If you tuned out last night with Dallas up 7 and one minute to go, you missed one epic collapse. Just the fact the Hornets got three offensive rebounds in the final minute — not to mention 8 straight points — to get the win should tell you how Dallas played. How they lost to a Hornets team without Chris Paul.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had a word for it, one he told ESPN Dallas:
“Soft,” Carlisle said of his team… “Yeah,” the coach reiterated, “soft.”
Carlisle clearly has taken the Phil Jackson class on sending your team a message through the media. He wanted to get a rise out of his team. It worked.
“Who said that?” Jason Terry said, scoffing at the accusation after he had an off night — rare for him of late — with 10 points. “I’m not soft, not me. I don’t know where that comes from, but we ain’t soft. We have to see how he meant soft in that aspect, but I know he wasn’t talking to me personally or any of my teammates because I don’t think none of these guys are soft.”
We’ll see if that translates into actions when the Mavericks take on the Knicks Thursday.
The Mavs are not soft, but the Hornets did outwork them. Carlisle also used the word “toughness,” as in the Mavericks lacked it. The Mavs are a good team but they are not good enough to coast. Not good enough to take their foot off of the gas.
Even for the final minute.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.