Utah Jazz v Dallas Mavericks

C.J. Miles and Raja Bell are not thrilled with Ty Corbin


Ty Corbin did a lot of things right in his first full season as the Utah Jazz’s head coach. Even though the Jazz were swept in convincing fashion by the Spurs in the 1st round, the team did make the playoffs the year after Hall-of-Fame coach Jerry Sloan left mid-season and superstar point guard Deron Williams was traded at the deadline, which is no mean feat, especially considering that Derrick Favors, the centerpiece of the trade that sent Williams to New Jersey, appears to be making good progress under Corbin.

Still, not every Jazz player was thrilled with Corbin at the end of the season. Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune has the story:

Raja Bell

Bell does not expect to return to Jazz next year.

Bell hopes the Jazz do the right thing and move him before the 2012-13 season. He was open to it before the trade deadline but never asked for trade.

Bell said Corbin was “unprofessional” at the end of the season. According to Bell, Corbin made things personal by playing everyone in the playoffs except for him and it was obvious.

Bell said if he’s still on Jazz at the start of next season “we’ll cross that bridge” then.

C.J. Miles

Miles said the team was put off by Al Jefferson’s pre-Game 4 comments about no one beating the Spurs in the playoffs and San Antonio being better than Utah.

Miles loves the Jazz, the team’s fans and thinks Corbin will evolve. But he never knew what was expected of him this year.

Miles said communication was much better with former coach Jerry Sloan, and Corbin has struggled relaying his message to team.

Miles: “I don’t even remember us naming a captain, but they wanted leadership.”

Miles wanted to play in Game 4 but said he wasn’t allowed to.

The 35-year old Bell, who has always been a role player, probably wouldn’t have done much to prevent the sweep in anybody’s wildest imagination, but the fact that he was the only player not to get on the court for the Jazz does seem to show that Corbin doesn’t have much of a personal relationship with him. Miles is just 25, but he’s also a role player on the court for the Jazz, so it wouldn’t seem like he would have much leverage if he forced the Jazz to choose between him and their coach.

Miles is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Bell’s 3.5 million dollar contract expires after the 2012-13 season.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.