Archive for May 11th, 2018

The Atlanta Hawks have reached an agreement in principle with Lloyd Pierce to become the team’s new head coach. Pierce will be the 13th full-time head coach in team history.

“As we set out to find a new head coach for our team, it was critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program,” said Hawks General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk. “Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future.”

Pierce, 42, comes to the Hawks following five years as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, who finished this past season third in the Eastern Conference with a 52-30 mark and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“We are excited to start a new chapter of Hawks Basketball with Lloyd as head coach of our team,” said Hawks’ Principal Owner and Chair of the Board of Directors Tony Ressler. “Each part of our organization, from our ownership group to basketball to business operations, is aligned, and we are all committed to building a first-class organization that is working to bring a championship to Atlanta.”

Pierce joined the Sixers after two seasons with Memphis, where he was Assistant Coach-Player Development, helping lead the Grizzlies to back-to-back playoff appearances and the Western Conference Finals in 2013.

“This is a day I’ve been working towards for a long time and it’s an honor to be the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” Pierce said. “I have great respect for Travis and strong belief in his plan to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta. After spending time with ownership, it’s clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization. This opportunity is a perfect fit for me, and I’m eager to get started.”

Pierce spent the 2010-11 season as an Assistant Coach with the Golden State Warriors after three years as Assistant Coach-Player Development with Cleveland (2007-10), where the Cavaliers made three playoff appearances and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009.

Prior to his NBA coaching career, Pierce was an Assistant Coach at his alma mater, Santa Clara University, from 2002-07. The San Jose, CA native played four seasons for the Broncos, where he teamed with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Pierce graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management.

It’s always fun keeping track of Nick Young, both on and off the court. He’s a personality. Here’s the SF Chronicle with an update on his Warriors rotation role:

Like most NBA head coaches, Steve Kerr has shortened his bench in the playoffs. It came as little surprise when reserve guard Nick Young, one of the Warriors’ more inconsistent players, spent much of the first two rounds anchored to the sideline.

That may change in the Western Conference finals. After Golden State’s Game 5 win over the Pelicans in the second round Tuesday, Kerr went out of his way to mention that Young could be a factor against the Rockets.

“Nick Young played really well against Houston this year, and he’s a good matchup for them,” Kerr said. “I think every series is different, and you have to look at your opponent and figure out what you need to do to match up and to win some battles.”

Full article

Raptors fire coach Dwane Casey

Despite finishing this regular season with the most wins in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors, recently swept 4-0 in the second round of the 2018 NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, fired head coach Dwane Casey today.

“After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take. As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and improve in order to get to the next level,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him nothing but the best in future. He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that.”

According to the Canadian Press, “Casey was fired two days after winning the Michael H. Goldberg coach of the year award, which is handed out by the National Basketball Coaches Association. The Raptors’ historic season came after Ujiri called for a “culture reset” last off-season. Toronto revamped its offence to focus on three-point shooting and better ball movement, and focused on developing the bench, which became the envy of the league.”

Casey on June 21, 2011 became the eighth head coach in Raptors history. His record over seven seasons was 320-238 (.573), and those seasons include the only three 50-win seasons in franchise history. Under Casey, the Raptors won four Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the postseason in a franchise record five consecutive seasons. He was the longest-tenured coach in team history and is the franchise’s all-time winningest coach.

In 2017-2018, the Raptors won a franchise record 59 games and earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in team history.

Per the Toronto Sun, “Casey had defended himself on Wednesday amid speculation he would be ousted, saying he was “an easy target.” “I take it. I’m a big boy. I’ve been through it. I know where we started here, I know what we’ve accomplished, I know the basketball world how they feel about us and respect us and what we’re doing, so it’s part of the territory,” Casey said at the time.”

Fan reaction and discussion of this news is here.

Hawks waive forward Tyler Cavanaugh

The Atlanta Hawks have waived forward Tyler Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh played in 39 Hawks games during the 2017-18 season, starting once, and averaged 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per outing.

The Hawks originally signed Cavanaugh as a free agent on September 6, 2017. He was waived on October 13, 2017, then subsequently signed to a two-way contract on November 15, 2017. He then signed to a multi-year contract on December 18, 2017.

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