Byron Scott, Tristan Thompson

Byron Scott: Cavaliers’ rebuild right on schedule; Tristan Thompson supports him


The Cavaliers are in their third season since losing LeBron James to the Heat, and Cleveland’s records – 19-63, 21-45 and now 22-52 – have fluctuated between various stages of bad. Byron Scott, who has coached the Cavaliers during this rebuild, doesn’t see that as a problem. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Scott said he expected the Cavs’ rebuilding project to take between three and five years, the first time anyone in the organization has put a timetable on the development.

“It’s still right on that timetable, as far as I’m concerned,” Scott said. “But there’s been some times it’s probably been tougher than I expected. But if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.”

Read between the lines, and Scott is suggesting he should get five years to right the ship. That won’t happen – the only coaches in their fifth year or more at their current jobs are Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers, George Karl, Erik Spoelstra and Rick Carlisle – but it’s a nice idea.

Whether he’s actually better than Scott or not, the next Cavaliers coach will almost certainly look better. Without doing anything, he’ll get a more-experienced Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters and (maybe) more than 25 games from Anderson Varejao.

Thompson realizes only so much is under Scott’s control:

“All the rumors about Coach Scott, hot seat and all that crap, that’s bogus,” Thompson said. “It’s up to us to go out and compete and play hard because we’re the ones out there. When he was out there playing, he won championships. It’s up to us to go out there and play.”

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.