Kurt Helin

Cavs’ Dahntay Jones suspended for shot to Biyombo’s “groin;” Raps’ coach Casey fined $25,000 for ripping referees

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Cleveland’s Dahntay Jones has a reputation as a guy who will take a cheap shot if given the chance.

He did that at the end of the Raptors’ Game 3 win in Toronto. Jones was in the paint battling for a meaningless rebound with Bismack Biyombo and gave him a clean shot to the, well, as Biyombo said after the game “the nuts.” That’s going to cost him a one-game suspension, the league announced. Jones cannot play Monday in Game 4 of this series. You can get a better look at the shot in this Vine.

Losing Jones is no big deal for the Cavaliers, he’s not part of their regular rotation, he only plays during garbage time.

The fine is not going to hit Jones that hard — remember he signed at the very end of the regular season and made just $8,819 for the season.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey picked up a $25,000 fine from the league for his comments after the game that the Raptors — Biyombo in particular — was not getting calls. He had to know he was getting fines the second he said this:

“[Biyombo] is not getting the calls. We shoot zero free throws in the fourth quarter. Zero. He’s getting hit. There’s one play where they almost have a brawl. He gets killed on that play. I don’t know if he’s getting hit because of how physical and tough he is, but he’s getting cracked…. Again, I’m going to say this: I think he gets hit almost on every rebound and putback there is, and he just doesn’t get the calls, whether he’s rolling to the bucket, and we’ve just got to have consistency with that.”

Casey was willing to take the fine to make the point. We’ll see if the calls are a little different in Game 4.

Carmelo Anthony says he’s looking forward to playing faster under Jeff Hornacek

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11:  Co-founder of Melo7 Tech Partners Carmelo Anthony speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 11, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
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The Knicks were 24th in the NBA in pace last season, playing even a little slower after the All-Star break when Kurt Rambis was focusing on running more triangle than Derek Fisher did.

Now Jeff Hornacek will bring some pace and space to the Knicks’ offense.

Carmelo Anthony, for one, welcomes the new offense, as he told WNBC-TV in New York (hat tip ESPN):

“I played against him a couple of times when he was the head coach out there in Phoenix,” Anthony said in an interview Saturday with WNBC-TV. “Everybody knows he likes to play an up-tempo pace of game, likes to get out in transition, likes to speed the game up a lot. So from that standpoint, I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.”

Hornacek has been freed from the confines of the triangle offense, and history suggests he will want his team to run more.

Is the Knicks roster built for pace right now is another question. The Knicks have Anthony, Robin Lopez, Kristaps Porzingis, Jose Calderon, and Kyle O'Quinn — not exactly a group that will be confused with the Warriors lineup in terms of shooting and athleticism. Not that some of those players can’t find a role in a up-tempo offense, but the Knicks need to get a lot younger and more athletic to play that style. And they need a dramatic upgrade at point guard.

Jackson made the right move stepping away from Rambis and the triangle (whether he did it willingly or not), but he’s still got a lot of work to do.

Report: Hornets assistant Stephen Silas to meet with Warriors’ Kerr about lead assistant role

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 21: Assistant coach Stephen Silas of the Charlotte Bobcats (L) works on a computer with Cory Higgins #11 before a game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Charlotte’s lead assistant Stephen Silas is in serious demand. And about to get a serious pay bump.

He is still technically one of the finalists for the Houston Rockets’ job along with Mike D’Antoni, although GM Daryl Morey keeps bringing in new candidates to interview so that situation remains in flux. Silas isn’t waiting around, he’s going to see check out another coveted gig — the Golden State Warriors’ lead assistant spot. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Wojnarowski added later that Portland is going to talk to Silas about its lead assistant position.

This puts pressure on the Rockets — if they are serious about Silas they need to move fast, before he accepts another job.

The seat next to Steve Kerr on the Warriors’ bench becomes open after their playoff run because Luke Walton is heading to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers’ gig. Jeff Hornacek was the name mentioned as getting the Warriors job until Phil Jackson offered him the Knicks head coaching position.

Silas would be a good fit, and the fact he’s going to OKC to interview for the position shows both sides are serious. Silas is the son of coaching legend Paul Silas but he’s carved out his own path as a guy seen as a quality thinker of the game and a guy the players love — Jeremy Lin named Silas as a key reason for his strong season.

Whatever happens, Silas is about to get a pay bump.

Why Bulls need to move on from Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler backcourt

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 28: Derrick Rose #1 and Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls chat during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 28, 2016 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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You can have a winning team where two guys believe they are the alpha on a team — so long as their games mesh. The natural, obvious examples are Shaq and Kobe Bryant, or Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

It has not worked with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler in Chicago.

The relationship between the two is not the biggest problem — they get along better than Shaq and Kobe ever did — the issue is their games simply do not mesh. In a column calling for Bulls management to trade either Rose or Butler, the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson laid out why.

Neither possesses knockdown 3-point shooting ability to play well off one another. Both prefer to have the ball. Butler has added a screen-and-roll element to his game that nobody envisioned when he first came into the league.

This has little to do with whether Rose and Butler like each other or get along. Simply put, the two didn’t play well together consistently last season with the Bulls getting outscored by 3.5 points per 100 possessions when both were on the court. If left unaddressed, their uneasy alliance will continue to have a negative effect on the locker room….

Until utilizing them together in screen-and-roll plays more frequently down the stretch, (coach Fred) Hoiberg often called isolation plays for Rose or Butler. The other stood on the perimeter, where their respective 29.3 and 31.1 percent 3-point shooting struck little fear.

NBA teams cannot be constructed like a fantasy team, where collecting the most talent is all that matters — fit is crucial. Mental makeup of players matters. Chemistry is not simply a high school class.

The reality is both Butler and Rose likely are back with the Bulls next season. Rose would be hard to move; he has one year left on his contract at $21.7 million, and the Bulls would need to throw in a sweetener to get a team to take that on, and even then the return would not be great. Butler could bring real value, especially if the Bulls start to think longer-term rebuild, but Butler is the best player on this team and should be part of its future — why would they still be building around Rose? He’s not that player anymore, even as he shows flashes of good play it’s not the pre-injury Rose anymore.

Bulls management errs on the side of caution, so they likely do nothing.

There are no easy, clean, simple answers here for the Bulls. However, the Bulls have two players that think they are the top dog on this team, and these players do not fit well together. A change has to be made, one way or another. It’s become obvious, and it’s time.

Mark Cuban picks Thunder to win title; “absolutely” would consider VP run with Clinton or Trump

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 01:  Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half at American Airlines Center on March 1, 2016 in Dallas, 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Mark Cuban went on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning and was classic Cuban.

We’ll start with the basketball comments because, well, this is a basketball site and all. Cuban went against the grain — shocking — and picked the Thunder to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.

“You know, I’m going to take a little bit of a long shot here and go with the Thunder,” Cuban said.

Then came the political talk.

When asked separately if he would run as the vice presidential candidate for likely major party nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he responded “absolutely” but said he would want them to listen and seriously consider where he differs from them on policy issues. Cuban also would not rule out a future run for president himself, saying what Trump has done has made it okay not to be a “Stepford candidate” anymore.

Basically, Cuban will do what is best for Cuban. Which is what he usually does.