The big three-team trade that came up last night is now official. Which means the Nets will soon call Denver about Carmelo Anthony… who are we kidding, that call happened already.
The deal breaks down like this: The Nets ship out Terrence Williams — once they get him out of Avery Johnson’s doghouse and tell him the news — plus some minor stuff and in return get the Lakers first round pick this season (late in the first round somewhere), the Rockets first round pick next season and Sasha Vujacic plus his expiring contract.
Those are all things that could sweeten future trade deals for New Jersey. And by future trade deals we mean things Denver might want for Anthony.
The Rockets ship out a first-round pick and some other minor junk and get Terrence Williams. It’s a fresh start for the talented wing who had worn out his welcome in New Jersey. A new home and a new attitude after a stint in the D-League (where ball boys were giving him crap) gives Williams a chance to prove he belongs.
The Lakers ship out Vujacic plus their pick and will save about $9 million. Which is what they really wanted. But technically they also get veteran big Joe Smith (who is basically an insurance policy against another injury), Golden State’s second round pick in 2011, Chicago’s second round pick in 2012 and the rights to Ukraine’s Sergei Lishouk (who is currently playing in Spain).
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.