This is a real long shot, but after watching his team try to slow Rudy Gay last game Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is good with long shots.
Del Negro said he would not rule out playing Caron Butler, the small forward with the broken hand that was supposed to be out at least another month. Here is the tweet from official Clippers reporter Madelyn Burke.
VDN says not ruling Butler out entirely for Sat, “he’s tough… He wants to play” but adds team has to be cautious, “he has a broken hand!”
Butler’s toughness has never been in question. But this is a broken hand, and even if it is not the shooting hand you’ve got to catch passes, take contact and more. It seems a long shot, even for a guy nicknamed “tough juice.”
The Clippers replace Butler with Bobby Simmons and Nick Young — they can get offense from that pair but the defense is a drop off. And since that is the matchup with Gay, defense matters.
My bet is you see Young starting in Game 3. But Del Negro would love to find a way to make it Butler.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.