Author: Brett Pollakoff

LeBron James

LeBron James: Cavaliers’ lack of playoff experience ‘scares me a little bit’


When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2010 to join the Miami Heat in free agency, he formed a super-team alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that enjoyed a measure of immediate success in making it to the NBA Finals in their very first season together.

But they didn’t win the title — a more experienced and veteran-laden Dallas Mavericks team earned that honor by beating the Heat in six games.

James bolted Miami to return to Cleveland, and is now in a situation similar to the one he faced four seasons ago. These Cavaliers have been very good, especially in the second half of the season, but remain untested. And that lack of playoff experience has James admittedly concerned about their championship chances.

From Dave McMenamin of

“I think from top to bottom, we’re just very balanced team and we have experience with youth and I think that’s a great combination in the postseason,” James said this week as part of a wide-ranging sit-down interview with ESPN. “One thing that scares me a little bit is just us coming together for the first time, our experience.

“We have guys that have played experienced basketball, but then we have guys that we have to rely on a lot that haven’t played experienced basketball and that’s Kevin Love, that’s Kyrie Irving, Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson that’ve never played a postseason game. So, that kind of scares me a little bit. But at the same time it scares me, [there is a feeling] of excitement as well, and not much of failure.

“I don’t fear failure in my teammates, but I fear just them never been a part of it. You can talk about the postseason. You can watch games of the postseason. You can clip it. You can watch film. But until you actually get out there, that’s the only way you can really understand what it’s about it.”

The good news for Cleveland is that LeBron is more experienced than the entirety of his team’s first-round opponent all by himself.

James has appeared in 158 playoff games; the entire Celtics roster combined has 139 postseason appearances.

Cleveland’s lack of experience won’t be a factor in the first round, as Boston will be hard-pressed to win more than a single game simply due to the overall talent deficit in place. The Cavaliers will, however, be heavily-tested in the second round, in what is projected to be a matchup against a very good Bulls team which features players who possess all kinds of postseason experience.

Stephen Curry converts circus and-1 reverse layup in Game 1 win over Pelicans (VIDEO)

Stephen Curry
1 Comment

Stephen Curry finished with 34 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals in the Warriors’ Game 1 win over the Pelicans on Saturday, and as usual, at least some of Curry’s points came in ridiculous fashion.

He somehow got this high-arching reverse layup to go, after being hacked in the act by Anthony Davis.

“I knew he was change chasing me down once I got past half court, and I just wanted to try to draw some contact,” Curry said afterward. “In that situation, if you try to go up softer and expose the ball, he’s probably going to get a hand on it.  So I got contact, and I was able to get the ball to my left hand.  At that point, it’s not so much luck, but just try to get it on the backboards any way you can, and hopefully it falls in.  I turned around and it went in.  So it was a fun little play, and I’m glad I executed it.”

Bucks owner tells Bulls fans planning to come to Milwaukee: ‘Stay home’

Tom Thibodeau

The Bulls will take on the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, and the majority owner in Milwaukee is trying to make sure that his team’s home games don’t feel like they’re being played in Chicago.

It’s an hour-and-a-half drive up the I-94 from Chicago to Milwaukee, and plenty of Bulls fans are expected to make the reasonable journey to cheer their team on.

But Bucks ownership has a message for anyone who is contemplating making that trip: Stay home.

From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times (via HoopsHype):

Milwaukee Bucks primary owner Jamie Dinan is well aware of the hostile takeover headed for his arena next week when Bulls fans make their usual migration north and treat the Bradley Center as if it were located in a Chicago suburb.

So his message to Milwaukee reporters was this:

“I would say it’s going to be a very long, long, lonely drive home to west Chicago after the games here,’’ Dinan said about Bulls fans planning to make the drive up Interstate 94. “That’s my advice. Stay home because you’re going to be really lonely and sad on that long ride home.’’

Shots, officially, have been fired.

There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of confidence in your team, and the small-market Bucks could use a little added attention by having a member of their ownership group saying silly things.

Milwaukee boasts the league’s second-ranked defense, and should stay competitive against a very good Bulls team. But Chicago has too much depth and overall firepower for the Bucks to win more than a game or two in this series, and no amount of blustery rhetoric — or rabid fans in the arena — is likely to change that.

Dwyane Wade says he won’t opt out of current deal to become a free agent this summer

Dwyane Wade

The Heat missed the playoffs for just the second time in Dwyane Wade’s 12 years with the franchise, but that had more to do with the loss of LeBron James and a season-ending medical condition suffered by Chris Bosh than it did his personal performance.

Wade was healthy for much of the season, and his 21.5 points per game average was his best in three years.

While he has the ability to opt out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he confirmed to reporters at the team’s exit interview session that he won’t be taking it, and will be back in Miami next season.

Wade is due more than $16 million, which is an amount he’s not likely to secure on a per-year basis, even though his next contract will be worth more than that in total. But the more compelling reason for him to wait, of course, is the fact that the salary cap is set to spike after next season, so Wade can get more on a max contract at that point when his current deal expires.

It’s also clear that Wade is happy with the Heat organization; the medical staff there was able to keep him healthy for the most part over the course of the season, and his relationship with Erik Spoelstra has been strong since the coach was installed in 2008.

Miami should improve next season, but there are other free agent decisions yet to be made. Goran Dragic will have plenty of suitors after opting out of the final year of his deal this summer, and Luol Deng will be in the same situation. But assuming Bosh makes it back healthy, he and Wade will be at least two All-Star caliber players who will be the focal point of next year’s Heat roster.

Clippers looking to change logo during offseason; let’s hope this one isn’t it


Some photos leaked on Friday of what were supposedly new uniforms and a new logo design that are in the works for the Los Angeles Clippers.

They’re … not great.



While we don’t yet know if these will be the ones that make the final cut, we do know the team is looking at options for a rebrand once the offseason begins.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Clippers are exploring changing their logo, colors and uniforms and could introduce changes as early as this offseason, multiple sources told ESPN.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has been looking to rebrand the team since purchasing the franchise for a record $2 billion in August and has been reviewing possible changes since November when he hired Gillian Zucker as president of business operations.

Early designs of two of the Clippers’ proposed new uniforms were posted online by Paul Lukas of and Uni Watch. The redesign, however, is still in the early stages and team sources cautioned that the leaked images were simply two of many options being looked at.

Let’s hope that last part is true.

The current Clippers logo, featuring the team’s nickname in cursive lettering, is among the league’s worst. (The Thunder’s branding is right there, too.) This is an opportunity to create a new look that fans can get excited about; maybe the negative reaction to these leaked images will set things moving in the right direction.