Has there ever been a coach hired who hasn’t said he wants his team to run more? If Jeff Van Gundy were hired to replace Mike D’Antoni, I fully expect Van Gundy would walk into his first press conference and say he wants the team to run more. It’s something coaches just say even when they don’t mean it.
Paul Silas may actually mean it.
His first practice Thursday as the new head man with the Charlotte Bobcats — replacing Larry Brown — was run with a 14-second shot clock. He told the Associated Press this team needed to get out in transition.
“I want to bring some energy to this ball club,” Silas said after being introduced as the fourth head coach in franchise history. “I want us to get up and down and let it all hang out. If they don’t want to get up and down, they can come sit down by me.”
“We’ve got shooters,” Silas said. “We’ve got defenders. We’ve got shot blockers. We’ve got all the ingredients that you need. The guys just have to get out and play and believe in themselves and believe that I believe in them. I’ve found that if you have a confident player, it’s unbelievable what he can do.”
Under Larry Brown, the Bobcats averaged 93.2 possessions per game — only eight teams in the league play slower. That worked better last season when the Bobcats were an elite defensive team, this season nothing has really worked for the 9-19 team.
Maybe running will. They can’t be much worse.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.
The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR
In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.
The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.
I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.