Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like you loved the Beyonce halftime show.
• Set your DVRs: JaVale McGee should return to the Nuggets rotation Tuesday. That’s bad news if your name is Timofey Mozgov, but good news if you’re looking for something to put in your next blooper reel.
• Brandon Jennings has changed agents to sign with Jeff Shwartz. What’s that mean? Jennings is a restricted free agent next summer and the man wants to get paid. As Ken Berger points out at CBSSports.com, Shwartz’s pattern is to get players in bigger markets where they have more endorsement opportunities. Not ideal for the Bucks (although they can match any offer Jennings gets next summer.
• Would Kevin Garnett actually let the Celtics trade him?
• A Detroit columnist complaining about how many Kobe Bryant fans were at the Palace Sunday. It’s like that in almost every arena Kobe or LeBron James play in, truth be told.
• Deron Williams’ new $15.8 million New York penthouse is… well, you get what you pay for.
• Since talk of a potential move to Seattle started, the Kings have really struggled on the court.
• Jeremy Lin tweaked his ankle in practice Monday and is now a game-time decision for Tuesday.
• Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out Monday with a concussion and may not play Wednesday either. He needs to be cleared by a league neurologist before he can get back on the court.
• It may be late for most of you, but if you read one bit of Rudy Gay trade analysis it should be this one from Tom Ziller at SBN. Fantastic stuff.
• In the wake of a lot of Super Bowl betting, not to mention a major match fixing scandal in the international soccer world, there’s a great story in the New Yorker asking if we as America need to reconsider our national ban on sports gambling. It’s not a simple debate.
• Some interesting statistical milestones to watch in the NBA as we head into the second half of the season.
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.