Author: Brett Pollakoff

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game 1

Cavaliers coach David Blatt: ‘LeBron James is our MVP’


NEW YORK — LeBron James is unlikely to win the MVP award this season, but it won’t be a reflection of how important he is to the Cavaliers, or an accurate way to measure his overall overall performance.

Cleveland’s head coach, David Blatt, knows this perhaps better than anyone else.

Speaking to reporters in advance of the Cavaliers’ contest against the Nets, Blatt seemed to be well aware that his team’s best player hasn’t been included in the MVP conversation.

But he wanted to make it clear that James has been every bit as valuable to his current team as he’s been when he’s won the award in the past.

“Listen, there’s a lot of talk about this I know, externally,” Blatt said. “And it’s good, because it generates interest and buzz. But LeBron James is the best player in our league in my opinion, and probably in the opinion of many, if not most. And LeBron James is our MVP. Now how that translates outwardly, to other people and places, that’s not in our control. But I can tell you that he’s led this team and since he’s come back from his injury issues, he’s just been fabulous.”

James missed eight games from Dec. 30-Jan.12, and Cleveland put together a record of just 1-7 while he was sidelined. The Cavs dropped his first game back, too, but since Jan. 15, they’ve put together a 28-6 mark, with LeBron consistently looking like his previously dominant self.

The MVP race is the most crowded it’s been in recent memory, however, and you have to get past guys like James Harden, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook before LeBron’s name is even mentioned. A combination of fantastic seasons by others, along with perhaps a bit voter fatigue have James further out of the race than we’ve come to expect.

But as far as Blatt is concerned, James is still the game’s best — whether he comes away with a trophy to show for it or not.

“There’s a lot of great players out there, and guys are having great, great seasons,” Blatt said. “If it’s Curry or Harden or Westbrook, all the respect that I have (goes) to those guys.

“But for me … like I said, most importantly, he’s our MVP. And where that goes from there, it’s other people’s business.”

Luis Scola commits flagrant foul against Michael Carter-Williams (VIDEO)

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks

Early in the third quarter of the NBA’s lone game on Thursday night’s schedule, Michael Carter-Williams got loose on the fast break, and appeared headed in for an easy two points.

As he went flying toward the rim, however, Luis Scola caught up with him, and made sure that wouldn’t be the case.

Scola caught Carter-Williams on the head while delivering the hard foul, which caused Carter-Williams to fall a bit awkwardly to the floor. The Bucks’ point guard was fine, but the play Scola made was a dangerous one, and the result could have been a lot worse.

NBA admits incorrect no-call by referees on final play of Lakers’ overtime win over Timberwolves

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves

On the final play of the Lakers’ overtime win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Minnesota had a sideline out of bounds opportunity, trailing by two with 0.3 seconds left.

That’s not enough time to get an actual shot off, but it is enough for a tip towards the basket — provided the pass can reach the intended player, without that player being fouled before it gets there.

The NBA’s Last Two Minute report says that Andrew Wiggins was indeed fouled before the ball arrived, which presumably would have given him a chance to tie it at the free throw line had the referees blown the whistle.

“After inbound, but prior to the touch, Clarkson grabs Wiggins’ arm, preventing him from catching the pass,” the report says.

The problem here is that there’s just such a small chance of Wiggins being able to do anything in that situation, with so little time on the clock and having a tip-shot as his only option. The referees clearly weighed this at the time, and perhaps believed that the ball wouldn’t have reached Wiggins anyway, even if Clarkson hadn’t made the contact that the league deemed to be illegal the very next day.

Clippers holding off on re-signing Nate Robinson after second 10-day contract expires

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers

Nate Robinson caught on with the Clippers recently, and has averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 assists in 14 minutes per contest as a reserve in nine total appearances.

But after his second 10-day contract expired, his future with the team is in doubt as L.A. waits to see if a recent knee injury will continue to force him out of action.

From Robert Morales of

Guard Nate Robinson sat out Wednesday’s game at New York with a sore left knee, his second 10-day contract expires today (Thursday) and he will not be re-signed just yet because of the injury, a league spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Clippers will see how Robinson’s knee is recovering before making a decision on whether to bring him back for the rest of the season.

Once a player completes two 10-day contracts, a team must ink him for the rest of the season if it wants to retain that player’s services.

The Clippers have needed Robinson with Jamal Crawford being sidelined, and Crawford’s status to return remains uncertain.

That means the Clippers will wisely wait before re-signing Robinson, because if the injury forces him to miss an extended amount of time, they may need to find someone else to contribute during those much-needed minutes off the bench.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman: ‘I don’t give a crap what Marreese Speights thinks’

Randy Wittman

The Warriors crushed the Wizards by 31 points on Monday, and when the beating was finished, Golden State’s Marreese Speights had some harsh words for his freshly-trounced opponents.

“We just turned up a little,” Speights said of Golden State’s defense to reporters following the win. “We knew if we hit them, if we got a couple stops they would start arguing with each other and quit. We went out there with a good mindset in the second half and we did it.”

A couple of days later, Wizards head coach Randy Wittman wasn’t exactly ready to accept those remarks.

From Ben Standig of CSN Washington:

“That’s his opinion. We have to worry about ourselves,” the coach said. “There is no splintering going on here. This is a frustrating game when you go 1 for 18 (in a quarter), trust me. That’s part of this game.

“I want them to have that spark, get on each other, push each other.  That’s part of this game. If you don’t play with emotion, that’s not good.

“I don’t give a crap what Speights thinks. We played them twice. What’s he know.”

Wittman wasn’t at all angry when delivering his rebuttal, as you can see in the clip below.

But somewhat ironically, Wittman himself used the “q” word to describe what happened after a tough loss to the Pacers the very next night.

“We were supposed to trap the ball. We didn’t,” Wittman said, in describing his team’s final failed defensive possession. “We’re undisciplined. We blew that lead because of our gambling and giving no effort defensively. We just quit playing defensively.”