James Edwards III: The Detroit #Pistons have also officially named Malik Rose as assistant general manager.
November 17, 2018 | 11:24 am EST Update
I can remember sitting in my seat on press row at Wells Fargo Center and thinking to myself, “The Sixers never have the guy who hits a three in that spot.” They’ve squandered all sorts of leads over the years, in part because they’ve never really had that perimeter player who can go out and stop the bleeding. Butler is that guy. “That’s a fantastic debut for him,” said Brown. “He was our bell ringer tonight, and just really validates the excitement we have getting him in the program.”
And to hear Butler tell it, it wasn’t exactly a complicated process to get him into that attacking mindset. “Coach Brown called me last night, like, ‘Hey, I remember one time you were in this building and you scored 50,’ and he was like, ‘Do that.’ I was like, ‘OK.'”, said Butler. “Then when we got in the little walkthrough this morning, he was like, ‘You remember what I told you?’ I go, ‘Yep.’ ‘Do that.’ And I was like, ‘OK.'”
For all the discussion about fit and how the pieces will all fit together, there’s also a basketball truism that’s relevant here: talent finds a way. And to hear Butler and Simmons tell it, they just sensed an opening on the Butler inbounds layup that effectively iced the game. “His IQ is very high,” Simmons said after the game. “He’s the kind of guy where, the inbounds play where I threw it to him, that was going to happen before I even threw it, just because I looked at him. Some guys you can just look at and you already know what’s going to happen before it happens.”
Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was disgusted by his line in the box score Friday night. “I took 35 shots. That can’t happen. Zero assists,” Mitchell said after the Jazz’s 113-107 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. “That’s not who I am. That’s not how I play. I know I’m still being aggressive, but I’ve got to be smart.”
While some coaches and execs told ESPN over the summer that Rondo could be a pain for the Lakers, the point guard has been a coach on the floor and mentor to the young core for Walton. Given the freedom to be himself, Rajon Rondo has been … Rajon Rondo. The Lakers have seen the acclaimed basketball IQ. They’ve also seen his unpredictability, his fire manifesting in a flurry of punches in his first game in Staples, resulting in a three-game suspension after the NBA ruled he had spit at Chris Paul.
The young Lakers have noticed Rondo’s attention to detail. Hart says the Lakers sometimes walk out of a huddle and Rondo identifies the opposing play just by the positioning of the players on the court. Ball said Rondo once pointed out that a player had his shoes untied during a film session in the midst of all the other things he saw on tape. Kuzma says he’s seen how Rondo constantly looks at his Apple watch during practice. “I don’t know what he does with that watch but seems like he is pretty calculated with everything,” Kuzma said.
The Knicks led by 19 points in the first half, by 11 inside the seven-minute mark and were still ahead by four with just four minutes left before they got smacked in the face by Davis and company. The Pelicans ran off a late 8-1 run and handed the Knicks their fourth straight loss in a 129-124 Friday shootout at Smoothie King Center. After the defeat, Trey Burke lit a fire in the locker room by saying his club seems content to be in close games instead of trying to win them and the players hang their heads when things go south.
“I think when guys put their heads down and when a team goes on a run, we see that a lot on our team,’’ Burke said after the Knicks fell to 4-12. “A team hits a shot or two shots, we put our heads down. It’s not time to put our heads down. We got to get the ball out and go back at them while they’re celebrating.”