Cavs coach Byron Scott wants team to run, players to stay

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New Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was introduced at a press conference on Friday, and appealed to LeBron James’ desire to run on the court and stay in his hometown off of it.

With his size, end-to-end speed, ability to change directions, and court vision, James is arguably the best open-court player in the league. One criticism of former Cavalier head coach Mike Brown was that he had LeBron and the Cavaliers play a grind-it-out style that emphasized defense and ball control instead of placing an emphasis on getting James and his teammates out into the open floor.

Scott, who spent much of his playing career as Magic Johnson’s backcourt mate on the “showtime” Lakers, says that he wants to turn the Cavaliers into more of a running team:

“I can’t let go of my roots, I want to run (on offense). We’ll still run some Princeton but emphasis is to get up & down floor.”

That may be what LeBron wants to hear, but recent history doesn’t back Scott’s claim up; in Scott’s last two full seasons as Hornets coach, New Orleans finished 26th and 28th in “pace factor,” despite the fact he had Chris Paul as a point guard.

When asked about LeBron James, Scott said that he had spoken to people “close to” LeBron, but not James himself. Regarding James’ free agency status, Scott said that he won three championships in his hometown, and that there’s “not a better feeling.”

The two other major pieces of news from Scott’s press conference were that there is NOT an opt-out clause in Scott’s contract if the Laker job becomes open, and that Paul Pressey will be Scott’s lead assistant. 

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

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Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

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Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.

Brandon Jennings sinks halfcourt shot after whistle (video)

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The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.

Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.

Report: Kings forward Matt Barnes wanted for questioning after alleged New York nightclub fight

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Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.

His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.

TMZ:

Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.

In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”

Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.

The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.