Alvin Gentry blasts Suns for lack of effort after loss to Warriors

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Suns head coach Alvin Gentry was livid after Wednesday night’s loss to the Warriors, and with good reason. It had nothing to do with the fantastic game-winner that Monta Ellis knocked down with one second left, and everything to do with the way Phoenix sleep-walked through the game’s first 10 minutes.

The video above, taken by SBNationArizona, gives you an idea of the tone of the postgame presser, but picks up after Gentry had truly let his team have it.

“It’s unfair to the people, the fans in the stands,” Gentry said, as transcribed by SportingNews. “The way we approached the game sucked. And yeah, I said sucked. So what we do is exactly what I said we would do after the first timeout. We would dig ourselves a hole, and then we would have to play so hard to get back, it would be a perfect storm. And you know what? We end up defending the heck out of the guy at the end and he makes the shot and that’s not the difference in the game. The difference in the game was what happened in the first 10 minutes.

“I’m disgusted with the way we played. I’m disgusted with the fact that we had the chance to end the break with something really upbeat and positive and, instead, we just walked through the first (expletive) 10 minutes of the game.”

It was an unusually emotional tirade out of Gentry, but this Suns team has so little room for error that it might have been time for the players to hear it. Phoenix has just enough talent that if everyone individually plays focused basketball, especially defensively, they can compete with the majority of teams on most nights. When they don’t, they can get run out of their own gym and find themselves trailing by 17 points at the end of the first quarter — just as they did on Wednesday against the Warriors.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.