There’s a lot going on in the NBA right now. Some teams are still dealing with COVID-19 issues. Others are trying to figure out how to overcome ongoing problems that are keeping them down. All in all, it’s been a productive season so far, but teams have to start thinking about the playoffs.
Saunders Out For Minnesota
The Minnesota Timberwolves fired head coach Ryan Saunders on Sunday. Instead of utilizing someone from the existing staff, the Minnesota front office, via President Of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, was looking for a full time new head coach and has contracted Chris Finch who has been working as an assistant coach in the Toronto Raptors organization. Rosas and Finch have previously worked together with the Houston Rockets.
Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan wanted Zach LaVine to be an All-Star this year. The coach said, “I think when you look at players that are All-Stars, you are saying they are playing at a high level individually and they are also raising the level of the team. I think Zach has done that.” It didn’t work out for Zach this year, but he is still a young man.
George Throws A Tantrum
Clippers star Paul George was playing on limited minutes when he was pulled from the game with the Brooklyn Nets with under 3 minutes to go. George was visibly upset when the Nets went on to win the game, causing him to do battle with some team equipment. Later, George apologized for his actions and admitted that he was not fully ready to play as yet.
The Knicks’ Julius Randle said that playing in the New York theatre was the best thing that ever happened to his game. On JJ Redicks’ podcast, he said, “I don’t care what anyone says-there’s no tougher place to play that in New York.”
Injuries Not Stopping Portland
CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers fractured his left foot in mid-January this year. Then, Portland suffered even more injuries. However, the Trail Blazers have won six of their last seven games and are unexpectedly sitting at 18-11, while still listing several injured players. There has been much talk about trading players like McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, but Portland is still standing pat and still hopes to make it to the NBA Finals this year.
Rumors abound that the LA Lakers are eager to bolster up their already impressive roster in hopes of making another NBA Finals run this year. To do that, they might be interested in acquiring the Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker if the price is right. Tucker is now 35 years old, but is still a hell of a player, and the Rockets are done for the year.
Rockets Might Set Cousins Free
Speaking of the Rockets, word is that Houston has decided to waive former All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Although he is now 30 years old, Cousins still counts among the best big men in the game today. He was outstanding when he played for the Sacramento Kings and later the New Orleans Pelicans. Several teams, including the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, have already expressed interest in Cousins.
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is another one who is not exactly pleased with how the NBA All-Star roster came out this year. Doc thinks his two big guys, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, should have both gotten the nod.
Redick Ejection Fires Up New Orleans
Sunday turned out to be an exciting day in the NBA with a major upset and a couple of odd moments, as well. The one thing that no one watching the NBA on Sunday afternoon expected to see, especially the Boston Celtics, was young Zion Williamson. He acted like a 284-pound point guard, repeatedly bringing the ball down the court as the New Orleans Pelicans rallied from 24 points down in the third quarter to take the Celtics into overtime. He scored 24 of his 28 points in the second half of the contest as the whole team seemed to get fired up after veteran player J.J. Redick was ejected from the game. That unexpected exit came thanks to a temperamental referee just because of the way Redick returned to ball to him after a play.
The replay shows nothing to warrant the ejection but Redick left the court and the rest of the Pels responded with a blistering finish that included 30 points from Brandon Ingram and 28 from Zion. The young Pelicans are still showing a lot of potential this year in spite of their record so far.