Anthony Puccio: Ed Davis seemed to tweak his ankle and is headed to the locker room.
August 20, 2019 | 3:15 pm EDT Update
Jared Dudley: This isn’t Melo vs myself, That man is a 1st ballot HOFer.. We all want to see him back in the league.. Royce seems uniformed when he speaks and this situation in calling my name out. This league is not about who’s better then who it’s what’s players make for the best Team.
Ian Begley: The Westchester Knicks announce that Derrick Alston has been hired as head coach to replace Mike Miller, who will join David Fizdale’s staff. Alston, a former NBA player, was a Westchester assistant for 4 years. He previously was a player development coach w/the Houston Rockets.
David Thorpe: The Clippers enter the 2019-20 season with huge expectations. It’s fair to say that if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy once the playoffs start, the Clippers are real contenders. Lowering the risk of injury is as high a priority as any single goal they can set. Meanwhile, the Clippers’ lack of perimeter depth in their roster ranks almost as high–they are short on long, athletic wings off the bench. Their coach, Doc Rivers, can address both issues when he first talks to his team just before camp opens in late September. Imagine a team dinner, with all the staff and players, as Rivers starts to speak: “Men, I need you to write down on the calendar in front of you, in pencil, the most important dates of your year, through the middle of April. Your wife’s birthday, your anniversary, the day your children were born, significant dates for your parents, a due date for a baby perhaps. Whatever matters to you and your family. “
David Thorpe: I saw the video last week of DeMarcus Cousins falling down with a reportedly torn ACL. He was not touched. But as someone who has been involved with summer basketball since 1988, I must admit that I’m confused to see so many professionals playing full-court 5-on-5 in the summer. Players would be better off not playing these games. If we can agree that the in-season schedule is at least part of the reason for some of the injuries players have absorbed, can we also agree that in general, games themselves come with more risk than workouts?
SLAM: It’s been a crazy free agency. What were some of your thoughts on the signings? Scottie Pippen: I still think that Houston is going to be one of the teams that’s going to have the upper edge because they’ve been together with the one addition of bringing in [Russell] Westbrook, who can propel them to the top or to the bottom. It’s going to be an interesting season for not only the Houston Rockets, but the Lakers and Clippers. It’s going to be an interesting season for some teams on the East like Brooklyn. What can Kyrie [Irving] do? He’s going to have a year to go in and establish himself. More than any player in the game, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him because people are used to seeing him have success and be amongst some of the top teams in the League. It’s not going to be that easy now and it wasn’t easy for him last year [in Boston]. This is—I don’t want to say it’s going to be a make-or-break situation for him—but I think a lot of eyes are on him to see if he has that ability to win again.
SLAM: So who’s the better team: Clippers or Lakers? Scottie Pippen: I would probably say the Clippers just because of where they were last year and the players that they have. They already have the confidence and feel like last year they dominated the Lakers. Now, you give them the Finals MVP [Kawhi Leonard] and one of the top defenders in the game in Paul George. That sends their confidence up through the roof. With the Lakers, I don’t think a guy going into his 17th season can really carry a team the way he needs to carry [it].
Scottie Pippen: I think LeBron will be competitive. Having Anthony Davis out there is going to give him a bit of an edge. I think they’re going to be a lot more in terms of when they face the Clippers because they have too many guys they can throw at LeBron. They already have thrown [Patrick] Beverly at him, so now you got Kawhi to throw at him [and] Paul George to throw at him. Anthony Davis is going to be a tough matchup night in and night out, but he’s only one player. LeBron James is not going to be a tough matchup. He’s going into his 17th year in the League. You’re talking about Kawhi who’s still in his 20s [and] Paul George is probably still in his 20s. It’s a changing of the guard and they’re probably going to have the pass the torch over and let the Clippers be the best team in Los Angeles.