NBA coaches tend to be workaholics. Guys who spend countless hours studying film, coming up with game plans and finding ways to pass that information on to players in a manner they can digest. Those are long, long days.
Not Mark Jackson.
The New Warriors coach spoke with Matt Steinmetz at CSNBayArea.com and said he is not going to overwork himself or his players.
Jackson said he’s not the kind of coach who will be working 16-hour days, laboring over game tapes and spending an inordinate amount of time mulling the nuances of his job. Jackson called coaches and coaching staffs that are said to be in the office before sunrise and out of the office after the sun goes down are guilty of “false hustle…”
Jackson said he’s not big on long practices. He’d rather go shorter than longer when it comes to team workouts.
“If you’re efficient and put quality work in, we can move on,” Jackson said. “Ultimately, it’s a long season. We will go over this stuff, well go over it in detail and then we’ll be out of here. I’m not a guy who wants to keep players here three or four hours just to say we’re here.”
So, Erik Spoelstra false hustled the Heat to the NBA finals last season?
Jackson gets that in the end this is about the players. Talent wins in the NBA. It didn’t matter who coached last season’s Timberwolves — Kurt Rambis, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach with John Wooden as his assistant — they were going to be bad.
But the margins between teams are pretty slim, especially the closer you get to the top, and that is where the little edge of coaching matters. Things gleaned from a lot of film study can matter. Certainly, it’s not all about Xs and Os — Phil Jackson wasn’t huge on that, although his staff was. What matters most is getting the players comfortable and confident in what they have to do. We’ll see if Jackson can do that. But having some Xs and Os up your sleeve can help with that.
We’ll see what his workload is like as the season wears on.
With time running down in the third quarter, LeBron James went hard to the basket for a layup, and the shot was contested by Jeremy Lamb, who ended up poking LeBron in the eye on the play.
It isn’t intentional, but it looks painful.
That blow could have LeBron sitting out Saturday night when the Cavaliers take on the Washington Wizards in Cleveland. From Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
LeBron James said he suffered a scratched cornea in his right eye in Friday’s 112-105 win over Charlotte after being examined by a Hornets team physician.
James, who scored 32 points in 40 minutes, could not keep his right eye open during his postgame interview session and said his vision was blurry… Summing it all up, James said “if coach decides to give me a game off (Saturday), it’s not because I’m resting. It’s because I’m banged up.”
He was treated by the Hornets’ team doctor who administered eye drops, but the Cavaliers will make the call closer to game time depending on how LeBron is feeling.
The Cavaliers are 0-6 without LeBron this season. They also have just a one-game lead over the Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. (Boston beat Phoenix on Friday, despite Devin Booker dropping 70, and they have a key game with the Heat on Sunday.) That said, the Cavaliers are two games up in the loss column on the Celtics, which is a decent lead, but the Cavs need to start winning consistently.
And beating a hot Washington team will not be easy even with LeBron.
Devin Booker was the story of the NBA Friday night.
The 20-year-old Suns’ guard — who never scored more than 19 points in a game at Kentucky in college — dropped 70 on the Boston Celtics in a losing effort. He becomes only the sixth player in NBA history to score at least 70 in a game. At the end the Suns were fouling and calling time outs to stop the clock and get the ball back to Booker, but as Phoenix coach Earl Watson said to those who complained, “You got a problem with that? Do something. Simple as that.”
NBA Twitter exploded at what Booker did.
Booker himself responded this way.
There was no hesitation. None was expected.
After UCLA was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16 by Kentucky, the Bruin’s Lonzo Ball — who is expected to be a top-three pick — declared for the NBA draft this June.
Ball is expected to go second or third in the upcoming NBA draft. Speaking with people around the league Washington’s Markelle Fultz is a clear No. 1, but after that if the Lakers — the team with the second-worst record in the league — have the No. 2 pick they are expected to snap up Ball. Depending on how the lottery shakes out the top of the draft, Ball could fall a little — there are teams that like Josh Jackson — but not much.
Ball is a 6’6″ point guard who averaged 14.7 points, 7.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds a game for UCLA last season. He has fantastic passing vision, impressive shooting range (although he can take some questionable shots), and a great sense of floor spacing and how to run an offense, particularly in transition. However, his weaknesses were exposed in his final game some as De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky completely outplayed Ball. Defensive pressure took Ball (and the Bruins) out of rhythm, forced them to play in the half court (where Ball is not as strong), and it’s one of the things Ball is going to have to adapt to at the next level where everyone is more athletic. Also, he’s going to need to get more consistent defensively.
The potential for Ball to be special is there, which is why he will go high in the draft.
And no, the rantings of his father will not change that. Teams see the father as a distraction that can be handled, they aren’t going to let him get in the way of drafting talent.
Kobe Bryant said “Thank you. I learned so much from you as a player.”
Jerry West said he loved him like a son.
Jeanie Buss said “No one celebrates a championship like you, but please no more asking Mark Madsen to dance.”
The Lakers unveiled a new statue for Shaquille O’Neal Friday night, one flying high over a Staples Center entrance, and the stars were on hand for the event. Phil Jackson was there making Snoop Dogg jokes. Shaq and Kobe were sharing laughs. It was a big night for a big man with a big personality. And a big heart.
Check out the highlights above.