Are the Warriors better off with Keith Smart?

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The tea leaves read “Nellie is done.” And though Nelson long and distinguished career is certainly worth respecting, you can still hear the collective sigh of relief, followed by the sharp intake of anticipation from Warriors fans. A fresh start. A new beginning. A change in the winds.

Or, you know, not really any of that.

Warriors World discusses Smart and his brief reign last season as head coach of the Warriors, and the results are not good:

I have no clue how prospective
Warriors coach Keith Smart would handle all that, I just want him to
eschew his December 2009 self…which was a facsimile of modern Don
Nelson:

12/7 @Okc L 104-88
12/9 @Njn W 105-89
12/11 @Chi L 96-91
12/12 @Det L 104-95
12/14 @Phi L 117-101

That rancid roadtrip lies in
obscurity’s hamper, but like an elephant I never forget-I also never
stop eating the stale peanuts fed to me by GSW HQ. Smart was given the
reins for an entire jaunt, and he promptly ran the carriage into an
Alligator swamp.

It wasn’t Smart’s first rodeo at the helm. He also took over as interim coach of the Cavaliers in 2002, going 9-31.

Ouch.

If the Warriors are going to really turn a corner if and when they do decide to let Nelson go, Smart may not be the best option. After all, he’s been working under Nellie in that whackadoodle system of his for years, and the Warriors don’t need more of that. They need a fresh start. Smart may do as a temporary solution, but there’s evidence to suggest he may not hang on like Jay Triano has in Toronto (although his defense will still probably be better than Triano’s.)

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.