Derrick Favors is just like Tim Duncan, except hardly and not at all

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Thumbnail image for DFavors.jpgIn his last head coaching job, Avery Johnson whittled down the patience and nerves of his players over about three seasons. There’s apparently only so much of Avery — or, in fairness, of that Avery — that a team can take, and by the time he was let go by the Dallas Mavericks at the end of ’07-’08, he had long lost his team.

Maybe avoiding a similar result is a point of emphasis for Johnson during this time around, because he seems quite laudatory of his players in New Jersey right off the bat. Here’s what the Nets head coach had to say about No. 3 pick Derrick Favors, via Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse:

“He reminds me of Duncan in the way he’s coachable,” the New Jersey
coach said in an interview with FanHouse about Favors, taken with the
No. 3 overall pick out of Georgia Tech in last month’s draft. “Duncan
was that way, very coachable, but also very skilled. Duncan came in
with the left and the right hand and came in with the ability to shoot
the ball. And this kid didn’t even go through college as long as
Duncan. We’re just getting him after his freshman year.”

Riiiight. So Favors is essentially Duncan without all the things that made Duncan, Duncan. Avery also forgot to mention that TD was a ready-made NBA defender from the moment he stepped into the league, whereas Favors is clearly a work in progress on that end. Favors shows promise, but it’s a tad ridiculous to compare him to Tim freaking Duncan on the basis of promise alone. Before those words even come out of your mouth, you should demand to see baby hooks, bank shots, and sweet pick-and-roll coverage, at the very least.

If you go back far enough, I’m sure a lot of NBA bigs reminded someone of Tim Duncan. Hell, at one fetal stage or another, I’m sure Tim and I had a lot of similarities: soft, formative skull, long arms relative to fetal length, y’know, the usual draft profile tidbits. Favors may have the size and athleticism that GMs dream about, but until he does, well, anything in the NBA, comparisons to any former or current player are a tad premature. I’m sure he vaguely resembles plenty of guys, but for now, he’s just trying to play like Derrick Favors.

Underdog Cavs insist they have plenty of bite for Finals

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — They are defending champions and decided underdogs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, however, say they aren’t using any snubs to get ready for the NBA Finals.

Set for a third straight championship matchup against Golden State, the Cavs are ignoring the Las Vegas odds makers and others who don’t think they have a shot at beating Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant & Co.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue doesn’t feel his team needs the underdog label for inspiration, saying being in the NBA Finals is “enough motivation alone.”

Kevin Love was reminded that Warriors forward Draymond Green said earlier this season that he wants to “destroy and annihilate” the Cavs in the Finals. Says Love said: “He wanted us, and he has us starting next Thursday.”

 

Check out Kawhi Leonard’s highlights from this past season (VIDEO)

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Russell Westbrook and James Harden were putting up the bigger numbers, they were drawing more attention. And while MVP is a regular season award, nobody has boosted their MVP credentials more in the postseason than Kawhi Leonard.

He had a really impressive regular season, too. Since we’re on a long break between games, enjoy the highlights of Leonard’s season. He may enter next season as the MVP favorite.

Kevin Love on Cavaliers: “I don’t feel like we’re underdogs”

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Kevin Love and Las Vegas bookmakers do not see things the same way.

In Vegas, the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the title — bet $100 on them to win and you get back $41.7 (or less). Cleveland is a heavy underdog.

Love sees a confident team that is the defending NBA champions, as he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title,” Love said Saturday after the Cavs’ first practice in preparation for the Warriors since clinching a spot in the Finals. “We’re trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It’s tough for me to say that is the case. I don’t feel like we’re underdogs. We match up well with them, and I think they’d say the same about us.”

What else was he going to say?

More than any other team in the league, the Cavaliers are built to give Golden State trouble. The Cavaliers can exploit mismatches, be physical on defense, and they have LeBron James, Love and Kyrie Irving. Three NBA stars.

Is that enough against four NBA stars is the question.

Mike Brown still waiting on Tyronn Lue to pay up overdue bet

AP Photo/Ronald Cortes
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Mike Brown is ready for Tyronn Lue to pay up on a nearly two-decade-old bet. Yep, Lue owes him $100 and Brown plans to accept it at long last – perhaps even during the NBA Finals when they see each other.

All this time Brown never wanted the money he earned by beating Lue in a shooting contest when the Cavaliers coach was an NBA newcomer, yet Golden State’s acting coach – who spent two stints leading Cleveland – joked how Lue can surely afford it these days.

“I’m glad he finally admitted that he owes me money because for many years he wouldn’t admit that he owed me money. He does owe me $100 and since he got his new deal hopefully he can afford to pay me now,” Brown said Saturday post-practice. “I asked him many time for it but he’s denied it. He’s denied that the game ever took place.”

Lue insists he has tried to pay up – time and time again, to no avail.

“Mike, I owe him $100 from when I was a rookie. That’s all I ever know about Mike,” Lue said Saturday. “I tried to pay him and he wouldn’t take the money so he says I always owe him. He’s always been a great guy.”

The 40-year-old Lue was rewarded with a contract extension after the Cavs’ championship run last June for the city’s first major sports title in 52 years. Cleveland overcame a 3-1 Finals deficit to the Warriors, and now the teams are preparing to face off for a third straight year.

“I think what it has to do with, it has to do with the fact he’s got a nice, long, fat contract with the Cavs and he realizes that he can finally afford to pay me the money that he owes me for the shooting game back in 2000 or whenever it was,” Brown said with a grin.

Brown acknowledged he cannot recall any other details such as how many shots each man made, saying: “I don’t even remember, that was back when I was in shape and a good shooter. He’d kill me now”

“Yeah, he was with the Spurs and I was with the Lakers and we had a little shooting contest and I lost,” Lue said. “He wouldn’t take the money so from now on 19 years in a row always says, `You owe me $100.’ He won’t take the money. Always been close to Mike and I like Mike a lot, respect him a lot.”