Marc Stein: The murmurs have already started In coaching circles that 10 consecutive playoffs defeats will cost Terry Stotts his job in Portland, but league sources say Orlando would register immediate interest in Stotts if he becomes available
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The only people who understand the highs and lows that NBA players go through and the grind of an 82-game regular season, Orlando Magic veteran center Marreese Speights said, is someone who actually played the game at the highest level themselves. “You want to play for a guy who has already played the game,’’ Speights said last week at the conclusion of the Magic’s season. “When you look at a Steve Kerr, Lionel Hollins or Mark Jackson, you want to play for them because they have been in the trenches and they’ve done the same stuff that you are doing (as a current player). They know the game a little bit more because they have been in your shoes.’’
Like the veteran Speights, Magic guard Arron Afflalo has played for all types of coaches over his 11 years in the NBA. Six of his 10 former coaches – Michael Curry, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Karl and Vaughn – played in the NBA prior to going into coaching. Afflalo said the essence of the player/coach relationship depends far more on relatability than whether or not a mentor once played NBA basketball. “It’s more of a communication thing,’’ Afflalo stressed. “Sometimes former players relate to other players and sometimes guys who didn’t play in the NBA are just really great communicators and motivators. They know the game and know how to teach the game. So, I can’t stand here and say for a fact that a former player would be better, but communication and accountability will always be the key with any coach.’’
Sources have indicated Orlando is hotter on Stackhouse’s trail, and he reportedly has an interview there shortly. Charlotte has expressed interest, too. Knicks GM Scott Perry was in the Pistons’ front office, overlapping for two seasons when Stackhouse played in Detroit.
Shams Charania: Sources: Charlotte and Orlando plan to interview Jerry Stackhouse, coach of Raptors’ G League team, for their head coach openings. Stackhouse also has interview with the Knicks this week.
Josh Robbins: In his press conference, Jeff Weltman did not offer specific reasons why Frank Vogel was fired today or many specifics about the qualities he’ll look for from Vogel’s successor.
The Magic’s search could include such candidates as Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse, San Antonio Spurs assistants James Borrego and Ime Udoka, Portland Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool, Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov, and Toronto 905 G League coach Jerry Stackhouse, league sources said.
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April 21, 2018 | 10:03 pm EDT Update
Jim Eichenhofer: Rajon Rondo, after being asked why he never discussed just trying to make playoffs when he signed w/#Pelicans: “I came here to win a championship. I didn’t come here to beat a team in the first round or the second round. My expectations were high coming in, knowing the talent.”
Scott Kushner: Jrue Holiday: “I feel like the fans needed results and that’s what they’ve gotten. We come out and play hard every night for them to try to win. Like Anthony said it’s just a part of all of our legacies here to try to build something and continually build on it.”
Jim Eichenhofer: Jrue Holiday on #Pelicans: “With everything we went through this season – from injuries to trades – I think Anthony (Davis) said it best when he said they were sleeping on us. I think everybody counted us out. To be here at this point right now, it feels pretty good.”
Jim Eichenhofer: Via #Pelicans TV stat ace Tommy Cooper: Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday scored the most pts by a pair of teammates in an #NBA playoff game since 1973, when Boston’s JoJo White and John Havlicek also scored exactly 88 pts
Jim Eichenhofer: Gentry on #Pelicans: “They’re a resilient group. AD is maturing and becoming a better leader and a better player every day. I said at the start of the season Jrue was going to have his best season ever, and he’s really done that.”