Donnie Walsh is currently a consultant for the Knicks. Which essentially means he is being paid to go away. That despite getting the team back to the playoffs and brining in stars while cutting the payroll in half. Most places that gets you a raise and job security, with the Knicks it gets you kicked to the curb.
Walsh wanted Chris Mullin, the former Warriors GM and new Hall of Famer, to follow him as the decision maker in New York, but the battle over who makes the calls on players and the line of succession is part of why Walsh is back home in Indiana.
Mullin and Walsh are tight, and Mullin doesn’t think that Walsh is done he told the New York Daily News.
“He’s as good as anyone,” Mullin said Monday following a taping of “CenterStage” on YES. “I think it’s just a matter of if he wants to do it. And what I know of Donnie, he’s a worker. He likes to work. That’s part of his makeup. I haven’t talked to him about it but if you asked me I would think (Walsh will work again).”
The question is health and how bad Walsh wants another chance. He has had three surgeries in the past three years and is now 70 years old.
“He’s getting healthy,” Mullin said. “He was never as bad as people let on.”
A lot of teams would be better off with Walsh making the basketball decisions. Including the Knicks. If he wants the gig next year, teams would be smart to see if he will take it.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.