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Jeff Hornacek has literally been relieved by the Suns

Good morning. We have that and more in Monday's NBA newsletter.

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Good morning. Let's basketball.

BIG FEATURE COMING. Something I've been working on for a while should hit around 9 or 10 a.m. ET. Beware!

PEACE OUT, HORNACEK: The Suns fired Jeff Hornacek sometime between late Sunday and early Monday, reports The Great And Powerful Woj on his brand new site called The Vertical. Woj reports Suns GM Ryan McDonough informed Hornacek of the team's decision once the club returned from home from a loss in Dallas. That had to be around midnight. So, the guy got fired around midnight! At least he doesn't have to come into the office on Monday.

Paul Flannery and I wrote our prescription for cleaning up the Suns back in December when it became clear Hornacek's clock was ticking.

CAN ANYONE BEAT THE WARRIORS? Flannery asks the Warriors themselves that question in this week's Sunday Shootaround. Complacency and boredom are the new top rivals to this team after Golden State beat down the Spurs and Cavaliers last week. Flanns also lists the most interesting storylines left this season and more. Check it out.


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CHI 93, LAC 120
ATL 87, MIA 105
BOS 114, ORL 119
PHX 78, DAL 91
GSW 116, NYK 95
MIN 93, POR 96
CHA 101, LAL 82

YOUR MONDAY STANDINGS UPDATE: The middle of the playoff bracket in the East remains a mess. The gap between No. 3 and No. 6 is a half-game. (Boston, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago are the teams in that jumble.) Indiana is an additional game back at No. 7. Detroit has a two-game cushion over Charlotte for No. 8.

Out West, the top seven remain static while Portland is up a half-game on Utah for No. 8, with Sacramento an additional 1.5 games back. New Orleans is only 3.5 games out of No. 8 itself.

ICYMI: The Cavaliers smoked the Spurs pretty good on Saturday. Kevin Love looked terrific. Tim Duncan was still missing.

GOOD DEFENSE: Carmelo Anthony has the best plan for defending Stephen Curry on a switch.

POOR DIRK: Dirk Nowitzki has a new hairdo and his coworkers are bullying him over it.

THE DAPMASTER: Andrew Keh with a vital story on Adam Silver's illustrious dap game.

GETTING KRISTAPS TO NEW YORK: Woj's tale on how Kristaps Porzingis ended up with the Knicks (and why) is really darn good. The Sixers' avoidance is the news hook spinning forward, but it also reflects well on the Knicks and Magic for doing their due diligence and realizing he was a prize.

BY THE WAY: The Warriors needed a game-winner to beat the Sixers on Saturday. So, they served one up courtesy of Curry-to-Green-to-Harrison Barnes on a damn pretty play.


AS PREDICTED: Heather Cox got Popoviched.

YEP: Candace Buckner on why Myles Turner might make small ball irrelevant in Indiana.

WHOOPSIE! LeBron wore the wrong shorts the other night on national TV. I guess he needs to start fitting IN with his team instead of fitting OUT.

BACKLOADED: Aaron Barzilai looks at the backloaded schedule that has the Warriors, Spurs and Thunder still needing to play each other a bunch more in the regular season.

YOUR DAILY PORZINGIS: Our president Kristaps Porzingis was humiliated by an Archie Goodwin dunk on Friday, but he kept calm and recovered to drop this stunning no-look dime on Sunday. Kristaps is forever.

THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS: Meek Mill dissed by Philadelphia's own P.A. announcer. DID DRAKE PAY YOU, MATT CORD?

NUGGETLAND: Michael Lee went deep inside the Nuggets to see how Michael Malone has regained confidence in his abilities as a coach.

THE DEAL WITH BEAL: Chris Mannix on the fraught future of Bradley Beal and the Wizards.

MELO THE LEADER: Nice Chris Herring piece on Melo embracing his role as a leader.


QUICK LEARNER: Mike Monroe on how LaMarcus Aldridge attacked the Spurs' learning curve aggressively.

DERRICK ROSE BACK! Well, probably not, but he did spin Chris Paul right 'round.

FOREVER THE GLOVE: LOL at the No. 1 recruit in the nation trash-talking with a courtside Gary Payton.

FASCINATING: This New York Times obituary of early basketball figure Kenny Sailors is fascinating. Sailors developed a jump shot back in the 1930s to be able to get shots off over his brothers. He led the University of Wyoming to a national title using the jumper, and a picture of him in action went out in "Life" magazine. (That's the 1940s version of going viral.) He didn't necessarily invent the jumper, but he played an outsized role in popularizing it, along with guys like Joe Fulks. Sailors died on Saturday at age 95.

TONIGHT: There's an NBA TV doubleheader on deck: Cavs-Pacers and Bucks-Kings. The best League Pass match is Mavs-Hawks.

Happy Monday. See you next time.