Report: Brian Shaw, Mike Malone early frontrunners for 76ers coaching job

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UPDATE  2:51 p.m.: Clearly the 76ers are looking at some of the league’s top assistants to fill Doug Collins’ shoes.

So you can add Golden State’s Mike Malone to the list with Brian Shaw of Indiana, reports Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.

Both are up and coming top assistants considered bright minds who make their head coaches better. They also both have been on the verge of getting a job before and just missed out. Frankly, either one would be a good hire.

8:45 am: Is this the summer Brian Shaw finally lands a head coaching job?

He’s been at the top of the assistant coaching ranks for a couple of years now, interviewed for a number of jobs and just not gotten a shot in the big chair. Now it looks like he could get a shot with an interesting rebuilding project in the City of Brotherly Love.

Via the twitter of CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.

Brown has just landed a new job as the headman of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Again.

That leaves Shaw. He’s been at the right hand of Phil Jackson and Frank Vogel, he’s a guy the players on both the Lakers and Pacers respect and like. He relates to players and has good basketball knowledge. He’s not just a triangle guy, he’s a good basketball coach.

It’s early in the process, Shaw is still engaged with the Indiana Pacers, where he is the lead assistant on a team making a run in the playoffs that likely goes on for a few more weeks (to the second round, at least). The Sixers will certainly consider other names as well.

Shaw would likely be a good fit in Philly, although the question remains what kind of team are they building in Philly? Or are they just going to tread water with the roster this summer, moving on from the expectations of Andrew Bynum and looking for the next mega-deal where they can land a superstar player? It’s that or rebuild completely, and I’m not sure that would sit well with the fan base right now.

NBA introducing 2-for-1 All-Star voting days

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The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).

That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.

After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.

NBA release:

NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China.  All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off

The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.

But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.

Report: Lakers ‘longshot’ to sign LeBron James

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Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likelyLeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.

Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.

LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.

But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.