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BIG DEBUT: Last night, the Spurs announced Gregg Popovich would miss San Antonio’s game against Charlotte for personal reasons, and in his place leading San Antonio would be 15-time All-Star and future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. Even more surprising than that was the fact that the Spurs, once down 17 in last night’s contest, wound up pulling out the win 104-103 behind 21 points and six assists from Dejounte Murray.
Duncan, humble as ever, said the game was handled using a coach-by-committee strategy, giving credit to assistants Becky Hammon, Will Hardy and Mitch Hammond for the team’s success. Duncan is probably being honest, too, as it’s doubtful the Spurs veered too far off from the usual Popovich game plan. Even so, to see Duncan running things as a head coach and for him to earn a win on his first try was pretty awesome.
The guy might just have a future in this. That is if he wants it.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Nets guard Caris LeVert exploded for a career-high 51 points against Boston, 37(!!!) of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime of a 129-120 Brooklyn win. 51 is also the number of points the Nets scored in the fourth quarter alone, the second-highest amount Boston has given up in a quarter in their franchise’s long history.
ANOTHER KNICKS FLUB: The Knicks decided it was a good idea yesterday to go to war with famed movie director and team superfan Spike Lee, over an issue of which entrance Lee has to use to get into games.
On one hand, Lee likely overreacted to the entire thing, but on the other, what did the Knicks gain by attacking him through their PR department? Nothing, that’s what.
POINT GUARD OUT: Derrick Rose will miss at least two weeks due to an ankle sprain, but considering the Pistons’ place in the standings, we might not see him again in 2019-20.
ANOTHER BALL BRO: LiAngelo Ball, the least physically gifted of the Ball brother trio, will be joining a G League club soon. Ball most recently was a practice player for the Thunder’s G League squad.
BLAZERS’ PRICE POINT: The Blazers are being valued at $1.85 billion, a huge number considering their market size. There’s speculation Jody Allen, the late Paul Allen’s daughter, could sell the team.
CORONA LATEST: Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry admits NBA games could be played with empty stands if the outbreak of coronavirus worsens. Elsewhere, the Heat and Pistons held team meetings regarding how to stay safe from the virus.
MVP RANKINGS: In our latest MVP rankings, Jayson Tatum made his debut in the series, a well-deserved honor considering the insane level he’s been playing at.
SUPERSTAR TURN: Speaking of Tatum, the young All-Star has clearly made the turn towards superstardom this season. Find out how, from his coaches, family, Danny Ainge and Bradley Beal.
ODD TREND: The inconsistent Sixers now own the distinction of being the worst road team with relation to home record since 1955.
NEW SNEAKER DEAL: Draymond Green is set to sign a shoe deal with Converse, making him the brand’s biggest name since Dwyane Wade.
MOREY UNLOADS: Rockets GM Daryl Morey voiced very legitimate concerns with the state of national broadcast announcing, where a lot of the league’s top announcers choose to complain about the NBA product rather than sell it to consumers.
LAVAR IS BACK: For whatever reason, LaVar Ball made the media rounds again yesterday, and he’s no less confident than before. The elder Ball says the Pelicans would beat the West-leading Lakers in a playoff series.