The Lakers desperately need a true point guard. The Trail Blazers have been very unhappy with Raymond Felton this season — mostly because he’s looked heavy, is shooting 36.8 percent, 24.6 percent from three, and his turnovers are up.
So while it may be odd to have two division rivals talking trade, the Lakers and Trail Blazers are indeed talking, reports CSNNW.com.
A league source has informed CSNNW.com that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers have had “exploratory talks” regarding Trail Blazers’ guard Raymond Felton.
According to the source, talks have been ongoing for weeks and it is likely to involve Lakers’ guard Steve Blake in the deal.
Felton, when playing well, is a much better floor general and a guy who can break down a defense with penetration, which is exactly what the Lakers need at the point. They need someone besides Kobe Bryant who can create shots for himself and others on the perimeter.
He just hasn’t played anything like that this year. He has been benched by coach Nate McMillan and is not happy about it. There are some serious issues in the Trail Blazers locker room and it needs to be shaken up and the problems shipped out. If that is Felton….
Steve Blake is Steve Blake — not brilliant as a pure point guard but he can knock down threes and space the floor. Is that really enough for Felton?
Just something to watch. Any and every point guard on the market — Raymond Felton, Jose Calderon, anyone — the Lakers name will come up. With reason. It’s just a question of if they can get a deal done.
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.