Byron Scott, Tristan Thompson

Speculation starting in Cleveland about Byron Scott’s security


Is Byron Scott doing enough with the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Can you really tell with a roster that didn’t have a lot of talent and had to deal with injuries?

The Cavaliers are not very good, not defensively (26th in NBA at 106.9 points per 100 possessions) and 20th in offense. They are on an eight-game losing streak and, while they just got Kyrie Irving back on Sunday, this is a team limping to the finish line and another high draft pick. Which led Bob Finnan to speculate at the News-Herald that Scott’s job could be on shaky ground.

Coach Byron Scott’s critics are becoming more vocal as the season wears on. It was once viewed that his return next season was almost a lock. After all, the Cavs picked up the option year on his contract next year worth an estimated $4.5 million…

Scott’s offense is largely ineffective. Often times, he hands the ball to Kyrie Irving in crunch time and asks him to make something happen. Break down your man, penetrate into the key and take a shot….

For the most part, Scott is able to get the players to play hard. Right now, there is not enough legitimate talent, which isn’t the coach’s fault.

Because the Cavaliers are about saving money right now I’d be shocked if Scott is not back next season — the Cavs aren’t going to pay him and someone else as coaches.

But part of Scott’s reputation is that his teams burn out on him and his style after a few seasons and either tune him out or worse. He may not be the ideal coach for a rebuilding project like we see in Cleveland. But you can’t judge that based on this season and what he’s had to work with. He should return.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.