I mentioned this the other day in a post, but it is really hard to handicap the Clippers coaching search because owner Donald Sterling becomes personally involved and the search can be as much about how you schmooze as it is Xs and Os.
Still, management gets to make a list and recommendations, and they apparently want Lionel Hollins — who owner Donald Sterling went to see coach in person for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals (Sterling wasn’t at all of the Clippers playoff games).
But Brian Shaw may be the frontrunner among management, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
What Shaw brings to the table is he can sell he’s been around winning — drafted by Larry Bird’s Celtics, three rings as a player with the Kobe/Shaq Lakers, was the lead assistant to Phil Jackson, and he was with Indiana on their run this season. He’s also personable, an advantage when it comes to dealing with Sterling.
Hollins is undoubtedly a good coach and a hot name. He would bring some old-school defensive discipline to the Clippers. But how does he do hanging out in a restaurant in Beverly Hills with Sterling?
Scott would be good with that, the former Showtime Laker who coached the Nets to the NBA Finals has great stories. He’s personable. He also can coach… at least in the short term. He tends to burn teams out after three years or so.
But it’s just hard to really handicap this race.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. However, those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and the team’s playoff chances have taken a serious hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers).
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and had said planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).