Kris Humphries gets benched, Nets get win

10 Comments

It’s not everyday you see a player who makes $12 million dollars a year get a healthy DNP, but that’s where the Nets are at with Kris Humphries right now. Coming into Sunday’s matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets were just 2-8 in their last ten games and on a serious slide down the standings.

You can’t blame Avery Johnson for wanting to mix things up, but something seems fishy here. Humphries has started 20 games for the Nets and plays 23 minutes a night, so it’s not like he’s been clinging to scraps in terms of playing time. Falling out of the rotation and not playing a single minute that swiftly is…odd. Nets head coach Avery Johnson had some explaining to do after the 95-92 win over the 76ers, and here’s what he said:

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a coach say, “yes, he’s in the doghouse” but it does seem possible that this was strictly a basketball decision. Andray Blatche has easily been the more effective player so far this year, and Brook Lopez’s return to playing shape saps up a lot of the available frontcourt minutes. As for fellow reserve forward Reggie Evans? He’s stolen playing time from guys with bigger salaries his entire career. Nothing new there.

Regardless, I wouldn’t completely buy in to Johnson’s explanation. Don’t be surprised if Humphries is heavily shopped come January 15th, the day he’s eligible to be traded. His $12 million dollar contract that expires in 2014 can be used as a big asset to match salaries and perhaps bring another star (albeit one on a long-term deal, most likely) to Brooklyn.

The Nets have shown they’re willing to mix it up and make a big splash on the trade market, and although they’ll want to showcase Humphries at some point, this may be the beginning of the end for Humphries’ time in Brooklyn.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

Leave a comment

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

AP Photo/Eric Gay
1 Comment

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

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
5 Comments

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)

Leave a comment

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.