HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
What’s Next for Brooklyn Nets?
By Alex Kennedy
The life of an NBA coach can be incredibly unpredictable. Just ask Avery Johnson, who was named the NBA’s Coach of the Month in November, but fired today after the Brooklyn Nets went 3-10 in December.
P.J. Carlesimo will become the Nets’ interim head coach, but where does Brooklyn go from here?
Fortunately for the Nets, there are plenty of notable coaches available including Nate McMillan, Flip Saunders, Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown and Mike Brown. All of these coaches have expressed some level of interest in a return to coaching this season and could be candidates for the job in Brooklyn.
Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy aren’t interested in the Nets’ job, according to reports by David Aldridge and Brian Schmitz, respectively.
Is It Time For A Trade In Utah?
By Steve Kyler
Is It Time To Trade?: After beating the Orlando Magic last night 97-93 a couple of Jazz players joked among themselves that going .500 for this current road trip was acceptable after seeing Brooklyn, Indiana, Miami and Orlando. They’d take .500, especially without guard Mo Williams who severely injured his right thumb in Miami and will miss some games.
Jazz forward Paul Millsap has been mentioned non-stop as a possible trade candidate for the Jazz, but he still sees promise in his upstart Jazz team.
“[We can be] as good as we allow ourselves to be,” Millsap told HOOPSWORLD. “It just depends on how we come out and play and how focused we are when we get out there. A lot depends on focus, especially with a young team. Coach [Tyrone Corbin] is always telling us focus, got to keep our focus and if we do that we’ll be fine.”
The Jazz have an extremely young roster, with a number of guys still trying to find their groove. Getting those guys to engage defensively isn’t always easy.
“I think they come with us by looking, by seeing what we do out there before they get on the court,” explained Millsap. “That’s why it is very, very imperative that you do that so we can set the tone for everybody else.
If Lakers Call, Will Derek Fisher Answer?
During the span of over 13 NBA seasons, the name Derek Fisher was synonymous with Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard. In total, over 900 of his 1,182 career games have been played draped in purple and gold, with the Lakers winning each of their last five NBA Titles with Fisher starting at point.
Meanwhile, the 2012-13 edition of the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled mightily out of the gate and have to be considered one of the NBA’s biggest disappointments to start the season. With Steve Nash on the shelf, the Lakers have had to rely on unproven players at the point like Darius Morris and Chris Duhon to run the show. Even when Steve Blake returns from injury, it’s doubtful that L.A. features a backup point guard that’s the caliber of Fisher – even at 38 years old.
“In [last] Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia, I suffered an injury to my patellar tendon,” Fisher said via an official statement. “The recovery time will be approximately two weeks. With this news and the difficulty I have been having being away from my family, I have asked the organization to waive me so I can return home. [Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban has been extremely supportive and has granted me this request. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. From Mark, to Coach [Rick] Carlisle, to the players on the Mavericks’ team, I sincerely thank them for the opportunity.
“I have made decisions in the past, leaving money and opportunity on the table, and I will need to do that again. My family is my priority and that is where I choose to be. I won’t close the possibility that I will play again, however for now my family and being close to them remains the priority.”
Trading DeMarcus Cousins
By Bill Ingram
For a time, it was a match made in heaven. DeMarcus Cousins, misunderstood and unappreciated by his first head coach Paul Westphal, found a father figure, a confidante and a friend when Keith Smart took over as head coach of the Sacramento Kings.
Considering the talent Cousins possesses, the draft pick the Kings spent to get him and, more importantly, the number of dismal losses that led to that draft pick, the budding relationship between Smart and Cousins was a godsend for the organization. They couldn’t afford for Cousins not to work out, and the news that he and Smart were on the same page had management breathing a little easier.
For a while, anyway.
Sooner or later, even the most patient father will reach the end of his tolerance, and that appears to be where things are at with Smart as he wrestles with what to do about Cousins’ lack of maturity and his unwillingness to listen to others who are trying to help him become the best player that he can be.
As patient as Smart has been through this process with Cousins, there comes a time when the best thing for the team is to simply move on. It’s not easy, not when so much is riding on the success or failure of Cousins, but with him currently serving a suspension that spans the foreseeable future, it’s entirely possible that the Kings will now look to trade him.
Are The Celtics Still Hungry Enough?
By Lang Greene
The Boston Celtics remain one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and since the 2008 campaign have won a title, reached the NBA Finals twice and made three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. After an offseason of reloading via free agency and trades, most believed the team was well positioned to make another championship run.
But the Celtics have struggled to start the season and are just one and a half games ahead of the ninth place Philadelphia 76ers for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot if the season were to end today.
Naturally, the questions are starting arise on whether the veteran laden Celtics have lost their edge or are just sleepwalking through the regular season, hoping to turn it on during the latter portion of the schedule.
Kyle Singler: Detroit’s Consistent Rookie
By Stephen Brotherston
Kyle Singler enjoyed a storied four-year career at Duke University, but like many college seniors his reward was being selected in the second round of the NBA draft. After being drafted in 2011 months before the NBA lockout, the 2010 NCAA champion eventually signed with Lucentum Alicante in Spain and finished the season with Real Madrid once the lockout was resolved. The time spent in college and overseas was positive and has helped Singler get off to a fast start with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA this year.
“It gave me experience,” Singler said. “Playing under Coach K, I learned a lot and got better as a basketball player. Then my year in Spain, I really got out of my comfort zone. I was still improving as a basketball player, learning different styles and different systems. Just playing with professional basketball players really helped my game.”
Singler earned a spot in Frank’s rotation on day one and after the Pistons 0-8 start, Frank inserted Singler into the starting lineup when veteran Rodney Stuckey missed a game due to the flu. Once in, Frank didn’t want to take him out. The floundering Pistons went 7-7 in Singler’s first 14 starts and are currently 9-13 since the change to the starting lineup.