It’s time to talk about Stephen Curry the All-Star. As in should he make the team? The fans are not going to vote him in, so this would have to be a coach’s choice. Curry is scoring 20.3 points per game and dishing out 6.4 assists per game, is shooting 43.9 percent from three and has led the Warriors to a 19-10 record. He has a PER of 18.9 and should be in the conversations.
The problem is the West is deep with backcourt guys. The fans will vote Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul to start (baring some miracle) and you can’t really argue that L.A. backcourt (David Stern stopped it from being the Lakers backcourt, remember).
After them probably three other guards get the call. Can you pick Curry over James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker or O.J. Mayo? To me Harden and Westbrook are locks, or should be. Which means a whole lot of very deserving players are on the bubble for the fifth spot. Personally, I’d take Tony Parker over Curry, but it’s not out of the question to give Golden State its first All-Star player since roughly Chester A. Arthur was president.
Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
ESPN sources say the Warriors, meanwhile, plan to go outside the organization at season's end for a replacement to add to the current staff.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.