It has become official — Derek Fisher has joined the Oklahoma City Thunder for a playoff run. Again. After trading Eric Maynor OKC decided it don’t fully trust Reggie Jackson to run the backup point guard spot so the re-signed the veteran guard.
That has the Mavericks pretty ticked.
Remember Fisher started the season with the Mavericks but nine games in tweaked his knee and asked out of his contract because he wanted to rehab back at home with his family. Dallas, about the most player-friendly organization in the league, granted his wish and released him.
This signing caught Dallas off guard, reports Jeff Caplan at NBA.com.
Owner Mark Cuban did not reply to multiple emails on Monday, but one league source said the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated.” The source said that Fisher and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him.
The Thunder are a title contender and Fisher will wear No. 6 for them — as in he is going after his sixth ring. Fisher has the reputation as an upstanding guy, the players’ union president, but it isn’t comfortable that suddenly family isn’t as big a concern for a few months if he can make a title run, something that was never really in the cards with this Mavericks team.
The Thunder got their man. But if you see a lot of him on the court it’s a bad sign in OKC because the game has pretty much passed him by at this point.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.