May 14, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday news and notes: Playoffs resume tomorrow, Flip talks coaching search

Saturday is another off-day for the NBA playoffs; the Eastern Conference Finals begin tomorrow afternoon on ABC.

News came down this morning that the recently-fired Mark Jackson would be returning to ESPN’s broadcast crew. He’ll be announcing tomorrow afternoon’s Heat-Pacers match-up alongside old friends and co-workers Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. He was always an entertaining broadcaster, and it’ll be fun to hear him and Van Gundy again handle color commentary duties as a tandem.

Elsewhere, the NBA Draft Combine concluded on Friday. Mark Remme of Timberwolves.com kept a Day One and Day Two diary that included some fairly extensive interviews with some of the top draft prospects that participated in the combine activities. There isn’t a ton of Wolves-specific or Wolves-relevant information there, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.

Also on Friday, Wolves’ boss Flip Saunders took to the airwaves on Dan Barreiro’s KFAN radio show. Per usual, he didn’t really say a whole lot, and really only insinuated that the search was indeed on (this is good), and suggested that the draft lottery on Tuesday evening could impact or speed-up the hiring process (this is questionable).

It’s tough to know what Saunders could possibly be trying to say with this strange combination of words, as it’s doubtful that any coach worth his salt would either a) only take an NBA job if the team beats the less than 2 percent odds to jump into the top-three draft slots, or b) falls victim to the less than 2 percent odds that they lose the #13 pick in the draft and don’t have a first round pick.

Indeed, pessimists and those looking for conspiracy-like theories might suggest that the lottery may boil down to what pick the Los Angeles Lakers (or maybe another team) ends up with, thinking that a Kevin Love trade could be triggered if Team X gets Pick Y. Personally, this seems to be pretty far-fetched and probably not something that Flip would agree to at this point in time, given his stubborn insistence that he is not even fielding offers for his superstar power forward.

At any rate, more coaching possibilities are likely to leak in advance of, around, and shortly after the lottery on Tuesday. We’ll have any updates here, as well as notes on tomorrow’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 1, and the first contest of the Western Conference Finals on Monday evening.

 

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