Magic Johnson is back with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Right now that is in an “advisor to the owners” role next to Jeanie Buss, but his influence likely will grow. As Jim Buss’ fades. That is the topic of this latest PBT Extra.
Intentionally or not, the Lakers have tanked the past two seasons (drafting second and landing D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram) while selling the Kobe farewell tour. Now that Kobe is gone the Laker development is forefront, and it is slow. How good this Lakers’ core can ultimately be is something we will not know for sure for years, however, Jim Buss promised the Lakers would be back to contending (or at least the second round) by this season. Buss is the favored son of the legendary Jerry Buss who the father left in charge of basketball operations. Magic has been a regular critic of Buss, and the buzz is the other siblings in the Buss trust (there are six total, including Jim and Jeanie) are none-to-thrilled with Jim’s job performance and work ethic. Buss is in trouble.
But where is Magic going to take this team? Superstars are not just walking through that door anymore just because of the Laker brand, there needs to be a foundation. Under Magic, will the Lakers completely abandon their slow build plan and trade quality assets for good-but-not-great veterans who can get them more wins now? Essentially becoming the Isiah Thomas Knicks?
It should be a concern for Lakers fans.
HOUSTON (AP) Stephen Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Golden State Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
The Warriors scored 37 points in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to their eighth straight victory and 60th this season.
Golden State led by eight after a pair of free throws by Curry with just over three minutes left. Patrick Beverley countered with a tip-in layup for Houston, then was fouled when he was knocked to the ground on a screen by Draymond Green seconds later.
James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99.
Another layup miss by Harden followed, and Curry made a 3-pointer with 1:46 left to send fans streaming to the exits.
There was a scary moment during the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. During a change of possession, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and and Golden State’s James Michael McAdoo got tangled up and fell together on the floor.
McAdoo was under Ariza and wound up getting his head slammed into the hardwood. He was immediately taken off the floor and sent to the locker room.
The NBATV broadcast said McAdoo received stitches but did not test positive for a concussion. He is averaging 8.7 minutes, 2.9 points, and 1.7 rebounds per-game for the Warriors.
Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.
On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.
Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.
Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.
Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.
Still, that is ice cold.
Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.
The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.
With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.
This is what happened next:
Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.