Coach Silas, Tyrus Thomas had altercation as Bobcats’ season crumbles

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Paul Silas — at age 68 — may be the toughest guy in the Bobcats locker room. He’s almost certainly the toughest minded. Which explains why the team has just 7 wins this season.

Sunday after another Bobcats loss, Silas and Tyrus Thomas got into an altercation, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Silas, 68, had been incensed with Thomas chatting with some Boston Celtics players on the court, and lashed out at him in the losing locker room afterward. Eventually, Thomas snapped back at Silas, and the coach warned him to say no more or risk a suspension.

Once Thomas stood up, Silas pushed him toward his locker stall, sources said.

Other players stepped in to keep them apart. Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins confirmed there was an incident but none of the details. Woj reports all parties were fined, which is to be expected. Tyrus Thomas told the media Wednesday that everything was good now.

Really, the only surprise here is there haven’t been incidents earlier — the Bobcats are losing games at a historic rate and that kind of losing should breed tension. At least it would among players and management that care about winning.

Charlotte needs one more win to avoid finishing the season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Right now they are 7-53 and their remaining games are against Chicago, Memphis, Sacramento, Washington, Orlando and New York.

Lose all of them and they finish with a winning percentage of .106. The worst NBA record of all time is the ‘72-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73 — a winning percentage of .110.

Silas — a famed Celtics player — is frustrated. More guys should be really frustrated. And embarrassed. And seeing that bubble over a little is not a bad thing… not that we condone coaches pushing players.

If the Bobcats finish with six losses, owner Michael Jordan will not be associated with the best and worst records in NBA history.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.