With the Minnesota Timberwolves frequently going small and the New York Knicks frequently going big Wednesday, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love often guarded each other.
During a halftime interview, a reporter asked Chandler about the relatively quirky matchup (hat tip: Royce Young of Eye on Basketball).
- Reporter: “With the mismatch with Kevin Love, what are some of the challenges, and some of the ways you’re taking advantage?”
- Chandler: He can stretch the floor so well. So, we’ve got to do a better job of closing out.”
- Reporter: “How are you taking advantage of it then?
- Chandler: “Huh?”
- Reporter: “How can you take advantage of the mismatch on your end?”
- Chandler: “Oh. Go at him. He can’t play D.”
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Love has actually improved considerably defensively since gaining a reputation for struggling on that end early in his career. But Wednesday’s loss to the Knicks – and an admittedly difficult matchup with Chandler – sure didn’t prove his growth.
Chandler shot 5-for-5 on plays Love guarded him,* including a couple wide-open dunks when Love got caught in the middle on pick-and-roll coverage.
On the other end, Love shot just 4-for-11 – though he made 3-of-5 3-pointers – with Chandler guarding him.*
*Approximately, depending on your interpretation of a few plays. Today’s help-heavy NBA defenses often don’t lend themselves to saying who guarded whom.
Chandler and Love share a bond that dates back to when Love was in sixth grade. So, I think Chandler’s comments were mostly in good fun.
And what fun they were! Every halftime interview should feature a player or coach insulting someone on the other team.
A good rule of thumb: If LeBron James is getting few breakaway dunks, the other team is in trouble.
Enter the Toronto Raptors, who got to watch a dunking clinic by LeBron as he had multiple breakaways during the Cavaliers’ 38-point win on Wednesday night. LeBron played well, and the Cavaliers got a balanced attack from their stars — 25 points from Kevin Love, 23 each from LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Watch LeBron’s night above. Toronto needs to find a way to keep him from having another game like this Friday.
After a beatdown at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 — a loss where he was just 5-of-12 shooting, a loss that has the Raptors on the brink of playoff elimination — Kyle Lowry did what he had to do and went in front of the media to answer questions and try to explain that loss.
But really, his face when he walked into the interview room and saw the box score summed up the Raptors night perfectly.
Lowry and the Raptors need to turn it around and win at home Friday night to keep their playoff dream alive another day.
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man — Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has been offered the head coaching job in Memphis. He’s a smart coach who earned the trust of elite players and was a key part of the staff that helped Miami to a couple of rings.
It’s a good hire. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what a couple Heat players from that era had to say.
Mario Chalmers had a first-hand view — he was traded from Miami to Memphis in the middle of last season. The point guard who went the other way in that deal, Beno Udrih, also helped push the deal along.
Fizdale is going to be a popular hire with the players. That said, if the Grizzlies can’t keep Mike Conley in free agency the team is going to have struggles this season, regardless of who coaches them.
Before Game 5, Cavaliers’ coach Tyronn Lue told Kevin Love just to stay aggressive. Channing Frye told him the same thing.
Love took that advice to heart. From the opening tip of Game 5, Love was attacking — backing down the overmatched Luis Scola and knocking down threes. Love had 12 points in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 25, helping spark an easy, 38-point Cavaliers win in Game 5.
Now, can Love do this on the road in Game 6?