Report: Phil Jackson to get first shot at Nets job… if he wants it

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Does Phil Jackson really want to coach the Brooklyn Nets?

I’m far from sold he does, but he’s going to get the first shot, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.

The Nets have firmly targeted Phil Jackson — the man with the 11 championship rings, the Zen maxims and the geometric offense — to replace the recently fired Avery Johnson.

No deal is imminent, no formal discussions have taken place, and it is not even clear that Jackson wants the job. But the search will start with Jackson and only Jackson, according to multiple people monitoring the process.

Jackson’s agent said he was not interested at this time, but that’s what an agent should say at the start of the negotiation. There are other reports Jackson is intrigued by the job.

My guess is that Jackson is going to sit down and share some vodka with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. There will be flirting, but when it comes time to say yes or no, Jackson will look at that roster — which is going to be hard to change in any meaningful way for years — and walk away.

Then the discussions can maybe begin with Jeff Van Gundy, Kelvin Sampson, and guys like Nate McMillan and interim coach P.J. Carlisimo who should get a look.

But maybe if the vodka is good enough, and the check is large enough, and if he gets enough power in the organization, Jackson can be tempted to take the job. Nothing is impossible. Just unlikely.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.