Author: Kurt Helin

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Six

John Wall doesn’t think he’ll need surgery on hand, wrist

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Wizards fans are convinced that if they had John Wall healthy and he played all series, they would have beaten the Atlanta Hawks. You can debate that while sitting on your barstools for the rest of the summer (or in Washington until everyone starts discussing what is wrong with the Redskins).

The good news for Wall and the Wizards: It looks like he didn’t further injure the hand by coming back, and will avoid surgery on his fractured hand and wrist.

That’s what he told J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.

“I’m going to go to Cleveland (Clinic) to see a specialist but I’m still doing the normal treatment routine I was doing like I was playing … letting the bones heal on its own,” said Wall, who fell in the second quarter of Game 1 and had five non-displaced fractures in the hand and wrist….

“It was tough. It was very sore,” said Wall, who averaged 17.5 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals with a broken wrist. “At times it gets hit, it would get aggravated. I knew if I played it was going to happen.”

Making things worse was always the concern with bringing him back this series — a blow or fall would happen that require surgery, which could impact next season.

The Wizards didn’t get the series, but at least they avoided the worst possible outcome.

PBT Extra: Previewing Golden State vs. Houston Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six
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The good news for Houston fans: I don’t think those four regular-season losses to Golden State are much of a predictor of the playoff series between these two teams.

The bad news for Houston fans: I still think this is a tough matchup for them, and they are going to win just one game in this series. That’s what I told Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.

What didn’t change between the regular season and the postseason is the Golden State defense, which was the best in the NBA during the regular season and has been the second best in the playoffs. Houston’s defense has been inconsistent. I think that and the versatility of the Warriors guards and attack will expose holes in the Rockets they simply cannot plug.

Report: Pelicans get permission, interview Warrior’s assistant Alvin Gentry Monday for coaching position

Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry directs his team against the Boston Celtics in their NBA basketball game in Boston
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UPDATE 10:23 pm: The first interview is going to take place on Monday night in San Francisco, according to an update from Adrian Wojnarowski.

This is just the first step in the process. That process will not necessarily move quickly as Gentry is busy helping the Warriors game-plan for the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. Smart move by the Pelicans to start the process now — and put a little pressure on the Bulls to make their move sooner rather than later.

5:54 pm: Alvin Gentry is going to be a head coach somewhere next season. Deservedly so (we’ll get into that, just keep reading).

The best NBA coaching job open right now is with the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s the best job thanks to two words: Anthony Davis. Three words if you throw in gumbo.

The Pelicans reportedly have been patiently waiting to see how the Tom Thibodeau situation plays out in Chicago — and that could take some time with what the Bulls are asking — so the Pelicans have decided to be proactive and talk to the Warriors’ lead assistant Gentry. So reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The New Orleans Pelicans have ‎been granted permission to interview Golden State Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry for their coaching vacancy, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Gentry has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the position alongside Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is widely expected to part company with the Bulls this offseason.

Gentry is the best offensive mind available on the open coaching market. This season he was the right hand to Steve Kerr at Golden State and the guy in charge of putting their offense together — the second most efficient offense in the NBA. The season before that he was the right hand to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and handled that offense, where he led Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to being the most inefficient offense in the NBA. Gentry runs a modern NBA offense with ball-screens, motion, up-tempo play and plenty of three-point shooting to space the floor.

Yes, Gentry is a “retread” in the sense he has more than 700 games as an NBA head coach and a .475 win percentage. But sometimes guys figure things out as they hang around the game and become better coaches, ones who fit an evolution in the sport. Gentry can be one of those guys.

It’s fun to picture what he could do with Anthony Davis and that offense (especially if Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson are healthy for a full season).

Gentry will have options, he is reportedly near the top of the Denver Nuggets’ list as well. Gentry has said he likes where he is in the Bay Area right now and it would need to be a special situation to lure him away.

The Pelicans may have played too slowly but they were a top-10 offense last season under Monty Williams. They were a bottom 10 defensive team. That’s the end of the floor where improvement is most needed.

Could Gentry help there as well? As much as Thibodeau?

Either way, better to start the process than to be the one standing without a chair when the music stops.

Rumor: Derrick Rose’s frustration with Jimmy Butler caused him to play passively in Game 6

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Five
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In the first quarter of a must-win Game 6 for the Bulls last week, Derrick Rose came out attacking and had 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and the Bulls were in it down by two. After the first quarter, Rose had 4 points on 2-of-7 shooting, with three assists and he was -18.

What changed? The Cavaliers defense? Just the ebbs and flows of a tough series?

Or, was Rose acting out passive-aggressively because Jimmy Buttler was demanding he rock? That’s what is being reported by Dan Bernstein of CBS Chicago.

Rose was never asked directly why he disappeared when his team needed him most, but sources tell 670 The Score that a common NBA problem affected the Bulls at the worst possible time – two alpha dogs and only one basketball.

It looked strange when wing Jimmy Butler kept flashing to Rose’s side of the floor, calling for the ball, as the Bulls’ offense was drying up. Rose was all too happy to oblige instead of waving Butler off and taking charge, either resetting the called play or taking his man – often the undrafted Matthew Dellavedova – hard to the rim for at least a likely foul.

Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer.

I’m taking this report with a lot of salt — I don’t buy it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to bet someone with an agenda was selling this spin to reporters, just not sure I believe it. Or at least believe that it was that big an impact.

First, the emergence of Butler is something that had been going on all season, not just during this series. Why did Rose decide to act out at the team’s most critical juncture of the season? Just to make a point at the worst time?

Second, this doesn’t fit with the personality of Rose — the man is a competitor. He fought and pushed too hard and too long to get back on the court to throw a series away because he was suddenly jealous.

Finally, Rose was inconsistent all series and all season. Butler was growing in confidence and aggressiveness all series and all season. Not sure this all doesn’t fit into that pattern.

What is clear is that whoever is the next coach of the Bulls — Fred Hoiberg or Alvin Gentry or even still Tom Thibodeau — they have to find a better way to fit the pieces together in this offense. Not just Rose and Butler, but also Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and the rest. The Bulls were too conventional and too defendable, which was less about Butler or Rose and more about the system that made things easier for Cleveland.

PBT Extra: Despite collapse, Clippers will not blow up roster this summer

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
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To say the Clippers’ collapse against the Rockets is the most painful on-the-court moment in franchise history, you’re really saying something. But for Los Angeles, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been and their failures hurt commensurately.

That said, don’t expect big changes this summer in Los Angeles. Mostly because they can’t. They don’t have the salary cap flexibility.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss this in our latest PBT Extra. The Clippers will offer a max deal to DeAndre Jordan, but no matter what he chooses they have the mid-level exception and then basically minimum deals to offer. It’s hard to build the much-needed depth on that roster with so little money to offer.