Looks like every NBA team will start season with same coach it started last season with

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Not one NBA coach was fired during last season — a rare feat, four had been axed mid-season the campaign before.

More surprisingly, not one coach has been let go this offseason.

Things could change — this has already been an unpredictable NBA offseason — but it appears that all 30 NBA teams will enter next season with the same coach they had at the start of the past season, something that hasn’t happened since 1970-71 (when there were 17 teams). Steve Aschburner of NBA.com talked with Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle about it.

For sheer Xs & Os, this is a fortuitous time to have some coaching continuity. Remember, the NBA is tightening up the preseason, cutting back from eight to six tune-up games and starting the regular season a week sooner. So having systems already in place, with shorter learning curves all around (except perhaps in Houston while blending Chris Paul with James Harden), should be a good thing….

“I don’t believe it’s a fluke,” Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “In the last few years, I believe that ownership really has seen the value of great coaching. And put a higher value on it.

“Contracts have gotten stronger. Length of contracts has gotten better for coaches. There’s no doubt that in today’s NBA, ownership understands the importance of continuity and staying the course. They deserve a lot of credit for finding their way to this point.”


However, also when you look at the teams with the worst records last season you can see why teams should be patient. There were first-year coaches in situations where they were expected to focus on player development, not wins — Luke Walton with the Lakers, Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn. There were guys where the problems were not of their own doing (the issues in Orlando weren’t Frank Vogel’s fault, same with Dave Joerger in Sacramento, same with Jeff Hornacek in New York, and when the Sixers were healthy Brett Brown’s team looked good). Minnesota didn’t win a lot last season but Tom Thibodeau’s team showed promise. Detroit may have been disappointed taking a step back, but removing Stan Van Gundy is to rework the entire front office and coaching staff. Alvin Gentry and Dell Demps were given one more shot in New Orleans (miss the playoffs this season and major changes are coming).

It didn’t make sense for teams to change coaches and directions in the last year (the last coaching change was Joerger pushing his way out of Memphis to Sacramento). Don’t bet on that being the case next season.

Dwight Howard posts just second 30-30 game in last 36 years

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Dwight Howard never played for the Nets. He almost got traded to Brooklyn by the Magic, but the deal never happened.

Which puts a dent in Dennis Schroder‘s theory Howard gets up for games against only his former teams.

Howard dominated Brooklyn for 32 points and 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 win tonight. That’s just the second 30-30 game in the last 36 years, Kevin Love notching the other in 2010.

All 30-30 games since Wilt Chamberlain, who had a ton:

  • Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets, 3/21/2018): 32 points, 30 rebounds
  • Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11/12/2010): 31 points, 31 rebounds
  • Moses Malone (Houston Rockets, 2/11/1982): 38 points, 32 rebounds
  • Swen Nater (Milwaukee Bucks, 12/19/1976): 30 points, 33 rebounds
  • Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds

Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.

Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)

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The Bucks lost, 127-120, to the Clippers tonight.

More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.

He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.

Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.

No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.

The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.

Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.

Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win


The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.

But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.

Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.

LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.

And LeBron led the Cavaliers to this win despite Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman being out.

It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.

Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team

AP Photo/Darren Abate

Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was a candidate to coach the men’s team at Colorado State, her alma mater. That would have made her the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team.

Alas, it won’t happen.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.

She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.

This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.