Eddy Curry healthy enough to play, D’Antoni smart enough not to

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The New York Knicks could use some more scoring and defensive presence in the paint — Ronny Turiaf has been in and out of the lineup with injuries, and Timofey Mozgov is still learning how to do more than just pick up fouls in the NBA.

Well, there is Eddy Curry….

He is healthy enough and would love to play, the New York Post reports. However, the team is winning right now — 8-2 in their last 10 — so Mike D’Antoni is not messing with the rotations and injecting a wild card.

“Yeah, I am (ready to play). At the same we’re winning, and I’m not trying to disrupt that or disrupt anything around here,” Curry said. “It’s been a while since I played, but I haven’t been sitting around. I’ve been practicing, doing extra work to make sure I can get up and down. At the end of the day, it’s just basketball, what I’ve been doing my whole life. I don’t want to get into deserve or not deserve. I’m ready whenever he needs me.”

“To be honest, I’m playing it close to the vest,” (D’Antoni) said. “I’m not going to give up a couple of games just to [spot Curry] when I don’t know. If it’s Raymond [Felton] or Amar’e [Stoudemire] you do it. You just don’t know [with Curry]. It’s a tough situation for us right now.”

“I feel I have [shown something in scrimmages],” Curry said. “It’s not what I feel. It’s what he feels.”

He feels he can’t trust you, based on history. Playing Curry is a desperation move and right now the Knicks are not desperate. Eventually they may need to give him some run, maybe to interest teams in a trade or just to see what he can do.

But the Knicks are on a hot streak, and you have to respect the streak.

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

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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.