Kurt Helin

A man operates a snow blower near the Brooklyn Bridge in the borough of Brooklyn in New York on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. A blizzard with hurricane-force winds brought much of the East Coast to a standstill Saturday. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
Associated Press

Sunday’s Thunder at Nets game delayed four hours due to snow

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Previously the 76ers at Celtics game Saturday was pushed back until today (Sunday), and the Jazz at Wizards game Saturday has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined future date, all due to the storm that dumped more than 30 inches of snow up and down the Eastern seaboard.

It’s so much snow that transportation in New York City is still is difficult as the city continues to dig out from all that snow

Which is why the NBA has decided that the Oklahoma City Thunder at Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center scheduled for 3:30 pm ET today would be delayed to 7:30 pm ET. 

This shouldn’t be an issue for the teams or players such as Kevin Durant or Brook Lopez; they have a routine that sets them up for evening games. Frankly, the early start games are often sloppy because players are thrown out of their routines.

Plus now the players can watch almost all of the Patriots at Broncos game. Which is what half of them would rather be doing anyway.

Tyronn Lue wants Cavaliers to play faster but says conditioning an issue

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Tyronn Lue told his team before their first game with him as coach to start having fun again. The pressure to win now, the issues surrounding former coach David Blatt that led to his firing, the grind of a long season all had seemed to suck the joy out of the game for the Cavaliers. Lue told the team they need to start having fun again.

Part of that — run more, play faster. This is a team loaded with athletes and the best outlet passer in the game (Kevin Love), yet the Cavaliers play at the third slowest pace in the league (and were 25th lst . That shouldn’t be; this team should be getting easy buckets and throwing down dunks in transition.

Except they are not in good enough shape to do that.

Lue was honest about conditioning issues after the Cavaliers’ 96-83 loss to the Bulls’ Saturday. Via Hayden Groove of Scout Media (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

Here’s the money quote:

“I don’t think we’re in good enough shape. I think early we wanted to push it, we wanted to open the floor. I think we came out and did that, and then I think we dropped off the map. I think we got tired. Bron came out early, Ky wanted to come out early, Kevin wanted to come out early, so I just don’t think we’re in good enough shape right now to play the style we want to play.”

What you have to like — Lue called out LeBron James first, followed by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. He called the big three out in the media first.

The tired legs also would help explain the poor shooting night for the Cavaliers — 37.2 percent as a team, 4-of-24 from three, and most amazingly 9-of-22 from the free throw line. Not to go all Jeff Van Gundy on you, but this is a make-or-miss league and for whatever reasons the Cavaliers couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean Saturday night (to borrow an old Chick Hearn line).

Conditioning is something Lue can push, but like a lot of the issues the Cavaliers need to fix it comes down to the players taking responsibility — they need to put in the extra time to take their conditioning to the next level.

It’s a title-or-bust year in Cleveland — teams don’t fire a 30-11 coach unless that’s true and they don’t believe he can get them where they want to be.  We’ll find out if Lue can fix the team’s problems. But like this conditioning issue, whether that can be fixed in a meaningful way during this season is a bigger question. No matter what Lue does, it’s fair to wonder if he can solve a lot of the Cavaliers’ issues by June. How much can he change?

And can he whip them into shape?

DeMarcus Cousins dropped career-high 48 points on Pacers (VIDEO)

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In his last five games, DeMarcus Cousins has averaged 32.6 points per game shooting 50.5 percnet (and 71.4 percent from three), plus is pulling down 14.8 rebounds a contest. He looks like a guy who should be going to Toronto as an All-Star, a big man putting up numbers and pushing the Kings into the playoffs in the West.

He did it again Saturday night, dropping 48 on the Indiana Pacers while pulling down 13 boards in a Kings’ win. He made 17-of-29 shots, and 21 of those were within eight feet of the rim as Jordan Hill could not begin to slow Cousins down. What he did to the Pacers he’s been doing to everyone.

Report: Kobe Bryant rips into Lakers after team’s sixth straight loss

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant sits on the bench during the second half of the Lakers' NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 108-95. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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The Lakers fell in Portland Saturday night 121-103. Los Angeles was unable to slow down Damian Lillard (36 points) or C.J. McCollum (28), and the game was never really in doubt by the middle of the second quarter. it was the Lakers’ sixth consecutive loss.

Kobe Bryant has seen enough — he ripped the Lakers in the locker room after the loss, singling out their star rookies in particular, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Bryant, who posted 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five turnovers in 25 minutes through three quarters, became upset both with the Lakers (9-37) for losing their sixth consecutive game and for some on the team smiling after the loss, sources said. Bryant took particular aim at Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle and even called them out by name, sources said….

But multiple sources confirmed that Bryant spoke for about two minutes after Lakers coach Byron Scott addressed the team.

The Lakers are going to lose a lot of games this season because of their talent level and lack of experience, but the problems in the loss Saturday went beyond that — the Lakers were outworked by Portland at every turn. The Lakers were sloppy and did not take care of the ball. In the midst of a rough season, this was one of the Lakers’ poorest efforts.

So Kobe did what a veteran leader should do — rip the team. Tell them this level of play is not acceptable. He’s not capable of taking the game over with his play often anymore (or not for meaningful stretches), but he still carries weight in the locker room.

We’ll see if Kobe’s words have any impact on the Lakers’ effort. It’s not likely to change what is going on in the win column, with L.A.’s next three games being against Dallas, Chicago, and the L.A. Clippers.

DeMarcus Cousins scores career high 48 as Kings beat Pacers 108-97

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had a career high 48 points and 13 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Indiana Pacers 108-97 Saturday night for their season-high fifth straight win.

Rajon Rondo had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second straight triple-double and sixth of the season for Sacramento. Darren Collison had 11 points and rookie Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 rebounds.

The Kings, winners of eight of 11 in January, used a strong third quarter to build an 11-point lead and never relinquished it in the fourth. Sacramento has beaten Indiana four straight times, sweeping the season series the last two years.

Paul George had 24 of his 34 points in the second half for the Pacers, who have lost two straight and five of six. Jordan Hill had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Monta Ellis scored 16 and rookie Myles Turner added 11 points and five blocks.

Sacramento has won five straight for the first time since Oct. 31-Nov. 7, 2014. The Kings, currently in eighth place in the Western Conference, are legitimate playoff contenders at midseason for the first time in 10 years.

The Pacers had a great difficulty containing Cousins from the start. The Kings’ talented center had 13 points in eight first-quarter minutes and 24 points and eight rebounds by halftime. Cousins has 15 30-plus point games this season, including eight in the last 11 games.

Cousins scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a stretch of 11 straight Kings points that put Sacramento ahead 97-89 at the 4:04 mark. Consecutive baskets by Collison increased the lead to 10 points with just under three minutes remaining.

George also had a huge fourth quarter as well, also scoring 15 points.

TIP INS

Pacers: Starting PG George Hill rejoined the Pacers and came off the bench following a three-game absence. He left the team to be at the birth of his son, who was born Jan. 16. He had eight points and four assists in 32 minutes. … Starting C Ian Mahinmi, who suffered a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s win over Phoenix, missed his second straight game and reserve G Rodney Stuckey (foot sprain) was also out.

Kings: An irate coach George Karl picked up a technical early in the third quarter and had to be restrained by several assistant coaches. … Rudy Gay, the team’s second leading scorer, missed his second straight game with a bruised heel.