Pacific Notes: Walton, Poole, Iguodala, Ayton

“Fire Luke Walton” chants have become a regular occurrence at Kings‘ home games as fans continue to turn on the embattled head coach, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento has suffered three straight double-digit losses since a report surfaced earlier this week that Walton’s job could be “in peril” if the team doesn’t become more competitive.

General manager Monte McNair has been very open about his desire to reach the playoffs this season, but with a 6-11 start the Kings don’t look like much of a postseason threat. However, Walton’s players are remaining loyal to him as speculation grows about a potential coaching change.

“I got his back,” Tyrese Haliburton said. “I’m pretty sure we all do. I don’t have to say I’m pretty sure. I know we all do. He’s put a lot of time and a lot of trust into us as players, and when you get that from a coach who invests in his guys, it’s hard not to like him.”

Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee contends that getting rid of Walton won’t solve the Kings’ larger problem, which is a poorly constructed roster. He also questions why McNair didn’t make a coaching move when he became GM last year or before the start of the season if he doesn’t have faith in Walton.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jordan Poole has become a dangerous scorer for the Warriors, especially on the nights that Stephen Curry doesn’t play, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Poole has expanded his offensive capabilities in his third NBA season, and coach Steve Kerr recognizes the difference in his game. “He’s physically stronger,” Kerr said. “He’s able to absorb contact. He’s just got more confidence. You think about his first year, if he had a clear lane to the rim, he could dunk the ball, but it now looks like he’s getting up 6 inches higher. Athletically, he’s much improved from two years ago. That extra power and bounce is really paying off.”
  • Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala will miss his third straight game today because of a swollen right knee and the team isn’t sure how long he might be sidelined, Slater adds. “He said (the swelling) is better today,” Kerr said Friday. “But just given where he is in his career, age-wise, it’ll be a day-to-day thing.”
  • The Suns played well with JaVale McGee and Frank Kaminsky at center while Deandre Ayton was sidelined with a knee injury, and Zach Lowe of ESPN wonders how that will affect Ayton’s leverage in contract talks next summer.
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