Bet you didn’t see this coming: the Minnesota Timberwolves could be short point guards to start the season.
Jonny Flynn, who started 81 games for the Timberwolves last season at the point, will likely miss the start of this season after having hip surgery, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo. Flynn missed Summer League for the surgery.
If Flynn is out for training camp and the start of the season, look for off-season acquisition Luke Ridnour to get the starting job. Which is a good thing. Flynn had no love for setting up the triangle offense and slashed his way into the lane with a 41.7 shooing percentage. He got to the line a little, got the Wolves four assists per game but added three turnovers to that. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t a good starter, either.
Ridnour found his shooting stroke last season in Milwaukee and hit 47.8 percent of his shots, plus shot better from three than Flynn, got an assist on a higher percentage of his touches and had far few turnovers. He was flat out better.
Flynn should be back in the opening months of the season, but he will have to fight to get his job back.
Behind Flynn, the Timberwolves are thin at point guard. They traded away Ramon Sessions and are expected to buy out the contract of just traded for DeLonte West. Reports out of Minnesota suggest they plan to buy out the full deal of Sebastian Telfair as well, which seems odd, especially now that they need another point guard. Would be smarter to keep him around for that overpriced $2.7 million contract Kevin McHale signed him to. Ricky Rubio will not be much help either, he has another season in Barcelona coming.
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.