Author: Brett Pollakoff

Central Florida v Connecticut

Kevin Ollie, rumored to be a candidate to replace Scott Brooks in OKC, says he’s staying at UConn


The Thunder are going to take a long look at potentially replacing Scott Brooks this summer, for a variety of reasons.

It isn’t only that Oklahoma City missed the playoffs this year, because that’s more due to injuries than it is the fault of Brooks. But his Xs and Os on the offensive end of the floor have long been criticized, and with the Thunder having just one more season before Kevin Durant can leave as an unrestricted free agent, it’s critical they do everything possible to make an immediate run at a title.

The latest candidate rumored to be linked to the still-filled head coaching position is Kevin Ollie, who is now coaching at the University of Connecticut, but has a relationship with the Thunder organization after playing there during his final NBA season in 2010.

Ollie, however, seems to have taken his name out of the running for any potential opportunities.

From Anthony Slater of

“As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities,” Ollie’s statement read. “We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom, and in our community.”

Sam Presti and the Thunder front office have yet to comment on the future of Brooks. Though Brooks was publicly backed by his star players recently, a Yahoo report right after the season said OKC was taking its time to reassess the coaching position before deciding which direction to move.

Presti is scheduled to have a press conference on Friday morning where he’s likely to discuss the situation.

It’s unlikely we’ll get much clarity on the situation during that press conference. As long as Brooks still holds the position, his general manager isn’t going to openly discuss the possibility that he’s searching for a replacement.

But it’s a reality that the Thunder organization has to do everything in its power to make sure next season isn’t Durant’s last in Oklahoma City — and that includes looking high and low for an upgrade at head coach.

Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas starts the fast break by dribbling through Kevin Love’s legs (VIDEO)

Isaiah Thomas

As the Cavaliers began to take control of their Game 2 matchup with the Celtics, the only thing that was keeping Boston alive on the offensive end of the floor was the aggressive, crafty play of Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas led his team with 22 points and seven assists, and used this nifty bit of dribbling to get by Kevin Love — who has at least a foot of a height advantage over Thomas — to start one of his team’s fast breaks in the second half.

Love, of course, had his own highlights in this one, and the Cavaliers emerged as the victors to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

[via EOB]

Wizards’ Bradley Beal: Raptors ‘think that we’re some punks’

NBA Play-offs. Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

The Raptors opened Game 2 against the Wizards by getting out to a 10-point lead, in a game they had to have if they were going to have a chance at winning the best-of-seven series.

But by halftime, the Wizards had turned things around and were able to take an 11-point lead into the intermission, thanks in large part to 20 first-half points from Bradley Beal on 9-of-14 shooting.

So, what got him going? Perhaps his outburst was prompted by his opponent.

“They think that we’re some punks,” Beal said during his halftime walk-off interview. “They think that they can push us around, but … we’re not rolling.”

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It’s unclear what specifically got under Beal’s skin. But his 28 points on the night led all scorers, and the Raptors, trailing 2-0 with the series headed back to Washington, now find themselves in an impossible situation.