Mike D'Antoni pokes fun at Rockets' defense with social distancing joke

Mike D'Antoni pokes fun at Rockets' defense with social distancing joke

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni spoke with the media via Zoom on Tuesday morning.

When asked how he plans on coaching in Orlando while maintaining a six-foot distance from his players, the two-time NBA Coach of the Year went the joke route.

"That's how we guard anyways," he said sarcastically.

The Rockets -- who will enter the seeding games tied for fifth in the Western Conference at 40-24 -- have the No. 16 ranked defense in the NBA.

But when a reporter said, "The numbers say that this team defends well in the clutch against the top 10 teams -- do you believe that?" D'Antoni busted out his comedy routine again, and then provided an explanation.

"We're not a very analytic group here," he joked. "Do I believe in the numbers against better teams? Yeah, because they have our attention. And a lot of the mistakes that we make are either we just don't pay attention, we got bored (or) we try to outscore them."

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A perfect example of this came on Christmas Day when the Warriors -- who entered the matchup at 7-24 -- shot over 47 percent from the field and beat the Rockets 116-104.

And speaking of the Warriors:

"Let's take past years -- when Golden State came here and we had to defend, most of our games were in the 90s," D'Antoni said. "So we have the ability. I get frustrated because we don't do it all the time.

"They gotta gear up to be the best defensive team in Orlando. We can do it. We'll see if we will."

Citing past years probably isn't the best idea, but we'll move on.

[RELATED: Morey admits he let Harden down in Rockets' title quest]

D'Antoni is 69 years old and still hasn't received full clearance from the NBA that he will be allowed to coach in Orlando. If he does get the green light, he plans on wearing a mask during games.

"I don't think it will interfere with my coaching," he told reporters. "Referees won't be able to see my lips moving so they won't know if I'm yelling at them or not. That's a plus. I don't see the downside of it right now.

"Maybe I'll change it once I get into the heat of the moment."

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Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Steph Curry jokes about why ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala finished big dunk

Andre Iguodala had a very ...

... Andre-Iguodala-like performance in the Miami Heat's 112-106 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

The former Warriors forward registered six points (2-for-6 FG), eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal in 31 minutes.

With fewer than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, he turned back the clock a little bit.

Steph Curry shared the highlight in an Instagram story, and included the perfect caption.

Curry -- the only unanimous MVP in NBA history -- and Iguodala -- the 2015 NBA Finals MVP -- are avid golfers, and even played a round together at Augusta National Golf Club (the site of the Masters) in February 2016.

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Iguodala became a golf fanatic shortly after he joined the Warriors in July 2013.

"I gotta give all the credit to (former Golden State assistant coach) Pete Myers," Iguodala said in March 2018. "Once I got here, I really wanted to learn how to play ... Pete Myers taught me how to hit a draw.

"And we would just go to the range and hit balls ... he kinda got me hooked and that was all she wrote."

[RELATED: Iguodala jokes he bet big on Steph to win golf tournament]

And one year later, he made one thing crystal clear.

Those were good times.

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Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

Steve Kerr defends Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: 'He's a damn good player'

When the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins at the NBA trade deadline in February, it was not a decision that universally was applauded. 

There still are people who disagree with Golden State's decision to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. But even those who are skeptical about Wiggins' future would admit that he played well in a Dubs uniform this season.

"I wasn't surprised at all about what we saw because I've coached against him," Steve Kerr said Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." "The biggest thing for us was all about what you need today to win games. The game has changed so much and it's so hard to guard ... you gotta have size and versatility on the wings.

"Multiple-positional defenders who can guard their position, but also guard two or three other positions. Andrew has the size and athleticism to do exactly that. He was an excellent defender for us, and played really well offensively.

"He may not be an MVP candidate, but he's a damn good player. He fits right in with what we're trying to do."

Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 12 games with Golden State, while shooting nearly 46 percent overall and 34 percent from deep.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Additionally, his 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game both would be career highs over a full season.

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as teammates, Wiggins won't feel consistent heat to deliver big scoring outputs. Will there be times when the Warriors need him to step up and take over offensively? Yes.

[RELATED: Warriors owner Lacob cites Barnes when praising Wiggins]

But overall, he's going to have the luxury of being able to take on a more comfortable role that suits his game.

"He just wants to play basketball and have fun, and have no pressure on him," former Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway said in June. "This is the team to be on to do that, and he's going to excel.

"He's going to be all right."

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