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Does former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse know the formula for landing a front office job?

Does former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse know the formula for landing a front office job?

Just the other day, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn't sound like he was sold on a "Rooney Rule" such as what the NFL has to ensure minority candidates are included the interview process.

This is what he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

In terms of specifically a Rooney Rule, to be honest, I’m not sure how effectively that works in the NFL. I do think we need to do more. I’m just not sure if it results in something that looks like a Rooney Rule or something more unique to the NBA.

Jerry Stackhouse, who has been an NBA assistant and led the Toronto Raptors' D-League affiliate to their first championship this year, already is thinking along those lines for himself.

"I don't mean for it to sound easy but this is kind of what I do. This is my life," said Stackhouse, who played 18 NBA seasons with eight different teams that inlcuded 2002-04 in Washington.

"Anything on the basketball court doesn't feel foreign to me at all, coaching, teaching, instruction. Knowing drill work with guys and getting out and playing still. I still enjoy that. I don't think there's enough us as far as African Americans in charge of budgets of teams, different things like that."

In the musical chairs that can be coaching and front-office roles, John Hammond left the Milwaukee Bucks to fill the GM role for the Orlando Magic; Travis Schlenk left the Golden State Warriors to take over as GM of the Atlanta Hawks. 

Just as the game on the court has changed with the emphasis on small ball and de-emphasis on true centers who play with their backs to the basket, front-office roles have shifted, too.

MORE WIZARDS: 2017 NBA Draft: Potential names the Wizards should consider in Round 2

The NBA has relied heavily on former players in key positions such as coaching, but more often front-office spots are going to younger people with backgrounds in analytics, many of whom are white, over people with playing experience. 

Like any statistic, the numbers can be misused. Misinterpret what they mean or over or undervalue them and they can make a good situation bad or a bad situation worse. But even before the 2016-17 season began, this was the tone of conversation from The Undefeated when addressing analytics in terms of race and NBA front-office positions.

The gist: Black people don't do analytics. A discussion worthy of being had about how and why the numbers are dwindling in NBA front offices but based on a conclusion that's not true. 

Just because a dozen guys in a barber shop don't know or care about it isn't a fair sample size no more than 50 "people" on Twitter feigning outrage over a topic makes that an accurate gauge of what actual readers care about. Analytics is as much of generational thing as it is a race thing. When I was talking via phone a few years ago to then-Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who is white, played from 1976-86 and even acquired multiple Larry O'Brien trophies during his tenure, he couldn't have come across more dismissive about metrics. 

No, after a game is over, players in the locker room aren't debating points per 100 possessions, where they rank in pick-and-roll ballhandler efficiency or true shooting percentages. All of those discussions are held in front offices that see a cumulative tally over the course of time to determine what trends and combinations work or don't work with their coaching staffs. It's an inexact science but a necessary tool – or evil pending your view.

Analytics aren't going anywhere. Former players such as Stackhouse can still get in front of the line if they don't turn a blind eye toward it. If both worlds are bridged correctly, the numbers should back up what plays out on the court. Of course, that requires seeing the game through the correct lens, too, which is where Stackhouse's hands-on acumen would come into play.

"Maybe decide to step away for a minute (from coaching) and be able to get more of a foundation to be able to come to the table with more of that package. That's really intriguting to me as well," said Stackhouse, who was named D-League coach of the year after sitting on the Raptors' bench the previous season under Dwane Casey. "We have a lot more to offer than just within the 94 feet of basketball."

Stackhouse, 42, is confident about what he knows about the game but realizes he has more ground to cover to be prepared for that step.

"Most of these guys in the front office, I can go get what they've got. They can't go get what I have (in playing experience)," he said. "It's a love for this game. This is all I've known how to do since I was probably nine or 10 years old."

What the league can do is help train former players who want to learn how to do the job in 2017. And the players can't be dismissive of the process as unfair. Just as big men have had to adapt by shooting from and defending at the three-point arc, this challenge for some isn't that much different.

“I think ultimately where it will pan out is I think you need both. As I watched in the league it’s gone to all basketball experience and no analytics, and then you move to probably too much analytics, and right now as I look in the league we’re still striving to find that right balance," Silver told The Globe.

"I think the way we can help ensure that those candidates get a fair hearing, those candidates who aren’t steeped, who didn’t go to MIT, is to ensure they have the type of analytics training that is necessary.”

It doesn't have to be an either-or proposition. Both needs can be met but there is an adjustment period. 

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards host two good options for their second-round pick

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The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards returned to Washington, D.C. on Friday down 0-2 to the Raptors in their best-of-seven 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The team lost a close one in Game 1 and was run out of the building in Game 2. Game 3 was must-win, and the Wizards knew what needed to happen in order for them to secure the victory.

"Everybody eats." 

That's the phrase that has defined the Wizards throughout much of the season They are at their best when John Wall is making plays and feeding his teammates.

On Friday night, the Wizards beat the Raptors 122-103 to force at least a Game 5. Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Bradley Beal finally broke out of his slump for 28 points and  Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre all chipped in with at least 10 points.

But the stat sheet wasn't the only place where everybody eats.

Here's Marcin Gortat from Game 3. 

But if pantomiming isn't your thing, here is Bradley Beal actually eating popcorn during Game 3.

So what did we learn in Game 3? Well, for starters: "Everybody Eats" is not just a motto, it is a way of life.





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With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

The Toronto Raptors were only going to hold Bradley Beal down for so long. After two so-so games to begin the Wizards-Raptors playoff series, the All-Star shooting guard was bound to find his way offensively and that arrival came in a Game 3 win on Friday night.

Beal was brilliant and much more in line with what he's shown in the postseason throughout his career. Game 2 was his worst playoff game as an NBA player, he scored only nine points. Game 3 was one of his best on the postseason stage, or at least one of his most timely and important.

The Wizards needed more from Beal to give themsevles a chance in this series. An 0-3 deficit would have been a death sentence. His production is so key to their success that head coach Scott Brooks and point guard John Wall met with Beal in between Games 2 and 3 to figure out how to get him going.

Whether that was the catalyst or not, the results followed. Beal poured in 28 points in 10-for-19 shooting with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. He hit four threes, more than he had in the first two games combined.

Beal wasted no time to make an impact scoring the ball. His first points came on a quick burst to the basket where he stopped on a dime, turned around and banked it in. By the end of the first quarter, he had 12 points in 11 minutes.

“I just wanted to be aggressive, get shots that I wanted which is what they were going to force me to take," Beal said.

After Game 2, Brooks and Beal described how physical the Raptors were defending him. They were holding on to him and staying close, even when he wasn't moving off the ball.

Brooks saw a difference in how Beal responded to that in Game 3.

"Brad came out and was looking to go towards the basket and not just letting them hold him and going along with it. He didn’t want to dance with his opponent, he wanted to get away from them. That was a critical part of his success," Brooks said.

Beal's 28 points were as much as he scored in Games 1 and 2 together and just about what he averaged through four games against the Raptors during the regular season (28.8). By halftime of Game 3, Beal had 21 points on 8-for-11 from the field.

Beal hit two threes in the first quarter and another two in the second quarter. Several of those threes were set up by Wall, who used the meeting with Brooks and Beal to ask how he can set him up better as the point guard.

In Game 3, they were on the same page.

"I do think this man [John Wall] next to me, he creates and facilitates for the whole team and gets everybody easy shots," Beal said. "I talk to you guys all the time and I can’t tell you the last time I actually got a regular catch and shoot three just in a regular half court set. When he came back, I got like three or four off the bat."

What Beal did in Game 3 is what the Wizards are used to seeing from him this time of the year. Despite being only 24 years old, he has a strong track record in the playoffs.

Through 37 career postseason games, Beal is averaging 22.3 points, more than his career average of 18.7 in the regular season. In each of his previous three postseason runs, he has averaged more points during the playoffs than he did in the regular seasons leading up.

That production has earned him the nickname 'Playoff Beal' and when he goes off like he did in Game 3, good things usually happen. The Wizards are 10-6 in the playoffs during his career when he scores 25 points or more.

Wall also boasts impressive career numbers in the playoffs. When the Wizards have both of their stars playing at their best, they are hard to beat. With peak Beal on board, this series looks a lot different than it did not that long ago.





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