Austin Rivers is the Hornets point guard of the future. That’s how they see it.
How it pans out remains to be seen, but Rivers whatever happens with Rivers it will not be because of the ankle surgery he had this summer. He sounds read ready to put the Hornets’ theory to the test in training camp.
Rivers, the No. 10 pick overall of the Hornets, is at the rookie transitional program this week and spoke with the Times-Picayune about his ankle and his plans for this season.
“I’m doing great actually now, so I’ll be back very soon,” Rivers said Tuesday by telephone from New York where he participated in the NBA’s rookie transition program. “It’s got a lot better and I actually got even stronger than I think I was before I got hurt.”
“I feel I have got more comfortable after each stage,” Rivers said. “But I won’t feel totally comfortable until after I play my first regular-season game.
I’ll get more comfortable and confident in training camp. It’s really going to come down to those first week of games before you realize what you need to do and then try to come out full blast from there whether you play good or not.”
The Hornets have Anthony Davis in the paint and Eric Gordon at the two guard on the wing. Those are the anchors for the future. Now it’s just finding the other pieces, and they are counting on Rivers to be part of that. Scouts had questions about if the score-first guard could adapt to the NBA point guard role. But we’ll see how Rivers fit s into what the Hornets have planed.
He’ll physically up to the task at the least.
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.