James Worthy sees some Magic Johnson-like traits in Lonzo Ball and believes his old Showtime point guard will be able to “deliver” some star reinforcements in free agency this summer. Before the season started, Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, said he can envision Ball and Brandon Ingram running the floor like Johnson and Worthy did during their Showtime days. Johnson set an extremely high bar for the past two No. 2 overall picks respectively. “Big shoes to fill,” said Worthy, currently a Lakers analyst for Spectrum SportsNet. “But I think I totally get conceptually where Magic was coming from and the style of play that Luke [Walton] is promoting, the fast-paced game. Lonzo Ball, for sure, presents some of the talents that Magic had. Not as tall, but he is 6-6 and has the IQ, has a vision like no other. “As soon as players get used to the way he passes and they get some really good shooters around him, I think people will really appreciate him. And they already have appreciated what he brings to the table, a very unselfish player.”
April 19, 2018 | 11:00 pm EDT Update
Chris Mannix: With Mike Budenholzer withdrawing from consideration in Phoenix (per @Adrian Wojnarowski), look for Steve Clifford to interview at some point. Mutual interest, source told @The Vertical.
Manny Navarro: Embiid on his block exchange with Winslow: “It felt great. When he blocked me I didn’t say anything. Good for him. He talked a lot. On the other end, I got him back. You don’t really want to talk trash to me. I’m glad I got him back.”
Jon Johnson: Joel Embiid on Winslow breaking mask:”Little do they know I have about 50 of them. It’s going to take much more than that to get me out of this series. I’m going to be a nightmare for them too.”
Sarah Todd: “We’re not here to make friends we’re here to win a series.” Joel Embiid after saying he’s glad Dario scored late with a lead because he didn’t feel like Dragic got enough “shit” after he did the same in Game 2.
April 19, 2018 | 10:39 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has withdrawn from consideration for the Phoenix Suns head coaching job, league sources tell ESPN.