Two minutes into the Trail Blazers ugly loss to the Washington Wizards Tuesday, LaMarcus Aldridge went up with a turnaround jumper, Trevor Booker stepped out to contest it and in doing so slid his foot under Aldridge, and the result was a painful looking sprained ankle. (Watch the video below.)
X-Rays came back negative, but Aldridge did not travel with the team to Golden State for Wednesday’s game, reports Blazers Edge. They also return home for a third game of a back-to-back-to-back and get the Clippers Thursday night, and I wouldn’t expect to see him lace it up for that one either. This looked pretty severe.
Which is rough — Portland has lost four of its last five and is playing its worst ball of the season by far. They need to change their fortunes, and that just got a lot harder to do.
A quick look at the five-man lineups so far this season for Portland show not a lot of minutes and even less success for units that did not have Aldridge in them (from Basketballvalue.com). He is their All-Star big, their anchor and lynchpin. They need him right, but they need him back soon.
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
ESPN sources say the Warriors, meanwhile, plan to go outside the organization at season's end for a replacement to add to the current staff.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
Luke Walton says he won’t run the triangle as Lakers coach
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Luke: "I don't think the triangles the most appropriate offense for the players that they have down there." Says styles will be more GSW
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.