In other words, the Jazz have much more depth than the Mavericks do. The Mavericks have superstar Luka Doncic, whose effectiveness mostly dropped only because of a neck injury and occasionally because of Leonard’s defense. Otherwise, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway only offered some flashes. “They weren’t ranked No. 1 in the West for no reason. This is a tough team. But we’re approaching this the same way Dallas was,” Clippers forward Paul George said. “As good as they’re playing and as tough as this matchup is, we still feel like there’s moments throughout this game and this series that we’re making plays that are self inflicted. It’s a lot of uphill. But we’re optimistic that we can get this under control.”
June 22, 2021 | 6:47 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Nets free agent Spencer Dinwiddie has been fully cleared for all basketball activities, his operating surgeon Dr. Riley Williams says. Dinwiddie recovered from a partial ACL tear in just over five months. He enters free agency as one of the top point guards on the market.
Duane Rankin: After talking with those in the know, don’t rule out Deandre Ayton playing for USA in a future Olympics.. They know he’s from Bahamas, too. There are rules, but there are exceptions too. I’m going to leave it at that for now and get ready for Game 2. Look to have more later.
Marc Stein: Mavericks director of player health and performance Casey Smith is in Slovenia to support Luka Doncic’s bid to secure an Olympic berth in Tokyo. Smith was originally scheduled to be joined on the trip by Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle, who last week both left the franchise.
Sarah K. Spencer: Cam Reddish has been upgraded to questionable on the Hawks injury report, with Game 1 vs. the Bucks tomorrow.
Chris Kirschner: For tomorrow’s game at Milwaukee: Kevin Huerter (left ankle soreness) is probable. Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) is questionable. Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) is questionable. Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition) is out. De’Andre Hunter is out.
In Portland, there is a growing belief that Jody Allen, the team’s owner, has a strong interest in Becky Hammon, who has been an assistant coach in San Antonio for seven seasons in her quest to become the first woman to serve as a head coach in any of North America’s four major men’s team sports. Neil Olshey, Portland’s general manager, continues to be relentlessly linked to Chauncey Billups.
Orlando management is said to prefer hiring a candidate with previous head-coaching experience, even with a roster full of younger players who will need time to develop. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Jason Kidd and Kenny Atkinson, who coached the Nets before becoming an assistant with the Clippers, are two names that keep coming up.
June 22, 2021 | 6:02 pm EDT Update
The Mavericks are not pursuing established executives like Toronto’s Masai Ujiri or Danny Ainge, the former Boston president of basketball operations, to replace Nelson, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s intentions. Those executives would surely want more autonomy that Cuban is willing to cede.