After the Pacers took a 1-0 lead over the Knicks with a win in New York yesterday, the second Eastern Conference Semifinal will get underway tonight, as the Heat play their first game since April 28th. As we look forward to the first game in the Bulls/Heat series, let's round up a few items from out of the Eastern Conference….
- The Hawks are facing a potential roster overhaul this summer, but Louis Williams, one of just three players on a guaranteed contract, says he's looking forward to playing with the other two (Al Horford and John Jenkins) next season. Williams also told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he'd be glad to help recruit free agents if he's asked.
- Two Hawks free agents, Zaza Pachulia and Kyle Korver, are interested in re-signing with the team, as Vivlamore and Jeff Schultz write in a separate Journal Constitution piece. According to Korver, the Hawks have expressed interest in bringing him back.
- Now that the Rockets are out of the playoffs, assistant Kelvin Sampson figures to receive plenty of phone calls from teams seeking a new head coach. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sampson has an interview lined up for Thursday with the Bucks, and that the 76ers and Bobcats have also requested permission to speak to him.
- With the Nets searching for a new head coach, Deron Williams indicated he wouldn't be opposed to playing for ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan again, and Sloan says he'd be open to the idea as well, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. "I'm open, I would listen," Sloan said of the Nets. "I haven't did the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called."
- Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show today, the Nets' former coach, P.J. Carlesimo, said he doesn't think a first-round Nets victory would have saved his job. "I think short of winning a championship, it wouldn't have made any difference," Carlesimo said, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. "I mean, [GM] Billy [King] was pretty candid….
I think anything short of winning a championship wasn't going to change his mind or [ownership's] mind."