“Well, Dwight Howard didn’t want to do any work,” Kareem told Lakers Nation. “Andrew Bynum did not want to do a lot of work, but Andrew was kind of getting the hang of it. I don’t think Andrew was that interested in playing basketball. If he had stuck with it, I’m sure he would’ve done better. I’m sure he would’ve had a lasting career in the NBA.”
Lakers coach Luke Walton said he talked to the Lakers rookie point guard to let him know that he and the team were there for him if he needed them in light of all that is going on around him and his family. “He’s got more on his plate than I can ever imagine anyone having, especially at his age,” Walton said. “It is our job to be here and let him know that we support him and believe in him. I don’t know where it gets too much and how he reacts to it. I’ve made a point to talk to him and let him know whether or not he needs it that my belief and our team’s belief in him is 100 percent there.”
Jose Calderon will make his second start for the Cavaliers at point guard this season when they play the Detroit Pistons on Monday. Calderon, 36, has appeared in just seven games, playing about 10 minutes in Friday’s win over the Clippers because of Iman Shumpert’s knee soreness. He’s averaging 1.0 points and 0.7 assists. “You see any other point guards around,” cracked Tyronn Lue, when asked how he came to decide to play Calderon.
“I was excited for sure,” Calderon said. “I was always say this, people ask me about basketball or whatever, I think you can learn until you retire. I’m still playing basketball because I really enjoy it and have fun doing it. If not, I don’t need to be here. I could be with my family, spending a lot of time and relaxing. I play for 13 years here, but I was a professional for seven in Spain, so it’s been awhile. So, yes, I love it.”
He posted a season-high 39 points, while posting 14-of-24 from the field, 4-of-10 from 3-point range, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Klay Thompson (23 points), Andre Iguodala (season-high 12 points) and Omri Casspi (12 points) also added double-digits. But Curry also fouled out as the Warriors led 107-102 with three minutes remaining, while also recording seven turnovers. “I thought he was a little bit careless in the second half,” Kerr said of Curry. “He knows that. But it’s something that I’ll gladly take if it’s an issue I have to deal with as a coach.”
It was also, perhaps, the Pistons best finish of the season, considering the circumstances as they faced their first crisis point coming off their first loss of consecutive games. Van Gundy diversified the offense this year so the Pistons become less dependent on Jackson’s pick-and-roll panache, but he remains their closer. “It’s something Coach and I have talked about,” Jackson said. “We’re going to open it up a lot to start the game, just trying to find out who’s hot. We’ve got a lot of scorers. We’ve got guys who can score in different ways. Dre’s great with the ball in his hands. But down the stretch, I always know he’s going to give me the ball.”
T.J. Warren scored 27 points to lead six Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns handed the Bulls their sixth loss in seven games, 113-105 on Sunday night. Rookie Lauri Markkanen, the former University of Arizona standout, scored a career-best 26 points for the Bulls in a matchup of the NBA’s youngest teams. The Suns had a season-high 32 assists on 45 baskets. Their season best had been 28 in each of the previous two games. “We’re moving from side to side and everybody’s touching the ball,” Warren said. “Everybody’s getting the ball.”
“He don’t get tired,” marvels DeRozan, who tends to preserve his maximum output for moments when it will be most impactful — like on an otherwise lethargic Sunday afternoon when his teammates can’t hit a shot and need DeRozan to carry them, offensively. “I don’t understand it. Y’all should see [Siakam] before practice. He’s out there doing all types of drills, already sweating and everything. It’s crazy to see.”