George Karl to go for 1,000th win Tuesday in Charlotte

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Right now, six coaches in NBA history have had 1,000 or more wins —Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson, Larry Brown, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson. Elite coaches.

Soon that will be seven, as George Karl stands at 999 and ready to walk through that door. He told FanHouse he’s not convinced he belongs.

“There’s no question I’m going to stick out in that group,” Karl said…. “(People might say), ‘Karl, how’d he get there? Did they give him a couple of hundred wins or something?”’

Karl is a scrapper — a guy who started 2-19 with his first NBA head coaching gig, bounced around between a number of teams and is a two-time cancer survivor. A guy always looking forward.

So it shouldn’t be a shock told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse he just wants to move forward and get that 1,000th win Tuesday night in Charlotte (against 1,000-win club member Larry Brown).

“I would probably like it in Charlotte and get it over with, and have some beers and keep our momentum going,” said Karl, whose Nuggets (13-6) have won seven straight games.

Karl’s first head coaching job was with the Cavaliers in 1986, but he was eventually fired. It happens to every coach, and you learn to fight through it to move forward. There were stops in Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee.

Karl is settled in Denver, talking contract extension with the franchise. But right now he is focus is not on 1,000, it is on how to take a team that is hot and won seven in a row and turn them into a squad that can challenge the Lakers in the Western Conference playoffs.

Because he’s always looking forward.

Blake Griffin calls out Raptors president Masai Ujiri while praising Dwane Casey

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Dwane Casey reportedly holds a grudge toward Raptors president Masai Ujiri for firing him.

Casey got revenge last night, coaching the Pistons to a win at Toronto. Casey called two quality plays in the final seconds, the latter producing Reggie Bullock‘s game-winner.

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

A Toronto reporter asked Blake Griffin if it gives Pistons players a degree of confidence in their coach when he gives them those tools to win games.

“We know that. This isn’t like we just discovered this for the first time today,” he said. “We’ve put in plays like that all the time in practice. He demands execution and we executed. Maybe to Toronto fans – or certainly their GM, maybe – it was a surprise. But not to us.”

The win had to be gratifying for Casey. Having his star player take up his greater cause must even more satisfying.

Jazz have one of worst offensive showings ever, score 68 in 50-point loss to Mavericks

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
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NBA scoring is exploding. Defenses are getting less leeway for physicality. Offenses are more efficient than ever. Pace is at its highest mark in decades.

Except for the Jazz last night.

Utah scored just 68 points in a 50-point loss to the Mavericks. And even that undersells the Jazz’s offensive woes. They played reasonably fast, getting 101 possessions. Their offensive rating – 67.3 – shows just how inept they truly were.

In all, Utah shot 42% on 2-pointers, 17% on 3-pointers and 63% on free throws and committed 22 turnovers.

The Jazz set several milestones for offensive futility:

  • Fewest points in a game (68) in nearly two years (68 by Hawks vs. Jazz on Nov. 25, 2016)
  • Lowest Basketball-Reference estimated offensive rating in a game (68.8) in more than three years (68.2 by Grizzlies vs. Warriors on Nov. 2, 2015)
  • Fewest points in a second half (22) in nearly five years (19 by Rockets vs. Thunder on Jan. 16, 2014)

Comparing across eras can be difficult, but here’s one measure: The Jazz scored 68 points in a season teams are averaging 110.4 points per game.

That output relative to average – -42.4 – is one of the lowest of all-time:

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Kevin Durant’s brother posts: ‘just follow along before the greatness is done rubbing off on you and people see you for what you really are’

Jason Miller/Getty Images
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Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are feuding, the possibility of Durant leaving the Warriors in free agency next summer hanging over everything.

Now comes Durant’s brother, Tony – intentionally or not – throwing gasoline on the fire. Again.

Tony posted and deleted these comments on Instagram, via Bleacher Report:

Read too much into vague social-media content at your own peril.

But, man, that sure looks like Tony advising Green just to enjoy Durant masking Green’s problems until Durant leaves the Warriors and leaves Green exposed.

Andrew Wiggins simultaneously dunks on, kicks nuts of Nikola Mirotic (video)

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Andrew Wiggins keeps besting Nikola Mirotic.

Wiggins won Rookie of the Year over Mirotic in 2015.

In the Timberwolves’ win over the Pelicans last night, Wiggins had the dagger dunk on Mirotic – and made sure Mirotic felt it. Ouch.