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Report: Thunder to hire Adrian Griffin as assistant coach

Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 16: Summer League Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls Adrian Griffin gathers his team during NBA Summer League game between the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers on July 16, 2013 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Among the breakout stars of the 2016 playoffs – a group headlined by Bismack Biyombo – was Billy Donovan.

In his first NBA season, Donovan guided the Thunder past the Spurs and to a 3-1 lead over the Warriors – two very different and very good teams. Golden State’s comeback only barely diminishes Donovan’s impressive work, and don’t ignore his performance against the Mavericks in the first round. Rick Carlisle, Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr is a murderers’ row of opposing coaches for someone in his first NBA playoffs.

Yet, Donovan aced most tests and is off to a strong start this offseason.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Griffin will replace Monty Williams, who left the team after his wife’s tragic death.

Like Williams, Griffin gives Donovan a quality assistant coach at his side. Griffin previously worked for the Magic and Bulls and was a candidate for the head job in Orlando. He’ll be a head coach soon enough. Though teams gravitate toward retreads, Griffin is at or near the front of the line among assistant coaches. Until then, Griffin will help the Thunder – maybe even getting them to more consistently defend with the discipline they showed the first half of the Warriors series.