Several of tonight's NBA matchups have intriguing stories to follow. The Sixers, losers of three out of their last four games, collide with the Magic, who have lost five in a row. The Celtics hold a half-game lead over Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division crown, but face a challenge tonight as they play the surging Pacers, who are on a four-game winning streak. Tonight's Grizzlies–Mavericks matchup has a full-game impact on both teams in the Western conference standings. The Clippers and Kings complete their home-and-home series tonight at Staples Center, just a few days after DeMarcus Cousins had some unflattering words for Blake Griffin following Thursday night's game. With that aside, we'll keep you updated on today's miscellaneous stories here:
- John Hollinger of ESPN explores the different coaching options Stan Van Gundy has if he leaves the Magic (Insider link). It is worth noting that Hollinger lists a TV gig with ESPN or TNT, the Clippers, and Wizards among several other possibilities.
- Charlie Villanueva is "dying to play," writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. The six-year veteran has played in just two games since returning from an ankle injury.
- While Derek Fisher hasn't shown a statistical improvement compared to his numbers with the Lakers this season, the Thunder remain hopeful that his intangibles and big-game experience will pay dividends toward the development of the team, says J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today.
- In what he considers to be a "sneakered soap opera," Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel shares his thoughts on what to expect from the Magic as they finish the rest of the season and head into the summer.
- Antoine Walker announced his retirement from the D-League, tweeted Marc J. Spears of Yahoo.
- Expected to file for retirement in June, Brad Miller briefly reflects on a storied career with Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- Shabazz Muhammad of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School is the only NBA-ready player among the participants at the Nike Hoops Summit, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo.