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The Rundown w/T-Money

The Rundown – 120719: The Hottest Seat in the NBA is Vacant, Lakers & Bucks are NBA Best, Thunder Making Noise

Jimmy Butler rips off a beautiful triple double, the Lakers and Bucks are an NBA best 20-3, and Andre Drummond is Mr. Consistent in Detroit.

Who’s next? Or does anyone want to be?
The New York Knicks have done what I, and many others, predicted in the wee hours of pre-season NBA basketball; fired David Fizdale. Also excused was assistant coach Keith Smart, though it’s more than likely Smart left with Fizdale out of loyalty, according to a good friend of mine and is close to Smart.

So what’s next? Who actually is calling James Dolan and saying, “I’d like to work for you.”

Seemingly, it would only be people who (a) know Dolan and are willing to jump back in that shark tank knowing what kind of trash fish they’d be swimming with, or, (b) someone who’s so desperate to be a head coach that they’re willing to risk it for the biscuit. 

If it’s situation (a), I’m going with Mark Jackson, with Patrick Ewing on his bench as an associate head coach. Find Marcus Camby and add him into the mix and you’d have heavy Knicks experience coaching the next generation of scrappers.

If it’s situation (b), I’m all aboard on the Becky Hammon train breaking that glass ceiling. 

Not to mention that most of the people coming off of Gregg Popovich’s bench have done well – Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee, Brett Brown in Philadelphia, and Taylor Jenkins and James Borrego are getting their feet wet in Memphis and Charlotte, respectively. Hammon could get her chops in New York and carry on Pop’s legacy in one of the biggest markets in professional sports.

Of course, there’s always Larry Brown, who I’d love to see coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder, who could move Billy Donovan into the mix in New York. Leave Jerry Stackhouse here in Tennessee where’s he’s doing a marvelous job with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Who would you hire for the hottest seat in the NBA?

Mark Jackson
Becky Hammon
Larry Brown
Jay Wright

Created with Poll Maker

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Orlando Magic  93
Cleveland Cavaliers  87

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ players are talking about head coach John Beilein behind his back and the results show on the court, as the Orlando Magic have won their fourth in a row behind a solid night by Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon.

MAGIC (11-11)CAVALIERS (5-16)
Terrence Ross
21 points – three rebounds – one assist – one steal
Collin Sexton
19 points – three rebounds – one assist – one steal
Evan Fournier
18 points – two rebounds – two assists – one block
Cedi Osman
14 points – five rebounds – four assists – four steals – one block
Aaron Gordon
14 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block
Kevin Porter, Jr.
12 points – four rebounds – one assist – one steal

NEXT UP
Cavaliers at Sixers – Tonight
Magic at Bucks – Monday

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Indiana Pacers  101
Detroit Pistons  108

Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin combined for 50 points and 25 rebounds to soundly defeat the Indiana Pacers last night in Detroit, Michigan. T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon countered with 47 combined points, but took the lesson in the paint and on the glass from Drummond as the Pistons cleaned up with a 51-33 rebounding advantage.

PACERS (14-8)PISTONS (9-14)
T.J. Warren
26 points – one rebound – one assist
Andre Drummond
25 points – 22 rebounds – one assist – three steals – two blocks
Malcolm Brogdon
21 points – five rebounds – five assists – one steal
Blake Griffin
25 points – three rebounds – five assists – two steals – one block
Domantas Sabonis
18 points – three rebounds – five assists – one steal – one block
Luke Kennard
15 points – one rebound – four assists

NEXT UP
Pacers at Knicks – Tonight
Pistons at Pelicans – Monday

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Brooklyn Nets  111
Charlotte Hornets  104

The Brooklyn Nets played another game without Kyrie Irving, but went big in the paint to defeat the Charlotte Hornets in their own hive in Charlotte. Big play in the paint from Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan smoked out the Hornets last night as the Nets outrebounded the hosts, 49-34, and hit 47 percent of their shots on the road. 

NETS (12-10)HORNETS (9-15)
Joe Harris
22 points – one rebound – five assists – one steal
Devonte’ Graham
29 points – three rebounds – eight assists – one steal
DeAndre Jordan
16 points – 13 rebounds – three assists – two blocks
Terry Rozier
24 points – six rebounds – four assists
Jarrett Allen
14 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – two blocks
Cody Zeller
17 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal – two blocks

NEXT UP
Nuggets at Nets – Sunday
Wizards at Hornets – Tuesday

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Denver Nuggets  95
Boston Celtics  108

After their win over the Denver Nuggets last night, the Boston Celtics remain perfect at TD Garden this season, and eagerly await the return of Gordon Hayward around Christmas. After a November to Remember, the Celtics have dropped four, but only on the road. They won their eighth at home by defeating Nikola Jokic – literally no other Denver Nugget showed up.

NUGGETS (14-6)CELTICS (16-5)
Nikola Jokic
30 points – 10 rebounds – four assists – one steal – two blocks
Jayson Tatum
26 points – seven rebounds – five assists – one steal
Jamal Murray
10 points – three rebounds – three assists – two steals – one block
Jaylen Brown
21 points – seven rebounds – two assists
Monte Morris
Nine points – one rebound – two assists
Kemba Walker
19 points – two rebounds – three assists – two steals – two blocks

NEXT UP
Nuggets at Nets – Sunday
Cavaliers at Celtics – Monday

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Golden State Warriors  100
Chicago Bulls  98

There’s no way the banged up Golden State Warriors should have come into Chicago and beaten the Chicago Bulls. The only reason it happened is because the Chicago Bulls are the Chicago Bulls and no one wants to do a damn thing about it. What’s wrong with Lauri Markkanen? It’s the second time the Warriors have beaten the Bulls in their last nine games – nealry half their total wins. C’mon, Chicago.

WARRIORS (5-19)BULLS (8-15)
Glenn Robinson III
20 points – seven rebounds – two steals
Zach LaVine
22 points – six rebounds – six assists
Alec Burks
14 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal
Lauri Markkanen
20 points – three rebounds – one assists – three steals
Eric Paschall
13 points – three rebounds – two assists – two steals – one block
Coby White
14 points – three rebounds – two assists

NEXT UP
Bulls at Heat – Sunday
Grizzlies at Warriors – Monday

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Washington Wizards  103
Miami Heat  112

Jimmy Butler had his best game yet as a member of the Miami Heat with a nice triple double to set the tone for the game against the visiting Washington Wizards last night. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro followed suit as the Heat sent Bradley Beal and the Wizards to a .333 result at seven wins and 14 losses through the first quarter of the season.

WIZARDS (7-14)HEAT (16-6)
Bradley Beal
23 points – four rebounds – eight assists – one steal – one block
Jimmy Butler
28 points – 11 rebounds – 11 assists – one steal – two blocks
Davis Bertans
19 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – two blocks
Bam Adebayo
24 points – 14 rebounds – four assists – two blocks
Moritz Wagner
19 points – nine rebounds – one assist – two steals
Tyler Herro
22 points – seven rebounds – two assists – two steals

NEXT UP
Clippers at Wizards – Sunday
Bulls at Heat – Sunday

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Minnesota Timberwolves  127
Oklahoma City Thunder  139 (OT)

The Oklahoma City Thunder used a guard assault on the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves last night as OKC’s guards combined for 84 of the Thunder’s points, five players scored in double digits, and Dennis Schroder’s layup forced an overtime, where the Thunder blew the Wolves out 17-5 to move closer to playoff contention positioning in the Western Conference.

TIMBERWOLVES (10-11)THUNDER (9-12)
Jeff Teague
32 points – five rebounds – nine assists – two steals
Chris Paul
30 points – four rebounds – seven assists – two blocks
Karl-Anthony Towns
30 points – five rebounds – eight assists – two steals – two blocks
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
29 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal
Robert Covington
13 points – seven rebounds – two assists
Dennis Schroder
25 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block

NEXT UP
Timberwolves at Lakers – Sunday
Thunder at Blazers – Sunday

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Los Angeles Clippers  91
Milwaukee Bucks  119

It’s 14 straight wins for the Milwaukee Bucks. Khris Middleton outplayed Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George was no better than Bucks bench players Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton. It’s as simple and as sorry-ass as that. A great birthday for Giannis Antetokuonmpo

CLIPPERS (16-7)BUCKS (20-3)
Kawhi Leonard
17 points – five rebounds – four assists – two steals – two assists
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
27 points – 11 rebounds – four assists
Ivica Zubac
14 points – 12 rebounds – two assists
Khris Middleton
17 points – six rebounds – five assists – one block
Paul George
13 points – seven rebounds – one block
Pat Connaughton & Ersan Ilyasova
13 points – four rebounds – one assist (each)

NEXT UP
Clippers at Wizards – Sunday
Magic at Bucks – Monday


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Sacramento Kings  104
San Antonio Spurs  105 (OT)

The not-so-good San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings in one area last night: hustle points. The stats that no one rarely sees. But it helped the Spurs in the win loss column as they climbed to 10th place in the Western Conference behind the overtime win. Another plus for the Spurs? They don’t play again until Thursday night.

KINGS (8-13)SPURS (9-14)
Buddy Hield
23 points – seven rebounds – one block
LaMarcus Aldridge
19 points – 13 rebounds – one assist – one block
Harrison Barnes
21 points – 10 rebounds – five assists
DeMar DeRozan
15 points – 10 rebounds – seven assists – two steals
Yogi Ferrell
17 points – three assists – one steal
Dejounte Murray
14 points – seven rebounds – three assists – three steals

NEXT UP
Kings at Mavericks – Sunday
Cavaliers at Spurs – Thursday

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Los Angeles Lakers  136
Portland Trailblazers  113

Engines No. 3 and No. 23 of the Showtime Express ran right over the Portland Trailblazers in Portland last night, leaving carnage on the tracks and in their wake as the Los Angeles Lakers kept pace with the NBA best Milwaukee Bucks – both teams at 20-3 thus far this season. Anthony Davis doing his best to let his game do the talking for MVP consideration, and LeBron James is proving once again to be both mentor and inspirational leader by example on this roster, which improves and impresses every game. For those tracking Carmelo Anthony, he shot 30.8 percent last night for 15 points after getting the ‘guarantee’ stamp on his contract.

LAKERS (20-3)TRAILBLAZERS (9-14)
Anthony Davis
39 points – nine rebounds – two assists – two steals – three blocks
Damian Lillard
29 points – seven rebounds – eight assists
LeBron James
31 points – seven rebounds – eight assists – one block
Hassan Whiteside
17 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – three steals – one block
Kyle Kuzma
15 points – six rebounds – one assist
C.J. McCollum
15 points – three rebounds – five assists – one steal

NEXT UP
Timberwolves at Lakers – Sunday
Thunder at Trailblazers – Sunday

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SATURDAY’S LINEUP / MY PICK ‘EMS
New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks – 2 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southwest
Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks – 7:30 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Midwest-Indiana
Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia 76ers – 7:30 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Philadelphia
Phoenix Suns at Houston Rockets – 8 p.m. EST – NBATV
Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz – 10 p.m. EST – AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain

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The Rundown w/T-Money is a daily column “all things NBA” that will run through the entirety of the season, and the playoffs through the NBA Finals
Tracy Graven is a Senior Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
He has written the NBA for the last two decades and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 20 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City.
He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife and five children.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia 

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