Apparently the Charlotte Bobcats coaching job is in a lot more demand than I expected… that or right now it’s the only job out there so nobody will burn that bridge.
Some bigger names than one might expect have been thrown out there to take over the worst team in NBA history, one stuck in a small market with an owner who has yet to prove himself (as an owner, as a player MJ was pretty solid as I recall).
Former Trail Blazers coach (and North Carolina guy) Nate McMillan told CSNNW.com that he would consider taking on a rebuilding team like the Bobcats.
“The plan in Portland, when I got there was to rebuild and we were lucky to draft some really good players. Injuries just put a damper on things. Coaching is coaching. It would be a new beginning for me. Young team or a veteran team….If you’re saying, ‘I’m just looking for a veteran team,’ that’s not true.
“Depends on the opportunity. It takes two to agree to a deal and we’ll see whenever that happens. I won’t just take anything, it will depend on the situation.”
McMillan would be a coup for the Bobcats, a coach much better than the first-timer they are expected to have to take on.
But they may have their eye on former Jazz head man Jerry Sloan, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. Which would be an interesting choice for a rebuilding team — he is an old-school harda** who would bring some discipline to the Bobcats. But he has clashed with players like Deron Williams in the past and would he really want to come back to the NBA at age 70 to rebuild from literally the bottom? My guess is no, if he wanted to be back in the NBA he would be, he’s had teams reach out before.
Either way, the Bobcats have their goals set high.
The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.
Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.
He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.
Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.
However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.
That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?
The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.
Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.
Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.
Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.
Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.
He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.
But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.
Except we now know he apparently likes karate.
Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.
If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.
Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.
Michael C. Wright of ESPN:
Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.
Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.