Tag: Jrue Holiday

Monty Williams

Report: Billy Donovan targeting Monty Williams as part of Thunder staff


Monty Williams is an incredibly well-respected coach — Mike Krzyzewski asked him to be part of the Team USA staff — who did a solid job as coach of the Pelicans. He did get them to the playoffs despite Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson missing large parts of the season.

From the second New Orleans let him go, you could be sure his phone would be ringing from teams looking to offer him a job, most likely as a lead assistant.

Billy Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the top of that list, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Donovan has a targeted interest in several potential candidates, including ex-New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams, Chicago Bulls assistant Andy Greer and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, league sources said.

Another possibility could be the return of New York Knicks assistant Brian Keefe, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Keefe left ex-Thunder coach Scott Brooks’ Thunder staff to join Derek Fisher in New York a year ago. Keefe is well-regarded among Thunder management and players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are among the players partial to Keefe.

Former Cavaliers and Lakers coach Mike Brown turned down a chance to interview for the staff, according to the report. Also, Donovan is keeping current Thunder assistants Mark Bryant and Darko Rajakovic on staff, and added former Alabama coach Anthony Grant as an assistant.

Donovan still needs a veteran NBA guy at his right hand, just to help him through the adjustments to the NBA game. It’s why David Blatt got Tyronn Lue to be next to him in Cleveland this year, while Steve Kerr pried Alvin Gentry away from the Clippers.

Williams would be a perfect fit, plus he has a relationship with Durant and Westbrook through Team USA. It’s a matter of fit and if the Thunder are willing to pay — Williams will not come cheaply.

Dr. J won’t return to represent Sixers at Draft Lottery

julius erving draft lottery

Julius Erving represented the Sixers at the Draft Lottery last year, but he won’t return to do so again on May 19.

The reason for this seems logical enough, in that Erving will be out of the country when the proceedings take place.

But given how things played out the last time around, his absence is probably for the best.

From Tom Moore of TheIntell.com:

Julius Erving won’t be representing the 76ers at the May 19 NBA Draft Lottery because he’ll be in China, according to Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil.

O’Neil said in a Monday text message that the team’s management was “still discussing internally” who it would be. Erving was onstage at the nationally televised event a year ago when the Sixers landed the Nos. 3 and 10 picks. …

Among the candidates to replace Erving are former Sixers star Allen Iverson (O’Neil didn’t respond to a question about Iverson being a possibility) and young big men Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.

Erving admitted to not knowing what was going on when the Sixers were revealed to have the 10th pick in the draft, because the team was slated to pick second if the odds remained intact.

What Erving missed was that the Sixers had two first-round picks, thanks to the Jrue Holiday trade the summer before, and 10th was exactly where that second one was supposed to land.

“When I saw 10, I was perplexed,” Erving said. “What the heck? We’ve got the second-most ping pong balls and we’re 10? I almost felt bad, but then (Orlando Magic representative) Pat Williams gave me the light, and when they started announcing what had happened and that we had the tenth pick, then it was OK.”

Let’s hope that whoever gets the nod this year for the Sixers is well-informed of the possibilities.

Why can’t the Pelicans foul in a timely manner?

Monty Williams

Stephen Curry hit THE shot of the playoffs so far, a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of Game 3 against the Pelicans to cap a 20-point comeback.

But why did he even have a chance to attempt it?

Up three, why didn’t New Orleans intentionally foul?

“We were supposed to foul,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “In situations like that, we’ve had that happened to us a couple times, and they shouldn’t have even had that shot take place. We just didn’t execute, and that’s on all of us. But we were supposed to foul.”

Said Anthony Davis: “I don’t know. I thought he made it very clear: We’re supposed to foul. Things happen in the game.”

Quincy Pondexter, who was guarding Curry, has taken the brunt of blame for not fouling. But I’m not sure he ever had a clear opportunity.

When Curry caught the inbound, it appeared he might immediately catch and shoot. The last thing you want to do is foul him while he’s shooting a 3-pointer.

Curry took one dribble, which would have presented a golden opportunity to foul. But Pondexter’s momentum was carrying him the opposite direction, and I’m not sure he could have immediately reached to foul while preventing a shot. By the time Pondexter shifted direction, Curry was actually shooting.

That first attempt missed – which presented the real opportunity to foul.

Marreese Speights grabbed the offensive rebound and took a dribble inside the arc – with his back turned to the basket! Tyreke Evans definitely and Davis probably had an opportunity to foul Speights, who, not for nothing, made 84 percent of his free throws to Curry’s 91 percent this season.

Fouling up three is not the airtight strategy many present it as. A lot can go wrong. Plus, when teams know they must defend just the 3-point arc, they do a pretty great job.

Many factors tilt specific situations – Curry’s 3-point ability chief among them here. His superb free-throw shooting also matters, though. So, a chance to foul Speights – especially after Williams instructed to foul – should have been executed. It wasn’t, and Curry lost Pondexter in the scramble (another problem for another day) and made the game-tying 3-pointer. Ironically, the Pelicans fouled Curry on that attempt, though it wasn’t called.

Troublingly, this was far from New Orleans’ only issue with when to foul in this game.

The Warriors had the ball and the lead in overtime with the game clock and shot clock practically in sync. To any well-trained team, this is an auto-foul situation. But the Pelicans let about 10 precious seconds run off before actually fouling, even as Williams appeared to call for a foul:

Later in the extra period, Davis missed a potential game-tying shot and Golden State got the rebound. Again, this is auto-foul territory. Instead, Davis made a halfhearted effort and then gave up on the play, and Jrue Holiday retreated a half step before going for a foul. That allowed the Warriors to call timeout:

In the clearest must-foul situation of all – and the others were pretty clear – Tyreke Evans squared up to guard Curry for a couple beats before fouling after the ensuing inbound:

Curry made both free throws to ice the game, but had he missed one, every fraction of a second would have helped the Pelicans’ final possession.

This seems to be a systematic problem with several players not understanding when to foul, which points to a coaching issue. Maybe Williams is doing everything he can, but the players aren’t listening. Maybe the coach isn’t drilling these situations often enough. It’s an impossible diagnosis to make from afar.

But if Williams isn’t going anywhere, the Pelicans must handle these instances better. Davis will get them into a lot of big games, and like last night, some of them will be close. New Orleans can’t keep putting itself at a disadvantage down the stretch like this.

PBT Extra: Can Pelicans find efficient second scorer next to Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut

Golden State has Draymond Green, the guy likely to win (and my pick for) Defensive Player of the Year. His versatility and strength allows him to guard effectively positions one through four.

He’s done a good job on Anthony Davis through two games — Davis has 18 points on 18 shots when Green is on him. Anyone else and Davis eats their lunch.

Warriors’ fans in the Bay Area, if you are a Comcast subscriber you can watch a free live stream of Thursday night’s Game 3 between the Pelicans and Warriors, just follow this link.

The Pelicans have been game in their first round series against heavily favorited Golden State, and the Warriors had to work for their wins. In this PBT Extra I suggest to Jenna Corrado if the Pelicans are going to steal a game at home in this series, they are going to need to get Davis some help — someone else to put up efficient points. Eric Gordon has put up more than 19 points a game this series, and he’s hit his threes, but he’s been turnover prone and inefficient.

With Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday banged up, I’m not sure who it will be. The Warriors have done a good job limiting Ryan Anderson. But the Pelicans need someone else to step up. Because we know at some point Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will.

Monday night games update: Kirk Hinrich out for Bulls; Jrue Holiday says he’ll play for Pelicans

Chicago Bulls v Denver Nuggets

There are two Game 2s in the NBA Playoffs first round Monday night, and we have some guard updates for both of them.

For the Bulls, guard Kirk Hinrich is out again, reports PBT’s own Sean Highkin. Hinrich is battling an ongoing knee issue and missed game one.

From the Bulls’ perspective, what’s the rush to bring him back? Chicago should be able to beat Milwaukee handily without him. When the Bulls will need him is the second round, very likely against Cleveland. Rest him now, get him as healthy as he can be for when he is needed.

For the Pelicans, Jrue Holiday expects to play but we may not see Tyreke Evans, reports John Reid at the Times-Picayune. Officially, they are both listed as questionable.

”Tyreke and Jrue are pretty much in the same situation,” Williams said before Monday’s shootaround at the University of San Francisco. ”Tyreke is going to be a game-time decision and we’ll wait to see how they feel after this morning and probably before the game.”

”I’m all right, I’m going to make it,” Holiday said before Monday’s shootaround.

The Pelicans need more out of their guards to have a shot in this series. Too often in Game 1 — particularly early on — the New Orleans guards lost Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson off the ball and paid a serious price.