Avery Johnson may not be the Hornets man, they keep interviewing

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hornets_logo.gifWhen the New Orleans Hornets went in search of a new coach, the prevailing wisdom was this was Avery Johnson’s job to lose. He’s a Louisiana native, he likes a style and pace that would suit Chris Paul, and the incoming owner Gary Chouest liked him.

Johnson may have lost it.

Depends on who you ask. ESPN’s Marc Stein says he was one of two “standout candidates” along with Boston’s defensive-minded assistant Tom Thibodeau. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Johnson is no longer the front-runner for the job. So much so that they are interviewing Jazz assistant Ty Corbin today.

Maybe Thibodeau moved to the top of the list — his stock had to have gone up after his defensive plan slowed Orlando in Game 1. But that’s a guess, we don’t really know what Chouest — who has been in on the interviews and active in the process — thinks on this. We don’t know where Johnson stands.

What we do know is that Chouest is an oil man whose company works in the Gulf of Mexico, and a lot of his energy has gone toward containing the horrific ongoing oil spill there (that was not related to his company). That could slow down the interview and decision process for the Hornets.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.

Marc Gasol heads ball into basket after drawing foul (video)

Marc Gasol
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This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.

Here was his January try: