“I told the guys to [appreciate Lamar Odom being given the Sixth Man of the Year award], because this might be his last game in front of the home fans this year.”
– A smiling Phil Jackson, who never lets a disappointing loss and 1-0 deficit dampen his wry sense of humor. Apart from that, Jackson said he liked his team’s focus coming into game two better than he liked it in game one, that he doesn’t expect a returning Steve Blake to be limited in any way, and that their main defensive priority will be defending the pick-and-roll better. Jackson is also wearing a different one of his 13 championships to each game (with the exception of his Knicks ring, which no longer fits him), and said that he hopes to be able to wear them all “before the Lakers get eliminated.”
According to Jackson, the Hornets ran over 70 screen-rolls in Sunday’s win, and the Lakers defended “more than half” of them incorrectly. The Lakers are Hornets are set to begin the second game of their series at 10:30 EST/7:30 PST.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.