Monday night NBA grades: Good night for the Minnesota starting five

1 Comment

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching one heck of a freshman quarterback…

source:  Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic (Minnesota’s starters). The Timberwolves blew out the Sixers and the starters were a key reason — in 21 minutes the starting five put up 65 points and was +17, they hit 10-of-12 threes and they had an offensive rating of 127.9. They played at a pace of 116 possessions per 48 minutes. Great night on offense, if they can do it again Wednesday against the Suns the Timberwolves will finally be above .500.

source:  Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets. With Deron Williams out with a sprained ankle (again) the Nets hopes of keeping a modest two-game winning streak going really fell to Johnson — and he delivered. Mostly. He had 23 points including 9 in the fourth quarter, one of which was a three that put the Nets ahead for good. He shot just 10-of-22 from the field, not exactly efficient, but the Nets needed points and someone to create shots on the night and he got it done better than Jeff Teague could for the Hawks. So the Nets have a three game winning streak.

 

source:  Darren Collison, Los Angeles Clippers. All you’ve been hearing for the past few days is how he’s no Chris Paul — and with reason, he’s no Chris Paul. But he played well against what passed for Orlando’s “defense” on Monday night and racked up 21 points, 13 in the first quarter when the Clippers pulled away, plus had 7 assists four steals.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

AP Photo/Mark Duncan
Leave a comment

The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
3 Comments

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for TNT
1 Comment

The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.