The Philadelphia 76ers boarded a plane for a three-game West Coast swing this week, but Allen Iverson did not join them. He may not join them again this season on the court as the team may cut ties with the icon, according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.
Iverson is with his family to deal with medical issues concerning his daughter, but his constant in-and-out of the lineup this season has led team officials to believe a permanent break is best for the organization. Sources said Iverson went to team officials over the weekend and said he needed to leave the team again.
Sources say Sixers coach Eddie Jordan addressed the players on Sunday, and told them there’s a chance Iverson may not return to the team. However, Sixers ownership, general manager Ed Stefanski and Jordan haven’t sat down and formally come to that decision, but sources with knowledge of the Sixers plans believe the franchise is leaning in that direction.
Iverson started 24 games (played in 25) for the Sixers this year and was who we thought he was — he scored 14 points a game but needed nearly 12 shots a game to do that, hitting 41.7 percent of his attempts. He was giving them 4.1 assists per game, but their offensive flow was not there with him.
When he left the team to deal with his daughter’s illness the first time, Jordan went to a lineup of Willie Green and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt that gave then Sixers better defense and some matchup advantages. And they won. They looked like a team that could grow. Iverson simply does not help that growth along.
Allen Iverson is in a tough spot on the court — he needs to accept that he is now a role player, but he can’t bring himself to do that. He was driven out of Memphis because of it. (On a side note, that whole experience forced the young Grizzlies players to bond and step up in a way they hadn’t before, and that may have helped them on the court this season.)
Iverson is a bad fit on a young team. He’s a bad fit on a contending team until he can accept a role. When he’s ready for that, he can join some team’s plane.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.