Ray Allen is going to be a popular guy Sunday.
With Kevin Garnett back in the fold in Boston you know they are going to make a big run at him, but as rumored the Miami Heat will as well. From Brian Windhorst at ESPN.com.
The Heat, according to sources, have made Allen their prime offseason target and will pursue him strongly when free agency opens Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET.
They intend to offer him their $3 million mini-mid-level exception, a chance to win another title and significant playing time as they continue with the plan to play LeBron James as a power forward in the future. Heat players, including James and Dwyane Wade, have been publicly and privately recruiting Allen over the last month.
Boston can offer more money (they have his Bird rights), a level of comfort with the players and organization, and the chance to chase another ring with Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
If it is just about the ring or playing time, Miami is going to win out. In Boston Avery Bradley will be the starting two guard and Allen would be the sixth man with decreasing minutes. (And Boston fans, Miami is much closer to a title. Yes, you took them seven games in the conference finals but five of those were without Chris Bosh and while Dwyane Wade was dragging around a left knee that needed surgery. The Heat will be better next year.)
The Suns also are reportedly interested in making a run at Ray Allen, and other teams will be in the mix as well. But it almost certainly comes down to Miami vs. Boston.
It really comes down to what matters most to Ray Allen. I would say the longer Allen takes to make a decision, the more likely he returns to Boston.
The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.
Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.
“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.
No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.
That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.
Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.
In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.
NBC Sports Washington:
Rockets players James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green and Chris Paul reportedly went through a back hallway to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room after last night’s game.
That’s one version of the story, at least.
But it apparently isn’t the only one – at least when it comes to Harden’s, Green’s and Paul’s involvement.
Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
A hallway runs between the Clippers locker room and the visitors locker room, where players from opposing teams often see each other and catch up. According to a Rockets source, Ariza was waiting on Griffin, and when the game ended he charged from the hallway into the Clips locker room. When Rivers spotted Ariza near the entrance, according to the source, he said: “Let his b—– a– come in.” Ariza then turned his attention to Rivers.
ESPN reported that Ariza was flanked by three teammates—Harden, Paul and Gerald Green—but their purpose was unclear. “They were holding Trevor back,” the source said.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Harden was sitting out his seventh straight game with a strained hamstring on Monday night, and Rockets sources believe that he’ll be ready for a return to the lineup on Thursday night against Minnesota.
Austin Rivers challenging Ariza is juicy, but the type of thing people say during altercations. The rest of this sounds like the Rockets trying to position themselves ahead of the NBA handing down punishments.
If they were just trying to restrain Ariza, then Harden, Paul and Green shouldn’t be fined or suspended. But if Harden is suspended, he could serve his penalty Thursday – even if the Rockets are fibbing about him being ready to play (though they at least previously laid the groundwork for that one).
There’s a lot for the league to untangle.
Russell Westbrook jumped from fifth to second in the NBA in technical fouls in about two seconds.
The Thunder star received two technical fouls and an automatic ejection late in Oklahoma City’s win over the Kings last night, leaving his nine technical fouls behind only Draymond Green‘s 11.
Westbrook got hit in the face on a drive, but instead of a foul being called on Sacramento, Westbrook was whistled for travelling. That’s quite a turnaround from the expected call to the actual call, so I understand why Westbrook was so upset. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook said something that warranted ejection. Thunder coach Billy Donovan also got a technical foul in the sequence.
Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:
The league used to crack down on that more with public fines, but the Thunder have skirted the rule this season.