Associated Press

Five Takeaways from NBA Wednesday: Stephen Curry on pace for 400 threes this season

2 Comments

By the time you read this, my bracket will already be busted. I don’t care if games have tipped off or not. Doesn’t matter. Anyway, here’s what you need to know from an NBA Wednesday.

1) With eight more, Stephen Curry on pace for 400 threes in one NBA season. And Warriors have now won 50 in a row at home. The Golden State Warriors thrashed the New York Knicks in a game that went exactly as everyone expected it would, 121-85 Golden State. That makes 50 straight regular season wins at home for the Warriors, extending their record.

And that’s not even the most interesting stat of the night.

In dropping 34 points (in three quarters), Stephen Curry is now on pace to hit more than 400 threes this season. He held the old record at 286, set last season. Curry has 330 threes, and the Warriors have 15 games left, which means he needs to hit 4.7 threes a game to reach 400. Curry has averaged 5.1 threes per game this season. The only question is if Steve Kerr will rest Curry out of the record.

2) Kevin Durant hears “come to Boston” chants as Thunder crush Celtics. Boston misses Jae Crowder, dropping their third game in a row without him 130-109 to Oklahoma City.

The story all day in Boston was how Kevin Durant loves Boston as a city and how Danny Ainge plans to go after KD this summer (if Durant doesn’t just re-sign in OKC, which is still the smart bet). After the Thunder win, Durant raved about the Celtics’ tradition. The Boston fans got in on the act, chanting “come to Boston” during his free throws.

3) After missing four games following death of his brother, Dion Waiters makes emotional return to court for Thunder. It’s amazing that he was back this fast. Waiters’ brother was murdered in Philadelphia and Waiters left the team for a week. Wednesday night he returned to the court during the Thunder win, playing 10 minutes. He looked a bit rusty, but just seeing him back on the court was heartening. Waiters also made some plays.

4) John Wall boost’s Wizard playoff dreams with triple double in win over Bulls. This was a big game for the chase for the final couple seeds in the East — and only one of the two teams looked like they were in a playoff chase. The up-and-down Bulls were down on Wednesday — plus they lost Taj Gibson to a hamstring injury — and that was enough for John Wall lead a blowout win for the Wizards. 117-96. Wall put up his third triple-double of the season with 29 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.

This leaves Detroit and Chicago in a tie for the last playoff spot in the East (Detroit has the tie breaker), but Washington is now just 1.5 games back and with an easier schedule than either of the two teams they are chasing. This race could go down to the final days of the season. Well, unless Chicago keeps playing like they did Wednesday.

5) LeBron who? Kyrie Irving’s 33 lifts Cavaliers past Mavericks. Tyronn Lue decided to rest LeBron James against Dallas, and suddenly Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love look like they can play together. Now they just have to do that when LeBron is on the court. Irving had 33 points and had the game-saving steal in the final seconds — recognizing Dallas would feed Dirk Nowitzki after Irving got switched on him, Irving jumped the passing lane and got the steal. Kevin Love had 23 points and 18 rebounds on the night.

Dallas and Houston both lost Wednesday, leaving the seven and eight seeds in the East just 1.5 games up on surging Utah. Dallas had a chance to steal one with LeBron out but couldn’t pull it off.

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

Heat players Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic
Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.

Report: 76ers focused on Doc Rivers and Mike D’Antoni in coaching search

Leave a comment

The 76ers appeared focused on Mike D’Antoni in their coaching search.

Then, Doc Rivers surprisingly became available.

The former Clippers coach met with the 76ers and is now in the center of the conversation.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

For the Sixers now, the focus is on Rivers and D’Antoni, a source told ESPN. A decision is expected this week.

Rivers would be an easier fit with this roster than D’Antoni, whose style doesn’t appear to work as well with both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Rivers also looks like he’d help Philadelphia take the next step.

But that seemed like it’d be true with the Clippers and wasn’t.

Tyronn Lue’s candidacy with the 76ers has clearly faded. Could he join the Clippers, Rockets or Pelicans? If Philadelphia hires Rivers, maybe D’Antoni still lands with the Pacers?

Rivers’ availability has definitely thrown a wrench in the coaching carousel.

Victor Oladipo denies trade rumor he wants out of Indiana

Victor Oladipo
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was a trade rumor that kind of came out of nowhere — maybe more as a thought exercise for Celtics fans hoping to move on from Gordon Hayward — but it got traction: Victor Oladipo reportedly wanted out of Indiana.

Not true, Oladipo said.

Oladipo jumped on Instagram Live with rapper Fat Joe and shot down the rumors (hat tip Clutch Points):

“I’m a Pacer. I’m a Pacer…

“Those rumors on the internet, I don’t know where they’re coming from, I’m just focused on getting my knee right for next year.”

He said later in the interview he wants a ring, he wants “hardware” because that is needed to show you are one of the greats, and he would consider leaving the Pacers to get it. But that wasn’t a short-term thing. (Also, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, John Stockton, Elgin Baylor and a lot of other guys would like to talk with you about that attitude.)

Oladipo returned mid-season from his knee injury to a Pacers’ team that finished as the four seed in the East but got bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.

Oladipo never quite returned to his All-NBA form after coming back from injury and averaged just 14.5 points a game in the 19 regular season games he did play. Oladipo is owed $21 million next season, the last year of his current deal.

Whether he wants out of Indiana or not, at $21 million and with questions about just what level of player he is post-injury, there is not much of a trade market for Victor Oladipo. Indiana more than likely runs it back under a new coach — who has yet to be chosen — and banks on a healthy Oladipo helping the team make the next step.