Kristian Winfield: Sean Marks says he has no problem with Kevin Durant playing in the Tokyo Olympics, so long as he’s met the physical markers: “It’s very difficult to turn down playing for your country.
September 28, 2022 | 9:20 pm EDT Update
Devin Booker nodded his head when being asked about Deandre Ayton saying he and Monty Williams haven’t spoken since Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Phoenix lost to Dallas. He’s heard about it, but doesn’t see it as a possible distraction moving forward. “No,” Booker said after Wednesday’s practice. “Guys look good to me.”
“I didn’t talk to coach much at all this summer, either,” Booker continued. “The times that I did, he stressed the fact that getting away and having that feeling of missing the game and missing your team. It’s a long season. We’re with each other every day. I think it’s fine to get away from each other. “We’re about to spend the next seven, eight months right on top of each other every day. I mean, we see each other more than we see our families. I think it’s always good to get away, get quiet and remove yourself from this industry and lifestyle.”
Dave McMenamin: The Lakers will have their lone two-a-day practice session of training camp today. They had an 11 a.m. practice this morning and will take the court again at 6 p.m. this evening. Their first preseason game is just five days away vs. SAC on Monday.
VanVleet is hoping he’s able to say the same thing once he reaches the latter stages of his playing career. “It’s a 12-month season now, year ‘round,” said a noticeably slimmer VanVleet, about to begin his seventh NBA campaign. “Hopefully I can stay on this regimen the rest of my career. “There’s always gonna be new changes and things you have to adjust and adapt to as you try to grow. I’ve had a hell of a run so far, so to continue to try to keep growing is going to be challenging every year but I’m up for it.”
Beverley pointed out that he shot 39% on catch-and-shoot 3s with Minnesota last season — in the same range as Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who connected on 39.5% of his catch-and-shoot attempts. “Numbers don’t lie,” Beverley said. “Elite catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter, obviously. My defense has always been at the forefront, because that’s what people see. But when it comes down to the numbers, I shoot with the best of them in the league.”
“I think from Day 1, Joe has set a standard,” Jaylen Brown said. “All our guys are setting the standard taking care of the ball, getting to our spots, playing the right way. Just setting an expectation level that we gotta be accountable for every single day.”
Not everything is the same under Mazzulla. He said after his first practice that he’s carried over the structure of Ime Udoka’s practices, all the way down to their timing. But the way he runs them is going to be different. Mazzulla likes to roam around, trying to find somewhere to be useful when everything is operating on autopilot. He’s still trying to get used to the view from his perch after spending years at the ground level in the typical assistant role. “There’s similarities, but there’s some differences as well,” Brown said. “But at the end of the day, this group has been together for a while, so we hold each other accountable for what we need to do and the energy level practice gotta be at every single day.”
While it’s hard to imagine the Celtics making an overture at this point of the year and not submitting a compelling enough offer to lure Larranaga back, they will explore other options as well. When asked Wednesday about the potential maneuver, Mazzulla skipped the confirm or deny part and went right into a generic explanation of his thought process. “I think for me, it’s more about just studying our environment and figuring out what we need to help our staff and not just considering myself, but considering what do our players need?” Mazzulla said. “What are they familiar with and what are they looking for on our staff? And so I think we’re just going to evaluate that and figure out where we are.”