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INTERIM COACH
Posted by Randy Kim on April 26 2004 2:30 p.m. ET

This week finds Click and Roll's "coach," Rob Peterson, away on a well-earned vacation. While I dare not divulge the whereabouts of his stint on the C&R R&R (though I will say that I hope he packed plenty of SPF 30, as well as his short game), I'll implore The Mayor to tell you all about his time away in next week's Click and Roll.

In his absence, Rob handed the controls of the column over to me, thereby making me the Roll's interim editor/coach. It's a risky move to be sure, as this will be the first time I've actually manned the reins of NBA.com's basket-blog. But I've been on Rob's bench for the last two seasons, watching and reading his every well-placed link. I'm guessing I should be able to keep the column afloat until he returns, hopefully reaching a John Carroll-level of competency (yes Beantown, "competency" ... he got you guys to the postseason, after all), though I dare not kid myself into thinking I'll come out of the gate with a Lawrence Frank-style start.

Although ... our office is located just a full-court heave away from the Nets' home digs. Maybe some of L-Frank's good fortune (and hoops acumen) will rub off on me. Dare to dream, right?

Anyway, without futher ado, let's get into the week that was and see if I can steer the ship with the good captain away, trying to compensate for that nagging slice of his. (Whoops. Sorry, Ro-Pete!)

TIME CAPSULES GALORE

While neither Phil Jackson nor Jeff Van Gundy dons the interim label, they still coach like their very jobs are on the line. The Houston Chronicle (you have to scroll down a bit) reports on just what happens when one accused the other of "crossing the line." If you didn't know any better, you'd think this was Knicks-Bulls '96.

Which, actually, would make perfect sense, as the Los Angeles Daily News writes about a certain Lakers power forward who is playing as if he's been in a time capsule for the last eight years. Complete with tattered duds and everything.

Of course, regardless of what the ageless wonder does in this hard-fought series, the bulk of the hype will still surround the men in the middle (one of whom, according to the Houston Chronicle, feels he just can't get a break) and an optically-challenged Angeleno who never looks away during the game's biggest moments (Los Angeles Times).

GOTHAM GLARE? WHATEVER ...

Speaking of averting one's gaze, the Knicks and their fans might want to finally admit that facing the Nets in the first round of the playoffs was a matchup that looked better from a distance (New York Times).

New Jersey's Kenyon Martin, for instance, was certainly one player who emerged as an object larger than he appeared in the rear-view, according to the New York Post.

K-Mart, turning his back to Tim Thomas' closing viewpoint (New York Post), was quick to give credit to a classy veteran who helped instill the team with a no-nonsense glare (Star-Ledger).

GO 4 IT

Heading into the Mavericks-Kings Game 4 tonight (9:30 ET, TNT), both squads are having trouble seeing the basket. Although, according to the Dallas Morning News, the Mavs like to think their improved defense has at least something to do with the lower scores.

Regardless, no matter which team advances and no matter how they do it, they'll have trouble seeing their way out of round two and into the conference finals, according to this Morning News writer.

Adding insult to, well, injury, from Brad Miller to Bobby Jackson, the Kings are hurting ... royally (Sacramento Bee).

In tonight's Pistons-Bucks Game 4 (7 ET, TNT), according to the Detroit Free-Press, the Pistons need 'Sheed to step up more ... for this postseason and for seasons to come.

The Bucks, meanwhile, will be hard-pressed to advance without a productive Keith Van Horn (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

LET'S GET PHYSICAL

When the Timberwolves and Nuggets push on to Game 4 (Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT), Minnesota will be ready. Although, according to the Pioneer Press, Wally Szczerbiak might not be.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, will look to their smallest sub to continue to come up big in his first postseason (Denver Post).

The Rockies aren't the only place to see some intense hoops, however, as the hard-charging Heat and Hornets are hardly allowing the Big Easy to live up to its name (Times-Picayune).

In dropping Game 3, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Miami coach Stan Van Gundy hopes his team learned something about playoff intensity. And while Caron Butler may have played with the requisite gumption for the Heat, the rest of the squad need look no further than the opposite bench to see a player who knows how to contribute with hard work and hustle (Times-Picayune).

SWEPT AWAY

The aforementioned John Carroll and his Celts might not have looked as bad as Madonna acting under hubbie Guy Ritchie, but according to this Boston Herald report, Danny Ainge already has a short list of coaches he's considering as Carroll's replacement.

Regardless of who's at the helm next season for the C's, the Boston Globe reports that this leading man has teammate Mark Blount's sympathy.

On the other side of the parquet, Pacers GM Donnie Walsh couldn't be feeling any better about his coach and his charges, according to the Indianapolis Star. From Ron Artest emerging as a premier player to Reggie Miller contributing in any way he can, there's plenty of title-talk going on in Hoosier Nation.

In the third sweep of the first round, the defending champs told the world, and the San Antonio Express-News (and the Lakers) that they're ready for all comers with their impressive play in the Grizzlies series.

Memphis has nothing to be ashamed of, however. From Hubie Brown to the Commercial-Appeal, everyone in, or close to, the Grizzlies franchise considered this season an unqualified success. And a sign of great things to come.

Karl Malone turned back the clock in Sunday's Game 3 win over Houston.
(Catherine Steenkeste
NBAE/Getty Images)

2003-04 ARCHIVE
April 19 -- Playoffs CW, IQ
April 12 -- Give Them Away
April 5 -- Fight for First
March 29 -- Prime Time
March 22 -- East Bests West?
March 15 -- Very Scary Bears
March 8 -- Sick and Tired
March 1 -- West Side Story
Feb. 24 -- Surfing the Nets
Feb. 17 -- City of Angles
Feb. 13-15 -- All-Star Blog
Feb. 9 -- Git Up, Git Out
Feb. 2 -- Lobbying for L.A.
Jan. 26 -- Midwest is Best
Jan. 19 -- More Central
Jan. 12 -- Grand Central
Jan. 8 -- Starbury Time
Dec. 29 -- American Rookies
Dec. 22 -- The Greatest Gift
Dec. 15 -- Hail the Kings
Dec. 8 -- Spurs Sportsmen
Dec. 1 -- Holiday Exchange
Nov. 24 -- Hive Talkin'
Nov. 17 -- Clip and Save
Nov. 10 -- Short People

BACKCOURT
Check out NBA.com's "Destination Finals" section for a complete recap of all of the 2004 postseason action.

FRONTCOURT
The week that will be:
April 19-25: These are the playoffs, people! Every game is important!