Who is going to be the next coach of the Miami Heat has become almost as fun a guessing game in NBA circles as where will Carmelo Anthony land.
And there are a number of people around the league who have been saying the answer may be Doc Rivers next season. The Miami Herald says that idea is still out there.
Pat Riley’s associates said his plan entering the season was to give coach Erik Spoelstra the full season, and keep him beyond if it works out. If it doesn’t, he knows quality coaches will be available next summer, with Doc Rivers considered Riley’s top choice if a change is made then…
Although Rivers likes his situation in Boston (where he is in the final year of his contract), two NBA officials said they would not be surprised if he took the Heat job, if offered next summer, for multiple reasons — his respect for Riley and Arison; the Heat’s talent base (younger than Boston’s); and the fact his family lives in Orlando (closer to Miami), among others.
Riley himself doesn’t want to coach again — being an NBA coach is a hard grind and Riley has done his time and likes the executive life. The players, particularly Dwyane Wade who has been through Riley’s legendary practices, don’t really want him back on the bench. Doc Rivers, for his part, basically scoffs whenever this idea gets mentioned in his presence.
You can bet Spoelstra is going to get this entire season. If he and the big three figure it out and make a good playoff run — not win a title, just get to the conference finals or better — then he probably gets another shot.
If not, Doc Rivers, Nate McMillan and others might hear their phone ring. But there are a lot of “ifs” between now and then.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had his seventh consecutive triple-double Friday night in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Houston Rockets, the longest streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989.
Westbrook got his 10th rebound with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter. He already had 16 points and 10 assists. Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Thunder won the first six games during his streak, however they fell to James Harden and the Rockets 102-99. Harden was one rebound short of his own triple-double.
It was Westbrook’s 12th triple-double of the season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks overall.
Jordan’s streak came during a run of 10 triple-doubles in 11 games.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20.
The league announced the decision Friday.
Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining.
The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.
The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction.
Nobody can stop the Zeller brothers!
Well, that’s not exactly true. But in this case, Bismack Biyombo tried and Cody Zeller threw it down with authority over him.
I’m not starting a “Cody Zeller for the dunk contest” campaign, but this was impressive.
Pop quiz: Which team complains the most to the referees in the NBA?
You probably answered “the Clippers.” Most fans do. So do most NBA referees — And everyone else. Which is why after a recent loss to Golden State, veteran Marreese Speight (a Warrior last season) pointed to the Clippers complaining about the officiating as part of the problem.
He went on to say that the scouting report is you can get in the Clippers’ heads by knocking them around a little. Which seems pretty obvious when you watch teams play them. Shockingly, Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagrees with that. Via NBCLosAngeles.com.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” said Rivers about the technical fouls. “If that were the problem, then, Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Doc may not like it, but Speights is right.
The Warriors do complain too much, but they also have a ring so more is forgiven. The problem for the Clippers is that reputation for complaining starts with Rivers — he complains as much or more than any coach in the league. Then it filters down through Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Is it fair that more is forgiven with winning? Moot question. Welcome to America. The Clippers complain a lot and have yet to get past the second round with this core. And at times there standing there complaining to the referees does get in the way of them getting back into defense, and they seem to go in a funk.
Want to prove all that wrong? Win. In the playoffs.