No team has looked worse in the last two weeks — including a 42-point loss to the Knicks on national television Wednesday — and fallen apart more from the start of the season than the Portland Trail Blazers.
Thursday afternoon coach Nate McMillan paid the price — Portland has fired McMillan according to multiple media reports, with the story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
McMillan was considered on the hot seat. This is a team that was looking surprisingly good early in the season running the ball, but as the season went on they returned more to McMillan’s grind-it-out style. And they struggled. In the last two days Portland had been blown out by Indiana and the Knicks and had been in a free-fall that had taken them out of the playoffs in the West.
Still, this firing was handled in a very Portland, very owner Paul Allen way, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com. All day throughout the run-up to the trade deadline the front office staff was on the phone with Allen and team president Larry Miller, but the coaching situation was never mentioned. Some of the staff learned of the firing through the media.
Portland spent the trade deadline day getting rid of salary and setting themselves up for a rebuild on the fly around LaMarcus Aldridge. Clearly ownership wanted someone else to coach that team.
Assistant Kaleb Canales will take over in the interim.
As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.
Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.
Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.
The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.
Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.
Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.
We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.
Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.
It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)
So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.
This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.
Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.
It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.
It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.
In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.
More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.