Atlanta, even as the three seed, even with a sweep over Boston, even with a win against Orlando, even for as great as they’ve been at times, still enter as the unknown, silent partner of the NBA playoffs.
It’s about to get a little awkward at the NBA’s New York headquarters. It’s time to vote for the Coach of the Month and in the West this is any easy answer: Luke Walton of the Golden State Warriors.
Except he is officially 0-0 as a coach this season. Walton is the interim, and under the NBA’s rules the regular coach gets credit while away. So Steve Kerr is 16-0 — which Kerr thinks is ridiculous — and the league is about to vote a guy who has zero official wins as coach of the month.
So the league is thinking about making a change, reports Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
A source confirmed Friday that the league is looking into the long-held custom of wins not being credited to interim coaches, but rather to coaches on leave such as the Warriors’ Steve Kerr.
Changing the policy does raise some questions. Is this retroactive to former interim coaches? Is there a minimum number of games the interim has to serve before it counts? (I don’t know if you want to count games for an interim who does one or two games for a suspended coach, but does he start to get credit at five games? 10?)
That said, the league should do it. Walton and other long-term interims deserve credit.
Walton continues to say “whatever” in so many words.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Walton said of the possibility of having wins on his record as the league reviewed the Warriors’ extenuating circumstances. “It really doesn’t…I’m good either way.”
But Walton could be the first ever NBA coach of the month who has not officially won a game.
This was not the Knicks’ night. Miami has been the second best team in the East and they looked it with a comfortable win over New York, 97-78.
And it was also turn back the clock night for Dwyane Wade.
Above he drops Langston Galloway with the crossover. Below he gets out in transition and throws it down like its 2006. He finished with 17 points and looked pretty spry on the night.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Golden State Warriors rained 3s in the desert and pushed their NBA-record start to 17-0.
Stephen Curry scored 41 points in three quarters and the Warriors made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers (in 38 attempts) during their highest-scoring game of the season, a 135-116 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
Golden State fell one shy of the NBA record for 3s set by Orlando on March 9, 2009, and matched by Houston, against the Warriors, on Feb. 5, 2013. The offensive deluge came three days after Golden State set the league record at 16-0 by beating the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We have an edge,” Curry said. “We love the feeling of winning and our confidence is high right now. That’s the only thing that motivates us.”
The 3-point record could well have fallen had Curry not sat out the fourth quarter. The reigning NBA MVP made a season-high nine of his 16 tries from long range in his 14th career 40-point game, five this season.
Draymond Green had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his third career triple-double, two this season.
The Warriors set another NBA mark by making 15 3-pointers (in 20 attempts) in the first half. Leandro Barbosa added 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 5 for 5 on 3s.
“Yeah, they’re a tough team to guard,” Phoenix’s Markieff Morris said. “They shoot 3s like layups.”
T.J. Warren scored a career-high 28 points for the Suns in their third straight loss and fourth in five games.
“I know we shoot a lot of 3s,” Golden State interim coach Luke Walton said. “They start blending together after a while. But that’s the type of game it turned into. We would like to still get the ball inside and move it side to side.”
Golden State jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and the Suns never got it to single digits again. Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek lamented a lack of defense.
“A team like that, who is undefeated world champs, you’ve got to make things tough for them,” Hornacek said. “We didn’t do that. Their shots were pretty much wide open.”
Hornacek admired the ball movement of the Warriors.
“You see several times when there is a missed shot,” he said, “they get an offensive rebound, that ball is not in the offensive rebounder’s hands more than a half a second and then they find Curry somewhere.”
In the first half, Curry went 7 of 9 on 3s and scored 27 points. Golden State had a 75-57 lead at the break after matching its highest-scoring half in a so-far perfect season.
Curry and the rest of the Warriors came out firing, scoring the game’s first eight points, capped by the first of Curry’s flurry of 3s. The Warriors kept hitting from long range and the last of Curry’s five first-quarter 3s put Golden State up 39-19. The Warriors led 44-27 after their highest-scoring first quarter since March 25, 2011.
Seven players made at least one 3-pointer for the Warriors. In the first half, Golden State shot 66 percent overall but was even better from 3-point range at 75 percent. The Warriors made 15 of 20 3s in the first half.
The Suns lost starting center Tyson Chandler, Phoenix’s major offseason signee, with a strained right hamstring in the first quarter. Golden State starting forward Harrison Barnes left in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative, Walton said, but it wasn’t known how long Barnes might be out.
It looked a lot worse than it turned out to be.
Late in the third quarter of Friday night’s Clippers win over the Pelicans, Los Angeles’ Josh Smith blocked a shot at the rim that came out to the top of the key to Chris Paul, and he started to race up court in transition with Anthony Davis next to him. At that point, CP3 veered into Davis to draw the contact and get the foul (he did), but in the process injured Davis. Watch the replay in the video above, CP3 initiates the contact.
Watching Davis try to leave the floor was scary. It looked bad.
Fortunately, it turned out just to be a bruise.
Davis did not return, and his status for a game against Utah on Saturday is up in the air. However, he shouldn’t miss much time with a bruise.
As for the play, there has been plenty of Twitter talk about if it was dirty. I wouldn’t say that, I do not think there was any intent to injure.
I would say the play was reckless, the kind of thing more likely to lead to injury. What’s more, that should be called an offensive foul every time — CP3 initiates that contact. He veers into Davis to get the call, and that’s an offensive foul. The referees called it on Davis (so long as that is the case, Paul and others will keep doing it).
Fortunately for all of us, the ultimate result was nothing serious.