Coaching Rumors

Towns went to bat for his coach, saying this loss was on the players for being unable to sustain their effort in the fourth. They played an incredible third quarter, outscoring Memphis 32-24 with Russell (nine points, four assists) leading the way. Then it all fell apart. Towns said one point of emphasis was not to bite on pump fakes from Valanciunas and Anderson, and he took ownership for doing just that in the first quarter. But he said there were too many times the players deviated from the game plan put in place by the coaching staff. “We’ve got to do better as a whole entire team, and that doesn’t fall on the coaches,” Towns said. “They had us well prepared. We were great for three quarters. No one talked about the coaches until the fourth quarter came along. That’s a player-driven loss. We didn’t have the integrity nor the discipline to get it done.”