Tag: Minnesota Timberwolves

Glen Davis

Glen Davis says Doc Rivers has changed as a coach, DeAndre Jordan should get more touches


Big Baby is still available.

Glen Davis is still out there on the free agent market, the Clippers and Bucks have reportedly had conversations with him. Or, he could just go play overseas.

But with no imminent deal, he was very honest when he appeared on the “Gio and Jones” show on CBS Sports Radio in the morning, with Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones. He talked about Donald Sterling and playing for the Clippers, but maybe the most interesting thing is how Doc Rivers has had to coach Clippers differently than he did the Celtics.

“I think he’s changed as a coach. In Boston, I think when you have players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, so experienced and understanding of policing. He has to do more coaching with these guys, with Blake (Griffin) and DeAndre (Jordan) and Chris (Paul). Kind of walk them through the process of understanding championship basketball. You got to kind of change your tone and the way you talk to these younger guys. So he’s changed for the betterment of the team so he can get everybody on the same page.”

Is Davis saying anything here we didn’t already know? Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (as well as the rest of the Clippers) are talented but inexperienced. Rivers was hired in part to take them to the next level, and he has to play to their personalities rather than what Boston needed. Coaching is not one size fits all.

Which brings us to when Davis discussed the Jordan/Paul dynamic, and why Jordan was unhappy enough with the Clippers to agree to play for Dallas (before changing his mind).

It was a false reality,” Davis said of the reports of a CP3/Jordan feud. “It was like they had problems, but they didn’t have problems. We can hang out, have a good time off the court, it just some players rub each other the wrong way. I think that’s what it was and they never really talked about it until DeAndre said ‘I’m going to go to Dallas….’

“I thought D’Andre needed more attention, because he’s a guy who dominates on both sides of the ball. He doesn’t have no plays run for him, and he gets every rebound, how about we give him some confidence? Throw him a couple bones down there and see if he can get us a bucket. He can’t shoot free throws, but he’s getting people in the bonus, he’s making things happen out there. So you gotta show him some love because he’s a vital player.”

Davis said the Paul/Jordan dynamic was part of the problem in the Houston series, when it all started to come to a head as the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated.

It’s one of the things the Clippers need to sort out if they are ging to be serious title contenders next season. On paper, they fixed the depth problem, but chemistry remains the question. And it’s one the Clippers can’t answer until the playoffs.

What NBA stars will suit up for EuroBasket? Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others

pau gasol spain olympics

EuroBasket matters — it offers both the bragging rights of a European championship and is the 2016 Olympic qualifier for Europe. The top two finishers get their tickets punched for Rio for the 2016 games (the USA and Brazil have already qualified). Finishers three through seven get invited to the 2016 pre-Olympics qualifying tournament, where they can try to play their way into the final field of 12 (likely a couple of them succeed).

Because it matters, some of the NBA’s big names will suit up when play tips off Sept. 5 —  Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others. There are 29 players under NBA contract in total expected to participate. Mark Cuban and many NBA GMs will watch clutching their lucky blanket and hoping against injury, but this is the kind of tournament that draws stars.

If you’ve wondered who is going, here’s a list of every NBA player suiting up in EuroBasket, hat tip to Hoopshype.

Bojan Bogdanovic (Brooklyn Nets)
Mario Hezonja (Orlando Magic)
Damjan Rudez (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans)
Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)
Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs)
Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Joffrey Lauvergne (Denver Nuggets)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
Tibor Pleiss (Utah Jazz)
Dennis Schroeder (Atlanta Hawks)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kosta Koufos (Sacramento Kings)
Kostas Papanikolaou (Denver Nuggets)

Andrea Bargnani (Brooklyn Nets)
Marco Belinelli (Sacramento Kings)
Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets)

Omri Casspi (Sacramento Kings)

Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)

Marcin Gortat (Washington Wizards)

Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks)

Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)
Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls)

Furkan Aldemir (Philadelphia 76ers)
Ersan Ilyasova (Detroit Pistons)

Alex Len (Phoenix Suns)

Karl-Anthony Towns packed in phone booth with Kevin Spacey on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight show

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
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Francis Underwood would do exactly what Kevin Spacey does in this Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon skit — laugh and play along. Of course, Underwood would get some retribution later.

Spacey was on with Fallon playing “Phone Booth” — miss a question and another person joins you in the booth — and when Spacey missed one when Keegan-Michael Key was already in the booth, then Karl-Anthony Towns joined them. All 6’11”, 250 pounds of him. Spacey should be thankful it’s not a few years from now when Towns has packed on a little more muscle.

Fallon cannot play this game with Shaq.

Flip Saunders counting on Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince to change Timberwolves defense

Kevin Garnett

Last season, the Timberwolves were the worst defensive team in the NBA. By far. They allowed 109.6 points per 100 possessions, which was more than six per 100 worse than the league average. If Minnesota is going to take a step forward next season, that is the obvious area for improvement (although their 26th ranked offense could use some help, too). Minnesota has a long ways to go.

More than just talent, coach Flip Saunders is counting on a veteran presence to change the Timberwolves defense around.

He tweeted as much Friday.

That doesn’t hurt. Kevin Garnett can still quarterback a defense, even if his reactions to what he recognizes are now a step slow. Tayshaun Prince still knows how to defend on the perimeter.

I can see Prince helping mentor Andrew Wiggins. I can see KG helping Karl-Anthony Townes understand how to recognize what is coming and protect the rim.

Defense at the NBA level starts with simple effort — not every team, not every player gives it. If the veterans on the Timberwolves help install a real work ethic on that end, it would be a big start.

But just a start. Minnesota has a long way to go.

Report: Timberwolves sign Tayshaun Prince

Boston Celtics v Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves re-signed Kevin Garnett and signed Andre Miller.

Enough veteran leadership on the young team?

Not for Flip Saunders.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Saunders coached Tayshaun Prince on the Pistons, but that was a long time ago. Prince, 35, is an even more methodical player and no longer an elite wing defender.

Still, his length and intelligence make him a capable defender. He can make jumpers, too, and he’s a solid passer for his position (though he bogs down the offense with the ball in his hands).

Prince played reasonably well for the Celtics and Pistons last season after the Grizzlies traded him, so he might have a little juice left. He was in over his head in Memphis, often starting for a fringe contender.

That shouldn’t be the case in Minnesota. He’ll fill a limited role, provide a good example for the team’s younger players and sometimes take minutes that slow the development of Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett and Nemanja Bjelica. (Andrew Wiggins is getting the same playing time regardless.)

There’s an outside but realistic chance the Timberwolves can compete for a playoff spot. For that reason, signing Prince makes sense. Minnesota wouldn’t want to find out later it was a veteran on the wing away from the postseason. If the Timberwolves fall from the race, Saunders can always turn more toward developing younger players.

Prince gives Minnesota 17 players – two more than the regular-season roster limit. The most likely cuts are Lorenzo Brown ($75,000 guaranteed) and Damjan Rudez (acquired in the Chase Budinger salary dump). Perhaps, the Timberwolves can trade Rudez and get something for him or deal another player in a more significant move. But they have to do something to trim the roster.