Tony Parker played in the All-Star Game last weekend with a sprained hand.
That’s not to mention his sore back, groin, shin/calf, and hip that he has played through recently. Actually, it might just be quicker to list the places where Tony Parker is not banged up.
Which is why the Spurs are going to do the most Spurs of thing and shut Parker down for a while, tweets Mike Monroe of the Express-News.
This is what the Spurs do this time of year — don’t worry about the wins, worry about getting healthy for he playoffs. At 38-15 they are the two seed in the West and if they can hold off the Rockets (second in the Southwest Division and two games behind the Spurs) then San Antonio gets a top four seed.
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The West is surprisingly wide open right now. Oklahoma City is clearly the bar that has to be cleared to make the finals, but any number of teams — Spurs, Grizzlies, Clippers, Rockets, Warriors Trail Blazers — could make the case they can make a run to the conference finals and test Oklahoma City.
For San Antonio that only can happen if Parker, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and the rest of them are healthy. So better to rest Parker now and get him right.
Kobe Bryant‘s shooting woes this season have been well documented. Let me explain… no, there is too much. Let me sum up. Kobe is shooting 31.1 percent overall and 19.5 percent from three, all while jacking up more threes than ever before. He was 1-of-14 shooting against Cleveland, and that’s as many shots as rookies D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle got combined.
If Kobe keeps shooting like this while dominating the ball, is it time to bench Kobe? Coach Byron Scott laughed at the idea, as reported by Baxter Holmes at ESPN.
“I would never, never, never do that,” Scott said after practice at the Lakers’ facility. “That’s not an option whatsoever. No, that’s not an option.”
Byron Scott is an enabler with Kobe. In his mind Kobe has earned the right to play poorly because of his career, which is just hard to watch.
The real issue I have with Scott enabling Kobe is the double standard — minutes for Russell and the other young players get jerked around when they make mistakes. Scott sounds and acts like a guy with a couple rookies on a veteran team where the objective is to win as many games as possible.
This can’t be emphasized enough: the primary goal for the Lakers this season is to develop Russell, Randle, and Jordan Clarkson (and Larry Nance Jr., who has impressed). But Russell has sat a lot of fourth quarters, and when Scott is asked if playing in those blowout minutes might help develop the young point guard faster, he says, “Nah.” Scott has benched Clarkson at points and called him out in the media.
Reduction of minutes can be a valuable teaching tool with young players — if the conditions of them getting those minutes are precisely laid out. Clear rules with rewards and consequences. That is not the case in Los Angeles, where Russell has said Scott has not spoken to him much about what he’s doing wrong and why he’s spending the ends of games benched. That’s not coaching a guy up; that’s not player development. There need to be clear guidelines and structures for young players to follow.
The only guideline in LA seems to be “Kobe has carte blanche.”
BOSTON (AP) — Boston police say a man has come forward saying he’s the victim in a fight involving Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor that was recorded and posted online.
Authorities say a man filed a police report Friday saying the fight outside a nightclub left him with stitches over his eye.
Police say the alleged victim reported the fight began after some of his female friends refused the advances of two men, including one believed to be Okafor. The man told police Okafor punched him and knocked him to the ground.
Okafor says he’s embarrassed about the scuffle and is dealing with the team and league on possible discipline.
The confrontation happened early Thursday morning after the 76ers fell to 0-16 on the season. The Sixers rookie said he was being heckled.
Previously, the police had said they were not investigating the incident.
Reggie Jackson‘s exit from Oklahoma City a year ago was not smooth or pretty. He wanted a bigger stage, he wanted out, and he let everyone know it. “We felt like everybody wanted to be here except for one guy,” Kevin Durant said after the trade that sent Jackson to Detroit.
The Pistons and Jackson were back in Oklahoma City Friday night. The fans let Jackson know they didn’t appreciate his words with plenty of boos. After the game, when asked about Jackson both Durant and Russell Westbrook threw shade at Jackson, as reported by Royce Young at Daily Thunder.com. KD didn’t even mention Jackson among Detroit’s best players.
“Steven (Adams) did a great job on their best player and Andre (Roberson) did a great job on their second best player in (Kentavious Caldwell) Pope and Russ did his job,” Durant said…
“Who?” Westbrook said, after very clearly hearing who he was asked about.
Those comments were more aggressive toward Jackson than the Thunder players seemed to be during the game, where he was treated as an afterthought.
Jackson has played well for Detroit this season — averaging 19.1 points and 5.9 assists per game, with a PER of 20.3 and real chemistry with Andre Drummond — but he was held in check against the Thunder. Spending much of the night battling foul trouble, Jackson had 15 points on 16 shots on the night.
Durant was the stud for the Thunder, with 34 points and 13 rebounds, and the Thunder won comfortably 103-87.
It’s about to get a little awkward at the NBA’s New York headquarters. It’s time to vote for the Coach of the Month and in the West this is any easy answer: Luke Walton of the Golden State Warriors.
Except he is officially 0-0 as a coach this season. Walton is the interim, and under the NBA’s rules the regular coach gets credit while away. So Steve Kerr is 16-0 — which Kerr thinks is ridiculous — and the league is about to vote a guy who has zero official wins as coach of the month.
So the league is thinking about making a change, reports Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
A source confirmed Friday that the league is looking into the long-held custom of wins not being credited to interim coaches, but rather to coaches on leave such as the Warriors’ Steve Kerr.
Changing the policy does raise some questions. Is this retroactive to former interim coaches? Is there a minimum number of games the interim has to serve before it counts? (I don’t know if you want to count games for an interim who does one or two games for a suspended coach, but does he start to get credit at five games? 10?)
That said, the league should do it. Walton and other long-term interims deserve credit.
Walton continues to say “whatever” in so many words.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Walton said of the possibility of having wins on his record as the league reviewed the Warriors’ extenuating circumstances. “It really doesn’t…I’m good either way.”
But Walton could be the first ever NBA coach of the month who has not officially won a game.