Wednesday night against Minnesota, Mickael Pietrus played just three minutes. It was a blowout win and he could not get on the court.
He was not happy about it and let coach Stan Van Gundy know, which led to a shouting match on the bench, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“MP was unhappy about when he went into the game and he was unhappy about me telling him to play defense,” (Magic coach Stan) Van Gundy said. “He didn’t like what I was saying and I didn’t like his response, so I took him out of the game…”
“I’m a very competitive guy. What I miss the most is being out there,” Pietrus said. “It’s not playing time; it’s getting back that adrenalin that I need. It’s hard for me not to have that.
”It’s why I’m so frustrated. … I respect Stan. Of course. He’s like part of my family.”
Van Gundy ticks off a lot of players — JJ Redick had issues, Brandon Bass did as well. Van Gundy likes to tinker and mix things up, learn about combinations, and find his own way to rotations that will be used come the playoffs. That tinkering leads to friction.
Players like routine. They like minutes, but they also like regular rotations. Van Gundy may be less into the routine than other coaches, but Pietrus has to live with it. Want more minutes? Defend, ball hard, force him to play you because he can’t take you out. At the end of the day, that’s all you can do.
Cussing at the coach on the sidelines helps less than you’d think. The coach always wins.
NEW YORK (AP) — TNT will use broadcast teams featuring only former players and no traditional play-by-play men during five NBA doubleheaders later this season.
The “Players Only” schedule runs Monday nights from Feb. 27 to March 27 and includes matchups such as Golden State-Oklahoma City on March 20 and Cleveland-San Antonio a week later.
Brent Barry will serve as the primary host of one team with Derek Fisher and Grant Hill, while Greg Anthony partners with Kevin McHale and Richard Hamilton on the other.
Lisa Leslie and Dennis Scott will serve as reporters.
Turner Sports says Thursday that Chris Webber will anchor the studio coverage with Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis, and that additional NBA players will contribute to the five-week program.
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden took some time out after the Houston Rockets’ win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to give a fan a present on a her 100th birthday.
Video shows Harden signing a ball for the woman and spending a few moments sitting next to her in her courtside seat and posing for pictures Wednesday night.
Harden told ESPN’s Doris Burke in an interview that he told the woman how “blessed” he was to be able to have a chance to meet her.
The Houston guard also put on a good show for the fan during the game, scoring 38 points in a 111-92 victory over the Bucks.
Kings center DeMarcus Couins appears set to become the first player to sign as a veteran designated player. The Pacers hope Paul George will follow.
But in the Pacers’ win over the Kings yesterday, George beat Cousins.
Not even Cousins thwacking George in the face could stop this dunk.
The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.
He might get back far sooner than that.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.