Juwan Howard has been a member of the Miami Heat for the past three seasons, although last year he appeared in just seven games for the team, all in the regular season.
Howard’s impact was made with his veteran presence, most notably in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Pacers when he lit into his teammates at halftime, helping to produce the desired result.
In essence, Howard was more of a de facto assistant coach in his final year with the Heat than he was a contributing player. Management apparently recognized his ability in that area, as they’ve hired him to be an assistant coach working in a player development role, beginning next season.
The team announced Howard’s hiring, as well as some other shuffling of front office personnel, in an official release on Saturday.
Howard played 19 seasons in the NBA for nine different franchises. His second year in the league was his best statistically — in 1996 with the then-Washington Bullets, Howard averaged 22.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 40.7 minutes per game, while making his only career All-Star appearance.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.