Being a head coach in the NBA these days is like being in a reality show where one contestant gets voted off every week. Of the league's 30 coaches, 22 of them probably panic every time their cell phone rings and they see their general manager's name on the display.
How busy has the coaching carousel been this season? Of the 12 games on the NBA schedule Wednesday night there was only one in which both head coaches held their respective jobs last season -- Denver vs. New Orleans.
The Hornets proved that on a night where Tyson Chandler and David West were out with injuries and Chris Paul scored just 12 points, that the team, contrary to popular belief, has the depth to beat one of the league's division leaders.
Peja Stojakovic tied his season-high with 26 points and Devin Brown was 6-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from downtown, in leading the Hornets (28-14) to a 94-81 victory.
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Have You Driven A Ford Lately?
The Milwaukee Bucks already knew that life without Andrew Bogut wasn't fun. Now they are finding out how much it stinks without Bogut and Michael Redd.
As if things weren't bad enough for Milwaukee, they had to watch a former member of their team torch them.
T.J. Ford tied his career-high with 34 points in leading the Indiana Pacers to the 107-99 victory. The Pacers (18-28) were playing without leading scorer Danny Granger, who sat out with a sore knee.
Charlie Villanueva -- the player the Bucks received from Toronto in exchange for Ford -- scored 28 to lead Milwaukee (22-27).
The Pacers have had the NBA's toughest schedule this season (based on opponents' winning percentage,) so expect them to improve their record over the second half of the season. Eleven of their next 14 opponents have records at or below .500.
As for the Bucks, it will be interesting to see how the Redd injury will affect the team. Does GM John Hammond make a move to try to make the playoffs this season or does he focus more on the future? Should he decide to trade Villanueva, there will be a number of teams lining up for a big man who can shoot from outside.
The Need For 'Sheed
Rasheed Wallace scored 25 points -- including seven straight in the last two minutes -- in helping one of the league's coldest teams defeat one of its hottest, 99-98.
With the Pistons (25-19) ahead of the Timberwolves by just a point with 1:47 remaining, Wallace made two free throws, a 17-foot jump shot, and a 25-foot 3-pointer to increase the lead to seven just 54 seconds later.
Al Jefferson scored 24 points to lead the Wolves (16-28). Kevin Love continued his improved play, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 boards. It was the sixth time in his last seven games that Love has scored in double figures.
The Philadelphia 76ers had 14 blocks, overcame a 14-point deficit, and got at least 14 points from four different players in defeating the Rockets in Houston, 95-93. The Rockets (28-19) have now lost three of four while the Sixers (22-22,) have won 9 of their last 11. It was also the first time that Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and Ron Artest shared the court since Jan. 2.
The Dallas Mavericks used a huge second quarter to help defeat the Golden State Warriors, 117-93. Jason Terry led the Mavs (26-19) with 22 points, while Stephen Jackson paced the Warriors (14-32) with 25 points.
The Chicago Bulls ended their five-game losing streak by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers, 95-75. Luol Deng scored 23 points and rookie Derek Rose scored 21 to lead the Bulls (19-27.) Eric Gordon continued his own stellar rookie season with 19 points to lead the Clippers (10-35.)
The Charlotte Bobcats (19-27) looked like a team that played a double-overtime game the night before in losing to the Portland Trailblazers, 88-74. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points, and Greg Oden scored 14 points and grabbed 14 boards to lead the Blazers (28-17). The Bobcats were led by Emeka Okafor's 18 points.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost their eleventh straight game on Wednesday, this time falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-102 in overtime. After outscoring the Thunder by 10 points to force overtime, the Grizzlies were outscored 14-2 in the extra frame. Kevin Durant scored 35 for Oklahoma City (11-35). Rudy Gay scored 25 for Memphis (11-34).
Dwyane Wade had 14 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists to lead the Heat (25-19) over the Washington Wizards, 93-71 -- and he only needed 29 minutes to do it. Antawn Jamison scored 21 for the Wizards (9-36) who have already lost only three fewer games than they lost all of last season.
Nate Robinson scored 20 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Knicks defeat the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks (20-25) have now won five straight at home. The schedule stiffens however, with their next three home games coming against the Lakers, Cavs, and Celtics. Marvin Williams scored 28 points to lead the Hawks (26-19).
One Last Thing
Charlotte's Gerald Wallace remained in a Los Angeles-area hospital for observation after suffering a collapsed lung on Tuesday night against the Lakers. Wallace took what appeared to be an inadvertent elbow to the chest from Lakers' center Andrew Bynum in the Bobcats' double-overtime victory.
The NBA will decide if any disciplinary action will be taken against Bynum before the Lakers' next game against the Wolves on Friday night.
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