published Friday, June 14th, 2013

5-at-10: Friday mailbag with Best and worst coaches, all-time showdowns and Heat hypothesis

Gang, it's been an excellent week that has been filled with high-quality conversations. Take a bow.

And remember that Sunday is Father's Day, so get prepared.

From the "Talks too much" studios, you just got lesson No. 1 — don't think, it can only hurt the ball club.

From a slew of you (paraphrased)

What do you make the of Game 4, and which Heat should we expect in Game 5?

This is an excellent question and one that is nearly impossible to answer.

In Game 3, the Heatles looked worse than pedestrian. They looked downright Hawks-esque. They were disinterested and distracted. They were underprepared and overmatched. All of them, especially LeBron James.

In Game 4, they looked unbeatable and unstoppable. James was the lead dog and Dwyane Wade looked the part of the best second-banana since Tonto.

So what does this mean?

Well, let's start with what we know. We know that when they play well, the Heat are the best team in basketball by leaps and bounds. We know that a focused and intense and in tune LeBron is top shelf. We know that Wade looked five years younger Thursday night. We know that the swing in performance from Game 3 to Game 4 was so dramatic and so dichotic that it becomes somewhat clear that the issues with the Heat are created internally.

As for what we don't know, well, that list is long and distinguished. But let's start here. We don't know which Heat team will show up Sunday night. We don't know if anyone does know that — LeBron and Erik (Estrada) Spoelstra included. We don't know how a team can go from looking lost to looking supreme in 48 hours against the same competition.

We said the Heat in six before the series. We still believe in the Heat in six. But not unlike Schultz from Hogan's Heroes, we know nothing.

———

From TNBuck (and a few others — and again paraphrased a touch)

Dude, get off your can and post the US Open entries. Thanks.

Here you go (and if you don't see your name, let us know — that doesn't mean you can change your pick, it just means if we left someone out, please speak up):

HardCopy — Round 1 - Oosthuizen Round 4 - McDowell

Todd962 — Tiger, Tiger

BiSpy4 — Colsaerts/Donald

TNBuck — Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson

5-at-10 — Philly Mick, Dustin Johnson

Stuck — Stallings, Kuchar

McPell — Choi/Snedeker

Dawg747 — Dustin Johnson/Kuchar

Mr. Spud — Kuchar/Kuchar

Sportsfan — Snedeker/Stricker

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Mickelson/Mickelson

TFP golf writer David Uchiyama — Laird/Dufner

ThatIDoKnow — Adam Scott/Scott

OTWatcher — Ernie Els/Kuchar

Fred — Rory/Jason Day

Tiger — D. Johnson/Tiger

WarEagle — Scott/Kuchar

scole023 — Scott/Westwood

Jefe — Mickelson/Scott

———

From Smacktalk33

I know where you went to college, but I want to see if you'll answer this question right or not: Who is the best coach in sports right now?

You know the answer, but will you admit it?

Smacktalk —

Nick Saban is far and away the best coach in sports. Better than Bellichick. Better than Poppovich. Better than every one else and it's not that close, really.

He's the best because he's always prepared and works tirelessly to get better and stay at the top. He is relentless, and every other program in college football wishes he was coaching their team.

That said, why do Alabama fans need the affirmation of the rest of us? You are rolling at levels that are historic in the modern era, and if Alabama wins it this year, it's the greatest dynasty in modern sports, and likely the greatest college dynasty this side of the UCLA hoops run.

OK, here you go smacktalk, Saban is the best ever. EVER. In fact, if Vince Lombardi was still alive, he would have a Saban poster in the East corner of his office and worship at it five times a day. Saban is the coaching Dalai Lama — long the Lama, big hitter.

————

From Scott

You have made mention this spring about LeBron vs. MJ. I think MJ is way better, but that's beside the point.

My question is if you could go back through sports and get player X from his day against player Y of his day, who you got?

Thanks for the 5at10, it's a regular stop in my morning, and let us know when you & Paschall get back on the radio.

Scott,

Thanks for the kind words and for the great question. And we think MJ has the better resume than LeBron and MJ is arguably the greatest competitor in the history of sports, but we think James would dominate him in one-on-one (not that means anything in the grand scheme of things, but there you go).

OK, here's our Marty McFly Time Machine Rushmore of the best all-time confrontations through the years:

1) At his peak Muhammad Ali vs. pre-Douglas Mike Tyson

2) 1972 Jack Nicklaus vs. 2001 Tiger Woods

3) 1921 Babe Ruth vs. 1973 Nolan Ryan

4)

————

From Truth

I have heard you love the draft. Can you confirm this rumor?

If that's the case, then why so little about the NBA draft? That's the best draft of them all.

Enjoy the 5-at-10.

Truth,

We've been blessed with a plate full of stuff considering it's June. We'll get to the NBA draft next week and beyond, and yes, we can confirm that we are quite fond of the draft.

In fact, the NBA draft was the first one that we developed an affinity for, but it has since been passed by the NFL draft. (Not surprisingly, we grew up a huge hoops fan and football has moved to the No. 1 spot in our sports priorities overall. So it goes.)

In fact, in our early days of draft analysis, we nailed the future prospects of MJ and of Chuck Barkley. We can't remember liking a Hawks pick which makes sense since the Hawks don't like the Hawks' picks. (And no they did not draft Dominique, they traded John Drew and their first round pick to Utah for Wilkins back in the day.)

And our biggest draft miss was during the the 1980s NBA draft. Yep, after watching the highlights that made him look like a church-league all-star, we thought John Stockton was the worst first-round pick ever. Nailed that one, huh?

As for this draft, we'd likely take Nerlens Noel No. 1. That would be the third UK player taken No. 1 overall since 2010 (John Wall and Anthony Davis). It also would tie Duke at 3 with the most No. 1 overall picks in NBA history.

————

From UTFan

It's been a rough stretch and I have high hopes for the Butch Davis era.

But my question is not about that. My question is about ole orange pants. With the news that the Vols have the worst APR among SEC football programs, can we have a discussion about whether Derek Dooley the worst coach in SEC history?

Thanks, and why do you love Alabama so much (kidding).

UTFan,

Wow, the more we thought about your question, the more merit it gets. We think there is a reverse Rushmore of guys in the mix. Guys that include Ray Goff and Doug Barfield and John L. Smith and our front-runner Curley Hallman.

But the numbers that Dooley posted deserve consideration.

He was 1-14 in SEC games in his final two years. At Tennessee. Read that again.

Granted, any time there is coaching turnover, the APR is going to struggle because of players leaving or getting processed. It happens. But still, this is a low point for a very proud program that really has slid behind Vandy in the SEC East.

We'll give Dooley a pass over a couple of those above names in that dude did inherit a monster of a mess after the one-year Kiff-tastraphe.

And whether you think Dooley was the worst or just bad or if you're like OG and loathe the Big Orange and think Dooley did the Lord's work, this conversation leads us to another: Was Mike Hamilton the worst hiring AD in the history of sports?

That said, UTFan, we too have high hopes for Butch Jones. But we do not have expectations for these Vols. There's a ton of foundation work to be done, and the brick-by-brick slogan is as apropos as it is catchy.

Gang, whatcha think?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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chas9 said...

I know nothing, either.

But in Kentucky football news (get used to it, UK will be making football news), the nation's #1 all-purpose running back has committed to The Cats, and they have offered a scholarship to a seventh grader.

And KY now has the #3 ranked class of 2014, with a bullet. UT is #2 and A&M is #1. Believe it.

According to 24/7 Sports, The Vols have the nation's #17 recruiter (Mark Elder) and The Wildcats have #9 (Vince Morrow).

In my humble opinion, Butch is a winner, but he won't be able to count the UK game as a probable win (or Vandy), making his job tougher. Along about 2002-3 UT should've brought back Mitch Barnhart, who's hired well at Kentucky.

In that same last two DD years, Joker Phillips won twice as many SEC games (two), and had to do it with at a historically much weaker program. So Dooley's worse than Joker.

And The Gators LOST almost $1,000,000 going to the Sugar Bowl, they say.

June 14, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.
Blueoval said...

For the love of Golf ESPN please don't let Berman cover anymore of the US Open. Tirico and Zinger are ok but Mr Back, Back, Back needs to go. That is all......

June 14, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
Blueoval said...

One more thing..can we not mention Dooley anymore? It just brings back my worst memories of UT football ever. Funny thing about him only having 1 win vs another SEC team, Chaney replaced him in the last game against KY and won. So in one game Chaney matched Dooley's total record agaisnt other SEC teams. As 5/10 says Ouchstanding!

June 14, 2013 at 12:35 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay,

It was a good week topic-wise.

Regarding the time-machine match-ups, I've comtemplated this one ever since I watched the Ken Burns documentary: Jack Johnson vs. Ali (both in their primes).

Worst coach (with serious sincere apologies to Sloan), gotta go with Rodney on this. He had high intentions but really couldn't keep it together. The "six way" scandal (the nicest way I can address it) was definately the nail in the coffin along with the ever dissmal 1-8 season. I grant you Donnie Kirpatrick and the two Buddys weren't exactly Scrappy Moore or Joe Morrison in the making but that was a serious low point in the program.

Also, is the Fabulous Mr. Fox still hanging on in the Open?

June 14, 2013 at 12:40 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Worst SEC coach or worst coach period? Because I could go all Brad Scott at South Carolina, Bill Lewis at Georgia Tech and Gerry Faust at ND. Met Faust one day. Nice guy. Bad coach.

June 14, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.
TNBuck said...

My run was good. Sir 5@10, looks like you got me if Johnson can win this thing. That said, I know you have a best of preps ticket already. What cha gonna do?

June 14, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.
fechancellor said...

No expectations for me in Knoxville other than seeing the new talent possibly blossom on the field.

KY Radar on #1 too. It's his feets that gets the coaches' to frothing.

June 14, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Fair warning, if you include Derek Dooley on your reverse Rushmore of SEC football coaches, be aware that Barbara will swing by to yell at you for a while. Many Tennessee fans gloated about Barbara Dooley wearing orange on Saturdays over the last few seasons. Most Georgia fans were of the relieved mindset that she is their problem now. Bulldog Nation still loves Vince, but even Coach Richt has grown weary of Barbara.

I see Curley Hallman is the front-runner on the reverse Rushmore. I met an LSU fan in Athens a few years ago that told me a story concerning a Bayou Bengal fan killing a small portable television set at a tailgate in Baton Rouge. A Golden Flake commercial featuring Coach Hallman came on and pushed this guy right over the edge. He threw the television, kicked and punched it, all the while using language that would make a longshoreman blush. That is some genuine anger right there.

As for Ray Goff...As a coach, he was a nice guy. As a quarterback, he was a pretty good scrambler.

June 14, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Vince Morrow's a better recruiter than Vic Morrow's Coach Roy Turner, huh?

BlueOval —

If you could make Berman go away from golf coverage, we'd never mention ol' Orange Britches ever again.

JMC —

Mr. Fox is T-127th at +11 with three holes to play.

And Rodney was better than Donnie. Rodney had a 6-5 year, no? The Sextuplets ended any chance he had.

Spy —

Every time we start talking about bad coaching a Tech man got to pull Bill Lewis out the sky.

It's a fair point though.

TNBuck —

No run is over until we decided it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No. And it ain't over now.

FE to the C —

We may not know much but size and speed is a great combination.

GD —

Amen on Ms. Dooley.

And we were in the stands at Jordan-Hare when Curley Hallman's Tigers lost to Auburn 30-26 even though Auburn did not score an offensive TD. Auburn returned three second-half picks for TDs, yet here was Curley, still slinging it around. Good times.

And yes, as a coach, Ray Goff was a heck of BID-ness man. He owns like a couple dozen Zaxby's or something like that.

— 5-at-10

June 14, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, it's more about stepping through ladders and such. Your depth and breadth are not in dispute.

June 14, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Don't ever ever forget Dooley did BEAT Butch Jones . . . . . .

June 15, 2013 at 9:34 a.m.
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