Some season schedule notes — Miami gets no easy start, but you'll see them a lot

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Thumbnail image for Nba_logo.pngThe NBA released the full schedule today, and here are a few thoughts from a first glance at it.

* Teams are allowed a total of 34 national television appearances per season (ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBATV combined). The Miami Heat are already at 29 and that will jump to 34 as NBATV again is letting fans vote on Tuesday night matchups they want to see.

* Boston has 27 scheduled national broadcasts. The Lakers are scheduled for 23, but both likely will get plenty of Tuesday night votes as well and will reach 34.

* The tough stretch of the schedule for Miami will start Dec. 21 and go for about six weeks — 15 of their 21 games are on the road, including Christmas Day at the Lakers.

* On Nov. 2, Michael Beasley will return to Miami with his new team, the Timberwolves. Yea, that’s why everyone will be snapping up tickets to that game.

* Lakers get a gift from the schedule makers, with 7 of their first 10 at home, and only 5 of the first 10 against playoff teams from last year.

* The Lakers tough stretch — the annual Grammy Road trip in February (when Staples Center is taken over for the awards show) — has the Lakers playing 14 of 17 on the road during February and early March. That stretch includes an east Coast swing with Boston and Orlando, then a second swing out that includes Miami (March 10). (Clippers are on road for 11 straight at the same time.)

* However after that the Lakers get a 7 game homestand right as they want to build momentum for the playoffs.

* The Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks tie for most back-to-back games with 23. The fewest is the Lakers with 15.

* The Thunder will appear on national television 15 times in 2010-11, nine games on ESPN, four on TNT and two on ABC.

* After stuffing yourself with turkey and watching the Lions loose, you can settle in on Thanksgiving night to watch John Wall and the Wizards take on the Hawks, followed by the Kings and Clippers. Both games will be broadcast on TNT.

* There will be no New Year’s Eve parties for the Wizards — they play Indiana in Indiana on Nww Year’s Eve, then host the Hornets New Year’s Day. Enjoy celebrating New Year’s on a plane.

* In a sign somebody, somewhere believes that Blake Griffin will stay healthy, the Clippers have 12 games nationally – twice on TNT, 4 on ESPN, 6 on NBATV.

* The Raptors final game of the season is against the Miami Heat. In case there needed to be any more salt in that wound.

Report: Pacers offered Paul George for Kyrie Irving

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The Cavaliers think they were close to trading for Paul George, a text message away from completing a three-team trade with the Pacers and Nuggets that would have sent Kevin Love to Denver.

But Cleveland could’ve ensured itself George, whom Indiana ultimately dealt to the Thunder. All the Cavs had to do was send Kyrie Irving to the Pacers.

Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN on The Lowe Post podcast:

  • Windhorst: “I know that around the draft and in the Paul George talks, the Cavs were not willing to make Kyrie Irving available for Paul George.”
  • Lowe: “We can say on this podcast: The Pacers offered Paul George for Kyrie Irving. That’s a thing that happened, according to people that we’ve talked to.”
  • Windhorst: “Multiple times.”

Even if the Cavaliers knew of Irving’s unhappiness – maybe they did, or at least should have – while George was still in Indiana, this would have been a bad trade for them.

Irving is locked up for two more years, and George is on an expiring contract. That simply makes Irving more valuable than George, who – like LeBron James – could have walked in a year. George is ineligible for a reasonable contract extension, and there’s so much buzz about him joining the Lakers.

Now, if the Cavs were more on top of Irving’s trade request when George were still available, maybe they would have more aggressively tried to bridge the gap. Perhaps, Indiana could have sent another player or draft pick.

But Cleveland shouldn’t be kicking itself over not dealing Irving for George straight up.

Report: LeBron James eager for Kyrie Irving to be traded

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LeBron James reportedly wants to fight Kyrie Irving over the guard’s trade request.

But sometimes, people continue to work with those whom they dislike. LeBron partnered with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert again and again, after all.

Might LeBron realize keeping Irving is Cleveland’s best chance to win another title? Could LeBron put personal feelings aside in that pursuit?

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Irving has asked for a trade and James is eager to see him off.

This might explain why the Cavs appear so gung-ho about moving Irving. LeBron usually gets what he wants in Cleveland, especially in a contract year.

It’s not too late for LeBron and Irving to reconcile until a trade is completed, but with LeBron welcoming Derrick Rose, they just move further from that possibility.

Damian Lillard says players who want to leave team owe teammates, fans truth

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Damian Lillard was making the rounds on a media tour Monday, and at virtually each and every stop he was asked about Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony. We told you about Lillard’s recruiting pitch to Anthony.

One of his stops was with one of my favorite radio shows,  Bill Reiter’s Reiter Than You on CBS Radio. Lillard talked about what players owe teammates when they try to push their way out of town.

“You owe your teammates first because those are the guys that you spend the most time around that you have relationships with, more so than anybody else,” Lillard said. “And also the fans because they are part of your team. They’re the people that come and cheer for you and support you as much as anybody. So I think they’re the two groups of people that you owe the truth. They deserve to know the truth in where you stand and what your plans are.”

Hard to argue with that.

Of course, honesty can lead to some bad blood. If Kyrie Irving went to his teammates and the fans in Cleveland and said, “Look, LeBron James is leaving in a year, and I don’t want to be the guy holding the bag, so I’m forcing my way out while I can” how would that go over? It’s the truth — or maybe the largest part of the truth, there is never just one thing — but it would rub a lot of people the wrong way. And Irving would get roasted in the media (more than he is already).

It sounds good to be honest, and a lot of guys try, but they have talked themselves into that narrative before they sell it everywhere else. Everything is spin, to a degree.

Watch Stephen Curry make fun of Klay Thompson’s 360 dunk fail in China

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By now we have all seen Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson brick that dunk attempt in China, right?

Here is the link to the video if you haven’t seen it.

Well, teammate Stephen Curry was also in China this week and decided to do a little mocking of Thompson’s missed dunk for the crowd.

It was all in good fun, and of course we all know about the Warriors team culture. Glad that Curry and Thompson can jab at each other like this.