Indiana Pacers v Golden State Warriors

Keith Smart thinks Keith Smart should keep his job

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Keith Smart’s job was in danger the moment he signed a contract without a guaranteed second year.

Not that he had a lot of choice. And Smart knew if he did well enough he would be back. But there are plenty of people in the Bay Area that do not think he has done near enough, that this team underachieved. Because that Warriors roster is loaded with balanced talent… oh, wait a second.

Smart is on the hot seat and may well not be back next season, but he made his case to the San Francisco Chronicle of why he should stay.

“I would say that anywhere else, other than right here, people would look at it and say it was a good season,” Smart said before Sunday’s game against Sacramento. “I’ve done everything I could possibly do, and for some strange reason, people (don’t recognize it).

“Anywhere else in the country, people would say we are moving in the right direction….”

Smart laid out his personal evaluation. He said he has changed the climate of a previously poisonous locker room, pointing out that the team had fewer fines this season. Also, the team accepted forward Al Thornton’s late-season acquisition without worrying about losing minutes or shots.

The Warriors went into Sunday’s game 11 wins ahead of last season’s pace, an improvement that ranked behind only Chicago, San Antonio and New Jersey. Smart said he won more games than could have been expected with the Warriors’ roster, and playoff expectations were unrealistic as the team is currently constructed.

He’s right about that. Unless there was a tremendous revival of Andris Biedrins, and a few other breaks, this team was not playoff material. Their offense still remained strong — 108.1 points per 100 possessions this season and last — but their defense got a little better (110.6 points per 100 possessions this season compared to 111.7 last season). They also stopped playing at a reckless pace. But Smart’s use of Stephen Curry and the still unimpressive defense led to legitimate complaints. The question is how much could another coach have really done that was better.

That may not matter, it sounds more and more like owner Joe Lacob has his own plans. And Smart is not part of them.

Report: Donatas Motiejunas no-shows physical after Rockets match Nets’ offer

Donatas Motiejunas, Kenneth Faried
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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The Nets’ signed Rockets restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas to an offer sheet. Houston elected to match.

Case closed?

Hardly.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Houston has a right to demand Motiejunas undergo a physical within two days of exercising its matching rights, which it did yesterday. Motiejunas is requires to answer questions truthfully and supply requested medical information.

If Motiejunas fails to meet those requirements, he hangs in limbo until the Rockets decide his fate.

At any time between now and March 1, they could elect to undo their offer-sheet match. That would invalidate Motiejunas’ offer sheet and make him a restricted free agent again, and the Nets couldn’t sign him for a year. On March 2, the same effect will become automatic.

I don’t see what Motiejunas gains by not reporting. If he fails his Houston physical, he’d go to Brooklyn on the terms of the offer sheet.

By not undergoing the physical, he goes nowhere.

Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant team up for floor-is-lava alley-oop (video)

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Klay Thompson might have had the huge game for the Warriors, but Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant teamed up for the Warriors’ most spectacular play against the Pacers.

Once Green released his long outlet pass, the ball travelled three-quarters of the court and into the basket without a player touching it and the floor simultaneously.

Here’s another angle:

Dwight Powell obliterates Cody Zeller on alley-oop (video)

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Andrew Bogut patting Cody Zeller on the head, even if unintentional, was the perfect response to Dwight Powell dunking on the Hornets center.

There, there, Cody. It’ll be OK.

At least Charlotte got a 109-101 win over the Mavericks.

Stephen Curry dumps ice on mid-interview Klay Thompson, who says ‘I’m still hot’ (video)

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Klay Thompson scored an incredible 60 points in 29 minutes.

So, what did Stephen Curry do? Dump ice on his Warriors teammate during the post-game interview, of course.

That didn’t cool down Thompson, who’s probably still hot this morning.