LeBron James

2014 NBA Finals - Game One

Rumor: Ray Allen leaning toward retirement, not return


Ray Allen is doing what East Coast retirees do — living in Miami, loving the weather and golfing nearly every day. He probably gets some early bird dinner specials at Denny’s, too.

He’s also been staying in shape and considering an NBA return for the second half of the season, bolstering a contender. Cleveland was considered the front-runner (because of Allen’s relationship with LeBron James) but a number of teams — Clippers, Warriors, Spurs, Bulls, Wizards, Grizzlies — have interest in him as well.

The question is does Allen have interest in them? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, a guy well sourced in Miami and Cleveland, was on ESPN1540 radio in Cleveland and said Allen may choose not to choose.

This option was always on the table for him, people around the NBA just never thought he’d choose it. But I had heard as far back as last summer that when LeBron left the Heat Allen was hesitant to follow and leave his family and life in Miami to chase a ring in a cold-weather climate. Now Cleveland is far from a sure thing in the East (I’d say their defensive issues leave them third or fourth in the conference) and while there are teams in the West Allen could help that playoff run will be a bloodbath for everyone (you can make a good case for seven teams at least to come out of that conference and make the Finals).

Maybe in the end Allen will run through his options and, like the computer in War Games, decide “the only winning move is not to play.”

Rudy Gay hits Ben McLemore for half-court alley-oop (VIDEO)

Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings

Rudy Gay threw a perfect half-court lob to Ben McLemore for a dunk in the Kings’ 115-106 loss to the Suns:

It was a perfectly executed play off a defensive rebound, up there with anything from Kevin Love to LeBron James or Chris Paul to Blake Griffin in terms of flash.

Victor Oladipo elevates for one-handed jam over LeBron James (VIDEO)

Utah Jazz v Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-89 on Friday night, but Victor Oladipo was a bright spot, scoring 13 points and throwing down this dunk over LeBron James:

James slapped his arm on the dunk, too, but Oladipo didn’t get the foul call.

Anthony Davis with a ridiculous block of Manu Ginobili’s layup (VIDEO)

Anthony Davis, Kevin Love

Anthony Davis routinely does things that shouldn’t be physically possible for a human. He’s quickly approaching peak LeBron James levels of simply drawing shrugs when he makes a ridiculously athletic play. This Manu Ginobili layup attempt on Friday night had no chance.

There isn’t a more exciting player to watch on a night-to-night basis this season. And he’s only 21.

Anderson Varejao undergoes surgery for torn Achilles, out for the season

Minnesota Timberwolves v Cleveland Cavaliers

We already knew this was going to be the case, but the Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Friday night in a press release that center Anderson Varejao will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon.

Cavaliers Center Anderson Varejao underwent successful surgery today at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland to repair his recently ruptured left achilles tendon. Dr. Brian Donley performed the surgery with Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker and Dr. James Rosneck assisting. Varejao is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 NBA season while he recovers and progresses through his rehabilitation process. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date.

This is awful news for the Cavs, whose frontcourt depth—which was already not great—is now decimated. Brendan Haywood is legitimately their third-best big man right now. Varejao was one of their better defenders, and outside of LeBron James (who has lost a step on that end from a couple of years ago) and Shawn Marion (who is 36), they don’t have anyone else on that end as the roster is currently constructed.

With Varejao gone for the season, the Cavs need to trade for somebody, but it’s unclear who. Brandan Wright, who was just traded from the Mavericks to the Celtics as part of the Rajon Rondo trade, is probably available if the Cavs are willing to give up a first-round pick. That’s a deal that probably makes sense for both teams, but other than that, there aren’t many bigs available who would move the needle for the Cavs.

With the Chicago Bulls rounding into shape and the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks as hot as ever, the Cavs’ road to the Finals is going to be tough, and as of now they can’t really be looked at as the favorites. As good as their top-end talent is, that likely isn’t going to change unless they add somebody who will replace Varejao’s production on the defensive end.