Owner Tom Gores said he still has faith in Van Gundy, who signed a five-year deal in 2014. “Do I believe in Stan? Absolutely,” Gores said Wednesday during a news conference prior to the season-opening 102-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena.
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“Do I feel good about the model? I feel good about the model,” Gores said. “Stan has a lot of support around him, whether it’s (general manager) Jeff Bower, and then he has support that probably (media) don’t even know about. He has a lot of support. So, I believe in the model. We’re seeing this through, absolutely.”
Gores said his goal for the team is to be competitive and return to the playoffs. “My consultants told me not to say we have any expectations, but truth is we do,” Gores said. “We have to be competitive. That’s what Stan wants. Of course, we want to get into the playoffs. If there’s a moment I sit up here and tell you we’re not, I think you should fire me.”
The team has lost three games in a row, six of their last seven and appeared lifeless, again, Friday in a 115-87 blowout loss to the Orlando Magic. Van Gundy chose not to address his team after. “I mean, his message is to win,” Pistons forward Tobias Harris said. “So, to be honest, if that’s not getting through — that’s an issue. Coach wants to win. We all to want to win. But if that message isn’t getting through, especially with the position we’re at right now and what’s at stake, I mean, it’s disappointing.”
Asked Wednesday after a blowout loss at Chicago, Van Gundy said he was unsure whether players had stopped listening to him. Then Friday, when asked if his players had given up, he replied: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask them.”
“Everybody’s really, really frustrated,” Van Gundy said. “We’re struggling with the mental part of it right now. We’re just trying to free up their minds a little bit, and get them to playing basketball, and enjoy playing basketball again.”
“The energy has been zapped. … The frustration of not playing well – of the ball not going in the basket, of taking some losses and things like that – can get you to lose your energy. Lose your intensity. Lose your fight a little bit, and that’s what we’ve been going through.”
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November 20, 2017 | 10:03 pm EST Update
Cousins caught a rebound midway through the third quarter and had his right elbow connect with the head of Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, resulting in Westbrook going to the floor.
During the fourth quarter of the 76ers’ game against the Utah Jazz, Embiid blocked a layup attempt from Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. Embiid proceeded to give the Utah guard a mean staredown, hoping that Mitchell would respond. And Mitchell would. He took the bait.
November 20, 2017 | 8:56 pm EST Update
The Lakers are keeping tabs on free agent Mindaugas Kuzminskas. According to sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Lakers, in need of perimeter shooting, are doing their due diligence and met with the forward recently while they evaluate their wing depth.
Darnell Mayberry: LaVine said he doesn’t have a specific date in mind for when he’d like to play. “When I’m out here playing the way I should be in practice, I’ll be able to go out there and do what I need to do on the court.” #Bulls #BullsNation