Dan Feldman

LeBron James steals ball, throws down double-pump reverse dunk (video)

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LeBron Jamesmonstrous Game 1 dunk spoiled me so much, I didn’t initially realize how great this Game 2 follow-up was.

It’s pretty awesome by any reasonable standard.

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James get into it with Bismack Biyombo (video)

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 17: Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Toronto Raptors dunks in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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The Cavaliers and Raptors are getting chippy.

Kyrie Irving put a shoulder into Bismack Biyombo as he tried to fight through a screen. The Raptors called timeout, and Biyombo put his forearm on Irving’s chest. Of course, Irving didn’t like that and batted away Biyombo’s arm.

LeBron James rushed in to push away Biyombo and pull away Irving. LeBron also did his share of jawing (maybe with DeMarre Carroll?).

This wound up a double-technical on Irving and Biyombo.

Report: Frank Vogel’s Magic contract for four years, $22 million

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Larry Bird said Frank Vogel begged to keep his job as Pacers coach.

Vogel might be glad Bird didn’t accede.

Hired by the Magic, Vogel stands to receive a substantial raise from the $2.5 million he reportedly made in Indiana this season.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

That’s a little higher than the approximate number reported for Terry Stotts – and good for both of them. Vogel and Stotts are quality coaches.

Money isn’t everything, and Vogel will surely miss Paul George. But Orlando has a deep cast of young talent – Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja and the No. 11 pick – and plenty of cap space. The Magic have potential. They just needed a coach after Scott Skiles’ resignation.

A willingness to spend got them a good one.

Report: Phil Jackson told Jeff Hornacek he won’t have to run triangle offense

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29:  Head Coach Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns looks on during an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on November 29, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
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Knicks president Phil Jackson indicated his desire for the Knicks to hire a coach who runs the triangle offense. Jackson even held a camp last month for Knicks players on the triangle offense.

Now, New York is hiring Jeff Hornacek, who didn’t run the triangle while coaching the Suns.

Is Hornacek changing his scheme, or did Jackson relent?

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

An NBA source said Jackson has told Hornacek the full-blown triangle offense is optional with the Knicks, and there’s a chance it is blended with Hornacek’s ideals.

Smart move – if Jackson sticks to it. There is no way the Knicks could’ve turned a good hire into a bad one more quickly than forcing Hornacek to use a system he doesn’t know.

Hornacek can surely bend. He succeeded with the Suns coaching two point guards, because Phoenix had two good point guards. The Knicks don’t have one.

But many of the up-tempo and spread elements of Hornacek’s offense will translate anywhere. He knows how to implement those, which is not the case with the triangle.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with incorporating triangle elements (as pretty much every team does). Hornacek even had a  head start on learning those.

Hornacek played four seasons on the Suns for Cotton Fitzsimmons from 1988-92, winning 54 games per year. Harvey Aaron of The New York Times:

“And guess which offense we ran way back then?” Colangelo said. “We ran the triangle.”

Fitzsimmons, he explained, had been an assistant in the mid-to-late 1960s (and head coach successor) at Kansas State to Tex Winter, widely considered to be the triangle offense architect and later Jackson’s mentor when they both were assistants to Doug Collins with the Bulls in Chicago.

Using Fitzsimmons’s triangle, the Suns rose in the West with 48- and 49-win seasons.

“We had the right personnel for it, especially a good passing center in Neal Walk and a really smart, physical power forward in Paul Silas,” Colangelo said. “That’s the key, the right personnel. I mean, if you have a Michael Jordan and a Scottie Pippen, it’s a great offense.”

Report: Police investigating James Harden allegedly breaking man’s finger in fight

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 13:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets runs upcourt during the first half of a game  against the Sacramento Kings at the Toyota Center on April 13, 2016 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
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Rockets star James Harden is facing a criminal investigation.

TMZ:

The LAPD is looking into allegations that James Harden roughed up a photog in L.A. on Tuesday night — allegedly breaking the guy’s finger in the process … TMZ Sports has learned.

It’s important to remember Harden has not been charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime.