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.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.