The Cavaliers reportedly believe – or did at least as of March – they can lure back LeBron James.
Now, if you have even a chance of landing a player of LeBron’s caliber, you pursue it. How seriously you pursue it is based on the player’s ability and your chances of acquiring him.
In this case, there’s no doubt on the former – LeBron is great – but the latter is difficult to pinpoint.
Mike Brown, the recently fired Cleveland coach, had an inside look at the Cavaliers’ thinking, and he leaves little doubt about his perception of their plan.
Brown on The Dan LeBatard Show, as trancribed by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:
“I think they will definitely try to make a run at him,” Brown said. “With him being from this area it makes more sense for Cleveland to go after him than any other team besides the Miami Heat.”
When Brown was asked whether he thinks James would consider a return to the city where his NBA career got started, Brown responded by saying, “I don’t know.”
That second question is much more important.
There’s little chance LeBron leaves Miami for Cleveland, period. Those odds shrink exponentially if the Cavaliers don’t show a huge desire to bring back LeBron. Remember, his last tenure in Cleveland ended with Dan Gilbert writing an open letter practically proclaiming the team was better off without LeBron.
I would be shocked if LeBron returns to Cleveland. I am not shocked the Cavaliers plan to pursue him anyway.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”
Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.
Raptors media relations:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.
Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.
The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.