Byron Scott is getting a second interview with the Lakers, but hold your horses if you think that means the job is Scott’s.
Kurt Rambis – who seems to have a fallback option as a Knicks assistant under Derek Fisher – is still in the mix.
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:
Rambis also remains a favorite for the Lakers’ head-coaching position, according to league sources. The Lakers have interviewed at least a half-dozen coaches, but sources say they are focused on three primary candidates: Rambis, Alvin Gentry and Byron Scott.
So, does this report contradict the report that the Lakers are waiting for LeBron James to pick their next coach? Or does LeBron get to pick between Rambis, Gentry and Scott? Because I don’t see how he can turn down an opportunity like that.
The wording – “a favorite” – leaves it a little unclear whether Rambis is any more favored than Gentry and Scott, but it implies Rambis is at least tied at the top of Los Angeles’ list.
I suppose the Lakers can cling to the 1999 season, when Rambis took over mid-year. They fired Del Harris after a 6-6 start, and Rambis stepped in to guide Los Angeles to a 24-13 finish and playoff-series win.
Personally, I find Rambis’ stint with the Timberwolves from 2009-11 more telling. In his two years as head coach, Minnesota went 15-67 and 17-65. With Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer and Ramon Sessions that first team didn’t completely lack talent, and healthier Love should have meant more than 17 wins in the second season. Those Timberwolves teams always just looked lost.
There might be value in having a coach who has previously been a member of the Lakers family. There’s more value in having a good coach.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.