Scott Skiles

Report: Scott Skiles makes Nets’ short list

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The Nets were surely dejected when Phil Jackson turned them down, so it seems they want at least one coaching candidate who’s extremely unlikely to reject them. Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (hat tip: Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball):

the Nets also have put Scott Skiles on their short list. Skiles was fired by the Bucks in January after four-plus tumultuous seasons in Milwaukee. Under Skiles, the Bucks had constant internal issues and qualified for the playoffs just once.

Frankly, I’m surprised Skiles hasn’t garnered more interest around the league. As Woelfel notes, Skiles has plenty of shortcomings, but he’s one of the few coaches on the market with a winning career record.

Most recently, Skiles guided the Bucks to a 46-36 record in 2009-10, his second season, after the team went six straight seasons without a winning record. Before that, Skiles helped the Bulls go 47-35 in 2004-05, his first full season and Chicago’s first winning season since Michael Jordan’s second retirement.

Skiles has proven he can implement a hardnosed, defense-first system – which might be what the Nets need – but they were already good enough to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs this year. Skiles specializes in changing the culture of losing teams before he grinds on everyone too much and gets fired, and that’s not what Brooklyn needs.

In his first head-coaching job, Skiles took over a good Suns team from Danny Ainge and kept them good for another season before losing his job during the following year. That experience might prove most similar to Brooklyn situation, and Skiles fared only OK. The Nets could do worse, but they could also do better.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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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.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.