Morning Shootaround — Feb. 8


VIDEO: Highlights of the games played Feb. 7

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Anthony Davis takes a spill | Is Karl demanding a Kings’ ransom? | Kerr coaches at Madison Square Garden | Allen on Hawks’ radar

No. 1: Anthony Davis gives a scare — Sometimes, Anthony Davis can be too good for his own good. He’s a big man who runs the floor like a guard and soars to the rim like a small forward, and that’s what caused a hush at the Smoothie King in New Orleans against the Bulls. Davis took a lob pass on the break and dunked, to the delight of the crowd, but then slipped off the rim and fell hard on his shoulder, to the horror of the crowd. After several seconds on the floor he walked off on his own, but didn’t return to action in the Bulls’ blowout victory. It was quite a 48-hour stretch, then, for Davis, who sank a 3-point buzzer-beater in Oklahoma City for a big win over the Thunder the night before. John Reid of the Times-Picayune spoke with Pelicans coach Monty Williams and has more of an update on Davis, a strong contender for MVP, especially with the Pelicans suddenly in the thick of a playoff hunt:

“When he goes down like that, your first inclination is to get him out,” Williams said. ”When a guy hits the floor that hard, you feel bad for him. He kept saying he was ok.He gave me that look and I said, ”Ok I’ve got to get him out.

”The doctors didn’t feel good about bringing him back out, so we’ve got to get more evaluations and we’ll have a better update on tomorrow.”

Though Davis has emerged as a strong MVP candidate this season, he’s also suffered his fourth injury this season. On Jan. 30, he missed a game against Los Angeles Clippers because of a Grade 1 groin strain.

In early January, he missed three games with a sprained left toe. In December, Davis missed a game against the Golden State Warriors because of a chest contusion.

Without Davis in the second half on Saturday night, the Pelicans had problems scoring against a Bulls team that was desperate to end a three-game losing streak. Davis gave the Pelicans a 32-30 lead on his dunk before injuring his shoulder. But after he left the game for good, the Bulls surged.

Chicago outscored the Pelicans, 59-33, in the second half. They outscored the Pelicans, 26-16, in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 36.

”We’ve played without him (Davis) before, ” Pelicans forward Dante Cunningham said. ”We just have to make the adjustment on the fly. I think we didn’t do it tonight. But we definitely know how to play without him. We had couple of games when he was hurt , so we just have to do it on the fly.”

 

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No. 2: Karl may be headed to Sacramento … or maybe Orlando?— So once again, George Karl appears to be in the running for a head coaching job although, given this ongoing drama, who knows where he’ll land or if he’ll even be on a bench this season? Karl’s name comes up whenever theres an opening, which is understandable; he was Coach of the Year in Denver before the Nuggets fired him and he is available. And he’ll unapologetically campaign for any opening. Anyway, after turning to Tyrone Corbin on an interim basis following the firing of Michael Malone this season, the Kings appear concerned enough about the direction of the team — the Kings are spiraling — to at least approach Karl. There are two issues: One, the Magic also might have an opening this season or next in the wake of the recent Jacque Vaughn firing. And two, maybe not everyone is on board with Karl in the Kings locker room. Like, maybe there’s a DeMarcus Cousins objection? Well. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee chimes in:

The All-Star center wasn’t happy when Michael Malone was fired Dec. 14. The Kings didn’t make a move to hire Karl immediately, opting to go with lead assistant Tyrone Corbin. After initially being noncommittal on Corbin’s status, the Kings named him head coach for the rest of the season at the end of December.

But the Kings’ brass is seeking a way to shake the team out of a funk that reached 11 defeats in 12 games after a 102-90 loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Kings’ front office has had reservations about Karl for some time, especially as to how he’d work with Cousins. The center’s representatives at Relativity Sports also expressed concerns about Karl, according to league sources.

That puts Cousins squarely in the middle of the situation with the Kings having misgivings about a coach who might rile up their star player, though Cousins does not believe he has such influence.

“Of course my name is going to get thrown into it. I’m the franchise centerpiece,” Cousins said. “I’m waiting just like you guys. It’s always going to be he say-she say. Until you hear it from the horse’s mouth, that’s what it’s going to be.”

Cousins declined to speak more about the situation, but if he had the clout he reportedly has, Malone would not have been fired.

Meanwhile, Corbin is still the Kings’ coach with an uncertain future.

“I have no comment about any of that stuff,” Corbin said when asked if he’d spoken to ownership or management about his situation.

Sources indicated Karl’s compensation remains a sticking point and no deal is imminent. But the suddenly aggressive pursuit of Karl is a change after the Kings did not reach out to him in this manner after firing Malone.

The Kings are 6-19 under Corbin after going 11-13 under Malone. Malone was 2-7 without Cousins, who was sidelined because of viral meningitis.

Karl is the most accomplished coach available. He is one of six coaches in league history with more than 1,000 wins (1,131).

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No. 3:Kerr coaches in New York — Maybe the best decision Steve Kerr ever made in his professional life was choosing the Warriors over the Knicks last summer. As you can see, it’s a no brainer now; the Warriors lead the West while the Knicks are languishing near the bottom of the East and are perhaps 2-3 years from being completely rebuilt. Anyway, Kerr and the Warriors made their only appearance of the season in the Garden and it went predictably: Golden State won easily and Kerr said he has no regrets. Kerr also said he wouldn’t have necessarily run the triangle had he choose the Knicks. Here’s more from Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“My sense was, I was going to coach — we didn’t get into specifics [on a system],’’ Kerr said before the game. “I think as a coach you have to adapt to your personnel. You have to have the available talent to able to run anything that’s effective. Once you do, you have to pick out what’s going to be effective with that particular talent.’’

Kerr said it was not “awkward’’ to coach at the Garden — he heard only a smattering of boos during pregame introductions — but he admitted it was hard to say no to Phil Jackson, crediting him for a lot of the success in his career.

“It was difficult,’’ Kerr said, “because I’m very close to him. I feel I’m indebted to him for much of what transpired in my career. Everything that happened in Chicago led to San Antonio which led to TNT which led to Phoenix and here. It’s all because of the Chicago experience, all because of Phil I even got to Chicago in the first place. From that perspective, it was difficult.

“But on other side of things, personal, family side, it was a lot easier to stay close to home and literally two miles from my daughter who goes to Berkeley, and I got a team with a lot of talent and a lot of great guys. It was a good choice.
“I felt more comfortable going to Golden State. It was a better situation.’’

Kerr said he hasn’t watched one moment of a Knicks game until earlier Saturday, when he watched tapes of the first half of the Knicks-Nets game Friday. He said he emails with Jackson occasionally.he Cleveland Cavaliers have been enveloped in drama recently, but they got a bit of good news on Wednesday night before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“Obviously this is a work in progress,’’ Kerr said. “It’s going to take some time. [Phil] knew that when he took the job.’’
Fisher was Jackson’s second choice — actually third, but Brian Shaw was under contract in Denver — and became a triangle devotee.

The Knicks coach has long been tired of the scrutiny the offense is under and took a shot at the media.

“Way too much is being made out of what shape the offense we’re running is,’’ Derek Fisher said. “I think it’s easy copy, it’s easy work to be able to throw that up there on the front page and say that’s why we’re not winning games, when that’s patently ridiculous in my opinion. There’s a lot more that goes into winning than what type of offense you run.

“At some point if you’d like, we’ll set up a video conference and I’ll stop the tape 100 times and show you how Kobe Bryant was nowhere near the tip of a triangle, he was Kobe Bryant. So I think what we’re trying to do is provide our players with a format of playing offense that involves all five people. What shape that is, how often we’re in it. That’s not really what it comes down to.’’

Kerr didn’t want to discuss his three-week dalliance with the Knicks, who originally offered him a three-year deal. The Warriors entered the fray after the Knicks lowballed him, with then-agent Mike Tannenbaum encouraging the competition. Jackson said Kerr made a “verbal commitment’’ and Kerr didn’t dispute the claim at the time.

“Didn’t we go through this already at some point? I know we did,’’ Kerr said. “I don’t really care to go into any detail. I spoke of it at the time.’’

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No. 4: Allen and the Hawks speak — If you have no idea where Ray Allen will end up this season, join the crowd. Allen has been waiting patiently on the sidelines, apparently ready to be an X-factor for a playoff team. The latest word is the Hawks, one of the better three-point shooting teams, are looking to improve their strength, especially in the wake of Thabo Sefelosha‘s injury, and reached out to Allen’s people recently. Chris Vivlamore of the Journal-Constitution has the scoop:

“For us to be open to improving the group and adding more depth, with Thabo healthy or without Thabo healthy or without Thabo having this injury, it’s kind of the same mindset,” coach Mike Budenholzer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week when asked about possible roster moves. “We really like our group. You are hesitant to do anything. There is a little more opportunity for a six- to eight-week window but I don’t think it changes much if at all.”

Budenholzer admitted that disrupting the chemistry of a team that has won 34 of the past 37 games is a concern.

“Those kinds of conversations are part of the debate and the collaboration,” he said. “We are fortunate to have such good chemistry and have such good guys that we are very protective of that and respective of that.”

It is possible Allen chooses not to play this season but he has drawn interest from other teams, including the Cavaliers for a reunion with LeBron James.

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The streaking Sixers. Four straight at home? …  Mavs might be front-runners for Amare Stoudemire if the Knicks cut him loose  … Rajon Rondo won’t return before the All-Star break.

ICYMI OF THE NIGHT:Pretty splashy baseline move there, Mason Plumlee


VIDEO: Plumlee causes a spill out of bounds

 

7 Comments

  1. jake s. says:

    Ray Allen will not play for the Hawks…

  2. dustydreamnz says:

    The Hawks I should say!

  3. dustydreamnz says:

    2. George Karl deserves one of those jobs, he’s the 6th most winning coach in NBA history.
    4. Do the Cavs need Ray Allen? They already have lots of 3 point shooting. Korver, Scott, Teague, Millsap, Schroder etc.

    • h says:

      Didnt know that Korver, scott, teague and milsap played for the cavs:p Schroder isnt a good 3pt shooter by the way.

  4. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Gordon Haywood Indiana’s Own, Brandon Knight should be an All Star, The Sixers are getting it together like the young talent they got, Looking at the Standing’s and Toronto is still in second place in the East, Dirk is my guy, The Kings is a bad job, any player who put’s up big numbers on losing teams is not a great player, great players make other players great, that’s why there teams are losing.

  5. harriethehawk says:

    If Ray Allen joins the Hawks, what will that look like? I have mixed feelings. I know they need him w Thabo out, but their chemistry is the BEST in the NBA right now. hmmmmm

  6. Unbelievable Dallas beat Portland 10 different points in OT.