Kobe Bryant picked up his 15th technical this season in a little tussle with Kendrick Perkins Sunday night. One more T in the season’s final two games and Kobe is suspended for one game. If he picks up 16 in the season’s final game he does not sit out the first playoff game — the technical count resets for the playoffs — rather he would be suspended for the first game of next season.
I wouldn’t describe Kobe as talkative after the Lakers loss to the Thunder Sunday.
Who are the best scrappers in the NBA?
Lance Stephenson has been benched again in Indiana and will not play again this season due to a violation of team rules.
Gregg Popovich would like to do away with the three-point line. Sort of.
What happened to Shannon Brown? Remember at the start of the season when he got his shots in the flow of the offense and the jumper was falling? Those days seem long gone.
When you reflect on Memphis making the playoffs, do not forget what Rudy Gay brought to this team this season.
Marcus Cousins got a three-year deal with the Rockets. It is not guaranteed, however.
Mark Cuban railed against Internet reporters again, this time on CNN and this time said giving them locker room access was like giving a needle to a heroin junkie. Brett talked about this before here, but my one sentence response: It’s about ticket sales for Cuban, because the trade rumors this Internet reporter runs often come from those newspaper sources, but Cuban can see the connection between papers and ticket sales (and sponsorships) in a way he cannot with the Internet. To sum up: It’s always about the money. Always.
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.