Who will be next coach in Orlando? I don’t know, but expect a yeller.

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Jacque Vaughn believes in the power of positivity. He was trying to develop a bounty of young players in Orlando using minutes as the water, hard word as the good soil, and positive comments as sunshine. There certainly were some successes, players such as Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton have developed well under him.

But the Magic did not coalesce as a team — they are a bottom five team on both offense and defense, they are 15-37 and have lost 10 straight.

That led to Vaughn getting fired on Thursday.

So who is the next coach in Orlando? (Well, after interim coach James Borrego.) What direction will the organization go?

Expect a yeller.

Maybe that’s too harsh. Still, don’t expect the next coach to be the kind of guy that puts his arm around a player and has a few encouraging words after a rough night. Expect a coach who gets in players’ faces, who is very vocal about accountability, who is a bit of an old-school disciplinarian.

Management is saying all the usual things about casting a wide net and getting the best available guy, but what they seem to be looking for is a bit  of a culture change in that locker room. Keep the work ethic, but aside that a dramatic change of style. By the way, do you notice how often the franchises that struggle keep changing cultures rather than letting one take root? That’s the bigger picture issue in Orlando — the issues with this roster are certainly not all on Vaughn — but in the short term they likely are going for an 180-degree shift in coaching philosophies.

Here are four names to watch:

1) Scott Skiles. This is the guy Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, and everyone else, says looks like the front runner because he checks a lot of boxes for the organization. He checks the box as a popular former Magic player that the fans will embrace. He checks the box as an old-school disciplinarian. He checks the box in that his teams defend with energy. That said, his offenses have not been great, and he’s pretty much been a career .500 coach whose teams have never gone past the second round of the playoffs in his 13 seasons.

2) Mike Malone. Another name mentioned by Wojnarowski. This is the coach the Sacramento Kings brought in to create a real culture of accountability and toughness — and he did that. He got DeMarcus Cousins focused and playing the best ball of his career. So the Kings fired Malone in the middle of this season because they wanted to change their style to more of a running team. (To repeat: Do you notice how often the franchises that struggle keep changing cultures rather than letting one take root?) Malone would check the boxes as old school and a disciplinarian, plus he showed some real success in Sacramento doing what they want to do in Orlando.

3) Vinny Del Negro. Another guy mentioned as available by Wojnarowski. He’s been available for a while. The advantages he has is that he’s a fantastic interviewer who sells himself well as a player development guy, and he’s likable. To be fair, he’s a better coach than his reputation, he’s gotten teams to be respectable (it’s just the guys who came in after him got those teams to be a lot better). All that said, this would be a terrible hire for Orlando.

4) Mark Jackson. Because his name must come up for all coaching vacancies. It’s a federal law. He’s a motivator and the Warriors certainly did play defense for him, two things that would work in Orlando. But I don’t love this fit either, I’m not sure he’s the guy to develop this young roster.

Marcus Morris’ stepback three game-winner gives Knicks revenge in Kristaps Porzingis’ return

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The boos started during lay-up lines, grew deafening when he was introduced, and once the game got rolling “KP Sucks” chants echoed through Madison Square Garden.

Knicks fans wanted revenge on Kristaps Porzingis.

Marcus Morris — one of the guys New York spent all that cap space they got in the Porzingis trade on — gave it to them with a game-winning stepback three.

The Knicks beat the Mavericks 106-103.

Porzingis had 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, plus 11 rebounds in his return to MSG. Not exactly a “you’re going to miss me” game to frustrate Knicks fans, but better than most of his games to start the season. After 20 months off, Porzingis is still shaking off the rust, and getting used to playing next to Luke Doncic (who had a triple-double of 33 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds). Still, he made some plays.

Morris had 20 for the Knicks leading a balanced attack. Julius Randle added 17.

From LeBron through Patrick Mahomes, everyone reacting to Carmelo Anthony return

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Carmelo Anthony is back in the NBA — he is signing with the Portland Trail Blazers.

While Anthony didn’t have a lot of love in NBA front offices, he remains wildly popular among other players and fans. Something obvious on NBA Twitter in the wake of the Anthony news breaking. Check out the reactions from other players.

It’s not just NBA players who were pumped about the return of ‘Melo.

There were also great fan and media reactions.

 

Portland reportedly signs Carmelo Anthony to non-guaranteed contract

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Off to an ugly 4-8 start this season — despite Damian Lillard tearing it up at an MVP level — the Portland Trail Blazers are desperate for any help in the frontcourt they can find, especially a four who can stretch the floor.

Enter Carmelo Anthony.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story.

He will join the team during its upcoming six-game road trip. Lillard is reportedly on board with this.

Portland visits Houston on Monday of that road trip — the last team that ‘Melo played for.

This is really a low-risk move by the Blazers thanks to the non-guaranteed contract. If it doesn’t work out, Portland just moves on.

Anthony has been searching for a path back into the NBA through most of last season — the Rockets let him go after just 10 games, deciding to part ways — and this past summer, with no takers until now. Two issues were holding teams back. First has been concern about his willingness to accept a role. ‘Melo is losing the race with Father Time and is no longer a top offensive option, yet he reportedly wanted to be treated like one — and get the touches of one. There were concerns he would be disruptive, something he (and the people around him) pushed back hard against.

The second issue was ‘Melo’s defense, which has gone from not good to dreadful. In an NBA where big men now have to cover more in space, Anthony has been exposed. And will be again.

Portland was in the right position to roll the dice on Anthony.

Portland has an elite backcourt led by Damian Lillard, who is averaging 30.5 points per game and carrying the offense. His backcourt partner CJ McCollum has struggled out of the gate, but Portland isn’t really worried about him finding his rhythm soon and getting back to being himself.

The frontcourt, however, has been a disaster. Jusuf Nurkic — their third-best player last season, and at points arguably their second-best — is out until likely after the All-Star break from a fractured leg that required surgery. The Blazers had hoped Zach Collins would take a step forward this season and fill that role both at the five and as a stretch four, but he is out four months following shoulder surgery. Pau Gasol was signed this summer but he has yet to step on the court and is battling a foot issue.

Hassan Whiteside was a big off-season signing, but he has played like he always has — sporadic effort and empty calorie stats. His inability to set a good pick has hurt the ability of Lillard and McCollum to find space. Beyond that, Anthony Tolliver and Skal Labissiere getting plenty of minutes.

In that context, adding Anthony to see if it can work out makes sense.

If not, the Blazers can just move on, but you know Anthony will be motivated to make this work.

Welcome back — Knicks fans boo Kristaps Porzingis every chance they get (VIDEO)

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Knicks fans have a long, proud history of loud boos for “villans” in opposing uniforms. LeBron James heard them. Reggie Miller was a favorite target. Kris Humphries heard some very loud ones.

Kristaps Porzingis‘ boos were as loud as any of them.

Porzingis was Porzingod when he first came to New York, the anointed savior of the Knicks who would return them to the promised land. Or at least the playoffs. Instead, he battled injuries, put up numbers and made an All-Star team, but eventually his relationship with then team president Phil Jackson soured to the point KP blew off an exit interview at the end of the season. Jackson was ultimately let go, but the combination of team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, along with coach David Fizdale, could not salvage things.

Last season, while out recovering from a torn ACL, Porzingis and his agent/brother went into Mills’ office and demanded a trade (something the Knicks had privately already been working on). The next day he was sent to Dallas and the Knicks scapegoated him as not wanting to be there (which is true, but Knicks management was why he didn’t want to be there).

Thursday night was Porzingis’ first return to Madison Square Garden, and Knicks fans were ready for him.

The boos started in the lay-up lines.

Of course, he was booed during the game, plus there have been “KP Sucks” chants.

Everyone, even the celebrities in the crowd, was in on the act.