Thank God that’s over with. Spurs win 87-81.
The Spurs swept the Jazz Monday night in a contest where the Spurs controlled the entire game. The Jazz made a late run based mostly on the hustle of DeMarre Carroll, but it fell short went the Spurs picked off a pass and Manu Ginobili daggered the Jazz with a layup. It was the same stuff you’ve seen in the other three games. The Jazz missed a ton of looks at the rim, couldn’t hit from the perimeter, and got lost in the dizzying array of Spurs rotations. Oh, and Tony Parker sliced and diced the Jazz to pieces. The end.
Where Utah goes from here: How much better could the Jazz have been had they drafted anyone else in the first round? Kawhi Leonard would have given them a versatile wing to put on Manu Ginobili (and they wouldn’t have been facing him). Tristan Thompson would have given them more concerted effort and a bigger big with better hands. But most importantly, Brandon Knight would have given them a shooter point guard to pace Devin Harris with some legs. So Utah goes forward, trying to figure out where to go from here. Obviously Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap is a great combo, but the problem is, neither one is likely to get considerably better at their age. So do you stick with that combo or go elsewhere and try and upgrade? Do you trade in Millsap for a few upgrades at a few spots, knowing Gordon Hayward will improve? Point guard is going to be another area they have to look at.
In other words, the Jazz have some work to do. But this year was a good year of progression for them. They gained some experience, and learned that they have a core to go forward with. Now it’s just a matter of being smart with how they construct from here.
Where San Antonio goes from here: Home, to rest. The semi-finals will feature back-to-backs, so getting this rest is crucial for San Antonio. They’ll face either the Clippers or Grizzlies who will be coming off a tough, physical series, even if the Clips close out Memphis in five. Getting healthy so they can dispatch their next opponent in due time is crucial for the. The Spurs can run, but they can also get banged up. They need to stay ahead of the schedule. This was step one, and it was crucial.
Beyond that, San Antonio proves that last year’s Memphis series was a fluke. They get the ghosts off their back and get back to dominating first-round opponents like they traditionally have done. The Spurs made a statement. They were not built for the regular season, they are deadly, and they are coming. The Plague is coming.
Chris Paul has gotten traded three times in his career.
New Orleans sent him to the Clippers – but only after David Stern nixed a deal with the Lakers – in 2011. In 2017, Paul engineered a trade to the Rockets by opting in. Then, in an unprecedented star swap, Houston dealt Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook last summer.
Paul recently discussed trades with comedian Kevin Hart.
Why is it always such a crazy time when it comes to these trades and whether they’re happening. You’ve been part of some big conversations. Is it at a point where it’s just business, or is it becoming personal?
Every situation is different. But the team is going to do whatever they want to do. They’ll tell you one thing and do a smooth nother thing.
That’s the business side.
Do you feel like there’s been times where, “Damn, that’s a little eye-opening. I got stabbed in the back”?
Absolutely. This last situation was one of them. The GM there in Houston, he don’t owe me nothing. You know what I mean? He may tell me one thing but do another thing. But you just understand that that’s what it is.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is an easy target right now. Many people around the NBA resent him tweeting support for Hong Kong protesters (who are trying to maintain and expand their freedoms) and costing the league significant revenue in China.
But, in this case, Morey brought it upon himself. He said in June he wouldn’t trade Paul then did so, anyway.
Maybe that was to protect Paul’s feelings if he stayed in Houston. In that case, Morey could tell Paul he believed in him all along. There’d be no way to know Morey was fibbing. Now that Paul is gone, Paul being upset is someone else’s problem. It’s a common tactic by executives.
Paul reportedly requested a trade from the Rockets, but he denied it. I don’t necessarily believe Paul. There was plenty of evidence of tension between him and Harden. It’d be pretty conniving to request a trade then throw Morey under the bus for making the trade.
But Paul’s denial of a trade request is on the record. So is Morey’s declaration that he wouldn’t trade Paul.
Morey must own that.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters, who are trying to maintain and expand their freedoms, has cost the NBA and its players a lot of money in China.
Probably no team has been harder hit than Houston.
Early estimates pegged the Rockets’ potential lost revenue at $25 million. It apparently hasn’t been quite that bad yet, but it’s already close. And the effects are trickling down to Houston star James Harden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
League sources say the franchise has lost more than $7 million in revenue this season from cancelled Chinese sponsorship agreements and nearly $20 million overall when terminated multiyear deals are calculated.
For their superstar James Harden, the losses could be considerable if no resolution is reached. A source says Harden’s endorsement agreement with Shanghai’s SPD Bank Credit Card is imperiled.
This is why NBA teams are preparing for a lower-than-projected salary cap. It’s also why the union is planning to better educate its players on global issues.
The money involved is significant.
Gersson Rosas – who lasted just three months as Mavericks general manager – was the standard for a short front-office tenure in the NBA.
David Levy, whom the Nets hired as CEO in September, is out after fewer than two months.
The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center today announced that David Levy and the organization have mutually agreed to part ways. Oliver Weisberg, Chief Executive Officer of J Tsai Sports and NBA Alternate Governor of the Nets, has been named interim Chief Executive Officer of the Nets and Barclays Center.
“I want to thank David for his collaboration over the past several months and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Weisberg. “As we enter an exciting next chapter of our organization, it’s important that ownership and management are completely aligned on our go forward plan. We are proud of the culture of the Brooklyn Nets under the leadership of General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, and we look forward to continue bringing the best experience to our fans.”
This shockingly short tenure raises questions. Mainly: What happened? Absent other information, good luck convincing people there’s not a scandalous story behind this.
The Nets generally appear to be in a good place. They have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and a good amount of young talent. Brooklyn (4-5) has been mediocre, but this was always going to be a limbo season before Durant returns.
There have been a couple controversial incidents. Nets owner Joe Tsai spoke up during the NBA’s China-Hong Kong-Daryl Morey crisis, toeing the Chinese government’s line. A report also emerged about Nets officials being concerned with Irving’s mood swings.
Does either relate to Levy’s exit?
This vague statement leaves the door open to speculation. That isn’t necessarily fair to the people involved, but it’s what they’ll have to deal with.
The Spurs weren’t sharp in their 113-109 loss to the Grizzlies last night.
No play looked worse than this.
Trey Lyles inbounded the ball to Dejounte Murray, who apparently thought he should have been the one throwing the inbound pass. Murray stepped out of bounds to do that – but Lyles’ inbound pass made it a live ball. So, Murray committed a turnover that was quite simple if not for how stunningly silly it was.
Good news for Murray: He’s preemptively off the hook, because his error only brings to mind a worse inbound gaffe earlier this week.