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Hornets’ Clifford: More Balance on Offense is Focus

Basketball Insiders

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Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford still plans for center Al Jefferson to be a major scoring option, but Jefferson won’t be the beginning, middle and end of the team’s offense.

Clifford said at a media luncheon Tuesday that he needs to strike a balance between Jefferson’s low-post touches and the more balanced way the team played when Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker were hurt in January of last season.

“Hopefully more five-man movement and quick decision-making,” Clifford said of his offensive goals 10 days out from training camp. “If we can combine that with a good post game, … (Jefferson) is by far our best offensive player. He’s 10 years of 19 (points) and 10 (rebounds). But we can’t play where every play is to Al.”

Source: Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer

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Report: Nick Nurse, Raptors Agree to Extension

Shane Rhodes

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The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Nick Nurse to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This past season, Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Toronto also reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the fifth straight year.

Source: Toronto Raptors

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Sources: Rockets Interested in Tyronn Lue, Sam Cassell for Head Coach

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Sources: There is mutual interest between the Rockets and Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell. Cassell started his playing career with the two-time champion “Clutch City” Rockets.


With a head coaching vacancy in Houston, expect the franchise to take a strong look at Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.

Source: Tim MacMahon and Chris Haynes on Twitter

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Sources: Mike D’Antoni Won’t Return to Rockets Next Season

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Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has informed the franchise that he’s becoming a coaching free agent and won’t return to the team next season, he told ESPN on Sunday.

“It’s with tremendous sadness and gratitude that my wife Laurel and I announce that our incredible journey in Houston has ended for now and that we’ll be moving to a new chapter,” D’Antoni told ESPN in a statement.

D’Antoni, whose contract expired with the end of Houston’s season in the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday, turned down extension offers before the season.

He will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers’ coaching opening, sources told ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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