Author: Kurt Helin

Anthony Davis

Pelicans’ Anthony Davis out Monday night due to shoulder injury

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After a fall that nasty, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans — not to mention basketball fans everywhere — are lucky he has just a sprained shoulder. He is officially day-to-day.

That said, New Orleans’ Mr. Everything is out Monday night against Utah.

The Pelicans are not anywhere near the same team on either end without Davis — Chicago went almost instantly on a 10-0 run when Davis went down in the second quarter. The Bulls outscored the Pelicans by more than 30 points the rest of the game.

Utah has been difficult to defeat all season (they’ve lost a lot of games but have been competitive), this will be a tough test for the Pelicans. But if they want to stay in the West playoff chase this is the kind of game they need even with Davis out.

It is unclear when Davis will return, or if he will play in the All-Star Game this weekend in New York, where the fans voted him in as a starter.

PBT Extra: How much trouble are Clippers in without Blake Griffin?

Blake Griffin
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The Clippers have lost four in a row, face the Mavericks and Rockets before the All-Star break, and then return to a brutal schedule that includes the Spurs, Grizzlies twice, Rockets, and Bulls in their next six games.

And they have to do all of that without Blake Griffin, who is out after having surgery to drain an infected elbow.

How much trouble are the Clippers in? Is it miss the playoffs level trouble? That’s what Jenna Corrado and I discuss in the latest PBT Extra. The answer depends on how long Griffin is out — it could be two weeks, it could be more than a month — and if Spencer Hawes can step up in his absence. Because so far this season the Clippers have been a six-man team trying to survive when anyone beyond that is on the court.

Also discussed: Other teams genuinely hate the Clippers and fans are catching on.

Report: Kings very near four-year deal to hire George Karl as coach

George Karl

In the end, it came down to what General Manager Pete D’Alessandro wanted. And he all along wanted George Karl as the Kings’ coach

There were reports that it was in the owner’s court, but Vivek Ranadive and D’Alessandro met on Sunday, and the owner put the ball in D’Alessandro’s court, reported Sam Amick of USA Today. If the GM wanted Karl, go hire him.

There were reports that DeMarcus Cousins’ camp was pushing back against a Karl hiring. His people denied that – what they wanted to know was why every couple years the plan in Sacramento just radically changes. Which is a valid question. Either way were Ranadive and D’Alessandro really going to give their star player veto power?

In the end, it looks like a deal is going to get done to make Karl the next coach of the Kings, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Sacramento Kings and George Karl are progressing on a four-year contract worth between $4 million to $5 million a season to become coach of the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Tyrone Corbin will coach the final two Kings’ games before the All-Star break Tuesday at Chicago and Wednesday at Milwaukee, and – barring an unforeseen snag – Karl will take over as head coach afterward, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The official announcement may be a ways off. Karl is a North Carolina grad who next will be attending Dean Smith’s funeral.

The Kings fired coach Mike Malone midway through the season — a move not popular with Cousins or others in the locker room — and the team has gone 7-19 since.

The reported reason for the firing was Ranadive wanted a more up-tempo team than the defense-first Malone gave him. If so, Karl is a great hire. He wants an up-tempo, open system — remember the last team Karl coached won 57 games in Denver with Ty Lawson at the helm of a free-wheeling offense.

Cousins has the game to blossom in a version of that system.

The next question might be, will Ranadive keep D’Alessandro on as GM, to buy the groceries for his new chef? That question is not going to be answered until the season ends, but it’s something to watch.