Remember that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when the bad guy “chooses poorly” and ages rapidly until he deteriorates into nothingness? Well, this kind of feels like that. Grant Hill managed to be amazingly healthy during the last five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, who just so happen to employ what many consider to be the best training and medical staff in the league.
But now Hill is with the Clippers, and despite the culture change, the Clips still employ a bare bones staff wherever possible, because the owner still doesn’t enjoy spending his money. That’s not to put Hill’s knee injury on the Clippers’ medical staff, but it isn’t exactly surprising that a 40-year-old with a medical file that warrants its own hospital wing is going to start the season in a suit, either. Here’s the news from Dan Woike of the OC Register:
Veteran forward Grant Hill will likely miss opening night on Oct. 31, and it could be weeks into the regular season until he returns. An MRI performed on Hill’s right knee showed a bone bruise, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Tuesday.
After the Clippers’ 88-71 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Hill said his injury will keep him out “at least a couple of weeks.”
Via Clippers’ Hill could miss significant time | Orange County Register
Now, I’m not one for curses, but this whole thing was really testing the basketball gods from the very jump, wasn’t it? The Clippers are pretty much the only franchise that can rival Portland for worst injury luck. Even with that said, it was a good decision for the Clippers to go after Grant Hill. He’s still a tough defender, and he’s the type of locker room presence you want to have around. With Caron Butler healthy again and Matt Barnes looking like a very sneaky pickup, Hill’s absence won’t sink the Clippers by any means. But, Grant? Going from the Suns to the Clippers? You may have chosen poorly.
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.
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.
The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.
It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.
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.
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.