The Warriors have won 16 games so far this season and are on pace to win about 22. Last season they won just 29. They are a terrible defensive team (28th in the league in points surrendered per possession). In virtually every other NBA town that would have the media asking for the coach’s head on a platter (in New York the media would have passed pitch forks and torches out to the assembled mob).
But Don “drinking with the players” Nelson’s job is safe.
“As far as we’re concerned, I’ve seen him in a lot of situations,” (Warriors General Manager Larry) Riley answered (a question about Nelson on a conference call with season ticket holders). “He has not lost the ability to coach or forgotten how to put teams together as far as strategy and using lineups and so forth.
“He’s going to get the record. But at the same time, if it wasn’t for that, I’d still like him as a coach. And I like the style of play that we use. And it’s important that we continue to go forward with that style of play, and he’s the guy to coach it.”
Of course Riley said that — Nelson won the power struggle and forced Chris Mullen out the door, Riley is one of Nelson’s guys. To be fair, Nelson can still coach — Sunday night Nelson helped his team beat a hot Hawks squad by going bigger along the front line in the second half, and benching Monta Ellis. Besides, kicking the guy out the door as he is close to becoming the NBA’s all-time winnngest coach would be cold.
But change has to be considered in the Bay Area, and if it is going to come, it’s not going to be from Riley. It will be from ownership, but with Chris Cohan in charge, Warriors fans better get used to the current regime. Now if Larry Ellison ever buys the Warriors, things will get interesting. But until then, run-and-gun, defense be damned.
LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.
He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.
Enter Elfrid Payton.
During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.
Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.
That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.
Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.
For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.
In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”
Well, today is that day.
Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.
Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.
This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.
Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.
NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.
Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.
The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.
Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.
My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).
There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.
That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.
Bring on February!
LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.
During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.
The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.
I mean, that’s just … insane.