Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Nuggets president says Brian Shaw will coach Denver, not New York, next season


The Knicks really didn’t have the assets (read: draft picks) to make this work, but now Phil Jackson’s Brian Shaw dream is dead.

That is straight from the mouth of the Nuggets’ president Josh Kroenke, speaking with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“Brian has said publicly – and privately to us – that his desire is to be here, and we feel strongly about him as our coach,” Kroenke told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t foresee a scenario or circumstance where he’s going to be anywhere but with the Nuggets next season.”

The Nuggets brought him in to coach and it’s hard to judge just how he would have done in a Nuggets season where Danilo Gallinari never played and JaVale McGee missed much of the season due to injuries. Get them healthy, add a lottery pick (No. 11) and the Nuggets become a bigger threat in the crowded West.

As for the Knicks… how about that Derek Fisher?

The elimination of Shaw, a long-time Jackson assistant and player with the Los Angeles Lakers, keeps Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher as the frontrunner for the Knicks job, league sources said.

That confirms what we and everyone has been hearing. At this point just a few more playoff games and Jackson will get the chance to talk to Fisher. Jackson wants a leader he can mold and someone who shares his vision of a culture for an organization, something he is trying to establish in New York. Fisher fits that bill.

The question is, does Fisher want to do it?

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.