Over the past couple of seasons, injuries have defined the Wizards more than anything else. The talent level hasn’t exactly been amazing, but the team had enough at most positions to at least field a competitive squad if everyone was healthy.
It’s shaping up to be the same story this season.
Washington has already been dealing with injuries to first round draft pick Otto Porter and big man Chris Singleton, neither of which has appeared in a game yet this year. Now comes word that Al Harrington is expected to miss time, as well.
From J. Michael of CSN Washington:
On Friday, Al Harrington suggested he likely wouldn’t play against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Verizon Center on Saturday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). He sat out in San Antonio because of a sore right knee. Harrington only played 10 games last season with the Orlando Magic because of a staph infection in his right knee.
“I’m feeling all right,” Harrington said after he got magnetic resonance imaging done Thursday. “Got some inflammation where I got to sit down and talk with a doctor Monday, figure out what I should be doing going forward.”
When asked specifically about playing Saturday, Harrington responded: “Probably not. I was thinking about trying to get in there with some therapy to see if I can go. Not sure yet.”
Harrington has been productive offensively in his time with the Wizards thus far, averaging 8.5 points in 18.5 minutes, while hitting 44.4 percent of his shots from three-point distance.
Trevor Ariza has been huge for Washington this season, but he suffered a hamstring injury that’s expected to keep him sidelined for at least a couple of games. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said before the season began that he wouldn’t allow players to use injuries as an excuse for losing, but as both the ailments and the losses continue to pile up, there doesn’t seem to be a realistic alternative option.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.