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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Warriors' Steph Curry might wear Mavericks uniform as virtual fan

Warriors' Steph Curry might wear Mavericks uniform as virtual fan

Steph Curry is not physically in Orlando for the restart to the 2019-20 NBA season.

But the Warriors superstar could be making a virtual appearance in the bubble when the Dallas Mavericks take the court in the playoffs.

"When they get to the first round, I might be in there and wear my Dallas uniform and make everybody go crazy," Steph recently told CNBC's Jabari Young.

Why would the two-time NBA MVP do this? The answer is simple: His brother, Seth, plays for the Mavs.

The hope is that Seth is in uniform if and when this happens, as he missed Dallas' last two games because of right leg soreness.

Seth is having a terrific season, averaging 12.5 points and 2.0 assists, while shooting just under 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc.

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The Mavs practically are locked into the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and most likely will face the LA Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs.

As for Steph, there's an outside chance he can watch his little brother take the court in person -- not through virtual technology -- later this month.

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Friday morning that the NBA is exploring the possibility for the Warriors (and the other seven teams not in Orlando) to join the bubble so they can hold organized team workouts/practices.

If this happens, you gotta assume Steph and former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala will be hitting the golf course together.

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Which player is Warriors' ideal trade target to pursue in offseason?

Which player is Warriors' ideal trade target to pursue in offseason?

Some of the best -- and let's be honest -- worst conversations regarding the Warriors reside on social media. Strong voices and opinions of Dub Nation defend or criticize their squad, not afraid to share their thoughts with absolute authority. Many of these personalities live on Twitter, where everyone can be a General Manager, coach, critic, troll and/or hot-take artist.
In our Warriors Twitter Roundtable, we will share a five-part series of questions designed to touch on the major conversations floating around the Warriors Twitter world. Answering the questions will be a panel of some of the more prominent and revered voices within the community.
Part 1 had our panel name the five best players in the NBA, while Part 2 answered whether or not the Warriors should be considered contenders right now. Part 3 asked the panel to identify their ideal candidate to be acquired with the mid-level exceptions, followed by the ideal candidate for the $17.2 million trade exception in Part 4. Here is the final discussion in Part 5:

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How would you create a trade that the Warriors can make (with matching salaries) to improve their team next season?
@poormanscommish: I’m going to plead the “not-a-Trade-Machine-guy” amendment, but I will say this: In response to some of the commentary we’ve gotten on our website LetsGoWarriors.com, Andrew Wiggins isn’t getting traded anytime soon, as his contract would be loathed by other teams. Giannis Antetokounmpo is not coming here, especially via trade, as the Milwaukee Bucks would rather ride him until the wheels fall off (and they should). Kevon Looney probably isn’t getting traded unless he’s damaged goods and especially if Steve Kerr has veto power. And Bob Myers isn’t trading Draymond Green so long as he is general manager of the Warriors, as their relationship is like no other in the history of GM-player relationships. That leaves us with only trades involving $2M or less in salary, which are not impactful in the grand scheme of things.
@samesfandiari: This one is tough too!  Warriors roster, as presently constructed, involves four high-priced salaries, Looney on a modest deal and a bunch of guys on rookie deals and/or vet mins. I guess my initial thought would be Wiggins for Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross.  This would allow Orlando to solve their power forward glut and it would allow Golden State to turn Wiggins into two rotation players at needed wing positions
@Jannelle12: Since the Warriors are compromised in salary, I believe that their best-case scenario is trading their pick IF it isn't in the top three. There are no transcendent players in this draft and the Warriors want to maximize what's left of the core's prime. So, trading that pick for someone who fits the system and addresses a need would make the most sense.
@AndyKHLiu: Since I answered the previous question with the trade I think they get to most realistically, and this one doesn't require a qualifier.. how about Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, this year's first, next year's Minnesota first, pick swaps for the next eight years, and another first that the Warriors can purchase in this year's draft for Giannis?
@GSWReddit: This is a very difficult question considering the Warriors are pretty limited in terms of what they have available to send out in trades. Assuming there are no plans to move the Big 3, that only really leaves Andrew Wiggins ($29.5M) and Kevon Looney ($4.8) as sizable salaries they can use for trade matching. Because of this, we can most likely expect the Warriors to not make any big (non-TPE) trades unless someone like a Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes available. That being said, Aaron Gordon has been a name that’s been floated around as someone the Warriors seem to have some interest in. A possible trade with the Orlando Magic could look something like Andrew Wiggins for Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross. Now it’s debatable how much this improves the Warriors next season depending on how you would value Gordon, but if we were to consider him to be relatively close to Wiggins in talent level, then the addition of Ross adds a much-needed bench piece. It’s unclear if the Magic would be keen on this, even if they want to move on from Gordon. The Warriors might have to attach a pick or some other incentive to make it work.
My take (@grantliffmann):
My trade ideas revolve around the 2020 draft pick, but obviously without knowing the Warriors draft position, it is impossible to know exactly what their asset is. Using that pick does not have to be a straight-up trade, as it can be used to swap draft positions. Swapping back in the draft, and using the TPE, perhaps to acquire a player like Kelly Oubre, could be intriguing. If somehow the Warriors could use their pick to acquire a major contributor, while also drafting a player like Devin Vassell or Saddiq Bey, their roster would be much better heading into the 2020-21 season.