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Observation Deck (cont.)

Posted: Tuesday March 27, 2007 3:12PM; Updated: Wednesday March 28, 2007 9:58AM
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Still -- and this is another reason why Nate McMillan is a fantastic coach -- Randolph got his act straight in the second half and finished with five assists. Nevertheless, they were mitigated by seven turnovers plus a technical foul. It's still hard to see Randolph ever having a major role on the type of team that makes it past the first round of the playoffs. He's going to have to lessen his impact on Portland's crummy offense, allow his teammates to run and give up the ball.

• Another good coach: Atlanta's Mike Woodson. These Hawks should not be a 27-win team. "Franchise star" Joe Johnson has played just 57 games (and he struggled with a calf injury when he did suit up), the Hawks employ two of the least productive free-agent signings of last offseason (Speedy Claxton and Lorenzen Wright, who combine for over 41 minutes a night), and Woodson is forced to give minutes to two lottery selections (Marvin Williams and Shelden Williams) who really shouldn't have gone as high as they did.

Throw in injuries to Tyronn Lue (don't laugh, because Claxton was the other option, and he's a "scoring point guard" who contributes only five points in 25 minutes a night), the messy ownership situation and that annoying band that still ruins Hawks home games, and it's a wonder that Woodson has this mess even threatening 30 wins. Seriously, look at this roster. This team should easily be leading the Greg Oden/Kevin Durant chase. On second thought, maybe Woodson is not such a great coach after all. He wins too damn much.

• Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller goes over the obvious reasons behind Ron Artest's continued active participation in the NBA. ... He's been a SuperSonic for a little over a year, and Seattle fans still can't figure out what to think about Chris Wilcox. ... When you run a Web site that details your daily need for Rasheed Wallace, Monday's 60-foot heave to tie the Nuggets at the buzzer (with Detroit eventually winning in OT) has to feel pretty good. ... A whole heap of Timberwolves fans are going to stay away from the Target Center until Kevin McHale's machinations are a thing of the past (thanks to I Heart KG for finding that one, and for putting up with five years of Troy Hudson). ... The Warriors may not make the playoffs -- the Clippers are hot and I underestimated them again -- but Don Nelson can be proud that his bunch has a ridiculously low amount of 24-second violations this season. ... Next time a national columnist tries to tell you that Kobe Bryant has a tougher time scoring from the perimeter than some hypothetical All-Star shooting guard from the 1980s and '90s, you just queue this up, OK?

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