If you take the best chefs in the world, then tell them they have to cook a gourmet meal from food they find in a gas station market, you are going to get some crap to eat. You cannot change the hand you are dealt.
We have no idea if John Kuester is a good coach. Hard to tell with the injury-riddled roster he had in Detroit.
But Kuester is going to get one more chance to prove he can do something with this roster, according to Vince Ellis at the Detroit Free Press.
He was pretty much guaranteed a second season when president of basketball operations Joe Dumars declared at Kuester’s introductory news conference that the Pistons were in a rebuilding stage and could afford to roll with the first-time head coach.
The Pistons are going to spend the off-season trying to improve — not seeking their fourth coach in four seasons.
Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince both missed significant time this season. The Pistons had a nice start without them, but eventually in the NBA talent wins out, and Detroit was lacking.
The Pistons have played better the last few weeks, starting when Kuester started calling guys out and yanking minutes. His hands were tied for much of the season due to injuries, but lately he has done things like pull Austin Daye when he makes mistakes. Which is a lot. Of course, there was the big incident calling out Charlie Villanueva.
He’s going to need to keep doing that, keep holding players accountable, next season. That and make an offering to the basketball gods to spare the Pistons so many injuries.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.