Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron says nice things about Mike Brown hiring in Cleveland


What did you expect him to say?

When LeBron James was asked about his reaction to his former coach going back to his former team — Mike Brown has been hired as the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers — you knew LeBron was media savvy enough to say something supportive of the hire. So he did to the Associated Press.

“I’m happy for him,” said Miami’s LeBron James… “Very happy for him. I think he’s a really good coach, very defensive-minded coach. It’ll be good for those young guys that they have.”

The first question on a lot of people’s minds (based on twitter responses) was “How does this impact Cleveland’s ability to land LeBron James in 2014?”

I don’t think it does — because I don’t think he leaves Miami in 2014.

Not for Los Angeles, not for Cleveland, not for anywhere. He’ll opt out and re-sign in Miami (he may leave after the next deal, but not now). Why? Because the Heat look on the path to winning their second consecutive title this year and they will certainly be contenders next year as well. He trusts Pat Riley, he trusts Erik Spoelstra and he likes the winning culture there. He knows at this point his legacy is about winning rings and he’s doing that right where he is. Also, he took a lot of “you’re just chasing the rings” flack when he left Cleveland before and he’d get more if he jumped now. Bottom line to me is he has matured a lot the last few years and has a loyalty to where he won, he has a great relationship with Wade, he likes Miami, and they are going to keep winning. You don’t leave that.

If you don’t like my logic, Ken Berger of tweeted this.

Or, look at what Adrian Wojnarowski wrote at Yahoo Sports:

From the moment Mike Brown marches back into the Cleveland Cavaliers, ownership needs to empower him to tell everyone the truth: LeBron James is gone and he’s never returning to the franchise.

Any way you want to slice it, the success of the Cavaliers is about Kyrie Irving’s future and Mike Brown’s defense. It’s not about LeBron.

But LeBron says he likes the hire.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.