Archive for May 9th, 2018

Paul George undergoes knee surgery

OKC Thunder forward Paul George underwent a left knee scope today, the team says.

George will likely be out of action six to eight weeks before returning to normal offseason activities.

In 79 games (all starts) this past NBA season, George had averages of 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.04 steals in 36.6 minutes per game. A five-time NBA All-Star, George hit a career-best 244 three-point field goals during the 2017-18 season, and became one of just five players (Larry Bird, Hersey Hawkins, Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry the others) in the past 30 years to average 20+ points on better than 40.0 percent three-point shooting to go along with 2+ steals.

The Sacramento Kings have expanded the role Peja Stojakovic will play with the team. His title is now Assistant General Manager, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

In his new position, Stojakovic will help Divac in regard to front office responsibilities, and assist with management of player development, talent evaluation and oversight of the Stockton Kings, who are the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

“I am thrilled to announce that Peja will serve in this expanded role,” Divac said. “His experience as a player and basketball executive combined with his ability to develop players and assess talent is a valuable asset to the Kings.”

Stojakovic moves into this role after spending the past three seasons as a team executive, most recently as Vice President of Basketball and Team Development.

In addition to player development responsibilities, Peja assisted the front office in domestic and international scouting efforts and oversaw the team’s D-League affiliate.

Selected 14th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by Sacramento after playing six seasons overseas (four for Greek powerhouse POAK), the Serbian-born sharpshooter helped form a nucleus that would go on to participate in the postseason in each of his seven seasons in a Kings uniform. A three-time All-Star, his resume features back-to-back Three-Point Contest victories at All-Star Saturday night in 2002 and 2003. A 13-year NBA veteran, he accrued averages of 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 804 contests with the Kings (1998-2006), Indiana Pacers (2006), New Orleans Hornets (2006-2010), Toronto Raptors (2010-2011) and Dallas Mavericks (2011), where he won an NBA Championship.

Stojakovic continues to pace the Kings annals in several shooting categories, ranking first in franchise and Sacramento-era history in three-pointers made (1,070) and attempted (2,867). He retired from basketball in 2011 and returned to Sacramento in 2015 to serve as an executive in the front office. In honor of his accomplishments as a King, his No. 16 jersey hangs in the Golden 1 Center rafters.

David Fizdale and the Knicks came to a head coaching job agreement around a week or so ago, and the hiring became official a few days ago. Fizdale of course has head coaching experience, but spent years learning the ropes under Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. Naturally, Spo remains a Fizdale supporter. Here’s New York Newsday with more:

Fizdale, the new Knicks coach, spent eight years working for Spoelstra as an assistant or associate head coach. Fizdale was a part of the Heat teams that reached four straight NBA Finals and won two titles. But their relationship goes back 21 years when Spoelstra and Fizdale worked together in the Heat’s video department.

Spoelstra said Fizdale isn’t much different. He just has more money now, but the Knicks are richer to have him as their coach.

“You’re going to have an incredibly passionate coach and teacher and motivator,” Spoelstra said. “I think Fiz is one of the best basketball minds out there. He’s extremely creative. He’s got a terrific work ethic to match. He’s a versatile coach. He can show that he’s effective in all the different levels, player development, coaching, player management, Xs and Os, all of those things.

Full article

The Hawks need a new head coach. They also could use some new guards, forwards and centers, but let’s not get into that right now. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on a candidate they clearly have interest in:

Lloyd Pierce said Tuesday night’s dinner meeting with Atlanta Hawks ownership here went well.

The informal meeting served as the 76ers assistant coach’s second interview with the Hawks for their vacant head coaching job. The Sixers were in town to face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Pierce, who will turn 42 on Friday, said he wasn’t sure where the Hawks stood in their hiring process, but he thinks he’s a good fit for the job.

Full article

Draymond Green crashes Pelicans huddle

The Warriors have eliminated the Pelicans in five games. During Game 5 last night, GS forward Draymond Green successfully eavesdropped on a Pelicans huddle and mostly got away with it. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

Draymond Green revealed a bit of his silly side on Tuesday.

In the first quarter of the Warriors’ 113-104 win over New Orleans, he took a break from jawing with Rajon Rondo and firing up his team to engage in some levity.

As Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry gave instructions to Rondo, Green walked over and joined their huddle — until a referee yanked him away.

“I saw the play,” Green said. “They were watching something of us. It was good.”

Full article

Not a typical season for LeBron, Cavs

This was an unusual regular season for LeBron James and the Cavs, undergoing several rotation and roster changes, not winning as much as usual, finishing the regular season strong but still undergoing adjustments as the playoffs continue. The team’s first round series against the Pacers was tough, but the squad swept the Raptors in Round 2. For more on the Cavs, here’s the News Herald:

The Cavs battled through the regular season to finish 50-32. It was their worst record on a team with LeBron James on it since they finished 45-37 in 2007-08.

The struggles of the regular season followed them into the start of the playoffs. They needed a seventh game to eliminate the Indiana Pacers, needed overtime to beat Toronto in the first game of the semifinals and needed a buzzer beater by James to win Game 3.

The 35-point victory in Game 4 was more than just a stepping stone to the Eastern Conference finals against the winner of the Boston-Philadelphia series. It was a statement of how good the Cavaliers could be when George Hill, J.R Smith and Kevin Love get involved early in the offensive attack. Players are inspired to play better defense when they know they’ll be contributing on the offensive end…

The Cavaliers don’t return to practice until May 10. They’ll be working without knowing their next opponent if Philadelphia wins Game 5 in Boston on May 9.

Full article

Basketball blog