NBA notes: Mike D'Antoni lowers expectations for Lakers' pace
About the only thing the Los Angeles Lakers achieved in seven seconds or less last season was making their coach regret saying his team should "easily" average 110-115 points per game when he took the job.
"Yeah, well, I was on drugs back then," Mike D'Antoni told the Los Angeles Times with a chuckle on Monday, referring to the pain medication he was taking while recovering from knee surgery. "My knee was hurting. Vicodin was killing me."
The Lakers didn't exactly die a slow death on the court in a season that fell far short of expectations, averaging 102.2 points (sixth in the NBA) and 96.8 possessions per game (fourth). But they also didn't resemble the shot-clock-defying offenses D'Antoni ran in Phoenix that generated the seven-seconds-or-less mantra.
Which kind of pace does D'Antoni envision the Lakers running this season?
"It won't be crazy," he said, "but we want to push it and get a nice pace. We want to get some easy buckets before the defense sets up, so we'll be up in the top five probably in pace, but it won't be breakneck speed."
Playing at a faster tempo seems to be more of an option this season because the team got younger and more athletic with the additions of Nick Young, Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson.
Clippers waive ex-BYU star Davies
The Los Angeles Clippers waived BYU product Brandon Davies, the team announced Monday.
Davies appeared in five preseason games for the Clippers. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.2 minutes.
Davies, a forward, was not selected in the NBA Draft last June, but he signed a partially-guaranteed contract with the Clippers after playing well in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Around the league
Cavaliers • The team will retire Zydrunas Ilgauskas' No. 11 on March 8, raising it to the rafters in Quicken Loans Arena to honor their beloved former center who overcame major foot injuries early in his career to become one of Cleveland's best players.
Nuggets • Guard Nate Robinson was fined $10,000 for pushing Oklahoma City's Steven Adams from behind and striking him in the chest during a preseason game last week.