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Saturday NBA Notes and Heat-Pacers Game Thread

Catching up on coaching/front office hires and the Pacers try to stave off elimination in game six at home.

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  • The Milwaukee Bucks have hired Larry Drew, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks, to be their new head coach. For reaction, check out the ever excellent Brewhoop.
  • The new owner in Sacramento, a former minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, has hired former Warrior assistant Mike Malone as the new head coach of the Kings, replacing Keith Smart. Sactown Royalty.
  • The Charlotte Bobcats hired Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, a longtime favorite of Stan Van Gundy, as their new head coach. Rufusonfire.
  • In coaching rumors, both the Clippers and Nets are said to have expressed interest in Jeff Van Gundy; if I were him, I'd keep my TV gig, but he doesn't need my advice.
  • Fresh from winning the executive of the year award in Denver, Masai Ujiri has signed a deal to become the new GM of the Toronto Raptors, replacing Bryan Colangelo. It remains unclear to me why Denver let him interview for this position and leave. Raptorshq.
  • On the Wolves front, their shooting guard heavy draft workout prompted Flip to say that the position is deep in this year's draft. Which one or ones he liked in particular remains to be seen, but CH favorite Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was among the participants, as were Ricky Ledo, Allen Crabbe, and Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • Flip then went to Las Vegas, where he Russian prospect Sergey Karasev, who he likened to Toni Kukoc.
  • Next Wolves workout will be 6/12, with big men including Steven Adams and Mike Muscala.
  • Tonight is opening night for the Minnesota Lynx. They host the Connecticut Sun at Target Center at 7:00pm. The Lynx are coming off two straight appearances in the WNBA Finals, having won the title in 2011 before falling short last season. They won 54 games over the past two regular seasons, two short of the league record held by the Los Angeles Sparks. The Lynx are once again one of the favorites to win the championship, behind their unmatched perimeter of Lindsay Whelan, Maya Moore, and Seimone Augustus. I encourage everyone on the Twin Cities to consider going to see the best basketball in the state at some point this summer. Good luck Lynx.
  • This is the game thread for game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. (7:30pm CDT, TNT). The Heat controlled the second half of game five behind LeBron James, who is carrying a Heat team that is not getting the usual contributions from Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. Their biggest bench contributor, Chris Andersen, is suspended for tonight's game following his flagrant foul on Tyler Hansbrough in game five. It remains vital that the Pacers stay out of foul trouble, as things get difficult when, for example, D.J. Augustin has to play instead of George Hill for long stretches.