David Blatt

Report: Cavaliers to offer David Blatt head-coaching position

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From Adrian Griffin to Alvin Gentry to Vinny Del Negro to Tyronn Lue to Lionel Hollins to David Blatt to John Calipari to Gentry and Lue again to Mark Jackson – the Cavaliers coaching search has been a long, strange, fun trip.

And now it might finally be ending.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

As many missteps as the Cavaliers made along the way, they fundamentally ran a good search. They cast a wide net, interviewed candidates of all experience levels and let the cream rise to the top.

Blatt carries an excellent track record, winning with multiple overseas clubs. He most recently coached Maccabi Tel Aviv and previously coached Russia’s national team. Renowned for his innovative offense, Blatt could help Kyrie Irving reach the next level.

Nobody knows how Blatt will translate to the NBA, but his head-coaching experience is reassuring. It might be a smaller jump from the Euroleague to the NBA than it is from an assistant’s chair to the top chair. Blatt definitely has the potential to be a home-run hire.

If he accepts.

That Lue is the other finalist is important information, because Blatt might turn down the job to become an assistant for Steve Kerr’s Warriors. Obviously, head-coaching jobs are typically more desirable than assistant positions, but Dan Gilbert looms over everything.

There are several considerations for Blatt, including:

  • How much will each team pay him?
  • How much does he value being a head coach over being an assistant?
  • How does he rate the Cavaliers and, to a lesser extent, the Warriors?
  • How likely is he to get another head-coaching offer based on which job he takes now?

Two teams – and Lue – await his answers.

Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.

He might get back far sooner than that.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.

Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.

The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.