wayne Tinkle will win big at Oregon State and bring back the Beavers back  to prominence.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 18th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst ---twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Donald Sterling-----Many sources within the NBA have told Gregory Crawford On Basketball that the league's owners are not that worried about any legal challenges from Donald Sterling and they are more than united to oust him as an owner and clean the slate in the Clippers' ownership.

Of course with his history it was expected that Sterling would challenge the move to remove him from the league, but with united owners, the fact the NBA is a private organization and due process as we know it, is a mute point and the fact that Sterling as an owner agreed to abide by the league's rules and regulations, it all makes for a good case to oust him.

Many people also feel Sterling will make a lot of noise, but in the long run, he will leave quietly, because of the both the private and public pressure on him to no longer be a part of the NBA.

NBA Tickets----It is interesting to note that since 2011, there have been 22 series in the National Hockey League that have gone 7 games and 13 in the NBA. Of those series, the average ticket price on the secondary market for game seven in the NHL has been $512.00 and the NBA $444.00.

It should be noted that on average, tickets in the NBA sell for much higher prices than than NHL tickets, but when it comes to Game 7s, the NHL fans are much more demanding.

Kevin Love----There is no question, Kevin Love wants out of Minnesota, once his contract is up, if he makes it that far. It is becoming more and more apparent if the Wolves want to get some value out of Love, then need to trade for him and do it sooner than later.

It has been rumored that Love has interest in going to Chicago or Golden State. But let's get real here, the number one choice would be the Los Angeles Lakers, end of question.

Also interesting is the fact that Love's camp has never ruled out playing in Portland, his hometown. Presently at 25 years old and the way Love has dedicated himself to making his body supreme and training that is hard to match, his career easily could go to 40.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 17th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

NBA Playoffs----What are you predictions for the Conference Finals?

Here we go with my famous predictions:

Miami over Indiana in five games

Oklahoma City over San Antonio in seven games.

Heat versus Thunder in NBA finals, in big time showdown.

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Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 17th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst  twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

ATTENTION READERS---- After taking some time off and sporadically writing Gregory Crawford On Basketball, it will be full steam ahead. This blog will appear everyday except Tuesdays from now on, which will cover the NBA, D-League, NCAA, NAIA and the NBA Draft. I hope you will come back often and check things out, plus always love the interactive part, so feel free at anytime to comment on the blog, below as much as you want and I will always respond. Thank you very much as always for your great support and readership.

Steve Kerr----It certainly will be interesting to see how Steve Kerr does as the coach of the Golden State Warriors. As I have mentioned before in this blog, I never felt Kerr would take the job with the Knicks. It just did not feel right, all the long delays and the constant rumors that Kerr wanted to stay out west.

For sure Kerr has lots to work with in Golden State and a team that will continue to improve. It is also more than fair to think that Kerr might struggle a little, having never been a head coach in the league, or for that matter anywhere prior to Golden State on any level. How do you think Steve Kerr will do?

Stan Van Gundy----Van Gundy almost certainly will turn the Pistons into a winner, as he is taking on quite the responsibility of being both the head coach in Detroit and the President of basketball. On thing to watch here is if Van Gundy will keep going with his slow down style of play, which would be the opposite of the way the rest of the league has been playing as of late, with most teams going to an up-tempo, which is for sure a favorite of players. As readers, your thoughts on Van Gundy being a success as coach of the Detroit Pistons?

Oregon State----As bizarre as it seems to let Coach Craig Robinson go in May, long after the period in which we usually see coaches being let go, it probably is good that Oregon State is taking their time in selecting a successor.

My two favorites for the job, would be Bob Cantu and Kerry Keating, both talented guys, really good recruiters and at the same time, would win in Corvallis.

And once again, how about reaching out to A.C. Green, one of the greatest Beavers of all time and who would be a dynamite choice. Who would you as a reader like to see as the next coach of the Oregon State Beavers?

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 10th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford----TV, Radio and Basketball Analyst----twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Kobe Bryant----Here is the reader question of the weekend.

Do you think, as he wants, Kobe Bryant should have some say in the next Lakers' choice to be the head coach?

Please answer in the comment section below and thank you very much.

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 10th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Steve Kerr----Could Steve Kerr be fooling all of us and soon become the new head coach of the Lakers. Kerr certainly has been coy about where his next move will be, he handles his analyst duties with TNT exactly the same way, with a sharp, concise and coy nature.

It is no secret that Phil Jackson is becoming increasingly impatient with Kerr, as the process draws out even further. And word is slowly trickling out that Joe Lacob, is a very tough owner to work for at Golden State, which is Kerr's second choice after the Knicks.

A decision will come soon, perhaps before the weekend is over, so do not be shocked by anything.

Oregon State---The Oregon State basketball job is not a bad job at all as many people have indicated. Yes, the Beavers have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1990, but that does not mean in the least they can't get back there and get back fairly quickly.

Probably no D-1 program in  the country since 1990 has gone through as many bad coaches as the Beavers. And please to do not put Craig Robinson in that bad category. If you really look at his record and see what he did with the Beavers, it actually was not that bad, just no NCAA appearances and low attendance led to his downfall and being let go.

Ben Howland is a terrific coach, who never should have been let go at UCLA. But for some reason, I do not feel he is the answer at Oregon State. I would much rather the Beavers would look at people like Kerry Keating, Bob Cantu or bring back the past Beaver glory days with a name out of the "think outside the box category", like A.C. Green.

Whatever happens, this is such a key decision, it will impact the program either greatly, or send it into oblivion for the next 25 years.

Let's get a fresh face in Corvallis, like the names I mentioned.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, May 4th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball analyst  twitter--- @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

NBA Nuggets----Is this not the greatest first round of playoff games in the history of the NBA? Too bad it had to be overshadowed by the Donald Sterling mess, which truly is a mess and will not go away soon.

Here are a few thoughts, facts and opinions on what is happening in the NBA right now.

1. Sources tell me that after the first round loss to the Clippers, that it is better than a 50 percent chance that Mark Jackson will be let go by the Warriors. One of the real hot button issues has been Jackson's failure to establish a solid base in the Bay Area, instead making SoCal his home still.

2. The great thing about the playoffs is that so many teams have a chance to win the NBA title this year. But in reality, they are flying under the radar, but the Heat are easily the favorites to be a three-peat.

3. The NBA is offering free counseling to any of the Clippers' employees who wish to take advantage. Really? How about some counseling for Sterling free, he is so cheap, I am sure he would take up the offer.

4. Kevin McHale will be back for sure as coach of the Rockets next year and they will really be a team to watch, with so much talent to back up the two big time stars, Harden and Howard.

5. Easily, Kurt Rambis has emerged as the leading candidate to coach the Lakers, replacing Mike D'Antoni. The Buss family is very comfortable with Rambis, as is the GM Mitch Kupchak.

6. Frank Vogel, I am told will return almost certainly for the Indiana Pacers as head coach, despite constant rumors of his demise from the team.

7. Steve Kerr as I have been told by sources would prefer to coach the Warriors rather than the Knicks. He does not like the complications involved with the Dolan family and how it relates to Phil Jackson.

8. Damian Lillard---NBA super star for years and I hate to say it, I was on the Lillard bandwagon, 18 months before he became a Blazer and no one would listen at all.

9. The Pistons would love to have Sean Miller as their next coach, but so far no indication he is willing to leave Arizona.

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