The Milwaukee Bucks re-signed John Salmons to a five-year, $39 million deal. They picked up Drew Gooden for $32 million over five. They acquired Corey Maggette and the $30.8 million remaining on his contract over the next three seasons. They traded for the Nets’ Chris Douglas Roberts. And now, according to Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse, they’re interested in picking up combo guard Luther Head. Think improving the offense might have been an off-season priority?
Head won’t make nearly as much money as the other three because he isn’t nearly as productive. Still, he’s capable of providing an occasional scoring punch off the bench, provided defense and efficiency aren’t huge concerns. There’s a place for that deep on the bench, and as long as Luther isn’t given too much responsibility, team can typically find some use for him. Not the Hornets, though, who recently cut Head loose after initially offering him a contract and roster spot.
I’m not sure that team is the Bucks necessarily, but Milwaukee is trying their best to allow their offense to keep pace with their defense. However, Luther’s play is likely to give Scott Skiles an aneurysm if he ends up signing with the Bucks. Skiles clearly can put up with questionable shot selection as long as defense is still a premium, but at his best, Head is still a defensive liability. It wouldn’t be anything more than a minimal signing, but Head-to-the-Bucks could be worth it just to watch Skiles’ fumes.
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.