NBA announces Play-In Tournament schedule

On Sunday, the NBA announced the schedule for the upcoming Play-In Tournament, which begins on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 11
Game 1 — Atlanta @ Miami | 7:30 ET (TNT)
Game 2 — Minnesota @ LA Lakers | 10 ET (TNT)

Wednesday, April 12
Game 3 — Chicago @ Toronto | 7 ET (ESPN)
Game 4 — Oklahoma City @ New Orleans | 9:30 ET (ESPN)

Friday, April 14
Game 5 — Winner of Game 3 @ Loser of Game 1 (TNT)
Game 6 — Winner of Game 4 @ Loser of Game 2 (ESPN)

The Playoffs begin on Saturday. Here’s the schedule below:

Eagles’ Sirianni talks comparison between Hurts & Jordan

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest player in NBA history. In 15 NBA seasons, Jordan won six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVPs, and five-time regular-season MVPs.

Anytime you compare any player to Jordan, you’re saying that player is special. 

After Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over the Giants on Saturday night, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni compared Hurts to Jordan. The third-year quarterback is playing like an MVP this season and have the Eagles one game away from the Super Bowl.

On Monday, Sirianni explained the Jordan comparison.

“You know, when you compare something like that, you’re thinking about — I mean, Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, and I get in arguments back and forth with our players,” Sirianni said. “In my opinion, right, because my height of watching basketball — I’m not trying to start a debate here or anything like that, but in my opinion, my height of watching basketball and who I always wanted to be as a kid growing up was Michael Jordan. I don’t think I’m going to get in many arguments that he’s the best basketball player of all time.

“But the things that Michael Jordan, you were able to see a lot of things about him in “The Last Dance” about his competitiveness and about just his desire and will to win.

“So when you make that comparison, you think — again, when you guys ask me about Jalen, the first thing, as good as he’s played this year, as well as he’s run the football, as well as he’s thrown the football, reading defenses, accurate throws, as well as he’s done all that, what you notice first about him is his will to win, his competitive drive.

“That comparison is kind of in that aspect of it. Again, was I around Michael Jordan? No, but I was able to watch from afar when I was a kid, but then also you’re able to watch these documentaries, and you see that common denominator of those things — the first thing you asked me about Jalen, I always talk about all those things, all the intangibles that he has.

“That’s where that’s coming from is just that will to win. It’s at a different level. He had that big chain on. What did it say? A breed of one. He’s a breed of one. That’s who he is. He’s unlike anybody I’ve been around just with how much he loves this game, how much winning drives him, how much getting better every day drives him, how much leading drives him. He’s special. He is a special dude.

“That’s where really I was coming from with that, in the sense of, like man, these guys, they’re built different. They’re built different as far as how they go about their business and how they go about prepping for games and compete in games and steady during games. That’s what I was speaking of there.”

You can see Hurts’ competitive fire in his demeanor; as Sirianni said, he’s never fazed. However, Jordan won, and he won big, so for this comparison to stick, Hurts has to win on Sunday against the 49ers, which won’t be easy, but if he’s really Jordan-like, the Eagles will be in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII.

Donovan Mitchell scores 71 points in win over Bulls

The Cavs(24-14) returned home to face the Bulls(16-21) on Monday night. Cleveland, who defeated the Bulls 103-102 in Chicago on Saturday, was again without Darius Garland(thumb) and Evan Mobley(ankle), but they did have Donovan Mitchell.

After trailing by as many as 21 points in the first half and by as many as 18 in the third, Mitchell scored 71 points, 55 which came after halftime, and the Cavs defeated the Bulls 145-134 in OT.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Bulls.


Donovan Mitchell had a career-high, an NBA season-high, and a Cavs franchise record-high 71 points. Mitchell is the seventh player in NBA history to finish with 70-plus points in a game. He also added eight rebounds and 11 assists.

Mitchell was 22/34 from the field, including five threes. In addition, he was 20/25 from the free-throw line. The 71 points for Mitchell is the most by a player in an NBA game since Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in 2006.

According to Basketball Reference, Mitchell became the first player in NBA history with 70 points/10 assists in a game.

‘Third Quarter Mitchell”: He scored 24 points in the third and was a perfect 12/12 from the line. Cleveland scored 44 points in the quarter, and a 21-point lead was down to five heading into the fourth.

“Fourth Quarter Mitchell”: He scored 18 points in the fourth, and after intentionally missing a free throw, Mitchell would get the putback to tie things up at 130 with 03.0 left in regulation to send the contest into overtime!

“Overtime Mitchell”: Mitchell scored 13 of Cleveland’s 15 points in OT. He was 4/4 from the field, including 3/3 from downtown.

Not So Great:

We could talk about that first half, where the Cavs trailed by as many as 21 points, but not today; it’s all about Donovan Mitchell.

Bottom Line:

This is why you acquire Donovan Mitchell. No Darius Garland, no Evan Mobley, no problem. Mitchell just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Chicago had no answers for him. He did it from the field, he did it from the line, and the Cavs got a big win!!

What’s Next:

The Cavs host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Cleveland had five players in double figures. Kevin Love, who started for Mobley, had 12 points and 17 rebounds, Jarrett Allen had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Cedi Osman scored 19 points off the bench.

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 44 points, including six threes. Zach LaVine had 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists; Nikola Vucevic had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. All five starters for the Bulls scored in double-figures.

Cavs rout Bulls in Chicago; here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Bulls

The Cavs(1-1) came into Chicago(1-2) on Saturday night to battle the Bulls for the first of four matchups between the two teams this season.

Cleveland, who was without Darius Garland(eye), fell to the Raptors in Toronto in their season opener, while the Bulls were playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing to the Wizards in D.C. on Friday night.

The Cavs played like the fresher team, and after a slow start in the first quarter, Cleveland dominated the rest of the way. They led by as many as 19 in the first half, and Cleveland had their biggest lead of 32 in the fourth quarter as the Cavs crushed the Bulls 128-96 at United Center.

According to Elias Sports, the Cavs’ 32-point win in Chicago was the team’s largest margin of victory against the Bulls franchise.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Bulls.

The Great:

First Half: Cleveland scored 70 points in the first half on 63% shooting, including 71% from deep. They were red-hot in that first half, which carried them to a 70-54 lead at the break.

‘Spyda’: Mitchell, who handled the point guard duties with Garland out, had a game-high 32 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. In addition, according to Elias Sports, Mitchell became the first player in team history to open a season with back-to-back 30-point games. He’s special!

Bench: Cedi Osman and Kevin Love were a big spark off the bench. Osman had 10 points in the first half, and Love scored nine points in the first quarter, including 3-3 from deep. Love finished the night with 15 points and 12 rebounds, including five threes. Osman added 15 points and was a team-best +41. Also, Robin Lopez chipped in with 12 points(6-7 FG). After getting 33 points from its bench against Toronto, the Cavs got 56 points from the bench on Saturday night.

Fourth Quarter: On Thursday night against the Raptors, the Cavs led by eight as they entered the fourth quarter, and Toronto outscored them 32-21 to take control of the game. Saturday night was a different story. Cleveland, who led 93-79 entering the fourth, outscored Chicago 35-17 in the quarter, holding the Bulls to 235% shooting from the field. In addition, the Cavs shot 50% from the floor, including 63% from downtown(5/8). They lost the game in the fourth against Toronto, but against Chicago, they closed this game the right way.

Three-point shooting: Cleveland shot 16/27 from deep(595%). Love led the way with five, and Mitchell connected on four threes. The Cavs finished the game shooting 565% from the field. That’s impressive, that’s big time, and that’s one reason they’re 1-1.

Not So Great

When you win by 32 points, it’s usually all good. However, Cleveland did have 18 turnovers, which is a bit high.

Bottom Line:

This was a nice bounce-back win for the Cavs. The energy was great, and Mitchell was great. Just an overall solid team effort. One thing is clear; this team has depth, athleticism, and talent, which could help them compete night in and night out. It’s 2 of 82, but you have to like what you see so far from the Cavs.

What’s Next:

Cleveland will play the second half of a back-to-back as they host the Wizards(2-0) in their home-opener at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

The Cavs had six players in double figures on Saturday night. Evan Mobley had 16 points, and Caris LeVert added 14 points and eight assists.

For the Bulls, Zach LaVine, who made his season debut, led the way with 23 points, and Nikola Vucevic added 16.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘We’ve got young guys who are trying to figure it out’

The Cleveland Cavaliers started a three-game homestand Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls.

Coming into this game, the sixth-seeded Cavs were one game behind the fifth-seeded Bulls. 

The Cavs had a great opportunity to move up in the standings. However, Cleveland did not play very well, and they fell to the Bulls 98-94 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Cavs struggled for three quarters, but they cut the lead to three in the fourth; however, Chicago went on a 10-1 run to put the game away.

The Bulls(43-31) snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory.

With the loss, the Cavs(41-33) are now the seventh seed in the East as the Raptors(42-32) defeated the Pacers Saturday night. Cleveland would be involved in the Play-In Tournament if the season ended today.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Bulls.

The Great for the Cavs:

-Darius Garland led all scorers with 28 points, 14 which came in the fourth quarter, to go along with six rebounds and five assists. The All-Star has scored 20-plus points in nine of the last 10 games. 

-Caris LeVert got the start against the Bulls and was solid. He had 17 points and five rebounds. Putting LeVert in the starting lineup gives Cleveland another ball-handler and someone who can put the ball in the basket.

Fourth Quarter:  Going into the fourth, Cleveland trailed 75-63, but they woke up on the offensive end. The Cavs went on a 17-8 run to cut the lead to 85-82. Garland(14) and LeVert(9) combined for 23 of Cleveland’s 31-fourth quarter points. Cleveland shot 58% from the floor, including 50%(3/6) from three-point range in the final stanza.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

First Half: Chicago dominated this game from the start, and they jumped out to a 28-16 lead after the first quarter; the Bulls pushed the lead to as much as 19 points in the second, which was their largest lead of the game. The Cavs’ offense was stagnant in the first half; they produced only 35 points, on 31% shooting from the floor, including 1/18 from downtown. The Bulls led 53-35 at the break. 

Three-Point Shooting:  Cleveland had a hard time behind the arc. They were 7/31(24%) from deep. 

Bottom Line:

The first half killed the Cavs, and they were looking up the whole game. It’s getting late for Cleveland, but with eight games left, there’s still enough time to do what they need to do, which is be one of the top six teams in the East.

They clearly miss Jarrett Allen and not just on defense. Allen was a lob threat for the Cavs and scored around the basket, which the Cavs need. Cleveland lost to the Bulls because they could not score. 

As stated numerous times, no one expected the Cavs to be in this spot, but they’re here, and they have to play better in big spots, and in the last two games against the Raptors and Bulls, Cleveland did not play well. 


“We’ve got young guys who are trying to figure it out, and you never figure it out until you’re in those positions,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said post-game.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their three-game homestand Monday night against the Magic.

Best of the Rest:

-The Bulls had five starters in double figures led by Zach LaVine’s 25 points; DeMar DeRozan added 20 points, and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds. 

-Lauri Markkanen had 14 points and nine rebounds. Lamar Stevens was in double figures for the fourth straight game as he had 13 points and four rebounds off the bench.

-Kevin Love made his 1,000th three Saturday night.

-The Bulls won on the road for the first time since March 9.

Watch below as Garland talks loss to Bulls:

Cavs go home to regroup after falling to Chicago Saturday night

The Cleveland Cavaliers headed to Chicago to face the Bulls Saturday night in the second half of a back-to-back after falling to the Heat Friday night.

The Cavs have been without Caris LeVert(foot) and Jarrett Allen(finger), and they came in even more depleted as Lauri Markkanen missed Saturday’s game after re-aggravating an ankle injury Friday night.

Cleveland trailed by double digits at halftime, and Chicago had their largest lead of 18 points in the fourth and would win 101-91 at United Center.

The Cavs finished their three-game road trip 1-2. 

The Cavs(38-29) have now lost two straight and eight of their last 11. Chicago(41-26) has won two in a row.

The Great for the Cavs:

-After a slow shooting start(2-12 in the first half), Darius Garland finished strong. He scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth. He also added seven rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes of action. Once you become an All-Star, defenses will start to show you more attention, and Garland is getting a lot of attention from opposing defenses.

-Evan Mobley got his third consecutive start at center and, again, played well. Mobley had 17 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. This was Mobley’s four straight game in double figures.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

Second Quarter:  Things fell apart for Cleveland in the second. They were down 24-22 after one quarter, but their shots did not fall in the second as they were 9/26 from the floor, including 1/11 from downtown. Chicago went on a 15-5 run to start the second and took a 12-point lead, and they led by as many as 13 in the quarter. 

After a DeMar DeRozan jumper at the buzzer, Chicago took a 53-42 lead into the break. Cleveland cut the lead to nine on two occasions in the second half, but they never really threatened after the second quarter.

Three-Point Shooting:  According to Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland got good looks from three-point range, but they could not make shots. Cleveland finished 5/24(21%) from deep. Cedi Osman struggled the most as he was 1/8 from downtown.

Turnovers: The Cavs had 18 turnovers against the Heat Friday night and turned the ball over 14 times against the Bulls. That’s 32 turnovers in two games. It’s tough to win against the better teams in the league when you’re turning the ball over at that rate. Garland led the way with six turnovers.

Bottom Line: 

The Bottom Line, it’s time for the Cavs to get home and regroup. Without some of their key players, it’s not surprising that Cleveland lost to the Heat and Bulls on the road. They did battle, but they just did not have enough.

Fortunately for the Cavs, they get to go home for five straight and eight of their next nine, so that’s an opportunity for them to possibly solidify that six spot in the East and avoid the Play-In Tournament.

As for the standings, things are starting to tighten up for that sixth spot in the East. The seventh-seeded Raptors(37-30) have won three straight and are now one game behind the Cavs for the sixth seed. Remember, only the top six teams in each conference are guaranteed a playoff spot. 

What’s Next:

Cleveland begins a five-game homestand starting Monday night against the Clippers.

Best of the Rest:

-DeRozan led the Bulls with 25 points; Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Ayo Dosunmu added 17 points.

-Kevin Love, who started for Markkanen, had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Osman added 14 points off the bench.

-Rajon Rondo left in the third quarter and did not return after rolling his ankle. 

Watch below as Kevin Love talks loss to Bulls:




Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Bulls: ‘We really wanted to get this win’

The Cavaliers were looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they faced the Bulls Wednesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and they got a little break as Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, who’s the team’s leading scorer, missed his second straight game due to health and safety protocols. In addition, the Bulls were without Coby White, Matt Thomas, and Javonte Green(health and safety protocols). They were also without Alex Caruso(hamstring).

Cleveland pretty much led from start to finish and led by as many as 26 points in this one. Ultimately, they routed the Bulls 115-92. The Cavaliers led by nine at the break and busted things open in the third to take an 82-66 lead into the fourth.

The Cavaliers(14-12) are now 5-2 in their last seven games and snapped Chicago’s(17-9) four-game winning streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Chicago.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-After a subpar performance against Milwaukee, Darius Garland got it done for the Cavs Wednesday night. Garland had a game-high 24 points to go along with six assists. Coming into this game, Garland is one of three NBA players(Trae Young and Russell Westbrook) averaging 19.0-plus points on .450-plus FG% and 7.0-plus assists per contest.

-Rookie Evan Mobley had another stellar performance for Cleveland. Mobley scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and a game and career-high five blocks and two steals. The five blocks are the most for a Cavs’ rookie since LeBron James. According to Elias Sports, Mobley is the first NBA rookie to have a game of at least 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, two steals, and a .727 FG% in over 30 years. Wow! 

-Jarrett Allen’s career-high seven-game double-double streak was snapped Monday night against Milwaukee, and now it’s time to start a new one. Allen recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds Wednesday night. 

Defense: Cleveland held Chicago to 27% from three-point range and forced 18 Bulls’ turnovers. The Cavaliers held another team under 100 points for the 11th time this season. 

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

It was all great for the Cavs Wednesday night. No issues, no problems.

Bottom Line:

After 26 games, Cleveland had the toughest schedule in the NBA. After Wednesday’s victory over Chicago, the Cavs have won 10 games versus teams with .500-plus records this season, and what makes that number even more impressive is this team has battled injuries, so to be 14-12 after 26 games, with such a demanding schedule, is a win for the Cavs.

“We really wanted to get this win, and we had to put some pressure on them,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. “Evan led the way with that, which is good because we want him to be aggressive.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads back on the road to battle the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Cleveland has six players in double figures. Lauri Markkanen added 14 points, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio had 11 points off the Cavs’ bench. Rubio also added a game-high nine assists. The Cavs’ bench outscored the Bulls’ bench 39-16.

-Zach LaVine led Chicago with 23 points, Lonzo Ball had 19 points and seven assists, and Nikola Vucevic added 18 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks.

Watch below as Mobley, Garland, and Markkanen react to Cleveland’s win over the Bulls:

“The Last Dance” was not good to Scottie Pippen(VIDEO)

“The Last Dance” documentary was fun, exciting, and riveting television. The documentary chronicled Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ Dynasty.

While Jordan looked reasonably good in the documentary, not everybody came out unscathed, especially Scottie Pippen. The Hall of Famer had some bad moments in the documentary. Whether it was Pippen getting surgery right before the 1997-98 season because he did not want to mess up his summer, or Pippen sitting out the final play against New York in the 1994 playoffs because the play was not called for him, Pippen did not look good.

Also, his contract was discussed in the documentary. He signed a below-market value deal back in 1991, and unfortunately for Pippen, the Bulls would not renegotiate his contract.

Now, reportedly, Pippen is upset about the documentary. We examine how Pippen looked in the documentary:



Victor Oladipo believes Scottie Pippen was not a superstar

Scottie Pippen had an amazing career, but he always was the number two guy in Chicago behind Michael Jordan. While Pippen is a Hall of Famer, 6x NBA champion, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history; he never really got out of the shadows of Jordan.

One guy who does not think Pippen was a superstar is Pacers G Victor Oladipo.

Here is what Oladipo told The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 in New York on Tuesday:

Does Oladipo have a point? Pippen did not win without Jordan, but Jordan did not win without Pippen. Furthermore, Pippen was a great two-way player. Superstar? Questionable. A great player? No doubt!