Chicago and New Orleans played one of the more epic matches of the season on Monday night — it wasn’t always pretty, but it was epic. And long. Triple-overtime long.
There was no Derrick Rose, no Anthony Davis, yet still some good offense from both sides led by Luol Deng (37 points) and Ryan Anderson (36 points). Other guys also were making plays.
Like Jrue Holiday on what proved to be the game winner.
It was a smart play design by Monty Williams. Holiday started in the back court looking like an escape vaulve but then started a midfielders soccer run to the goal. Kirk Hinrich was a little behind recognizing what was happening then got picked by Ryan Anderson, which sprung Holiday free. He had a full head of stem, got the ball by the three point line driving to the basket, and by the time the Bulls defense recognizes what is happening there is nothing Taj Gibson can do but foul — Holiday finishes anyway and gets the three point play.
That play got the Pelicans a 131-128 win. An epic win, but one that is going to leave them with some tired legs.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.