riversheat

Pat Riley has Doc at the top of the list.

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See, now, if this is true, it is neither cool nor fair, nor unexpected.

We already told you about the Yahoo! Sports post that indicates Doc might want to hang with the Celtics for a while. But in the middle of that post is another tasty nugget for you. From the inevitable Adrian Wojnarowski:

Rivers could pick his contender, name his price.

And that could’ve come with the Miami Heat, with a team president, Pat Riley, whom sources say has Rivers at the top of his list should he ever choose to replace young coach Erik Spoelstra.

If Riley has even uttered the name of another coach, he shouldn’t have done it within any context for it to get out. Erick Spoelstra is already fighting constant questions about the possibility of Riley taking over as he did in 2006. To put him in a position to deal with more uncertainty in a season with such high expectations only feeds into a system of setting him up to fail.

For his part, I can tell you Spoelstra doesn’t give the vibe of a guy worried about his gig. He gives the impression of a guy who loathes the questions he gets, as he cuts off nearly every reporter, but then, that’s Spo. He actually seemed more relaxed this year than he has in previous years with lower expectations but less talent. As for Rivers, the question’s pretty simple. What do you get from Rivers?

The easy answer is rings, right? Experience. But Rivers’ trademark he put on the Celtics has been motivation, something that’s nebulous and hard to translate. He’s never been considered an elite X’s and O’s coach (though he’s come a long way and has put in a few brilliant playoff series), and has been able to rely on the talent of the Big 3 to mask his biggest weakness: managing rotations. It’s hard to see how he’d be the perfect fit for the Heat. That is, unless they come up short in the playoffs and need a swift kick in the backside. Wait and see, just as Riley appears to be doing.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: