It was supposed to be: Mikhail Prokhorov = big spender.
But Rod Thorn is stepping down as general manager in New Jersey and the rumblings around the league (according to Marc Stein and others) is that part of the reason was Thorn was asked to take a pay cut. Prokhorov was not spending big.
Now the rumor is that Team USA head (and former Suns executive) Jerry Colangelo is the guy first in line for the job.
You want him, you’re going to have to spend, Mr. Prokhorov. There’s also talk that the Nets will reach out to Jerry West. If you want him, you’re really going to have to spend, Mr. Prokhorov. And while both of them are good, it’s questionable how much better either of them is than the much-respected Thorn.
There is all sorts of intrigue here, as Thorn is no fan of Colangelo. Back mid-season Thorn was rumored to be on the ropes and Colangelo, while talking hypothetically, said he would be open to opportunities — ones that clearly implied he was talking about the Nets. It all led to a rumored confrontation in the Dallas airport leaving All-Star weekend where Thorn told Colangelo go back off going for his job in an expletive-filled discussion.
We’ve all assumed that the Nets would spend big, because Prokhorov has the money, and because he said he would create a winner whatever it took, and because if we were him we’d be spending it like mad, too. But we don’t really know. And maybe he’s not who we thought. But we’ll find out in the next few weeks.
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.