Derrick Favors is going to be good, maybe very good.
Someday. Right now he is a raw rookie who is about to have to refine his game in the rough world of the NBA. It’s not an easy transition for the best of them.
Avery Johnson knows this, and told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN in New York that the franchise would be patient with bringing Favors along.
It depends on how fast he moves along, but we’re not expecting him to come in and play 38 minutes next year and score 18 points and get 10 rebounds. That’s not what we’re expecting. Kevin Garnett came out of high school basically at the same age of this kid and I know he didn’t go to college but they were around the same age… and I think Kevin averaged about 11 points per game his rookie season.
We just want to get him in, get him through his press conference on Tuesday, get him on the court for summer league practice on Wednesday, and we’ll have a chance to coach him and get him up to speed on the NBA game. The game is going to be moving pretty fast for him early on and it’s gonna be much more physical than he ever experienced in college. There’s gonna be an adjustment period. I just don’t know how long….”
But Johnson thinks once he does mature — both physically and his game — his ceiling is very, very high.
“I just think he can be a smaller version from a physical and athletic standpoint to Dwight Howard, but have a better jump shot and more of a touch around the basket. I think he will be able to block shots and rebound and in time be able to move to about 16 feet. He has a left-handed jump hook, a right-handed jump hook, and he’s gonna be craftier. Just a smaller version of Dwight Howard once he puts on the weight.”
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.