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How would life be different with D'Antoni?

D'Antoni regretted taking NY offer:

D'Antoni can call the bluff of his boss today, but he'd better be careful tomorrow. The Knicks are a mess, and league friends of D'Antoni believe he has deep regret for passing on Chicago for New York. He let his ego and agent push him out of Phoenix, and let his desire for money over winning pass on Chicago. Make no mistake, though: That was two months ago and this is now. New York has a Garden winning streak of six games, and New York isn't on his case for the holidays.

First, let's note that his moment of regret was when the Bulls looked a lot better than they do right now.   Also, Derrick Rose wasn't on the table when he made his decision, or he may have thought differently.

However, what would the Bulls look like with Mike D'Antoni as head coach?    First, I'd have to wonder if they would have kept Ben Gordon last off-season when he came back to him about the 6/54 offer.   D'Antoni would have loved Gordon in his system, so I think he would have fought hard for him.   I would think Vinny would also want Gordon badly, but he may not have had the clout to pull off such a fight even if he made it. 

Next, if the Bulls are in that epic seven game series against Boston, don't you think they win?  There were several points where timeouts and coaching misfires were critical issues in losses.   I think you insert any number of different coaches, and the team probably wins that series.

How would he have effected the present roster though?    That, I'm a bit unsure of.   The one thing I'm confident in is that Luol Deng wouldn't be stepping into two point shots all day long.   I think Deng is the player who's game would have been helped the most by D'Antoni, because he would have been forced out of his comfort zone and forced to shoot threes.   His FG% would lower a tad, but his efficiency would trend up to 54-55 TS%. 

The rest of the roster?   I'm not so sure about.   The way they've played this year, the roster seems like a horrible fit for his system.   A system which launches a ton of threes and doesn't have natural three point shooters.   You want Tyrus to stop taking jumpers?   Good luck.   

The big question is, would John Salmons and Kirk Hinrich find their strokes in catch and shoot situations if they were forced to take five or more threes per game?    There's no real way to answer that question.   You'd think they'd be better with consistent high volume reps, but would they be better enough?    Salmons in particular struggles in catch and shoot situations.

One thing you can say is the offensive numbers would be inflated.   It's far less likely that John Salmons is opting in this summer, if he gets the d'inflation boost to his stats.  

Many will wonder about the effect on Derrick Rose.   I'm not sure what D'Antoni would do for Rose.   Would he try to mold him into a Nash like PG?   Would he have been even remotely successful if he did?   Rose is almost nothing like Nash.  He doesn't have the court vision or the ball handling that Nash does, but he's obviously more explosive and athletic.  

How successful Rose would look in the D'Antoni system depends entirely on the previous answers to how well Hinrich, Salmons, and Deng would space the floor with their three point shots.   We already know Derrick Rose can dominate when he has room, but our guys haven't been able to provide that room.   Would that change under D'Antoni?

It's impossible to know the answers to all of these questions, but I know this.   The Bulls would look somewhere between better and a hell of a lot better.   Their cap situation would likely be improved, they may have been forced into a better roster decision, they may have won a playoff series last season, and they certainly would have a chance to have a notably better record this season. 

With the Chicago Bulls roster suddenly performing worse than the Knicks roster, New York has become the leading FA destination this off-season [among teams who aren't luring back their own guy].   The gap between D'Antoni and Del Negro tipped the scales in NY's favor.   Not due to the desirability of playing for the coach [Del Negro won't be here next year anyway, and the Bulls could theoretically hire a desirable caoch], but in the image the two cities will have that summer.

When Reinsdorf looks back on the money he saved in hiring Del Negro,
he's likely going to find that he probably cost him self a minimum of 10s of
millions of dollars in lost ticket sales, fan interest, and
opportunity.    If a top tier FA lands in NY, it's not far-fetched to say it will also have cost him a potential championship contender.   Pennywise, dollar foolish.

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  • Shoulda...Woulda...Coulda's...don't matter.

    Plus, the Knicks are only 1/2 game ahead of the Bulls right now in the standings. That's hardly impressive.

  • Maybe.

    It doesn't really matter though. D'Antoni is in New York and VDN is in Chicago. The Bulls can't deal in hypotheticals. They have to face reality and fix the problems that exist.

    They have an inexperienced coach, no superstars in their starting lineup, and a weak bench.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The NBA is a player's league. So, if the Bulls plan on winning more championships, they better find a way to get TWO superstars on their team. Adding just ONE, won't get it done.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I've heard it reported (before BG signed with Detroit)that Mike D was told at his interviews that Gordon would not be around long term. Of course, i have no way of knowing if that was true.

  • ...but they would be wrong. Who on the Knicks would any team bust down the door to get? Really?

    The Knicks are playing at their best right now, which is really freaking sad. We can't get any worse. We're getting Tyrus back, a new coach, and have always had better second halves of seasons. I'm not saying we are absolutely going to come back from this pit of unwatchable basketball Hell, but these are some factors that can change things.

    That being said...we need to hire our coach now. Give him the rest of this year. We did that with Scott Skiles and it worked pretty well in the beginning. I don't want to sit through more interim Jim Boylan bullshit....

  • The TOP PRIORITY for the Bulls is getting SUPERSTARS. The Coach is secondary.

    What did Doc Rivers win as a coach prior to getting Garnett and Allen? His teams were BRUTAL. What did Phil Jackson win after MJ retired from the Bulls? Nothing. What did Phil Jackson win after SHAQ got traded from the Lakers? Nothing.

    Bottom-line is, the Bulls need to figure out a way to land at least TWO SUPERSTARS this summer, if they want to win a championship. So, if that means trading Hinrich, Salmons, Thomas and/or Deng...so be it.

    A coach is only as good as the players he has. Ask Phil and Doc, they'll tell you that.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    What was D'Antoni's record in Phoenix? Compare that to what it is in New York? Do you know the difference? Two words...BETTER PLAYERS!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Phil Jackson sat out a year, waited for the lakers job to open up, and then won 3 titles in a row - with a lot of help from the refs of course. That was IMMEDIATELY after he left the Bulls - he knew MJ was retiring and Phil doesnt do rebuilding.

    When Shaq left, you have a point - but Gasol was donated to the team after a short period and Lakers will continue to win titles for awhile.

    Coaching is extremely important. Our staff has not developed any talent since Jackson left. Some of our players have done better elsewhere - Brand, Chandler, Shannon Brown

  • In reply to bulls6:

    IMO, what gives Reinsdorf meaning in life is not only profits but that he wants to be an activist owner pulling the strings. I suppose you can make an argument that it's his money so why not? The problem is that his meddling has only brought this franchise constant grief over the past several years. Even that stooge Paxson got fed up and got kicked upstairs.

    The way to salvation is to hand the reins of management to a skilled, veteran executive (e.g. Pritchard, Presti, Petrie, etc.)and get your old, greedy, gray ass out of the way. Think of all the great franchises in sports history that have withered away due to asinine ownership. The Bulls are now becoming part of that history.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    All of this talk will change when the infamous Pete Myers takes over... They may as well have posted an ad on Craigslist.

  • In reply to spaceheat:

    In a word...SUPERSTARS (plural).

    That will help VDN coach better.

  • In reply to spaceheat:

    Doug, I agree when it comes to(poor) spending and expecting a return on your investment... going over the edge of cheapness will cost you in the end. Reinsdorf insulted D'Antoni purposefully so as to send him away, and not have to pay him. "If you think we're going to get something done this weekend you can forget it." In recruit-a-coach speak that is the equivalent to don't call us, will call you. Bad karma. You pull crap like that, and you think bad things won't result from them? This after Paxson told Avery Johnson to cancel his flight plans so he could land D'Antoni. What a dupe. Reinsdorf what an A-hole you've been. Almost as bad as when dad(Jerry) usurped Pax's authority on the Deng massive overpay. It can not be over stated how much damage to payroll flexibility, Ben Gordon's position with the team, and the message sent to the other players as to fairness and whos in charge(the player/Deng).

    I just don't know if any "coach"(in name only) has ever looked more helpless or confused as Vinny on the sidelines during games. I have a hard time believing Del Harris, Bernie, or Bob Oceipka respect him. When Vinny calls a timeout Bernie and Bob(Oceipka) doesn't even speak to him as most lead assistants do. Really, you take any decent, experienced coach if the team doesn't go on the cheap, and the players/team would be having a .500 season. To hire a guy who's supposed to bring what(?), defensive knowhow? No way. Clearly he's an offensive guy, boy is he offensive, but every single commentator and even media guys have spoken on how one-dimensional and flat the Bulls offense has looked. Taking into account no post player, no Ben Gordon staple scorer replacement, but the unimaginative plays remain awful. Hire a novice coach with no offensive acumen? Jerry, make no mistake, you have meddled the Bulls right out of 2010 free agent contention. And as for Pax I'd give him a c+ overall as the G.M.: Hinrich's overpay, Tyrus for Aldridge etc. Personally, I'd take CDR(Chris Douglas-Roberts) as a rotation player over three(second) round picks for Omer Asik a skinny guy from Turkey who shoots 50% from the free throw line(the hallmark of an offensive clunk). You could see in Paxson's eyes the second guessing and uneasiness on his face with that trade. It wasn't a risk. It was a blunder. Three picks for a guy with no definable offensive game?

    Paxson should be done as well as Vinny. It's hard to believe how any self-respecting person could want to stay on when they know their boss repeatedly sabotaged(D'Antoni) and massively usurped his authority and devastated the financial landscape and morale of a franchise(Deng capitulation/overpay). He should have resigned. As a manager/busnissman, I hate to say this, but he's kind of a sap.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Anything we need to know about Vinny's offensive coaching skills can be seen during the plays we run after timeouts--you know, after Vinny has 3 minutes to draw up his best offensive play. These are typically the worst possessions of the game, often ending with long 2s and even shot clock violations. My new favorite wrinkle is that Vinny can't even figure out how to get Rose the ball in these situations (see, e.g., NJ and ATL home games). Are you kidding me? Does any other coach have this problem? No chance.

  • In reply to spaceheat:

    I don't understand why Bulls management doesn't deal Tyrus and Hinrich for Lebron, and then Deng and Salmons for Kobe. What are they waiting for? Pick up the phone already.

  • I think money was certainly part of the reason D'Antoni is in NY instead of Chicago. IMO, however, the major reason D'Antoni is not with the Bulls is because there is no way he could coexist with Reinsdorf. He knew that from that disastrous interview in AZ where JR was cross-examining him about the need for an emphasis on defense. D'Antoni was much more comforable with Walsh.

    The Bulls organizational model is like a mafia family. Loyalty is valued above all else. That is why the organization is riddled with mediocrity- Paxson, Myers, King, etc. Phil Jackson (who should have been the Pat Riley of this organization) understood this and got out.

  • NO DOUG..NO EVERYONE...THE BULLS HAVE GOOD PLAYERS..REALIZE THAT..UNDERSTAND THAT..THEY JUST DONT MESH BECAUSE THEIR PUT TOGETHER BY A LOW LIFE STAFF THAT SAYS..HEY IF YOUR THIS HEIGHT YOU MUST PLAY DEFENSE RIGHT? WRONG...WHY IS IT THAT WE CAN SAY HINRICH,DENG AND SALMONS WOULD DO BETTER IN OTHER PLACES? SALMONS IS A SIXTH MAN SF. HE FLOURISHED AS A SF WHY WOULD WE FIX WHATS NOT BROKEN.. HINRICH IS A POINT GUARD NOT A SIXTH MAN! HE DOESNT FILL UP THE STAT SHEET SO WHY WOULD WE EXPECT HE DOES IT NOW..LOUL DENG IS AN UNDERSIZED PF! HE DOESNT HAVE RANGE OR THE HANDLE TO GET BY SO HE JACKS THEM UP..THE LITTLE PICK AND POP AND PICK AND ROLL GAME WOULD WORK GREAT WITH HIM! YOU GUYS ARE YOUTUBE PEOPLE AND NAME PEOPLE..DWADE HAD A TEAM BUILT AROUNDDDDDDD HIM HE DIDNT BECOME GOOD BECAUSE HIS NAME...LOOK AT DEVIN HARRIS..THE MOMENT HE LEFT...ZOOOM..INTO STARDOM..YOU GUYS ARE SOOOOO F*UCKING UNGRATEFUL OF DERRICK..HE HAS A TEAM THAT CANT F*UCKING SHOOT AT ALL AND YA WANT HIM TO KEEP JACKING UP CONTESTED SHOTS..HIM AND LOUL ARE THE ONLY REASONS WE WON ANYTHING..OUR LINEUP HAS SALMONS AND HINRICH IN HORRIBLE SITUATIONS THAT DONT FIT THEM..DERRICK IS PLAYING SLOW PACE WITH NO SHOOTERS AND YA EXPECT THIS KID TO DO GOOD..IM SURPRISED HE'S EVEN DOING WHAT HES DOING NOW BECAUSE OF OUR LINEUP AND PACE..A LINEUP AND COACHING CHANGE WILLLLL GET US INTO THE PLAYOFFS AND WE WOULD BE A 6TH - 8TH WE'R TOO TALENTED BUT JUST PLAYERS ARE PUT IN A BAD SITUATION BECAUSE THE BULLS FRONT OFFICE STRESSED THIS WHOLE OFF SEASON(LENTGH AND SIZE) THEIR PUTTING SKILLED PLAYERS WHO PLAY UP AND DOWN IN BAD SPOTS..NO COACH IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD MOVE SALMONS TO THE 2 AND NO COACH WOULD LET HINRICH PLAY BENCH AND DENG PLAY THE 3..THIS IS A REFLECTION OF WHY THEY TREATED GORDON BAD...HE WASNT LONG.... A 6TH TO 8TH SEED ARE IN REACH IF WE PUSHED THE BALL WITH THESE LITTLE AND EASY BABY STEP MOVES..LINEUP ROSE,HINRICH,SALMONS,DENG,AND NOAH
    THEN TRADEEEEEEE JEROME JAMES NOT JAMES JOHNSON FOR DEPTH OFF THE BENCH..THEN TRADE TYRUS FOR DEPTH OFF THE BENCH..MOVE PARGO AND GRAY FOR GUYS WHO CAN ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE..WE HAVE A PLAYER READY FOR STARDOM..YOU GUYS HAVE TO UNDERSTAND A PLAYER WHO IS YOUR BEST PLAYER AND HE' HAS NOOOOOO SPACING WHATSO EVER AND BIGS WHO ARE NO THREATS OF A POST OR A PICK AND A TEAM THATS NOT RUNNING IS RESULTING IN US LOOKIN BAD...VINNY NEEDS TO BE MOVED AND THE TEAM NEEDS A LINEUP CHANGE PUTTING PLAYERS IN THEIR RIGHT POSITION AND LETTING THEM RUN...GO BULLS...IM GOING TO DEFEND YOU GUYS NOW..GO CHITOWN =)

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    pargo,hunter,this is not sacramento miller,gray,james johnson,jerome james,tyrus thomas with the only exception to taj..we have a roster that has 7 players who cant play and dont play and when they play their not any good..thomas somedays..but say the truth..he never was helping so why think now...this team is wearing down..this team has no shooting because of the lineup..this team is not pushing the ball with guys who play best up and down..a coaching change,a style change and a lineup change would boost us into the playoffs..we know we have players..these guys arent bums..we just pay so much ineffective players and run a system and have a coach that is hurting this franchise...period..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    if theres one trade that im open for then its go HARD after andrew bynum...do what ever it takes..2 first rounders,cash and whatever but the only deal im excepting now is salmons,miller and thomas for mcgrady and dorsey..then i'll go all the way to l.a to get andrew if him and rose can be paired up one day..but my wish is a lineup of what l.a has..

    pg rose(continue to be great but these people dont realize that your trying and will be there because your team,their style and a coach who isnt smarter than lidnsey but yet his job is to make derrick reach his potiential but isnt smarter and know basketball like a guy on our bench fit your style but yet your still our top player but these people want 40 and 40 everynight and your name to read jordan..smh..)

    sg ?long range off ball shooter and defender
    sf ?long range off ball shooter and defender

    pf deng(lamar odom role..just as inconsistent as lamar from deep thats why lamar plays pf..he struggles mightly at the sf spot thats why he doesnt start)

    and C bynum(pau gasol and his own)

  • Yeah good point. I'll just need to verify the financials work with the ESPN trade machine, and if they do, then I don't know why the Bulls front office wouldn't make those deals happen.

  • I'm not trying to defend VDN, but maybe he isn't the problem. As I recall, everybody in Boston wanted Doc Rivers fired, until he got Garnett and Allen. It's amazing how a few SUPERSTARS added to a roster can change people's perceptions.

    John Paxson needs to take a paige out of Danny Ainge's book and get VDN some GREAT PLAYERS to go with Rose.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    doc was always a great coach..he won a coach of the year award with a magic team that was always losing until he changed that..doc lives and breathes basketball..vinny is way too inexperienced...he doesnt know how to put players in great situations because he jumped from a team in the front office straight to a head coaching job in the 3rd biggest market...vinny should know deng isnt a true small foward..he should know what system rose belongs in..but i give him credit..he's not a bad coach..he's just to young and inexperienced to know what works and what doesnt..he experiments with a professional nba team..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    the biggest knock on vinny is...he doesnt know what works...he takes the ball out of roses hand when rose is dominating..wee seen it all of last year and in the playoffs and we seen it soo many times this season..phil jackson doesnt say hey kobe you hit 3 in a row now..now start passing it to derek and lets see if he can hit a bank shot from the stands..vinny needs tempo..a lineup..and depth not stars look at houston..they have players without stars..you plug in yao and a potiential threat off the bench for 20 and you have a championship team..teams needs players who can do it alone and without their star..boston when they go to the bench look like a lottery team..if garnett goes down 2nd round is their limit..you need a team that can go without him..a deep team..not an all star team..

  • D'Antoni wouldn't matter or make that much of a difference. Only SUPERSTAR talent can change this situation around for the better.

  • I'm speaking the TRUTH.

    Go through the HISTORY of the NBA Finals and you will find a common thread. The teams that won the title had TWO SUPERSTARS on their squad. The teams that lost had only ONE. John Paxson is a former NBA Champion, so he should know that already.

    VDN might not be the problem. Maybe, if Paxson did his job and got him some SUPERSTAR level talent, like Danny Ainge got for Doc Rivers got in Boston after people were calling for their firings, things would be different.

    The NBA is a PLAYER'S LEAGUE. VDN would be a better coach, if he had SUPERSTARS on this team.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    well any coach would be good with talent..that was phil jacksons knock..he had 4 of the greatest 50 players to play..but vinny is a problem..his system brings out the bad of our players..his system allows bigs to shoot and we have no big that can and the sf to create and loul cant dribble..his system is a slow paced offense and doesnt have any tempo..nobody knows their tempo but obviously their system allows bigs to hold the ball create and pass..he needs a old kings type of team..we have talent mr happy..these guys can be good..vinny cant coach..lets face reality..loul deng can make a all star team someday..people forget he's 24..he has 7 years to blossom..rose has 10 and hinrich has 4..salmons is old and noah also has 7..we have a stable team their not put in position to do so...rose needs to have a guy that says hey..this franchise is on your back..your our guy..he hasnt had that..thats why he wasnt named captain..they invested the top pick for what then..great players need a push they arent born great your made great..loul PERFECTLY FITS the pf role like lamar odom in l.a..they cant shoot 3s consistently but they apply pressure to the slow 4s and are force to guard the perimeter with his potiential..salmons needs to be sf because he's too slow and not athletic enough to guard the 2s anymore..his offense fits what we want in loul as the sf but loul isnt a sf..kirk plays the 2 and boom..add a new coach who stresses point guard control and uptempo and interior defense and we def would see drastic improvements so later we can move hinrich and salmons..trade tyrus for a combo guard and trade james johnson for a three point shooter who can play the 3 or the 4..and watch us make it to the playoffs and then we can talk 2010..a seed higher than miami would =6th place and a legit shot at 2010 at anyone..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    you gotta understand..talent isnt easy to go out and get..teams hold their players to high standards because of their relationships with the front offices and their contracts and the performance on the court..paxson does make terrible moves..but his worst one was when he took the job..our franchise should have personale like the way the rockets or new jersey do..they put in great players without overpaying and besides new jersey whos so young new and often injured..their future may be the brightest in the nba in 4 years...we have only rose..he's paired with a slow system,ball needing players and a inexperienced coach..we deserve better..

  • Hahahahahaha! Yeah, Doug. Why don't they just pick up the phone?!?!

  • First off, Merry Christmas to everyone.

    Next, I think there isn't a doubt that life would be different with D'Antoni. He's a much better coach than VDN and he actually has a coaching resume. That can't be understated. VDN was practically in the mailroom when he was hired to coach a team in the 3rd largest market. After losing out on their primary choices of D'Antoni and Collins, they desperately hired someone, anyone who would take the job after a long embarrassing search. That someone happened to be a person that had never coached ANYTHING in his life. Not even as an assistant. Lesson learned: if you're lucky you get what you paid for.

    With that said, I don't think D'Antoni would have been the long term answer. He would have greatly improved the team during his tenure, but he would not have brought a championship by the time it was over. As a businessman that's an expensive risk to take knowing the problems going in. The Bulls were still foolish not to sign him but right to stress defense, something D'Antoni has never had an interest in. If you're serious about winning a championship, you've got to play exceptional defense. That's true in ANY sport. Outscoring your opponent makes for great entertainment and ticket sales but rarely, if ever, wins championships. It didn't in Phoenix and it wouldn't have in Chicago.

    Take a look at the last 30 NBA Champions (which since 1979-80 has become an ultra exclusive club: only 8 teams with the 76ers in 1982-83 and the Heat in 2005-06 sneaking in as the only single title winners). They won not because they could outscore their opponent but because they could stop their opponent from scoring. That was always the Suns Achilles heal. Given the Bulls current woes, I'm certain most of us would still take it. But only for so long. We'd have something new to complain about (it's what fans do).

    I think the problem with the Bulls right now is culture and that starts at the top. There are a lot of things wrong with this team, but that's no different than other organizations at different points in their life of the franchise. JR is a meddling owner but he's a businessman first. That's reflected in the dysfunction at every level of the franchise from management to the players. I think he realizes that only one team wins the championship every year while a handful of other strong franchises contend. Everybody else is just running around trying to keep it together and make ends meet. For him it's best to milk the profits while waiting for the right situation to contend for another run of championships.

    To win a championship, it takes years of planning, spending, fine tuning and luck just to get there. And when you do, you'd better win them in bunches because you only have a window to do it. When the Bulls were busy winning six titles, it was costing them big bucks to do so. Sure they were also raking in big revenue but the profits probably weren't optimized because of their operating expenses. They had three future Hall of Famers (Jordan, Pippen and Phil, of course; four, if you include Krause) to employ to begin with. Plus, the rest of the organization that was operating at a very high level. When you have a product that produces you have to pay them to retain them which cuts into profits. From a business perspective, the profits JR & Co have enjoyed since Jordan left have been fantastic because the demand is high while the operating costs are low. But it also allows them to prep for another run when the situation is just right and the product is ready to take advantage. This includes more than just the players. Organizations win championships, after all.

    The Celtics and Lakers are the Gold Standard when it comes to organizations in this league. They are also presently the most likely to win a championship. But that's not the case every year. Before winning the last two they spent years as either a) a laughing stock or b) pretenders to the throne. But with fine tuning and luck (i.e. Gasol, Garnett and Ray Allen) they became champions. But being a champion is expensive. For every year they don't win, they are still shelling out millions in operating costs. That's part of the reason why management blows up a team when it becomes evident they won't be realistically contending for a title. It's about costs just as much as it is about personnel. This is a business afterall. With D'Antoni, why pay the cost when the big payoff (a championship) is unlikely?

    I think the Bulls will get back there sometime soon. But we've got to be patient, continue to fine tune and wait to be lucky again. Getting the #1 pick in the '08 draft was our first piece of luck. Hopefully, the next time is the summer of 2010. While things look poorly now but free agency is still 7 months away. Anything can happen by then, and I'm certain it will. Hopefully, we will make the right moves to turn this ship around and solidify a solid position to take advantage. Before the Lakers won their first of four championships this decade in 1999-00 they waited 12 yrs for the right combination of fine tuning and luck (getting future HOFer Phil Jackson as coach). The Celtics went 22 seasons before winning again in 2007-08 (obviously, signing future HOFers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett). Right now we're at 11 yrs and counting ...

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Yeah, I know it's a little long. Maybe it should have been a separate post, Doug. :-)

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