Kurt Helin

Game One Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Eastern Conference Finals Game One

Report: Jeff Van Gundy candidate for Pelicans’ coaching job

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Jeff Van Gundy could have had any number of coaching jobs over the past seven years, but he’s been hanging out in the broadcast booth, enjoying that relatively stress-free lifestyle while still cashing some healthy checks. What would it take to get him out of that gig and back on the sidelines?

Coaching Anthony Davis?

You can throw Van Gundy’s hat in the ring for the New Orleans head coaching job, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Jeff Van Gundy has emerged as a candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans’ head-coaching position, according to league sources. ‎Sources told ESPN.com this week that the ESPN analyst has expressed interest in the opening and is under consideration for the job, which opened when the Pelicans dismissed Monty Williams earlier this month.

Alvin Gentry has interviewed for the job and appears to be the early frontrunner. However, at the same time the Pelicans are waiting to see the status of Tom Thibodeau in Chicago. It’s an internal issue: Pelicans GM Dell Demps reportedly likes Gentry — and he is driving the search; while Saints GM (and Pelicans executive) Mickey Loomis has the fascination with the hard-driving Thibodeau.

Van Gundy has 11 years of NBA coaching experience and took the Knicks to the NBA Finals. Van Gundy would bring the defensive mindset the Pelicans need — they were 22nd in the NBA on that end of the court.

The bottom line here is simple: Davis is a transformative talent, in five years (if not sooner) he will be recognized as the best player on the planet (I’d say he’s third right now and is just 22). Everyone in the coaching community recognizes this, and realizes Davis is a guy you can win titles with.

Kobe Bryant tries to explain Stephen Curry with a riddle

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
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I get what Kobe Bryant is trying to say here, but like Kobe on an off night it’s not really very efficient.

That said, explaining Stephen Curry’s game is just not that easy.

And Kobe’s right — Curry knocks down the shots you want him to take. That said, Houston may want to keep better track of him in the conference finals — more than half of Curry’s shots through two games have been uncontested. I don’t care where they are from, if you’re not in his face Curry will make you pay.

Clippers’ Dahntay Jones: There’s no rift between Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers
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Things like this tend to surface if a guy is coming up for free agency (and that means people have agenda’s to leak things):

Reports said Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had a rift. It was centered around the lack of work Jordan put in to get better at free throws.

There’s nothing to the report, if you ask the Clippers’ Dahntay Jones. Which TMZ did.

There is NO rift between Chris Paul & DeAndre Jordan … despite reports to the contrary, so says Clippers teammate Dahntay Jones who tells TMZ Sports the L.A. superstars are still like “brothers.”

“Guys fight and argue on the court, but that’s just the emotion of the game,” Jones says … “but people want to blow things out of proportion.”

“Those guys are brothers, man. They sit with each other on the plane, on the bus. If you don’t like a guy you stay away from him.”

Is there a rift? The reality, like most things in life, lies somewhere in the middle. Paul and Jordan have had their moments, but that is certainly different from something that carries over for any length of time.

The real question: Is this rift deep enough to have free agent to be Jordan seriously look elsewhere?

I can think of 109 million reasons Jordan can probably get past any issues. Doc Rivers says Jordan will get a max contract offer from the Clippers, and that’s hard to walk away from.

Watch 40-year-old Jerry Stackhouse destroy some high school stars

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets
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Jerry Stackhouse’s days of getting paid to play hoops are long gone. He’s too old at 40, too slow, just does not come close to the level needed to contribute in the NBA.

But to show you how high that level is, watch this video by Ball is Life where at 40 — wearing low tops and a polo shirt — he shows some of the best high school players around, at the Adidas Nations event, just how good you have to be.

PBT Extra: Klay Thompson’s done well, but Warriors should throw other defenders at James Harden, too

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game One
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Klay Thompson has done an admirable job defending James Harden in the Western Conference Finals — the Rockets’ cornerstone has had a near triple-double in both games in the series, but he’s doing it hitting difficult, contested shots.

On the other end of the court, Thompson has seen his offense drop off due to his huge defensive assignment.

In this latest PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado, I suggest the Warriors throw some other defenders at Harden — Harrison Barnes comes to mind… just not Leandro Barbosa again — to change up the looks.

Plus Thompson will get some rest, maybe helping spark more offense from him.