Author: Brett Pollakoff

150602 lebron james

LeBron, can you be more aggressive in Game 2? ‘I don’t know how much more aggressive you want me to get at this point’


LeBron James did seemingly everything he could in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, scoring 44 points on 38 shots, while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Yet, with Kyrie Irving out for the remainder of the series with a knee injury, might James have to do more to give his Cavaliers a shot at victory in these Finals?

He’s not sure it’s even possible.

“Well, if I get more aggressive than 36 shots (laughing), I might have about 58 of them things tomorrow night,” James said at Saturday’s media availability. “I don’t know how much more aggressive you want me to get at this point.”

LeBron actually tallied 38 shots in Game 1, and had he hit the one at the end of regulation that could have potentially given his team the win, the conversation surrounding his effort would be very different two days later.

But now that the Cavaliers are trailing 1-0 in the series, and James has lost his most reliable offensive threat when not counting himself, it’s worth wondering if there is in fact anything else he’s able to do to will his team to wins — or, if Cleveland is simply too depleted at this point from a personnel standpoint to be able to compete with these Warriors.

Quote of the Day: Tyronn Lue talks smack on 14th anniversary of Allen Iverson stepping over him in 2001 Finals

NBA Finals X

Tyronn Lue is an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers now, but he’s known for being on the wrong end of an iconic moment during an otherwise unremarkable 13-year career as a player.

While playing for the Lakers during the 2001 NBA Finals, Lue fell down late in Game 1 as he was attempting to check Allen Iverson. Iverson hit the shot, and stepped over Lue on his way back down the court, and appeared to do so with plenty of disdain.

This happened 14 years ago today, and the Sixers commemorated the event by posting 12 separate photos to their Instagram page which, when viewed as a whole, made up the larger portrait of this memorable moment.


This was pointed out to Lue at Finals media availability, and while he’s had a good sense of humor about this play in the past, his response today showcased his competitive nature.

As always, scoreboard trumps all.

Milwaukee Bucks unveil new uniforms (PHOTOS)


The Milwaukee Bucks unveiled new team logos near the end of the regular season, but it’s taken until now to get a look at the new uniform designs.

The wait was worth it.

Subtlety is underrated, and the Bucks did a nice job of pulling this off.

Here’s a look at the home kit:


And the away version:


And the full explanation of all of the thought that went into the design:



Head on over to for additional images, and if for some reason you’re not feeling these, remember — the Clippers recently gave us a prime example of just how easy it is to screw this up.

Cavaliers’ second-most used lineup of playoffs should get more run in Game 2 of NBA Finals

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Warriors have been wildly successful this season when using a small lineup that features Draymond Green at the five, surrounded by various combinations of guards and wings.

As it turns out, the same has been true for the Cavaliers, albeit in a smaller sample size.

With Kyrie Irving ruled out for the remainder of the postseason due to a knee injury, a silver lining for Cleveland around this darkest of clouds may be found in Matthew Dellavedova, who has played well as part of the team’s second-most used lineup in these playoffs — one that doesn’t feature Irving at all, but has dominated its opponents.

The Cavaliers have had to adjust on the fly this postseason, thanks to Kevin Love being lost in the first round due to injury, J.R. Smith missing two games in the second round due to a suspension, and Irving sitting out two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Because of all that, Cleveland was forced to try out more lineups than expected, and one in particular has yielded a significant level of success.

The guys the Cavs have rolled out in these playoffs the most have been the members of their preferred starting lineup: Irving, LeBron James, Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Including Game 1 of the Finals, this group has played together a total of 105 postseason minutes, has a win-loss record of 7-3, and has outscored opponents by 8.2 points per 100 possessions.

The lineup that’s second on the team’s most-used list is a little less traditional.

When the Cavaliers have gone small with Thompson at center, surrounded by James, Shumpert, Dellavedova and J.R. Smith, they were undefeated in eight games before the Finals, and played 50 total minutes while outscoring their opponents by 26.2 points per 100 possessions.

With Irving out, this might be an option for Cleveland in longer stretches than it has been willing to experiment with to this point of the postseason. There’s (of course) the problem of how well the Warriors may be able to match up, and play their preferred style of uptempo basketball that leads to Green pushing the break, and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson getting loose for open looks in transition.

But as we saw in Game 1, it’s difficult for the Cavaliers if LeBron has to try to drag his team to victory all by himself. Without Irving, he will have even less help in Game 2, and they’ll have to get a little bit desperate. The small lineup has proven to work in short bursts, and now seems like the perfect time to unleash it fully, just to see what havoc it may be able to bring.

Report: Justise Winslow to work out for Knicks


Our initial mock draft has Duke’s Justise Winslow going to the Knicks at four, as does the well-respected version over at Draft Express.

While mock drafts are cobbled together based on team needs and information from league sources, the reality is that few actually know who will go where, partially because all it takes is one surprise pick on draft night to cause a ripple effect that can blow up even the most well-informed projections.

Whether or not this particular prediction comes true, obviously, remains to be seen. But since Winslow is a real possibility for New York, the team has an individual workout scheduled with him in order to do its due diligence.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Duke’s Justise Winslow will work out for the Knicks on Monday, league sources tell Yahoo. New York is examining him closely at No. 4.

This is all part of the process.

The Knicks will look carefully at plenty of players in advance of what is undoubtedly the franchise’s most critical draft choice in recent history. Emmanuel Mudiay is slated to come in this week, as well, and let’s not forget that trading the pick may be the most appealing of all options — especially if Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell are all off the board as expected, and the Knicks truly have their eye on someone like Trey Lyles, who is currently being projected to go much later in the first round.