Ben Golliver: Brooklyn Nets demolish Milwaukee Bucks 125-86 in Game 2 to take 2-0 series lead. – 39-point margin is biggest playoff win in Nets franchise history (Previous: 24 vs. Knicks in 2004). – 39-point margin is 2nd-biggest playoff loss in Bucks franchise history (54 vs. Bulls in 2015).
Fizdale wasn’t fazed. Knicks management, led by president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, told him they were committed to a “patient build.” Mills, Perry and Fizdale were the first trio of Black men to lead an NBA team. “I always thought, ‘Whoever you give me, I can win with them. I’ll figure it out,’ ” Fizdale said. “That’s how arrogant I was.”
“I tried to coach Marc Gasol like I coached kids from the ‘hood, but I hadn’t gained enough trust from him,” Fizdale said in our interview. “I coached him how my high school coach would have coached me, where I tried to tear his ego down to the barest bones in front of the group. I got caught up in my own ego and my emotions, because I was so frustrated with the losing.”
David Aldridge: Haven’t met anyone-player, coach, etc.-who doesn’t like Nico Harrison. He’ll be able to talk with anyone in the room. Obviously strong relationships with a lot of stars and important people in the game from his Nike gig. Definitely worth outside-the-box thinking from Dallas.
I’ve done this analysis for the past three seasons and one of the reoccurring trends has been that female media members tend to score lower on the contrarianism scale than male voters. I think part of that has to do with the fact that female media members are more likely to be the subject of ad hominem attacks and unfair criticism from fans for casting an unconventional ballot. So perhaps out of self-preservation, female voters tend to make fewer controversial choices than male voters do.
I also find it at least somewhat interesting that two of the most contrarian voters this season were from media members covering the league for a foreign press. Haupt and Christos Tsalta of SDNA.gr both scored highly on the contrarianism scale and I wonder if that has anything to do with how much (or how little) media narratives translate to different cultures. In other words, are attributes that are valued by American fans and media valued to the same degree by fans from a different country? I suspect not and that may play a part in why Haupt and Tsalta made such contrarian choices.
However, I’m not certain the NBA league office feels the same way. When I conducted this exercise last season, Greg Logan of Newsday and Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times ranked as the two most contrarian voters. Neither Logan or Cowley was given a vote this year and I have to wonder if that isn’t a coincidence. If my suspicions are correct, I’d be surprised to see Max Haupt’s name on an awards ballots next season.