Tony Parker

Sunday NBA grades: If Tony Parker is getting to the rim, you’re in trouble


Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while finally getting to play Pac-Man in Marshfield, Mass….

source:  Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs. It all started with the Spurs defense. Gregg Popovich adapted his offense over the years to let Tony Parker lead it (he borrowed a lot from Mike D’Antoni) and part of that is to let Parker push the ball up and attack the defense early in the clock before it gets set. Let him improvise. Parker did that on Sunday and from the start and just carved up the Mavericks defense. He was getting to the rim at the start of the game, broke Dallas down and they never recovered. Of course, he was getting to the rim when the Mavs were set, too. Parker finished with 32 and the Spurs looked like contenders again.

source:  Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets. It’s unfortunate that Joe Johnson’s middle name seems to be “worst contract in the NBA” — it’s mentioned every time he is, it seems — because lost in that is the fact the guy can flat out play. Paul Pierce gets the highlights and headlines with the block, Kevin Garnett did his thing, but Johnson was the best Net player Sunday. He had 11 points straight points in the fourth quarter holding off the Raptors run for a while. Simply, the Nets are home for the summer without him.

source:   Toronto Raptors fans. The fans in Toronto were absolutely amazing… gathering by the thousands outside the arena (something American arenas can’t do anymore because there are always fights/problems). I wanted the Raptors to win for them… and those came so close to getting to see one of the best comebacks in years. Still, the good news is this felt like a year you can build on.

Writer recants report of Kevin Durant telling Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with Thunder

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 03:  Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder talk to head coach Billy Donovan during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 3, 2016 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?

Never mind.

Royce Young of ESPN:

I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.

Warriors/Brazil center Anderson Varejao to miss Olympics with back injury

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Dan Clark #13 of Great Britain shoots over Anderson Varejao #11 of Brazil in the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Great Britain and Brazil on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.

The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.

Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.

Suns add Jay Triano, Tyrone Corbin to coaching staff

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PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.

Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.

Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.

Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.

The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.

Report: Paul Pierce probably wants to come back and play for Clippers, but still thinking it over


The Los Angeles Clippers still have Paul Pierce under contract. Not many minutes for him, but he has a roster spot.

Pierce probably wants come back but is thinking it all over, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Pierce has been debating this with himself for a while now.

Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).

Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.