Popovich was more involved in bringing in Aldridge — who along with Kawhi Leonard is the future of the Spurs — than he has been in any other free agent recruiting process. He met with Aldridge not once but twice, talking basketball, philosophy, and how he planned to use the All-Star forward.
He also promised Aldridge he’d be a focal point of the ensemble attack the Spurs run. Through two games, Aldridge is averaging 11.5 shot attempts per game, down more than eight shot attempts a game than he got last season. If those numbers continue, we’ll see if that bubbles up as an issue or if Aldridge has fully bought into the Spurs’ way.
Rockets sign veteran Chuck Hayes, bring back fan favorite
He’s here just to provide depth with Terrence Jones missing time with an eye issue and Donatas Motiejunas still out with back problems. They want another body at the four in the short term, but Hayes may not stick for the season.
Hayes spent the first six years of his NBA career in Houston doing all the dirty work — giving them good defense in the post, strength on the glass, and hustle everywhere on the court. At age 32 some of that is starting to slip (as was evidenced last season in Toronto), but he can provide depth, and he’s great in the locker room. It’s a solid short-term fit.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports says if Hayes is waived he may consider coaching for the Rockets. That’s where his future lies, but for now he wants to keep playing.
Rajon Rondo tried to tug down Wes Johnson’s shorts from the bench
Watch this Vine, posted online by @ColeyMick, showing the Kings’ Rajon Rondo on the bench reaching out and gently tugging at the Clippers’ Wesley Johnson‘s shorts during play.
This wasn’t a full “going for the pantsing” tug, but it is distracting. I think it’s funny, too.
Plenty of little stuff like this has gone on for decades (and longer) on the court, but in an age of every game being broadcast, combined with social media, we see more of it now than ever. I don’t expect the league will fine Rondo for this, more likely he gets a call saying “if you do this again…” and then they wait and see.
The Clippers beat the Kings 114-109 behind 37 points from Blake Griffin. Rondo had 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting, plus eight assists to lead the Kings.
Pelicans’ Kendrick Perkins out indefinitely with a right pectoral injury
The injury happened just 90 seconds into the game, when Perkins reached out to foul Golden State’s Festus Ezeli, who was going up for the dunk. It was a hard, smart foul but the force of it left Perkins injured.
He had played in all three Pelicans games so far — all losses, two of those to Golden State — and with him out Omer Asik will be asked to play more minutes sooner than expected coming off his calf strain (Saturday was his first game back).