A few odds and ends on a perfect summer day in Boston on day 14 of the NBA Lockout.
We’ll start with some video of Rajon from WDRB TV (Fox 41) in Kentucky from his basketball camp. I strongly recommend you watch the entire video for some entertaining one-liners from the C’s point guard, including my personal favorite “I like to play with the kids, rough ’em up a bit.” Here’s a handful of highlights compiled by Chris Forsberg over at ESPNBoston:
On his dislocated elbow: “It’s the most pain I’ve ever been in playing ball. I’m feeling a little pain now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there’s swelling in my joint. I’ll be fine, it just takes time. I’ve got a couple more weeks that I’m off, as far as rest and the repetition of weights.”
On potentially playing overseas: “It’s something my agent and I have spoken about. A lot of things go into playing overseas, a lot of little things to take care of. For me, right now, I’m just focused on getting healthy — getting healthy and getting better for my team next year, the Boston Celtics.”
On the lockout: “I don’t have much stress [about the lockout], I’m just trying to get my elbow healthy, do my summer routine, and get rehab on my elbow… I can’t speak much about [the lockout]. I’m not as involved as I’d like to be. I follow up on email and I talk to my agent every day. I’m aware of what’s going on. We just have to wait.”
Lawrence Frank’s campaign as a never-ending finalist for head coach positions around the league could be on the verge of ending. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Frank is still very much in the mix for Detroit as one of the two finalists, along with former Atlanta head coach and Piston assistant Mike Woodson:
Of the five known candidates for job, sources say that former Pistons assistant Mike Woodson is still the closest thing to a favorite, thanks largely to Woodson’s good working relationship with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and the fact that Detroit would know exactly what it’s getting after Woodson’s work under Larry Brown during the Pistons’ 2004 title run.
Yet sources say that one reason Detroit’s search has dragged out so long is the strong impression that Lawrence Frank made on new Pistons owner Tom Gores and his advisers, among them former New York Knicks executive Dave Checketts.
Detroit’s choice, then, appears to be a tossup between the unattached Woodson and Frank, who remains part of Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston.
Our good friend Zach Lowe of SI.com had some nice perspective on the pros of both candidates:
Frank is a defense-first guy filling Tom Thiboeau’s old role in Boston, and he’d bring that mentality — and a set of clear principles — to the Pistons.
Then again, this team was a mess of competing agendas last season, and Woodson is known around the league (by some, at least) as a strong voice capable of controlling difficult locker rooms. He had the Hawks playing borderline top-10 defense during his final two years with the team, and that was with Mike Bibby playing point guard and Al Horford working mostly as the team’s nominal center. Jamal Crawford wasn’t helping either. Woodson famously used a lot of switches to defend pick-and-rolls, a strategy that worked decently because his shooting guard (Joe Johnson) is a strong guy, and his two primary bigs (Josh Smith and Horford) are capable of sliding along with guards.
Could that work in Detroit, with Ben Gordon as Bibby, Rodney Stuckey as Johnson and Daye/Jerebko/Wallace/Monroe/Jason Maxiell switching onto smaller guys? Probably not as the team’s de facto strategy, but Woodson could mix and match philosophies. The Pistons face an interesting choice here.
I think he could be giving Woodson a little more credit than deserved there, but there’s no question he helped to make Atlanta at least relevent in the NBA once again and will get another chance again somewhere. Here’s hoping for the C’s sake, it’s in Detroit.