Things haven’t gone so well for Byron Scott this year. He took over as head coach of the Cavaliers with no knowledge of whether or not LeBron James was going to return to the team, but he was confident that he could have success whether James stayed or left. LeBron left, of course, and the Cavalier wins never came. After a semi-promising start, the Cavs have won one game since November 27th, and they needed overtime to get that one win.
The Cavs were the worst team in basketball before their recent slew of injuries; having Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe, and Daniel Gibson hurt will only make Cleveland’s nightmare season worse. Given that Scott has long been rumored to be a candidate to take over for Phil Jackson as head coach of the Lakers when he retires, one could think that Scott regrets his decision to take the Cleveland job. However, as the Cavs got ready to take on the Lakers on Tuesday night, Scott was adamant that he still believes he made the right decision.
“My decision wasn’t based on what [LeBron James] was going to do, it was based on what I thought we had at that point,” Scott said. “Do I regret that decision? By no means. I tell you, the organization is top of the line. Dan Gilbert is unbelievable. Working with Chris Grant has been unbelievable. It’s like a family here. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of being [in Los Angeles]. I know that we can turn this thing back around, and I like I told Chris the other day, it will make it that much more gratifying. Because we’ve gone through this, we’re going through this. That’s how I look at everything. The glass is half-full as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to be right back up at the top soon.”
Scott’s optimism is probably what the Cavaliers need right now — the Cavs won’t make the playoffs this year, or come close to it, but fortunes can change quickly in the NBA on a year-to-year basis. If the Cavs rebuild with patience, draft well, and get a few lucky breaks, they could make Scott’s optimistic view into a realistic one over the next couple of years. However, getting a win in 2011 would probably benefit the team’s confidence more than any declarations from their coach would — we’ll see when the Cavaliers can pull of that feat.
NBA: Kenneth Faried got away with foul on decisive basket in Nuggets’ win over Bulls
The Bulls’ biggest loss Friday was Jimmy Butlerto injury. His absence certainly contributed to a loss to the Timberwolves the following night.
But Chicago also lost to the Nuggets on Friday, and perhaps that wouldn’t have happened if the game were called correctly down the stretch.
With Denver up two points and 21.1 seconds remaining, Kenneth Faried offensively rebounded a free throw and scored. The Bulls then intentionally fouled down the stretch, and Faried and Danilo Gallinari added a few free throws in the Nuggets’ 115-110 win.
Faried (DEN) extends his arm into Gibson (CHI) and dislodges him, affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound.
This was a huge swing. Instead of Taj Gibson – a 69% career free-throw shooter – going to the line for two attempts with Chicago down two points, Faried put the Nuggets up four. Even if Gibson split at the line, the Bulls would have been in significantly better shape.
As usual, we can’t know what would’ve happened if this call were made correctly. But it significantly set back Chicago.
NBA considering if jump-on-back foul should be flagrant foul
The NBA was quick to let people know that this is just something under consideration — there has been no change in the rules. This may well be where the league is headed, but it’s not there yet.
The NBA defines a flagrant foul as “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.” To me, leaping on a player’s back like that qualifies. (A flagrant two foul is “unnecessary and excessive contact” and leads to an ejection; this is not that.)
Jared Dudley — one of the more vocal players on union issues — added a good point.
Since we're in the subject! I think it's crazy that the @NBA can make a rule without even discussing it with the players. No input at all
Smith (CLE) makes incidental contact with Turner’s (BOS) body as he attempts the layup.
If this were officiated correctly, the Cavs would’ve had the ball and a two-point lead with 5.9 seconds left. That’s not a lock to win – they’d still have to inbound the ball and make their free throws – but it’s close.
Cleveland is definitely entitled to feel the refs wronged them out of a victory.
Report: Kevin Durant has “done his due diligence on the Bay Area”
Kevin Durant has not made up his mind about what he will do as a free agent this summer. Until his playoff run ends, whenever that may be for the Thunder, his focus will be on bringing a title to Oklahoma City.
But even he admits he can’t help but think about free agency a little.
The Warriors play in front of an intimidating Oracle Arena crowd and are expected to debut a new San Francisco arena in 2019. Durant has quietly done his due diligence on the Bay Area, too, sources told Yahoo Sports.
His people — specifically agent Rich Kleiman and personal manager Charlie Bell — would be stupid not to have done some research on not only Golden State but on every other team he might consider: Houston, Miami, Washington, both teams in Los Angeles, the Knicks, and on down the line. Golden State, playing with Stephen Curry, certainly would have its attractions.
I’m still in the camp that Durant signs a 1+1 deal to stay in Oklahoma City (meaning he can opt out after one more season, in 2017), and it’s all about the cash. While he could get 30 percent of a $90 million cap this summer (about $27 million a season to start), with one more year of service in 2017 Durant could get 35 percent of $108 million ($37.8 million to start). That’s a lot of cash. Plus he gets one more chance at a ring with Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, who both are 2017 free agents.
But you can be sure whatever Durant decides, it will be well researched and thought out. And he’s not going to announce it in a live special on ESPN.