Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• Should the Boston Celtics offer Kevin Garnett a new contract after this season? Put Cedric Maxwell in the yes column.
• Rajon Rondo has had double-digit assists in 19 straight games, which is an amazing stat. The league record is 29 by John Stockton.
• If you never saw the fantastic documentary “Sonicsgate” about how Seattle lost the Sonics, CNBC will be airing it.
• The Curious Case Of Greg Oden And Zig Ziegler. This is a fantastic bit of reporting and an interesting story by Ben Golliver at Blazers Edge.
• Amare Stoudemire is reportedly targeting April 18 as his return date to the Knicks, 10 days before the start of the playoffs.
• Watch Andrew Bynum swear on live television in Los Angeles. This came right after he went and tried to steal the ball from Steve Blake, who was dribbling out the clock, so he could take a three pointer.
• Why Kevin Love’s concussion is genuinely scary and not to be taken lightly by him or the franchise.
• A Q&A with Goran Dragic, who has played fantastic ball and been the best Rocket player the past couple weeks. Oh, and coincidentally he is a free agent this summer… maybe that’s not a coincidence.
• Nene is back practicing and could return to the court for the Wizards next week.
• Michael Beasley wants to return to the Timberwolves next season. I’m curious to see which GM is going to overpay Beasley based on potential this summer.
• Don’t be shocked if the Nuggets use their amnesty clause on Chris Andersen. The Birdman will fly free.
• Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman says Nikola Pekovic hasn’t “been the same player” since being diagnosed with bone spurs in his ankle. You think?
• In case you never saw the video: 60 seconds of pure JaVale McGee.
• The Rockets have inked Diamon Simpson for the remainder of the season.
Now that former Heat assistant David Fizdale has accepted the Grizzlies’ head coaching job, he’s starting to put together his staff. One name to keep an eye on, according to John Martin of ESPN 92.9 in Memphis: J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as the Rockets’ interim coach this season after the team fired Kevin McHale in November.
The Rockets were a chemistry disaster this season, but Bickerstaff is highly regarded around the NBA in coaching circles. He was a candidate to keep the coaching job in Houston when the Rockets’ front office began their search, but he withdrew his name from consideration when he started receiving interest around the league as a lead assistant. It sounds like Memphis is one of the teams going after him, and he’d be a good hire for Fizdale’s staff.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Thompson “ridiculous.” That may be an understatement.
Thompson had 41 points, hit an NBA record 11 three-pointers in a playoff game, and the Golden State Warriors don’t force a Game 7 without him.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob may have had the best response, he drops to his knees and does the “we’re not worthy” bow before Thompson in the hallway postgame. (As there are reports a return trip to the Finals again could be worth $40 million to the franchise, Lacob should be bowing to Thompson for making that even possible.)
Hat tip Eye on Basketball.
The Bucks have a promising young core — led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, John Henson, and Kris Middleton — but one that took a step back this past season. Setbacks can mean changes in the power structure of an organization, and there are changes coming to Milwaukee.
However, not in the coaching ranks — Jason Kidd isn’t going anywhere, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
The Bucks are moving toward a contract extension with Kidd as coach, league sources said.
There will be changes further up the ladder.
John Hammond, the GM who was the architect of the current roster, has just one year left on his current contract, and the Bucks are bringing in Utah’s Justin Zanik as a GM in waiting, according to Wojnarowski.
Zanik, an assistant general manager with Utah, will join the Bucks with a similar job title – and an agreement that he will eventually become the successor to Milwaukee GM John Hammond, sources said.
Zanik has constructed a strong reputation within the league as a front-office executive and previously a player agent. Milwaukee was aggressive in pursuing him to eventually lead the franchise’s basketball operations.
The key is can Zanik and Kidd work together — Kidd has consistently pushed for more power in personnel decisions.
Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have been aggressive since buying the team, and you can expect Zanik will be under orders to get this team back to the playoffs and back on an upward trajectory. That may just take time as all their young talent comes together. Well, that and they have to figure out how to make Greg Monroe fit with everyone else.
“Klay Thompson was ridiculous. His shooting was some of the most incredible shooting you will ever see.”
That was how Warrior coach Steve Kerr described Thompson’s night — a playoff record 11 three pointers on his way to 41 points, sparking Golden State’s Game 6 win on the road. It wasn’t just the threes, it was the degree of difficulty on some of those shots — he was just in the zone. Not the Blake Griffin commercial zone, the real one.