It’s now official — Phil Jackson will be back with the Lakers next season.
He will be back to go after his fourth three-peat as a coach. Which is insane. He will be back for what he called his “last stand.” As if the Lakers needed more motivation.
Late Monday Jackson formally signed his new deal with the Lakers, according to Ramona Shelburne with ESPNLosAngeles.com. This was a deal that some questioned if he would take as the season wore on, one he himself had doubts about signing days after the season ended. In the end, the lure of another title was too strong.
What is not yet known is the terms of the deal. With a championship bonus last year, Jackson made close to $14 million, however he admitted that he was going to need to take a pay cut to stay on.
The Lakers coaching staff will remain the same. Heir-apparent Brian Shaw will be the lead assistant with Frank Hamblen and Jim Cleamons also. Chuck Person, who has been the shooting coach for the team, has been added as an assistant coach as well.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.