This has been a rough season for Corey Maggette and the Bucks. He was supposed to come in and be the scoring machine off the bench that the team needed last season.
Instead he’s playing 10 minutes less a game than last year, is shooting 39.4 percent (down from 51.6 percent last season) and is scoring 10 points fewer per game. Granted, that was in the free wheeling Don Nelson system, but still this season has been a disappointment for Maggette and the team.
Don’t believe me? See what happened when the Journal-Sentinel asked him to grade his season so far with the Bucks.
“If I had to grade it, I’d grade it an F,” Maggette said of his time with the Bucks. “I’m just going to be honest. We’ve still got a lot of time. We’ve still got to stay positive.”
The injuries — to Andrew Bogut and now to Brandon Jennings — have slowed the team, which is 12-18 and has the worst offense in the Association. But they also slowed Maggette. He missed all of preseason after arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. He has never found his groove.
Neither have the Bucks. But through it all they are tied for the eighth playoff slot in the East — far below the expectations for the team but pretty good considering all the hurdles. And Maggette’s attitude is professional and positive, which is exactly what the team needs.
If the Bucks can get healthy and get a rhythm they can become again what they were last season — the hot team at the end everybody wants to avoid in the first round. Then comes the playoffs and who knows what happens.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.