What you missed while falling asleep during the Pro Bowl….
Our man Matt Moore gave you breakdowns on the big games Sunday with the Heat beating the Thunder and the Celtics knocking off the Lakers.
Suns 104, Hornets 102: The Suns were the better team for 47:40 but in those final 20 seconds they almost choked it away. The Suns were up 8 when Chris Paul knocked down a three (because he’s clutch). Then Trevor Ariza got a steal and CP3 lured Channing Frye into fouling him as he shot a three. Been a rough weekend for Frye. Anyway, Paul sank all three free throws and it was a two-point game. Then Grant Hill threw the ball out of bounds on the inbound pass. Hornets ball with a chance to tie or win — and Hill made up for his error by blocking Marcus Thornton at the rim. Chris Paul got one last desperation three but he was more trying to draw another foul and didn’t have any luck. Suns escape with a nice win — and Marcin Gortat is really starting to give them a presence at center.
Sixers 110, Nuggets 99: Remember the theory that Denver could keep Carmelo Anthony around if they could show him the Nuggets were contenders? Contenders play defense. Denver does not. Andre Iguodala had 24 points on 12 shots and the Sixers shot 55.1 percent as a team.
Magic 103, Cavaliers 87: This makes 20 losses in a row for the Cavs, and it was simply a matter of the superior talent on Orlando overwhelming Cleveland. That was particularly true in the paint and on the glass — Orlando had 24 offensive rebounds, with Ryan Anderson leading the way with 9. They grabbed the offensive rebound on 45 percent of their missed shots. Orlando was not particularly sharp, but they didn’t have to be.
Knicks 124, Pistons 106: With Shawne Williams suspended for the night Timofey Mozgov got his first run since Jan 8 — and he looked good. Like what a lot of us expected of him this season. He rolled to the hoop well on picks, showed off a midrange game and filled the paint up well for the Knicks. Mozgov finished with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting (he missed his first four then got hot), plus grabbed 14 boards. It will be interesting to see what Mike D’Antoni does with him now, but Mozgov earned more burn.
Warriors 96, Jazz 81: How bad is the Jazz’s offense without Deron Williams? The put up a pathetic 91 points per 100 possessions pace on the Warriors. The defense-averse Warriors.
Larry Nance Jr. is now a professional athlete for the Los Angeles Lakers, but back in 2003 Nance was just a 10-year-old kid with a dream of playing in the NBA.
During that time, Nance was apparently a pen pal with a U.S. soldier named Bianca Snow. Snow recently posted old letters from Nance to social media that shows the interaction between the two.
It’s pretty cool to see a moment in time like this.
The letters read as follows (transcription via SB Nation):
March 19, 2003
Dear U.S. Soldier,
My name is Larry Nance. I have 1 sister, 1 brother that annoy me all the time. My dad played in the NBA.
Thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be brave and miss your family.
I hope you get home soon and see your family soon. Good luck.
Dear U.S. Soldier is the war almost over? Where is Saddam? How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for writing back. Where are you?
Are you good at basketball? I like the Lakers too they are wining there series with the Timberwolves. Who is your favorite player? Mine is Shaq. Who do you want to get LeBron James? I want the Cavs to get LeBron, that is because my dad played for the Cavs. His number is retired in the Gund Arena.
And again Thank you!!
Nance saw the post on social media and responded to Snow, inviting her to a future game.
Pretty neat stuff.
Do you have 22 minutes to watch the 100 best crossovers of last season? It’s Monday, of course you do. It’s either that or work.
Here they are, as compiled by the fine folks at NBA.com. Enjoy. And don’t be shocked that Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook have the top spots.
And if you must go into the comments and complain that technically not all of these are crossovers, go ahead, but it doesn’t change anything. It’s like saying there is only one way to make a proper matzo ball soup — there are a lot of variations (I like it with dill in the broth), and they all can be delicious. Just enjoy it.
CLEVELAND (AP) The Cavaliers have named Koby Altman their full-time general manager.
Altman’s promotion had been expected for days and was made official on Monday. The 34-year-old has been serving as Cleveland’s interim GM this summer after David Griffin parted ways with the club following the NBA Finals.
Altman has been with the club since 2012. He will be the fifth GM for owner Dan Gilbert since 2005.
Gilbert said he’s been impressed with the job Altman has done over the past five weeks and said he “has the credentials, knowledge, experience and instincts to be an outstanding general manager. … I am confident that Koby is equipped and prepared to lead and succeed in this dynamic environment.”
Altman is taking charge during an interesting juncture for the Cavs. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving recently asked to be traded and LeBron James is heading into his final season under contract.
More AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
It looks like former NBA MVP Derrick Rose is heading to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rumors have been swirling all week about Rose, who could be a backup or big-minute replacement for Kyrie Irving, who reportedly wants to be traded away from LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
According to reports released on Monday from Yahoo! Sports and ESPN, Rose has committed to sign with the Cavaliers after completing a physical. Rose will be paid $2.1 million on a one-year contract.
The Cavaliers have had one of the weirder offseasons, and while adding Rose isn’t necessarily the strangest thing they have done, it could be a larger signal for the rest of the league with regard to what direction the team is going to go.
Rose played OK in New York last season, and would be well suited as a backup bench spark for a contending team if he found the right fit. The Cavaliers will likely try him out in lineups with Lebron, but how he fits in as of the end of July isn’t quite clear. Will he be a backup? Will he be the de facto starter if Irving is no longer on the team come opening night?
The 2017 NBA offseason has been endlessly interesting, and this move is another in a long series of twists and turns.