Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks

Sources: D’Antoni’s assistant coaches sign contract extensions


Marc Berman of the New York Post has the story:

A source said Mike D’Antoni’s assistant coaches — Dan D’Antoni, Phil Weber, Herb Williams and Kenny Atkinson — have signed contract extensions for next season, though the club has not and will not announce it. D’Antoni has plans to add another defensive assistant to the staff.

The Knicks re-signing all of D’Antoni’s assistants, particularly his brother, would seem to suggest that D’Antoni will be given at least one more year as the head coach of the Knicks. The Knicks finally returned to the playoffs last season after signing Amar’e Stoudemire in the off-season and trading for Carmelo Anthony at the trade deadline, but the team was horrendous defensively all season, and Stoudemire and Anthony never really seemed to mesh offensively.

When the Knicks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, D’Antoni seemed to be outcoached in key moments by Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. D’Antoni probably deserves a full year with both Anthony and Stoudemire to try and make the style that worked for him in Phoenix work in New York, but the Knicks may have to get more out of their players next season than they did last season for D’Antoni to have any long-term job security.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
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Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.

Kevin Love unsure about opening-night return

Kevin Love
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He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.

Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”

Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.

“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”

At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.