You don’t see as many tip-ins in the NBA anymore, mostly because guys like Blake Griffin don’t tip the ball in so much as throw it down with authority.
But on a Griffin missed jumper at the end of the half Monday night Caron Butler made an impressive tip-in play — he got to a shot well short of the rim, tipped it back over his head and into the basket as time expired. That was impressive.
It didn’t help the Clippers get a win over the Pacers, and Los Angeles is now 7-8 in its last 15. And it’s numbers against the best teams is far worse (they are 2-8 against the West’s playoff teams in their last 10). In the next few days they will win their first-ever Pacific Division title, but if that is not followed with a strong playoff performance there should be changes with the Clippers this summer. And Butler may be one of those.
But that doesn’t take anything away from this play.
Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.