Author: Brett Pollakoff

150602 lebron james

LeBron should win Finals MVP even if Cavs lose, say polled coaches, execs


LeBron James should be named Finals MVP, no matter the outcome of the series.

I detailed on the podcast why there’s no way that will happen.

But whether it does or it doesn’t, only Warriors fans seem to believe that someone on their team should win the award if they close out the series and win the title; the majority of well-informed observers feel otherwise.

Chris Broussard of

I polled 50 league execs & coaches from the other 28 teams asking if LeBron James should be MVP even if Cavs lose. 31 said Yes, 19 said No.

In the event the Warriors win the series, it would take an even more outrageous performance from James to steer voters away from handing an additional trophy to someone in a Golden State jersey. Andre Iguodala may have been the favorite early on, but now it would almost certainly go to Stephen Curry, provided he has even an average performance in the game that closes Cleveland out.

In my opinion, there’s almost nothing LeBron could do to win the Finals MVP if the Warriors win the series. He wouldn’t want the trophy anyway, and it would make for a ridiculously awkward presentation on the television broadcast, outside what would assuredly be a devastated Cavaliers locker room, or (worse) on the same stage where the Warriors would be seen celebrating.

But that doesn’t mean that he won’t deserve it.

Scott Foster to referee Game 6 of NBA Finals; road team has won his last 11 games

2015 NBA Finals - Game Two

When previewing Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the biggest question for the Cavaliers is whether or not LeBron James will get any help on the offensive end of the floor in terms of production from his teammates.

If recent statistics are to be believed, he certainly won’t be getting any from the officials.

Tonight’s crew of referees will consist of Scott Foster, Marc Davis and Zach Zarba. And when Foster’s been in the house during these playoffs, it’s meant that the home team was in for an unfavorable result.

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News:

And yes, road teams are 11-1 in Foster-called games during these playoffs, including CLE over GSW in Game 2 at Oracle.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Bad news: Scott Foster crew chief tonight. Road team has won his last 11 games. #Cavs have benefited many times during streak; not tonight

It is worth noting that the Cavaliers won Game 2 at Oracle arena the last time Foster’s crew was on the floor — and the league said that four calls were missed in overtime when releasing its Last Two Minute report the very next day.

You can take a deeper dive into the statistics on Foster in the playoffs if you wish, but it’s probably a waste of time. Despite the Game 2 gaffes, this is merely a coincidental trend (albeit a fairly strong one), and I don’t believe that the officials intentionally do anything to favor one team or the other.

But as Game 6 unfolds, it’s something which, for fans of both teams, will remain interesting to watch.

Report: Doc Rivers backed out of deal to trade for Lance Stephenson last season

Chicago Bulls v Charlotte Hornets

The Clippers agreed to a trade with the Hornets that will have Lance Stephenson in place on the roster to start the 2015-16 season.

But they could have had him much sooner than that.

L.A. reportedly had a similar deal in place with Charlotte last season, but Doc Rivers ultimately decided to stand pat.

From Arash Markazi of

Does Doc Rivers the Clippers’ president of basketball operations believe that Doc Rivers the Clippers’ coach can handle Lance Stephenson?

That is presumably one of the many questions Rivers was forced to ask himself as he sat in his office on Monday mulling a trade that was on his table and essentially up to him to accept or veto. The Charlotte Hornets had already agreed to ship Stephenson to Los Angeles in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes. It was up to Rivers, both the president and coach, to decide if it was worth it.

Charlotte tried to pull off a similar trade with the Clippers last season, sources say, before Rivers backed out.

It’s easy to understand why the Clippers would hold off on making a move like this in the middle of the season.

Stephenson can be a tough fit from a personality standpoint, and reportedly clashed with his teammates in Charlotte. It’s one of the reasons the Hornets looked to move him midway through his first season with the team, after they signed him to a three-year deal as a free agent the previous summer.

L.A. viewed itself as a championship-caliber squad, and it wasn’t going to make a risky move that could potentially derail its season. Now, however, it’s become clear that the Clippers need to upgrade their roster, so making the move in advance of next year’s campaign makes a lot more sense.

If it ends up not working out, it’s still a good deal for Los Angeles from a salary cap perspective. Hawes fell out of the rotation entirely, and would have been on the books for another three seasons. Stephenson’s deal, however, is only guaranteed for next year, with the team holding the option for the season after that.