Report: DeAndre Jordan agrees to four-year, $80 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks

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DeAndre Jordan is choosing his native Texas — and a more featured role in the offense — over staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.

He has chosen to play for thee Dallas Mavericks, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.

Soon a number of others confirmed the deal, including Marc Spears of Yahoo confirmed this news. Some reports said both the Mavericks and Clippers were informed of the decision.

This, along with the signing of Wesley Matthews, will constitute another huge off-season for the Mavericks and make them one of the top teams in the West.

Chandler Parsons, who helped recruit Dwight Howard to Houston when Parsons was a Rocket, has been glued to the hip of Jordan for days trying to sway him toward Dallas. That guy should be a college coach someday the way he recruits.

This is a massive blow to the Clippers, a team that up until a few days was confident that Jordan would return. Doc Rivers built up Jordan’s career — got him to focus on his strengths, put him in better spots on the floor, built up the confidence that Vinny Del Negro had torn down — but Rivers could not convince Jordan to stay. Chris Paul tried to contact him and smooth over their relationship, but that also ended up not being enough.

Los Angeles does not have much cap space left to replace Jordan, just mid-level exception money of around $5.5 million (once Jordan signs). That got them Spencer Hawes a year ago, and we all saw how that worked out. The Clippers may try to get Dallas to do a sign and trade to create a trade exception, and they may try to trade for another center (such as Nene, who would fit in that slot), but they are not gong to land anyone of near the same quality.

Jordan was named first-team NBA All-Defensive Team this past season, he led the NBA in rebounding at 15 a game and he averaged 11.5 points a game on a league-best 71 percent shooting.

Jordan doesn’t feel he gets enough recognition for these kinds of accomplishments — for example, he’s never made the All-Star Team — in part because he has played behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (plus he and the ultra-competitive CP3 have had rough patches). In Dallas, Jordan would be the No. 2 option (at least that’s what they told him), and he would get the recognition he seeks from their marketing efforts, plus he’d be going home to Texas.

Jordan is leaving almost $30 million on the table (the Clippers offered five years, $109 million, a max offer), leaving Los Angeles (where he likes living) and leaving a sure fire contender with the Clippers.

But what he really wants is in Texas

Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins not into “all that new stuff” like Chewbacca

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Chewbacca was at Game 3 in Cleveland Saturday. Sitting courtside.

Why? Because growing up on Kashyyyk he played a little hoop and admires LeBron James‘ skill? Because Drake gave him the tickets? Maybe. I mean, it’s not like that was just a clever little publicity stunt for a movie.

After the Cavaliers’ win, Kevin Love decided to make a little joke of it with noted humorist Kendrick Perkins, and it went over as well as expected (with Dave McMenamin of ESPN catching it).

That’s vintage Perkins.

Celtics’ Terry Rozier on Game 3: “We needed to get our butts whooped”

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Cleveland dominated Game 3 Saturday night. They played harder, to start. The Cavaliers’ defensive pressure on the ball was better, they were sharper rotating out to shooters and covering passing lanes. Cleveland’s role players stepped up and helped LeBron James.

Boston, meanwhile, wilted in the face of that pressure Saturday, something it has done a few times on the road these playoffs. The Celtics got away from the things that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Guard Terry Rozier put it more bluntly, via A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston:

“I feel like we needed this (loss) to get us back … to get us ready for Monday,” Rozier said.

Rozier later added, “We needed to get our butts whipped. Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday.”

Cleveland is a championship team — from LeBron James on down through the core guys, they all have rings. They have been down before, and heading home it was expected they would play with force. Cleveland’s back was against the wall and they responded.

From the Celtics’ perspective, they also got a little too fat and happy and were not ready for what the Cavaliers came with in Game 3.

Now the pressure is on Boston to push back, to get back to their level of execution and do it under pressure. Make the Cavaliers prove the improved defensive effort was not a one-off game. The Celtics must move the ball and play with some pace, then see if the Cavaliers can keep it together in the face of crisp play.

When this series heads back to Boston Wednesday, it will either see the Celtics in control up 3-1, or the series will be a best of three (with the Cavs still having to figure out if they can win on the road). At home, the Cavaliers are going to play with force again and have some depth. We’ll see if Game 3 was enough of a wakeup call for Boston.

PBT Extra: Can Rockets take Game 2 energy, execution on the road?

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Houston found its blueprint to beating Golden State in Game 2: Strong defensive pressure on the ball, quick switches and communication on defense, getting out in transition when possible, and starting sets earlier in the shot clock and attacking downhill with James Harden and Chris Paul.

Now can they do that on the road? Against a more focused and sharper Warriors’ team?

That will be the question in the next two games of the Western Conference Finals, and it’s what I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.

Cavaliers cruise past Celtics in Game 3, change complexion of Eastern Conference finals

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The Cavaliers were heavy favorites over the Celtics entering the Eastern Conference finals. LeBron James has dominated the East for years, and Cleveland appeared to hit its stride in a sweep of the Raptors last round. Boston was shorthanded and inexperienced.

Were the Celtics’ two wins to open the series, as impressive as they were, really enough to override everything else we knew about these teams?

The Cavs walloped Boston in Game 3, 116-86, Saturday. Cleveland now has four of the NBA’s last five 30-point playoff wins – two against the Celtics last year, one over Toronto last round and tonight. (The Cavaliers lost the league’s only other 30-point game between, to the Pacers in the first round.)

Boston still leads the series 2-1, and teams up 2-1 in a best-of-seven series have won it 80% of the time.

But the team up 2-1 is usually the one seen as better entering the series. That isn’t the case here, not with LeBron on the other side. And the leading team usually isn’t so woeful on the road, which will remain a major storyline entering Game 4 Monday in Cleveland.

The Celtics bought themselves margin for error, but they blew a lot of it tonight.

It’d be an oversimplification to say the Cavs just played harder, but they did, and it went along way. They chased loose balls, tightened their defense and moved more off the ball offensively. Cleveland jumped to a 20-4 lead, led by double digits the rest of the way and spent most of the game up by at least 20.

LeBron (27 points, 12 assists, two blocks and two steals) dazzled as a passer and locked in as a defender. He received help from several players:

In a low-resistance effort, Boston didn’t goon up the game at all.

The Cavaliers still have plenty of work ahead to reach their fourth straight NBA Finals, but tonight, they showed a path to advancing. Climbing out of their early series deficit now looks far less intimidating.