Baseline to Baseline recaps: Miami beat a good team handily… watch out

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What you missed while reading the Incredible Hulk Buddhist twitter timeline…

Heat 111, Jazz 98: When LeBron James is the ball handler attacking the rim and Zydrunas Ilgauskas is setting the picks and knocking down the pick-and-pop jumpers, it is going to be tough to defend. Together they were 19-30 for 49 points. Wade had 28 points plus he got to the line 11 times and the Heat avenged an early season loss. Just 10 bench points for the Jazz. That’s six in a row for the Heat, all by double digits.

Bulls 88, Cavaliers 83: A blizzard of a snowstorm hit Cleveland in the early evening, one that tied up downtown Cleveland to the point that JJ Hickson, Anthony Parker and other Cavs barely made it to the arena on time for the game. Combine that kind of snow with a slumping team and the building was half full. Those that did come out saw the Cavs up with 30 seconds to go but Derrick Rose hit his big shots down the stretch while the Cavs missed theirs.

Celtics 105, Nuggets 89: Denver’s defense could not stop Boston with Rajon Rondo back in the lineup. Kevin Garnett was 8 of 9 for 17; Ray Allen was 9 of 14 for 28. They were just too efficient

Knicks 13, Raptors 110: Amar’e Stoudemire had 34 points, his sixth straight game with 30 or more. Also the sixth straight Knicks win. Coincidence? Raymond Felton with the dramatic step-back game winner.

Bucks 97, Pacers 95: Andrew Bogut tipped in the game winner off a Luc Richard Mbah a Moute pass with 0.5 seconds left to win — another reminder of how much the Bucks need Bogut on the floor. Indiana, when the game is on the line and only a tip-in works, play a zone. The Bucks shot just 36 percent in this one but their 19 offensive rebounds kept them in it.

Thunder 111, Timberwolves 103: Kevin Love had 22 points and 21 rebounds, and according to ESPN that is the fifth time he has had at least 20-20 this season — nobody else has done it twice. The Timberwolves led 40-22 after one then the Thunder started focusing on defense.

Spurs 111, Warriors 94: Stephen Curry tweaked his ankle and that made room for PBT favorite Reggie Williams to get on the floor and score 31. Doesn’t matter as the Spurs are just flat out better.

Hornets 93, Pistons 74: New Orleans wins the battle of basically ownerless teams. The Hornets shot 50 percent, the Pistons 37.5 percent, that’s your ballgame.

Grizzlies 104, Suns 98 (OT): The Suns could have had this in regulation, but a missed free throw and a catch-and-shoot corner three from Rudy Gay sent the game into overtime, where the Grizzlies thrived. Mike Conley had a career-high 14 assists while Steve Nash struggled against him (didn’t think I’d every write that sentence).

Lakers 87, Clippers 86: Derek Fisher is roughly 164 years old, is too slow defensively, is an inconsistent shooter and yet… game on the line he drives and hits the lefty scoop layup over two Clippers to win the game. That man is clutch. Eric Gordon almost made the game winning play at the other end just before. Second night of a back-to-back and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom both played more than 40 minutes alternating at center — they need Bynum back before somebody just collapses.

Kings 116, Wizards 91: John Wall was a last-second scratch with a foot injury and Tyreke Evans looked hobbled going 3-9 shooting. But the rest of the Kings starters shot 60 percent against the Wizards porous defense to get the win.

Report: Doc Rivers accepts deal to become Philadelphia 76ers head coach

Doc Rivers philadelphia
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Doc Rivers was not out of a job long.

Considered an elite coach and true leader of men — someone pushed out the door in Los Angeles by a frustrated owner in Steve Ballmer after the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead against the Nuggets — Doc Rivers has accepted a deal to become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It has since been confirmed by multiple sources.

Joel Embiid welcomed his new coach on Twitter.

This hiring was expected, and it came together fast. Rivers was let go by the Clippers on Monday and by Thursday had agreed to the deal with Philly.

Rivers will sign a five-year contract and will not have any front office responsibilities, according to multiple reports. However, Philadelphia was looking to add more voices underneath GM Elton Brand and Rivers comes out of a collaborative front office situation with a lot of voices having a say. Brand and Rivers instantly clicked, according to reports.

Rivers jumps from one franchise with expectations of contending for a title but having fit and chemistry issues on the roster, to another.

Doc Rivers needs to find an offensive system in Philadelphia where both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can thrive next to each other, along with Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford in some capacity. There’s not much spacing or shooting there, which is why Shake Milton was getting a lot of run from former coach Brett Brown late in the season. That said, Harris played his best basketball in Los Angeles under Rivers and if he can find a way to better utilize players it will be a plus for Philly.

Roster tweaks would be coming, but with Rivers the idea will be finding a way to build around the stars they have in Embiid and Simmons. The plan is not to break everything up.

The buzz around the league is that Tyronn Lue will take the Clippers job, which leaves Mike D’Antoni looking at places such as Indiana and New Orleans.

Vince Carter wins NBA Sportsmanship Award

Hawks forward Vince Carter
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Vince Carter’s 22-year NBA career ended amid the chaos of coronavirus, preventing him from getting the deserved fanfare.

But fellow players will send Carter into retirement with the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

NBA release:

NBA players have selected Vince Carter as the recipient of the 2019-20 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the NBA announced today.

Carter, who spent the 2019-20 season with the Atlanta Hawks, announced his retirement from the NBA in June after playing a league-record 22 seasons.  He receives the Joe Dumars Trophy as the winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.  Dumars, a two-time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, played 14 NBA seasons and won the inaugural Sportsmanship Award in the 1995-96 season.

Each NBA team nominated one of its players for the NBA Sportsmanship Award, which is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.  From the list of 30 team nominees, a panel of league executives selected one finalist from each of the NBA’s six divisions.  Current NBA players selected the winner from the list of six finalists, with more than 250 players submitting their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.

Full voting (with first-, second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place votes and voting points):

1. Vince Carter (Hawks): 143-70-34-13-4-2-2,520

2. Garrett Temple (Nets): 22-78-63-52-25-26-1,746

3. Steven Adams (Thunder): 34-57-41-52-58-24-1,632

4. Harrison Barnes (Kings): 24-25-75-48-35-59-1,418

5. Langston Galloway (Pistons): 23-22-29-60-79-53-1,244

7. Tyus Jones (Grizzlies): 20-14-24-41-65-102-1,016

What a nice honor for Carter, who gracefully aged from high-profile star to veteran mentor.

Heat: Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic doubtful for Game 2 of NBA Finals

Heat players Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic
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Bam Adebayo‘s and Goran Dragic‘s injuries… not looking great for the Heat approaching Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Heat:

This is a disaster for Miami. The Lakers dominated Game 1, and now the Heat have two starters hobbled at best. At worst and more likely, Adebayo and Dragic are out.

Adebayo would be the bigger loss. Miami was completely overmatched when facing Anthony Davis without a center. Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard can try to keep up, but they’re far from great solutions.

At least the Heat have more options at point guard. Kendrick Nunn can get an elevated role (especially after excelling in garbage time of Game 1). Jimmy Butler can become the de facto point guard. Tyler Herro can also play the position. But Dragic was playing so well during Miami’s run through the Eastern Conference. This is also a major setback.

 

Report: Tyronn Lue ‘early favorite’ to become Clippers head coach

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Doc Rivers is gaining momentum in the 76ers’ coaching search.

As for the job Rivers left behind with the Clippers… Clippers assistant and former Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, unsurprisingly, has the inside track.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.

The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said.

Lue would be a sensible hire. He has championship experience, which would help the Clippers hit the ground running in a make-or-break season before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can become unrestricted free agents. Lue managed stars in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The Clippers must improve their chemistry around their stars. And the last time Lue got promoted from assistant to head coach, his team won a title.

New Orleans also has an appealing job. But the Clippers are far closer to championship contention. And if both teams want Lue, I bet Clippers owner Steve Ballmer would outspend Pelicans owner Gayle Benson.

Still, the Clippers are conducting a coaching search. Other candidates could emerge. This isn’t necessarily Lue’s job for the taking.

How long would he wait on L.A. if the Pelicans make an offer? Lue has shown he values being entrusted.