Spurs Waiting to Learn Opponent, NBA Coaching Carousel Begins
The San Antonio Spurs continue waiting in the wings for their NBA Championship opponent and after Thursday’s game, it looks like maybe it could be the Miami Heat with their third quarter resurgence and ultimate win.
Sports fans aren’t excited for to see the Spurs play and as noted earlier, the team wasn’t grabbing any TV ratings.
With its 5.2 million ESPN viewers from Game 4 of the Spurs/Grizzlies NBA Western Conference Finals, it represented a 53% fall from last year’s Heat/Celtics Game 4 at 11.1 million, according to Sports Media Watch.
But there are interesting story lines with the Spurs especially with veteran Tim Duncan who is having an All-Star year. At 37, he’s looking for his fifth NBA title.
Without knowing their opponent, the Spurs sit at +220 to win this year’s Championship while the Heat are -220.
Scott to the Clippers?
Meanwhile, other teams are looking ahead to the 2013-2014 season and this includes the Los Angeles Clippers. They need a new coach after the team decided its one-and-done playoff appearance was enough to release coach Vinny Del Negro.
Of course, the organization also hopes this was an incentive for Chris Paul to remain with the team.
It’s NBA coaching carousel time and one of the contenders for the Clippers head coach is Byron Scott, last seen as the Cleveland Cavaliers head skipper. And formerly, Paul’s coach with New Orleans Hornets for five seasons.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that the Clippers had contacted Scott this week and gauged its his interest for the open position. He reportedly did express an interest and the talks have been called “preliminary, no offer was made and no official interview has been set up yet.”
The team appears to have other candidates in mind, supposedly including Jeff Van Gundy, Brian Shaw, Mike Malone and Alvin Gentry.
Van Gundy and Shaw have been viewed as top contenders although as long as the Pacers are still alive in the playoffs, it’s hands-off on Shaw.
But what about Scott? In addition to the Paul, the coach has independent ties to Los Angeles as he is a native and played for the Lakers beginning in the mid 1980s.
During his NBA coaching career he coached the New Jersey Nets to two straight NBA Finals (2002 and 2003) but he’s faced his challenges with lesser teams.
It is the Paul factor that will get Scott there or maybe not as the player’s anger toward the team could end with him leaving?
Warriors’ Lee Has Surgery
As suffering a hip injury in the Game 1 of the first round of playoffs against the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee underwent surgery on Thursday for it.
The ailment came after Lee had a hard landing after getting fouled in Game 1; he felt his hip pop and Golden State declared it was a torn hip flexor. Expected to be out for the remainder of the playoffs, the player lasted until the second round for a few minutes of play before really calling it quits for the year after six playoff games combined.
The Warriors sent a statement out after Lee’s hip flexor surgery and said it was successful. Within the next 10 to 14 days, he will start rehab.
Lee’s play was key to the Warriors’ success this season. He grabbed his second career All-Star honor and receive All-NBA third-team honors (a first), according to CBS Sports.
This came on Lee’s averages that included 18.5 points (51.9 shooting), 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Meanwhile, as the player recovers from surgery, his assistant coach Mike Malone has accepted the top coaching gig at the Sacramento Kings with a four-year deal, reported CBS Sports.