Hornets fans, you should like what Anthony Davis said for a couple of reasons.
What did he say? In a Q&A with the New York Times he talks a little about his Olympic experience, how he wants to play as hard as Kevin Garnett does every night, how he likes to draw cartoons, how he listens to Frank Ocean and more. Then he was asked his goals for his rookie season.
Win rookie of the year. Make first-team all-rookie, first-team all-defense and defensive player of the year.
He may win ROY, although I expect Damian Lillard and others to give him a run there (he should end up being the best player out of this class hands down, but it is going to take a few years to really reach his full potential).
But Defensive Player of the Year? Um… Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and others will have a say there. A bigger say.
But like I said, Hornet fans should be happy. First, you want a guy to set lofty goals. You want a player who thinks big — about winning, about goals for himself.
Second, he wants to establish himself on defense. That is key. If he can focus on that end and become a defensive force, he can lead the Hornets to big heights. The offense will come, he has a nice offensive game (he can finish around the rim, has a little midrange) but that will come with time. But the key is at the other end of the floor and he knows it.
And that Olympic experience is going to help him speed along that learning curve.
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.