76ers

NBA Notes: Fisher reportedly agrees to coach Knicks

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NBA Notes: Fisher reportedly agrees to coach Knicks

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning, amid reports that Derek Fisher has agreed to become the team's new coach.

The Knicks did not confirm the reports, other than saying they were planning a "major announcement."

Several media outlets cited unnamed sources saying the longtime NBA guard agreed to terms with the Knicks on a deal that was still being finalized.

The 39-year-old Fisher just completed his 18th season, finishing his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played under Knicks President Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, and helped that franchise win five NBA titles (see full story).

NBA Finals: Game 2 ratings up slightly from 2013
NEW YORK -- The NBA Finals rematch is drawing a higher television audience than the first go-around between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat.

Nielsen says Game 2 on Sunday delivered just over 15 million viewers on ABC and had a peak audience of 18,786,000 viewers from 10 to 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. The viewership translates to an 8.9 household rating. That is a 5 percent increase from last year's Game 2, which drew an 8.5.

Through two games, the Finals are averaging more than 14.9 million viewers. That's up 4 percent from last year, when LeBron James and the Heat beat the Spurs in a seven-game series.

The series is tied 1-1 heading back to Miami. Game 3 is Tuesday night.

Cavaliers: AP source says Gentry to have 2nd interview
CLEVELAND -- A person familiar with the Cavaliers' coaching search says Los Angeles Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry will have a second interview for the vacancy.

Gentry is the first known candidate to meet for a second time with the Cavs, who fired Mike Brown -- for the second time -- on May 12. Gentry's second meeting has not yet been scheduled, said the person who spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team was not making its plans public.

The Cavs hope to have a coach in place before the June 26 NBA draft. Cleveland has the No. 1 overall pick.

Gentry previously worked in Phoenix with new Cavs general manager David Griffin.

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Sixers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.

Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

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Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

WASHINGTON — The first starting lineup of the Sixers' 2017-18 season will be Ben Simmons, Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Joel Embiid.

Brown is sticking with the group that closed out preseason competition. That group has a balance of veterans and young talent, including Simmons making his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

"It helps a lot (starting together in the preseason) because you're learning guys and how they move and how they play," Simmons said. "I think we have a pretty good connection going into tonight's game and it's only going to get better."

Embiid will be under a minutes restriction but Brown does not have a definitive number. The big man previously said he expected to play 16 minutes. Embiid was the last one to leave the court at the conclusion of shootaround. 

"There's a range that we'll work with," Brown said. "We're going to feel it together. We'll play Joel within some parameters and go from that base." 

Markelle Fultz also will make his NBA debut. The No. 1 pick, who has battled right knee and shoulder soreness, will come off the bench in front of his hometown crowd. 

"I'm excited," Fultz said. "It's anything you can wish for."