Tom Izzo is reaching out for advice on what to do — stay at Michigan State or make double his current salary and coach the Cleveland Cavaliers.?
We and pretty much everyone else has suggested that Izzo’s decision has to hinge on LeBron James.
Izzo talked to former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote (the guy who brought Magic Johnson to East Lansing and won an NCCA title with him) and he is thinking the same thing we all are. That’s what Heathcote told the Detroit Daily News.
“I honestly think he’ll look at this,” Heathcote said. “But unless he can get some commitment from LeBron James, the job isn’t that good. I think a lot hinges on what (Izzo) feels about LeBron’s future. I think he’s seriously considering it. He’s going to look at it like he does on all things but he’s got an awfully good situation at Michigan State, too.”
LeBron James has spent the last two years keeping his options open. LeBron has a free agent tour planned. He is not about to close off those options for Tom Izzo or anyone else. Nobody is going to know what LeBron is doing for a little while, maybe a month from now.
Is Izzo going to leave Michigan State hanging for a month waiting for LeBron? Are the Cavaliers going to wait a month for a word from Izzo? Not bloody likely, as our British friends would say.
Welcome to the Cavalier’s limbo state. We’ll be here about a month. Make yourself comfortable.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.