You have surely heard of the Dead Coach Bounce, that odd moment when a team that fires its coach mid-season suddenly looks much better. It's usually fool's gold. It usually last a game or two. But the Phoenix Suns' current Dead Coach Bounce is going strong after five games, as the Suns reached .500 after an inspired road win against the Wizards. T.J. Warren scored fricking 40 points!
The Suns were a bad 0-3 — with two 40-point losses — when Earl Watson was fired and replaced with Jay Triano. Phoenix is 4-1 since then with wins over Washington and Utah, two solid teams. The narrow loss came in Portland.
Dead Coach Bounces have lasted longer than this yet still been fool's gold in the past, but it's worth keeping an eye on. Phoenix has no business being decent this season, not with that roster. Warren showed out on Wednesday, but Mike James — an undrafted 27-year-old rookie point guard — has been a revelation. He replaced Eric Bledsoe in the starting lineup when the star guard was told to stay home after a trade request. He has pretty consistent positive on-off numbers. He's making it work, and so is interim head coach Jay Triano.
Other coaches on the NBA hot seat do not want to see this right now, by the way. Alvin Gentry is nervously scoreboard watching. Fred Hoiberg is sending Triano the Jonah Hill "cut it" GIF. A prolonged Dead Coach Bounce isn't good for job security out there.
Scores Galore ...
MIL 121, CHA 126
IND 124, CLE 107
ATL 109, PHI 119
PHX 122, WAS 116
SAC 86, BOS 113
CHI 91, MIA 97
HOU 119, NYK 97
ORL 101, MEM 99
MIN 104, NOP 98
TOR 111, DEN 129
POR 103, UTA 112 (OT)
DAL 98, LAC 119
... And So Much More
The Cavaliers got trucked by the Pacers at home. Indiana scored at least 30 in every quarter. Come on, Cleveland. What are you doing?
Shout out to the Sixers, who are .500 for the first time in almost four years!
The Sixers aren't going to give Jahlil Okafor a buy-out, so he's stuck waiting for a trade.
Look at Malik Monk dropping 14 points in four minutes to help Charlotte to victory!
Ready for another round of this bull pucky? Kyrie Irving is back on his flat-Earth nonsense, questioning the moon landing.
Smart look by Jason Concepcion on the spate of big point guards and the Magic Johnson prototype.
The G-League's Long Island Nets are making their debut at the renovated Nassau Coliseum this weekend. Dr. J, a Long Islander and the biggest star who ever called Nassau home, will be on hand. What a cool moment for the L.I. basketball community.
Important: a Howard Beck blow-out feature on Nikola Jokic.
Chinese media refers to Giannis Antetokounmpo as "Letter Bro." Antetokounmpo find this humorous.
So glad to see Robert Silverman profile one of the most interesting players from the ABA era: Joe Caldwell. If only Caldwell's story were a happier one.
Who Got Next?
Only two games on Thursday, both on TNT: Warriors-Spurs at 8 p.m. ET and Lakers-Blazers at 10:30. Kawhi Leonard remains out, which is a real bummer.
Be excellent to each other.