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NBA Coaching News, Lynx Cut Harris, More Notes

The Finals are still a few days away, there are a couple of rumored coaching hires in the NBA, and the Lynx get started later this week.

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The Minnesota Lynx announced they have cut forward Amber Harris, who they picked in the first round of the 2011 draft. She never really managed to establish herself in the rotation, and missed all of last season due to injury. That brings the roster down to 14, with two more cuts necessary to get it down to the 12 they are allowed when the regular season gets underway.

The Lynx play their 2nd and final pre-season game tonight at Target Center against the New York Liberty, before they open the regular season at home against the Tulsa Shock on Friday. We'll have more on the Lynx later in the week, but I urge you to check them out either in person at Target Center if you can, or on WNBA LiveAccess, which is the League Pass of the WNBA, and costs a lot less. The Lynx are a very talented, well coached team that has a chance to win their third title in five years and of course feature reigning MVP Maya Moore. It's a lot more entertaining than the Wolves have been recently.

A reminder: There is still NBA basketball happening this season. After a week long layoff, the Finals will finally start on Thursday in Oakland. I'm really looking forward to this series and hopeful that it's more competitive than the conference finals were. Only disappointment is that Kevin Love won't be participating. He did talk to the media for the first time since his surgery yesterday, and said that he still feels a part of the team and that he expects to be back in a Cavs uniform next season.

Meanwhile, two more coaching vacancies are filled, both with guys I would have loved the Wolves to pursue: Alvin Gentry, formerly the Suns head coach and currently the lead assistant with the Golden State Warriors (with whom he will remain through the Finals), has been hired by the New Orleans Pelicans to replace Monty Williams. He'll get a chance to coach Anthony Davis, which could be a terrific match in an uptempo offense with a lot of spread pick and roll like he ran with the Suns.

It appears Fred Hoiberg is on the verge of completing a deal to become head coach of the Chicago Bulls, replacing Tom Thibodeau.  Hoiberg, of course, is the former Wolves player and front office man who is coming off a successful run as head coach of his alma mater Iowa State. He's the guy many Wolves fans were hoping would become the next coach, as he appears to have a lot of talent and understanding of the modern game, and has the added benefit of being a member of the country club. It was not to be, as the Bulls swooped in and nabbed him. Meanwhile, reports have filtered out that he also "interviewed" with the Magic and Pelicans, who also apparently spoke to current Wolves assistant Sam Mitchell.

Thibodeau would be a terrific hire as well--it's possible he's the best coach of defensive basketball in the world. For a team that had the worst defense in the league last year...yeah. That could help.

It isn't going to happen, though, as Flip Saunders is committed to continue as coach; it's what he wants and he runs the whole organization. I don't think this is remotely healthy, and I am trying to figure out a way to write about this coaching situation and the franchise without completely losing my mind.

Here's some stuff to expect on Canis Hoopus this week:

The Towns vs. Okafor debate continues; expect a big piece from Key Dae on the greatness that is Karl-Anthony Towns; I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and write the best argument I can in favor of Jahlil Okafor, who I like very much, though Towns is still my first choice.

A preview of the Minnesota Lynx, who begin yet another season with high expectations.

We'll also have a preview of the Finals coming up.

Plus our usual nonsense.

Today in History

193: Roman Emperor Didius Julianus assassinated
1215: Beijing is captured by Genghis Khan and the Mongols
1495: First written record of the distilling of Scotch whisky. 
1533: Anne Boleyn crowned queen of England
1774: British government orders Port of Boston closed
1792: Kentucky admitted to Union as 15th state
1796: Tennessee admitted to Union as 16th state
1862: Robert E. Lee assumes command of Confederate troops
1862: Slavery abolished in all U.S. possessions
1869: Voting machine patented by Thomas Edison; no election ever safe again. 
1925: Lou Gehrig replaces Wally Pipp in Yankees lineup. 
1958: De Gaulle elected premier of France
1972: Red Army Faction leader Andreas Baader is arrested by West German police

Today's musical birthday is Brandi Carlile, born in 1981

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