No playoff promises from Warriors’ Jackson this year

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Last year Mark Jackson was coming to the head coach’s chair straight out of a broadcast booth where he was supposed to be opinionated and brash. He was in front of a new team ownership group that was brimming with confidence. Jackson played right into all of it and was talking playoffs for the Warriors.

Fast forward a year, where Jackson is coaching what should be a better Warriors team. But you are not hearing any bold predictions from Jackson this time around.

No, he has learned the art of the cliché and sounded like a lot of other coaches during his media availability before training camp Wednesday. Here are some highlight quotes, via Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com.

Pressure is my mindset. I don’t care who I’m coaching, the pressure is always going to be to win. Certainly we have a better basketball team. I don’t run from it; I embrace it.”

Are they going to be a half-court team as they are supposed to start David Lee and Andrew Bogut?

“I would argue that David Lee is a great runner. I would say we have a great rebounder in (Andrew) Bogut and four guys who can run above average for their position. I would say we’re better to run because we’re a better rebounding team. Each guy rebounds their position well.

“I would say running more and when you have the weapons that we have offensively, the best way to attack a defense is when they’re not set. We’re not going to be a slow-down offensive team.”

Jackson has learned some lessons about the fan base and dealing with expectations off the court. As we move into the season we’ll see what he has learned on the court and if he can take a team with good talent the next step up into the playoffs. It will not be easy in a deep Western conference (they would have to beat out the likes of Minnesota and Dallas to make it) but it’s not out of the question.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.