Joe Lacob isn’t technically the co-owner of the Golden State Warriors yet, but he’s already making a hell of an impression. From Marcus Thompson of Inside the Warriors:
Lacob said what everybody else already knows: the Nellie era is
done. And Lacob said in the interview that he wants a young coach in
the new era (he listed Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks as an example).
But the question he has to answer is when will the era end? Now? Or
after this coming season?
What makes the decision difficult is
that he can’t make the move until he becomes owner of the team, which
he said he’s hoping to be officially by late September. (Though, he
said outgoing owner Chris Cohan has obliged him since the sale
agreement. If he wanted Nelson gone, couldn’t he just tell Cohan to
fire Nellie and hire the guy he wanted?) If that is when he gets
ownership, that’s about the start of camp and a month before the season
starts. Is that too late to make a coaching change?
Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, is there any real benefit to having Nellie serve out his term as a lame duck coach? With the Warriors unlikely to compete for a playoff spot in the West with their current core, wouldn’t it behoove them to get an actual developmental coach in as soon as possible? For teams positioned as such, training camp is important, but not essential. Establishing momentum for the season is a pipe dream. Golden State will continue to struggle, and the only way to facilitate their hopefully eventual success is to introduce the new era as soon as possible.
Regardless, it’s nice to know that Lacob isn’t fooling around. He isn’t awe-struck by Nellie’s win total, and fully intends to hire a new coach as soon as possible. This is the fresh start that Warriors fans deserve, and though they’ll have to wait until mid-season (at the earliest) to really begin anew, change is a’comin’.
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.