Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
The Rebounds (Best) & Blocks (Worst) of the NBA this week in the 2014-2015 NBA season, lets take a look below at the action from this week, thanks to NBA.com & ESPN.com for help in this article:
- Hawks have the best record in the NBA, beat the James Harden less Rockets- Jeff Teague scored 25 points, Horford added 18 and the NBA-leading Atlanta Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit to win their fifth straight game, 104-96 over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.James Harden, the league’s leading scorer, was serving a one-game suspension and did not play for Houston, but the Rockets led for the most of the game until Teague’s 3-pointer with 4:24 remaining put Atlanta up 91-90.Houston forced a couple of ties in the closing minutes, but never regained the lead. Atlanta outscored Houston 18-4 on free throws, taking 21 foul shots. Houston took nine. Atlanta’s work on the offensive glass helped it outscore the Rockets 17-3 on second-chance points. The Hawks has also clinched a playoff spot with their win on Tuesday.
- No Rose, Gibson or Butler, the Bulls still win- Nikola Mirotic scored 23 points to lead the short-handed Chicago Bulls to a 97-92 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. The Bulls were without former MVP Derrick Rose (right knee), all-star Jimmy Butler (left elbow) and trusted reserve Taj Gibson (left ankle) but still managed to improve to 4-2 on their season-long seven-game homestand. Along with Mirotic, Aaron Brooks had 22 points, while Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who had five players in double figures. Joakim Noah added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich appeared in his 696th game with the Bulls and tied Jerry Sloan for third in franchise history. Because of the injuries, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had to improvise once again. Chicago’s starting lineup of Brooks, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy, Gasol and Noah was the 20th the team has used this season. That’s the most since 2007-08, when the Bulls also used 20.
- The Pacers are back in the Postseason race- Indiana’s injury-plagued roster is nearly mended, which is starting to translate into a succession of wins.Roy Hibbert had 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to help the surging Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 94-74 on Sunday night. The victory moved the Pacers (25-34) three percentage points ahead of Brooklyn and Charlotte in the crowded race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Indiana has won eight of 10, but coach Frank Vogel isn’t fixated on the standings just yet. “One day we’re tied for eighth, then we’re back in ninth,” he said. “So we can’t look ahead. We have to take it game by game.”George Hill scored 17 points and Luis Scola added 15 off the bench for the Pacers. Hibbert had his 14th double-double of the season and was as active as he’s been in weeks, Vogel said. Indiana closed the game on a 17-3 run after Philadelphia pulled to 77-71 with 9:07 remaining.
- The Nuggets fire Brian Shaw:The Denver Nuggets have fired coach Brian Shaw, general manager Tim Connelly announced Tuesday.”I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization,” Connelly said in a team release. “You won’t find a better guy than Brian, and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I’ve ever been around. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him.” Melvin Hunt, one of Shaw’s assistants, will serve as interim coach. In his first game with the interim tag, Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 26 points as Denver beat the Milwaukee Bucks 106-95.The timing of the dismissal was somewhat surprising, given that just last week Connelly seemed to signal Shaw’s job was safe, at least through the end of the season.The Nuggets are in the midst of a six-game losing streak before Tuesday’s Game and have struggled in compiling a 20-39 record this season under Shaw. The Nuggets are mired in a 10-game home losing streak before Tuesday’s Game, one shy of tying the franchise record set in 1997-98. They broke a huddle coming out of a timeout in Friday’s home loss to the Utah Jazz with a chant of “1-2-3 … Six weeks!” Shaw denied the team was referring to the end of the season, which is about six weeks away, and said it actually referred to the most recent time Denver won a home game. The affable Shaw was seemingly on the hot seat in November after Portland torched the Nuggets for 84 points in the first half. It was the most points scored in the first half by a Denver opponent since Phoenix scored an NBA-record 107 points on Nov. 10, 1990.
Shaw succeeded longtime coach George Karl, who was ousted after Denver won a franchise-record 57 games in 2012-13 only to be bounced from the first round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Karl, who was hired as the Sacramento Kings’ coach just under a month ago, said he did not take any pleasure in hearing the news.
“Any time a coach gets fired, my [emotions] are usually down,” he said Tuesday. “It’s a tough job. It’s a great job, one of 30. My mood toward the Denver Nuggets lately over the last four or five months, I’ve felt bad for them. I didn’t want to see them hit bottom like this. They’ve played poorly. Under is Phil Jackson Coaching tree, which outside of Steve Kerr, don’t look good, thanks to ESPN.com for pointing this out:
Phil Jackson’s Withering Coaching Tree
With Brian Shaw’s dismissal, Phil Jackson’s coaching tree takes yet another hit. Of the six notable NBA head coaches who either were an assistant or played under Jackson, only Steve Kerr, who is in the midst of his first season with the Warriors, has posted a win percentage above .400.
Steve Kerr GS .793 Win Pct
Brian Shaw DEN .397 Win Pct
Bill Cartwright CHI .338 Win Pct
Jim Cleamons DAL .286 Win Pct
Derek Fisher NY .207 Win Pct
Kurt Rambis MIN .195 Win Pct
2. The Wizards continue to struggle: The sliding Wizards will need resiliency, after 99-95 win Saturday against Detroit, the Wiz go up to Chi-Town & lose 97-92 to the Bulls, with the Bulls without former MVP Derrick Rose (right knee), all-star Jimmy Butler (left elbow) and trusted reserve Taj Gibson (left ankle). The Wizards has now lost for the seventh time in eight after breaking their 6 game losing streak vs. the Pistons. The Wizards went 3-9 in the month of February plus losing there 1st game in March & have only scored over 90 points 7 times & are 2-7 in those games, while the Cheese Wiz has allowed their opponents to scoring over 90 points 12 times in that period with the Wizards record being 3-9. So the Wizards has to get out of this funk of stinking it up to do something in the postseason.