Kurt Helin

LeBron James

LeBron James out, being rested Friday night vs. Pacers

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Kevin Love, it’s your show.

Kyrie Irving was already out due to a strained shoulder, now comes word that LeBron James will be out for the Cavaliers’ game Friday against the Pacers. Dave McMenamin of ESPN broke the news, since confirmed by the Cavaliers themselves.

This is not good news if you are a Cavs fan.

That said, David Blatt gets it — the Cavaliers are not playing for a February Friday in Indiana, they are playing for June. Irving healthy and LeBron rested matter far, far more important to the team.

Kyrie Irving has strained left shoulder, out Friday vs. Pacers

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks
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When Kyrie Irving didn’t board the team charter flight Thursday night after the Cavaliers’ statement win over Golden State so he could get an MRI on his shoulder, you had to know this was coming.

Kyrie Irving is out Friday night when the Cavaliers take on the Pacers due to a strained shoulder, the team announced. He is day-to-day.

Irving is averaging 21.7 points, and 5.2 assists a game this season. More importantly, the Cavaliers’ offense drops 12.8 points per 100 possessions when he is off the court. Although, the Cavs do still have that LeBron James guy, so they probably will score some points.

Announcement: ProBasketballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $350,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $30,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Expect a lot more Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert, if you have them on your fantasy teams. (And if you have Dellavedova on your fantasy team, we need to talk.)

NBA to release “Last Two Minutes” officiating reports through end of season, playoffs

Boston Celtics Vs. Brooklyn Nets At TD Garden
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You’re still going to disagree with the call that goes against your team. At least now you’ll have the NBA’s reasoning behind the call when you tweet the game was fixed.

Officiating in the NBA is always a debate during the playoffs, so in an effort of transparency, the NBA is going to release a Last Two Minutes” officiating report. That report will have a “senior referee manager or basketball operations manager” assess the calls in all games that are within five points in the final two minutes of the game (and this will include overtime for those games). The report also will have a video link to said play.

“Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied,” said Mike Bantom, Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, in a released statement. “NBA referees have the most difficult officiating job in sports, with so many split-second decisions in real time. We trust this consistent disclosure will give fans a greater appreciation of the difficulty of the job and a deeper sense of the correct interpretations of the rules of our game.”

Here is what the report will look like, from an NBA sample using the Jan. 19 Knicks/Blazers game:

source:

This is a good step by the league.

It’s not going to change some minds — referees make their calls on bang-bang plays and fans see those calls with their heart. If you’re a Thunder fan, Russell Westbrook will not commit a charge going to the rim. If you’re a Mavericks fan, Tyson Chandler stays vertical and doesn’t commit fouls on guys penetrating the lane. It’s not universal, some calls are obvious, but how many times have you (or I) seen a call as obvious only to have people try to tell you that you’re wrong?

Still, every step toward referee transparency is a good one.

Report: Highest bid for Atlanta Hawks currently $800 million

Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six
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In the wake of the Clippers sale for a shocking $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, it’s has become a guessing game around the league: How much could other teams be sold for?

Right now, for the Atlanta Hawks the number is $800 million.

That according to a report out of Forbes Magazine.

The deadline for bids for the Atlanta Hawks was Tuesday and several offers have been made. Top price: $800 million….

Although Bloomberg reported the offers were around $900 million, a source with knowledge of the bids said that is not accurate. The source, who traded candor for anonymity, said the $900 million figure includes $112 million of bonds remaining on the original $131 million used to finance the construction of the arena.

There were a number of bidders in the mix and rumors of the bid prices were considerably higher than this. I was told by sources that some of the bids were heavy on foreign money who had teamed up with well known NBA faces to make their offers.

Why would you leak this number now? To try and inspire other bidders who think they can come in over the top. If you believe that bidding is over if a bigger number comes in, well, you haven’t watched the NBA do business much.

That said, this process seems to be nearing a conclusion, just as the Hawks are ready to head into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed.

Report: If Ray Allen return to NBA this season it will not be with Cleveland

Ray Allen
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Don’t expect Ray Allen to play in the NBA this season.

I base this on the last report from people close to him, which said he was working out but not “getting ready to return to the NBA working out.” Allen is one of the best conditioned, most meticulous athletes you will ever find, if he’s not working out like it’s a return then he is not returning.

However, if he does return, it will not be to Cleveland, reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

When in Miami trying to rehab LeBron tried to recruit Allen to the Cavaliers. It didn’t work.

The list of teams that would have an interest in Allen should he decide to return basically includes every contender — the Hawks, Spurs, Grizzlies, Clippers, Bulls and on down the list. He will have options.

But expect him to choose his family, warm weather and golf — all of which are in Miami. Where he is happily retired.