Western Notes: Daigneault, Bliss, Ibaka, Wolves, Suns

November 18, 2021

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault is remaining in Oklahoma City during the team’s three-game road trip that begins on Friday, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Daigneault and his wife Ashley are expecting their first child in the coming days.

“We looked at a couple options of being with the team in terms of travel, and it’s not overly practical and it’s just not something that I want to risk,” Daigneault said.

Thunder assistant Dave Bliss (not to be confused with the former Baylor coach of the same name) will take the reins and coach the team on an interim basis until Daigneault returns. Oklahoma City will play in three cities in a span of four days, visiting Milwaukee on Friday, Boston on Saturday, and Atlanta on Monday.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Clippers big man Serge Ibaka expects to play one more game in the G League on Thursday before taking the court again for the NBA club, tweets Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group. In her full story, Swanson has more quotes from Ibaka on why he asked to be assigned to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario upon returning from his back injury.
  • The Timberwolves need to take advantage of a soft part of their schedule, according to Michael Rand of The Star Tribune, who suggests the front office might have to start thinking about “major roster moves” if Minnesota doesn’t win at least two or three times in its current four-game stretch. The Wolves got off to a good start with a win over Sacramento on Wednesday. Matchups with San Antonio, Memphis, and New Orleans are on tap.
  • If Suns players have been distracted by the looming investigation into team owner Robert Sarver, it certainly hasn’t shown on the court, where the team has won 10 consecutive games, writes Rob Mahoney of The Ringer.
  • Speaking of Sarver, Baxter Holmes of ESPN reported this week that Wachtell Lipton, the firm conducting the investigation into the Suns‘ owner, has told current and former team employees that anyone who wants to remain confidential in the final report will have that option.