Nets coach Hollins on 44-minute game: ‘The change will be for the guys who don’t start’


NEW YORK — Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek and Pacers head coach Frank Vogel each weighed in on the concept of a 44-minute NBA game with similar sentiments, essentially saying that there will be less minutes for the reserves to divvy up, while the amount of playing time distributed to the starters is likely to remain unchanged.

Before the experimental game tipped off on Sunday at Barclays Center, Nets head coach Lionel Hollins confirmed that would be the case.

“Nothing changes,” he said, when asked if his approach would be any different. “The change will be for the guys who don’t start. If Joe Johnson is playing 35 minutes in a 48-minute game, he’s going to play 35 minutes in a 44-minute game. It just means the guys coming off the bench will have four less minutes to operate with. It’ll affect the bench more than it will affect the starters.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said that because of the nature of games played during the preseason, it’s unlikely that the shortened game will provide accurate data on what the actual effects might be.

“I don’t know that we’ll all get a true sense of it, because in the preseason we have more of a set rotation, and you’re probably going to stick to that regardless,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to seeing how it is. And you know, the other thing is that the lack of the extra media timeout in the second and fourth quarters will test people’s conditioning-wise if they’re in for that extended period of time, even with the less minutes.”

Hollins detailed the reasons that the league is looking at something like this.

“The TV people had positive thoughts about it, the coaches had positive thoughts and the league had positive thoughts as something that should be explored,” he said. “For us to play this game today gives the league a little bit of data to see if  they want to move forward and implement it in the D-League, because that would be the next step. Maybe they use it in another couple of preseason games, before the preseason ends. That’s kind of the way I look at it.

“From a how do I feel about it [standpoint], if it’s to be, it’s to be. It’s not a bad thing. I don’t have a problem with 48 minutes, but if they feel this is a way to protect players a little more, shorten the game so that it fits in the TV window, so be it.”

Hollins made it clear that the differences are likely to be minimal for the coaches — both in terms of how the games are managed, as well as when deciding how many minutes that their best players play. He also doesn’t expect the change to impact him personally.

“I won’t even notice the difference,” he said.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.