On the surface of it, the idea seems absurd — Lionel Hollins just led the Memphis Grizzlies to 56 wins and their deepest playoff run ever (the Western Conference Finals), why would they let him walk?
Hollins has said he wants to stay, but he and the new ownership and management in Memphis see the world differently. Hollins is old school, tough coach who fits with the old school, tough roster assembled in Memphis. But the new forces in the front office are analytics driven, they want to see more corner threes and less from the midrange. The divide was evident when the Grizzlies sent Rudy Gay away — analytics types praised the front office, but Hollins blasted the move.
So after some negotiations, the Grizzlies told Hollins he is welcome to talk to other teams. Go see what the market will bear.
But one of the reasons Memphis could go do that is they have assistant coach Dave Joerger in their back pocket — the defensive assistant coach of the Grizzlies who is analytics friendly. Sam Amick of the USA Today put it this way:
The Grizzlies are eyeing Memphis assistant Dave Joerger as a possible replacement for Hollins and are confident that he could help retain the “Grit and Grind” culture that has become such a fabric of the team and the town. Grizzlies’ management is expected to meet soon with Joerger to discuss the situation while Hollins tests his market value. Joerger won five championships as a D-League head coach and joined the Grizzlies staff nearly two years ago.
Hollins was a little shocked at that notion when discussing it on Sports 56 WHBQ Memphis radio Monday, as tweeted by the host Peter Edmiston.
“It’s not like Dave (Joerger) created our defensive system. He’s a good defensive coach. He wasn’t even the defensive coach until I made the defensive coach. We implemented my philosophy and I gave (Joerger) the authority o run it in practice, just like I give Bob Thornton the authority to run offense.
“It really is a disservice to Dave Joerger because Dave is a good guy and this puts him in a bad light in a lot of people’s minds.”
Hollins has made clear his desire to stay in Memphis and take this team to the next level. But Memphis management clearly feels comfortable if he leaves because they think they have the replacement in house.
The Boston Celtics are on a roll, the likes of which not even the faithful fans at the TD Garden would have predicted.
After dropping their first two games of the season — and losing Gordon Hayward for the season due to a gruesome leg injury — the Celtics have ripped off 15 straight victories. They sit at 15-2 on the year, including signature wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
Boston’s effort has been lauded as the combination of a quick meshing of the roster in the absence of Hayward (and Isaiah Thomas) as well as the drafting skill of Danny Ainge and the coaching prowess of Brad Stevens.
Indeed, Stevens is an early frontrunner heading into the beginning of the holiday season for Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, Boston has a few highlights to their name. Lucky for us, the NBA has put some of the best video clips together during their fall run.
Watch the full video above.
Blake Griffin almost got away with it.
During Friday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Griffin gave Cavs forward Jae Crowder an unhelpful knee to the groin during a post isolation.
Griffin wasn’t whistled for anything on the play, and in fact Crowder was assessed a foul after Griffin made his move to the basket.
Now, the NBA has given Griffin a Flagrant 1 for unnecessary contact.
Video of the incident can be viewed above the article here, but it’s pretty egregious and indeed the Cavaliers announcers even suggested at the time that it might warrant a flagrant.
Looks like the NBA agreed.
Cleveland beat LA, 118-113, in OT.
LeBron James totally dissed New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina. Or maybe he was just complimenting Dennis Smith Jr., and Enes Kanter likes to get in the middle of things? Or perhaps it was a barely-veiled shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson?
No matter which way you view this little NBA drama, there’s some kind of silver lining to take away for New York after LeBron got a little too close for comfort with Ntilikina during a recent matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, that silver lining is how well Ntilikina, Kanter, and the rest of the squad did when standing up to James.
Via the NY Post:
“I thought it was great,’’ he said on the newest edition of “The Jeff Hornacek Experience” that debuts Friday night on MSG Networks after the Knicks face the Raptors. “When we played back in the day, there was a lot of that. So you don’t see as much now in today’s game.
“But, you know, whether the comments from LeBron were aimed at Frank or the Knicks or Phil [Jackson] or whatever it was, I was happy that Frank gave him a little shove and then when LeBron stood in front of him and Enes jumped in there. That’s kind of the chemistry that gets developed when guys are playing for each other. You saw Enes jump right in the middle of this and said, ‘Nah you’re not gonna do this to my young guy.’ So that’s a great sign to see the togetherness of our guys.”
So to recap:
1. LeBron was taking a shot at Phil.
2. Enes Kanter didn’t like that.
3. Jeff Hornacek likes that.
Clear? Ok, good.
Joel Embiid has a reputation around the league already, and for good reason.
The man who continuously lobbied Rihanna to give him a chance for a date has other NBA players hoping they beat the Philadelphia 76ers just to avoid Embiid’s trash talking.
Indeed, the Golden State Warriors beat Philly on Saturday night, 124-116, thanks in part to a huge rally in the second half. A 22-point deficit had to be overcome for Golden State, and not just to add to their win column.
The team also wanted to sidestep Embiid’s silver tongue:
Both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant said they wanted to keep Embiid at bay. Durant’s comment was particularly funny, and can be seen in the video at the top of the article (fair warning, Durant used some NSFW language).
The Process is now The Reputation.