Tristan Thompson expected to start for Cavaliers in Game 2 vs. Bulls

3 Comments

With Kevin Love lost for the remainder of the postseason due to injury, it may take more than one game for the Cavaliers to figure out the best alternative lineups and rotations.

Mike Miller got the start in Game 1, and though he did grab five rebounds in 16 minutes, his inability to positively affect the offense meant that the team would be better-served with Tristan Thompson in the lineup, who is a better defender and a tireless force on the glass.

Thompson played a starter’s share of minutes (37) in Game 1, and will reportedly get the chance to do so from the opening tip of Wednesday’s critical Game 2 contest.

From Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

In an attempt to split the series at home, Cavaliers coach David Blatt will start Tristan Thompson in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, league sources informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Sources spoke on the condition of anonymity. Thompson will make his first postseason start at power forward, pairing up with LeBron James and Timofey Mozgov in the frontcourt, one source said.

The biggest effect of this decision might be how it impacts LeBron James, who can now return to playing the small forward position where he’s traditionally been able to do the most damage. Kyrie Irving explained why that’s a huge positive.

“We get our 3-man back,” Irving said. “It was great seeing Bron at the 4, but at times he was getting the ball just like our bigs and he’s giving it right to me.”

“Our dynamic throughout the entire year and what we’ve created is we play off one another and our bigs get the rebound,” Irving said. “Me and Bron are sprinting dang near at half-court ready to get our offense started, so we have our 3 man back and he’ll be out on the perimeter and all that energy battling Joakim Noah and all those other bigs can be afforded on Mike Dunleavy playing the 3 and also on the offensive end.”

James has admitted he needs to be more aggressive heading into Game 2, after a 9-of-22 shooting effort that accompanied a six-turnover Game 1 performance. Playing the position where he’s consistently been the most comfortable may do plenty to help achieve the desired result.

Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan fined $15,000 for criticizing referees

1 Comment

The Raptors lost to the Warriors on Saturday, and DeMar DeRozan – despite his own brilliant performance – was irked.

The Toronto guard seemed particularly upset about a review of an out-of-bounds call in the final seconds. After initially giving the ball to the Raptors, officials said it touched DeRozan while he was out of bounds and granted Golden State possession:

The NBA’s replay guidelines say (emphasis mine): “Referees can only initiate a review on a called out-of-bounds play (for example, not one where an out-of-bounds might have occurred) and only those involving doubt as to which player caused the ball to go out (not those, for example, where a player stepped on the line).”

DeRozan

I mean, it’s frustrating being out there feeling like you playing 5-on-8. It’s just what it feel like, period. Some of them calls was terrible, period.

I thought you couldn’t even do that. I’m not even a referee, and I know that rule. So, somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

The NBA corrected him in the two-minute report, saying “After communicating with the Replay Center, the ruling on the floor of Raptors possession is overturned and the Warriors are awarded possession because the ball touches DeRozan’s (TOR) leg while his body is out of bounds before Curry (GSW) knocks the ball out. Referees were able to review two aspects of this out-of-bounds play since they were part of the same sequence.”

Then, the league fined him.

NBA release:

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The comments were made following the Raptors’ 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 13

Saying “5-on-8” seems to be a secret code word for getting fined. I’m not sure whether the rest of DeRozan’s comments would have gotten him fined, but that phrase almost certainly did him in.

Kyle Lowry on plan to meet Ben Simmons after ejections: ‘Put it this way, I was back there’

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
2 Comments

As Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons were ejected late in the 76ers’ win over the Raptors yesterday, the players appeared to challenge each other to meet in back.

Lowry eagerly left the court and headed through the tunnel. Simmons appeared much more reluctant at that point.

Despite a report of a confrontation in the hallway, Simmons said nothing escalated, as he went to his locker room.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet

TKO.

Warriors complained of no hot water in showers in Cleveland

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.

Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.

“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.

No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.

That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.

Giannis Antetokounmpo assists fastbreak dunk with football-style long snap (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.

Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.

In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.

NBC Sports Washington: