The Milwaukee Bucks are taking the big risk here. They have some very nice young players in Jabari Parker, John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Larry Sanders (if his off-the-court issues are behind him) but those players need to be developed. They need their skills molded and honed, they need to be put in a system that takes advantage of their skills.
Can Jason Kidd do that?
Larry Drew likely could but he has been told he’s been let go, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Larry Drew has been formally fired as coach of the Bucks, sources told ESPN
Drew was completely blindsided by this — at no point did ownership or management reach out to Drew about this possibility. Kidd was in touch with one of the two new Bucks owners — Marc Lasry, a former Nets minority owner who is close to Kidd and had financial dealings with him — and both Drew and GM John Hammond learned about the opening of talks in media reports.
Drew likely will have other coaching options, and he had two years left on this contract for which he will get paid.
Kidd ticked off the coaching community (and had a lot of people in front offices as well) by going after a job with a sitting coach in the seat. Kidd needs to make this work in Milwaukee because he’ll have a hard time getting invited into another organization because of it. He just made a power play move in Brooklyn, the organization that gave him a shot when nobody else would have.
It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway
Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.
One shoe Kevin Durant is officially the greatest rim protector of all time.
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.
Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling