In what has been an ongoing saga regarding Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, it appears that after several steps in a process that seemed to be inching him toward taking a job with the Timberwolves, he will remain the Grizzlies head coach — at least for now.
This all began six days ago, when a shakeup in the Grizzlies front office led to reports of Joerger’s job being jeopardy. He was promoted to head coach after Lionel Hollins was let go the previous season for differences he had with management, but with that management changing once again, it was believed that Joerger would eventually be replaced.
The Timberwolves received permission to interview Joerger for their vacant head coaching position, and after a final meeting with ownership in Minnesota on Saturday, the team decided that Joerger was its man.
Nothing could be finalized, however, because Joerger remained under contract with the Grizzlies. Minnesota and Memphis would need to agree to some compensation for Joerger to be let out of his current deal, but that apparently is where things have hit a snag, prompting Joerger to declare that he’s staying in Memphis.
And so, here we are.
The Grizzlies still have Joerger in place on a guaranteed deal for two more years at $2 million each, and the Timberwolves know that the desire in Memphis is to cut him loose. That means Minnesota is in a position to sit back and wait for Joerger to become available without offering anything at all in terms of compensation — not even a future second round draft pick, which seems to be a small price to pay.
It’s a game of chicken now, which could very well still land Joerger in Minnesota before this is through. If ownership indeed reached out to Joerger to tell him his job is safe, then it’s understandable that he’d want to stay. But it still seems as though it may take a bit longer for all of this to work itself out.
Foul or defend?
That’s the eternal question for teams trying to protect a late three-point lead.
While many fans believe fouling is the astute strategy, most American coaches opt to defend.
Defending is a better strategy than meets the eye, because it’s relatively easy to defend the arc when you know your opponent needs a 3-pointer. Plus, as coaches commonly believe, fouling offers too many opportunities for something to go wrong.
The Clippers almost learned that the hard way in their win over the Hornets on Sunday.
But an officiating error helped L.A. preserve its late lead, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
With the Clippers up three, Chris Paul intentionally fouled Kemba Walker with 2.1 seconds left. Walker made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second.
In the battle for the rebound, Blake Griffin should have been called for committing a loose-ball foul on Marvin Williams with 2.0 seconds left, per the league:
Griffin (LAC) grab Williams’ (CHA) jersey and affect his ability to rebound.
The league also ruled Williams got away with a loose-ball foul on Griffin in the same tenth of a second, but Griffin’s foul should have been whistled first.
A correct call would’ve given Williams — who’s making 85% of his free throws this season and 80% for his career — two attempts from the line with a chance to tie the game.
Instead, Griffin grabbed the rebound and was intentionally fouled with half a second left. He hit one free throw, and the Clippers won, 124-121.
The adventures of Kevin Durant‘s shoe:
- Falls off as Durant shoots a jumper
- Left on the far side of the court for an entire Warriors defensive possession
- Lightly kicked by 76ers forward Robert Covington, who should have tossed it into the crowed
- Picked up by Draymond Green, who sets a screen while holding it
- Tossed by Green to Durant
- Held by Durant as he defends and tips a rebound
- Put back on by Durant just in time for him to assist Stephen Curry
This is mostly good effort by Patrick Patterson. It’s also bad luck for Derrick Rose, who’s not accustomed to avoiding a player lying on his back.
But it’s hard to resist the jokes about Rose losing a step to the point he can no longer beat even a man who’d fallen on his back off the dribble.
Markelle Fultz is the consensus top prospect in the 2017 NBA draft, and Lonzo Ball is a strong second.
Leading the pack for third? Probably Kansas forward Josh Jackson.
But Jackson’s résumé is now tainted by a misdemeanor property-damage charge.
The incident, which allegedly involved Kansas teammate Lagerald Vick and Kansas women’s basketball playerMcKenzie Calvert, occurred just before 2 a.m. Dec. 9.
Laura Bauer and Mara Rose Williams of The Kansas City Star:
Calvert is the same female KU student who a university investigation found Vick likely committed domestic violence against more than a year ago.
Calvert reportedly threw a drink on a male patron while leaving the bar. The Star has learned that the patron was Vick.
Jackson followed Calvert to her car, according to the release, and they argued. Witnesses saw Jackson kick the driver’s door of Calvert’s car and kick a rear taillight.
The Star has learned that Calvert — a standout on the women’s team — was in the driver’s seat while Jackson kicked her car.
Investigators have interviewed several people who witnessed the reported crime. A police report categorized the $2,991 in total damage to the car as a felony. But Friday’s release listed the damage at a higher amount, $3,150.45.
“Felony criminal damage (damage in excess of $1,000) was not charged because the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all the damage to the door and taillight were caused by Jackson,” the release said.
Jackson said in a statement he would pay for damage he “directly caused.” Kansas coach Bill Self, in his statement, called Jackson a “great ambassador for this university.”
NBA teams shouldn’t and probably won’t blindly accept Self’s self-interested assessment. Jackson’s conduct will likely be investigated during the pre-draft process, determining where it falls on the spectrum of a youthful transgression and the hot-button issue of domestic violence.
The better Jackson plays, the more forgiving teams will be. Right or wrong, that’s how it works. But this incident will be included in the overall assessment of Jackson.