Once the Lakers finished off their all-you-can-eat buffet of a summer, there was really only one man for the job. Sure Mike Brown was the coach at the time, but all along, didn’t this job have Phil Jackson‘s name written all over it? The job is his to lose now, with everyone from Kobe Bryant calling him the greatest coach in sports to Jim Buss sitting on his ego for once and acknowledging PJ is the man to even Jackson himself phoning his old assistants to check on their availability, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mike D’Antoni, Brian Shaw, Nate McMillan and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. are also in the mix. But everyone knows the deal: if the Zen Master wants to leave the wilderness behind for one last go-round, no one is stopping him. Yahoo! Sports reported the Lakers will have a new coach within four or five days. We expect it’ll be Zen … The only thing stopping Jackson at this point is the travel. Does he really want to go through with that? We think the challenge of winning with this team – and going out in a different fashion than he did the last time against Dallas when the Lakers were swept, Andrew Bynum was busy clotheslining people and Mark Cuban was walking around with a big ol’ smirk on his face – will be enough to bring him back … Everyone has been waiting on Paul George to make a move, and finally, he did it in a loss 89-85 win over Washington for the suddenly streaking Pacers. George scored 20 points and added seven boards to go along within it … Emeka Okafor, who was actually pretty good for a while (17 points, eight boards), and George Hill engaged in an ugly shooting contest – Okafor airmailing a shot in the third, and Hill following it up with a shot off the backboard … Andrea Bargnani dropped 23 points and Toronto rocked some super ugly jerseys – as well as a horrendous second quarter – in a 93-83 loss to the Sixers. Philly beat up on Toronto by 10 as three different players had 16 points (Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Nick Young) … We would say at least the Raptors got freaky and wore some crazy camo jerseys, but those things were horrendous. The best part of their night was DeMar DeRozan‘s Altitude Jordans … The best part of Charlotte’s four-point loss against Dallas probably wasn’t Kemba Walker, even though he went absolutely crazy (26 points, six boards, seven assists, eight steals). It was the feud between rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and old man Vince Carter (19 points). MKG had 25 and 12, and blocked Carter’s jumper at one point, but the vet wasn’t going to let him have it, coming back the next time and banging a triple while furiously shaking his head on the next possession. Just a reminder: the two players were born 16 years apart … Portland’s bench had all of four points last night, and Sean Elliott, the former Spurs forward, was calling Nic Batum the best forward in the game (33 points), and yet it was no surprise the Spurs walked out of there with a 112-109 win against the Blazers. Gary Neal had 27 off the bench, helping to settle Elliott down … The Celtics have been terrible this year, up and down so much that even their only coach is rotating starters on a night they’re hoping to catch fire. Last night they beat Milwaukee by four as Paul Pierce and Monta Ellis went off in a fourth quarter duel. Pierce had 25 and Ellis had 32, even after the two benches did work for much of the first three quarters … Tommy Heinsohn thought Ersan Ilyasova was going to be “the next coming of Dirk Nowitzki.” Between that, and Boston fans getting excited over Jeff Green‘s attempts to show them he’s still alive, the benches did what they could for most of the night in Boston … A few nights after stealing a win against Charlotte, the Suns came out and let Al Jefferson go off for 27 points and 14 boards in Utah’s 94-81 win … James Harden dropped 20 in a relatively easy win for Houston over Detroit. The Pistons are now 0-7 … Meanwhile Chicago got 18 off the bench from Nate Robinson and 17 and seven from Joakim Noah as they finally slowed down Minnesota, 87-80 … And Danilo Gallinari had 23 points to pace Denver in a double-overtime win over Golden State … We’re out like ‘Bama’s undefeated run.
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