Report: Mavericks to target Samuel Dalembert now that Andrew Bynum has signed with Cavaliers

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Wednesday began with such promise in Dallas, but ultimately ended in some level of disappointment.

The Mavericks began the day meeting with free agent big man Andrew Bynum. The club had its medical staff do some evaluations, and there was a lunch with Bynum’s agent and team executives where the early stages of contract negotiations had begun to be initiated.

Whether due to advice from the team’s doctors or an unwillingness to match the offer on the table from Cleveland in terms of either guaranteed money or total compensation, Dallas lost out on the chase for Bynum, who had decided to sign with the Cavaliers before the day was finished.

With limited options left available on the market at the center position, Dallas has now turned its attention to journeyman free agent Samuel Dalembert.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Dalembert will be the Mavs’ primary target after their pursuit of Andrew Bynum fizzled. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Bynum decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There simply aren’t many other quality alternatives in free agency to fill the Mavs’ massive void at center, considering that it’s pretty much a given that restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic will return to Minnesota.

It’s an underwhelming option, but it might be all the Mavericks have left if they’re determined to go with a veteran to fill this role. Dallas began the summer as one of five teams that entered the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but were eliminated by Howard fairly early in the process.

Dalembert has played for four different teams the last four seasons, and averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocked shots in 16.3 minutes per game for the Bucks most recently — but appeared in just 47 contests for them last season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Dalembert will meet with the Mavericks Thursday in Dallas.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.