Mavs’ Kidd on Heat: ‘I would consider them the best team in the league right now’

The Miami Heat(6-1) came into Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks(4-3), riding a four-game winning streak and playing big-time basketball, but Miami got off to a slow start against Dallas and trailed by as much as 11 in the first quarter.

However, the Heat would score 46 points in the second quarter and took control of the game from there. Ultimately, Miami would win their fifth straight and defeat the Mavericks 125-110 at American Airlines Center.

Dallas dropped their first home game of the season.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ loss on Tuesday night.

The Great for the Mavericks:

Luka Doncic did his part for the Mavericks. He had a season-high 33 points, to go along with five assists and three rebounds. He led the team in scoring for the seventh consecutive game. Doncic’s streak of seven games is the longest to begin a season in Mavs’ history. 

The fourth-year guard also passed Jason Kidd (5,258) for 14th place on the Mavs’ all-time scoring list. 

-Jalen Brunson got his first start of the season and went 10-13 from the field en route to a season-high 25 points. Brunson also had a season-high-tying seven rebounds to go with three assists.

-Miami native Tim Hardaway Jr. compiled 17 points with three rebounds and three assists against his hometown team.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

Second-Quarter: Dallas was outscored 46-32 in the second quarter on Tuesday night. Miami shot 68% from the field in the quarter, including 8/9 from three-point range. Tyler Herro scored 15 of his team-high 25 points in the quarter off the bench.

Defense: The Mavericks allowed 125 points against the Heat. In addition, Miami shot 52% from the field, including 13/25 from downtown.  

“Yeah, it’s tough, any team that has 4 or 5 guys in double figures like that, especially the way they shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from three and 86 percent from the line,” Brunson said.

-Trey Burke, who is unvaccinated, missed the COVID-19 testing window and did not play Tuesday night and won’t play Wednesday against the Spurs. Burke, who will travel with team, missed the testing window for the second time in four games.

Bottom Line:

It would have been difficult to beat Miami with a full roster, and you knew Dallas would have a hard time defeating the Heat without Kristaps Porzingis(back) and Maxi Kleber(strained oblique). Miami is one of the best team’s in basketball, and that was on full display as they had four players with 20+ points.

“The Heat are – I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said. “They’re men and they know how to play.”

What’s Next:

The Mavs play the second game of a back-to-back on the road in San Antonio against the Spurs, who they defeated 104-99 in Dallas.

Best of the Rest:

Jimmy Butler (23), Kyle Lowry (22), and Bam Adebayo (22) all scored 20+ points for Miami. Adebayo added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double in seven games.

According to the Miami Heat, Herro’s 157 points scored off the bench through the first seven games is the most points by a reserve through his first seven games to open a season in NBA history.

Watch below as Kidd talks loss to Miami:

 

 

 

Are 76ers better today than they were at the end of last season?

The Philadelphia 76ers were very active on the first day of free agency. They reportedly re-signed Tobias Harris to a five-year deal, traded Jimmy Butler(signed four-year deal with Miami) to the Heat in a sign-and-trade for Josh Richardson(deal still being worked on), and signed Al Horford to a four-year contract. Also, Mike Scott re-upped with the team, and JJ Redick has moved on to the Pelicans. These deals can’t be official until July 6.

So, at this point, Philly’s projected starting lineup is Ben Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Joel Embiid. That is an excellent lineup, and this lineup has the potential to be very good on the defensive end. All the starters will be at least 6’6″ or taller. However, is it better than what they had to finish last season? Not so sure.

One of the issues Philly had before they brought in Butler, was not having a guy who can beat you off the dribble and effectively create their own shot. Butler did that for the 76ers. He was a guy you can give the ball to and ask him to make a play, which was on full display against the Raptors in the playoffs, where he led the team in points per game(22.0) and assists per game(5.6). He was Philly’s best player in that series. People forget it was Butler who tied the game up late in the fourth quarter before Kawhi Leonard hit that miracle shot to close out the series. With Butler taking his talents to South Beach, it’s going to be imperative for Ben Simmons to step up. Simmons, who made his first All-Star team last season, can do a lot, but since he has not developed his jump shot yet, he can’t be your closer. Also, Harris is a good offensive player. However, while he is solid off the dribble, he is not Butler, and for as good as Embiid is, he is not a guy who can get a shot off the way Butler can late in games.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this new lineup works for Philadelphia. It’s definitely more versatile and more athletic, on paper than what they had last season, but in terms of better, time will have to be the judge of that. Remember, this team was a couple of bounces away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and beating the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.

Obviously, they will add more pieces to this roster, but for now, it’s too close to call on whether this starting five and team will be better than what they had last season.

I guess we gotta see how this all plays out!

ESPN’s Amin Elhassan on Chris Paul: ‘He wears people out'(VIDEO)

Coming into the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets were one of the favorites to win an NBA title. In 2017-18, the Rockets won 65 games and had the best record in the NBA. Houston had the Warriors down 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals, but unfortunately, Chris Paul injured his hamstring in Game 5, and ultimately, the Warriors would defeat the Rockets in 7.

Last season, it was the complete opposite. The Warriors’ Kevin Durant went out in Game 5 with an injured calf, but the Rockets still could not get past the Warriors as they lost in 6 in Western Conference semifinals.

Recently, reports surfaced that Paul and James Harden were having issues with each other and that Paul wanted out of Houston, but according to Paul, he wants to stay with the Rockets. Yesterday, according to the Houston Chronicle, Rockets GM Daryl Morey had this to say at the 3rd Annual NBA Awards:

“I think we’re going to have our starting five, plus a top-level mid-level. Maybe we’ll do better than that,” Morey said. “We’re going to be the favorites in the West, for sure. We were the best team down the stretch with that group, and that’s without adding one more quality player like we’re going to do. Most teams are scrambling to keep their starting unit together. We got ours next year.”

Also, according to the Houston Chronicle, Morey stated that the reports of Paul and Harden not getting along are false.

“That’s definitely not true,” Morey said. “It’s been the strangest part of my career with the media. There have been times we deserve terrible coverage. It’s not now. The discussion should be we are favorites next year and let people beat that up. That’s been really strange for me. It just started and kept going.

Last week, at the 12th Annual Steve Nash Foundation Showdown, ESPN’s Amin Elhassan gave his thoughts on Paul and the Rockets.

“It’s weird because Chris Paul is known to wear people out, and I’m surprised whenever people are surprised by that notion,” Elhassan told Paul Gant. “He wears people out, and so the problem for Houston is if indeed come to the point where they have to trade him: his contract, age, and injury history make it difficult to trade him for value, to get good players in return or to get good contracts in return, or to do without giving up good stuff like picks. If that happens, you gotta say to yourself, okay, does Houston have the appetite to trade him, and understand that we’re not gonna get better in the short run. It remains to be seen.”

The Rockets can do some big things in the Western Conference, especially with the Warriors possibly in transition. Because of the situation with Golden State, all the contending teams should go in big next season, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are looking to go after Jimmy Butler in a possible sign-and-trade with the 76ers, so if that happens, the Rockets will definitely be a formidable team next season, and will most definitely be one of the favorites next season.

Listen to the complete interview with Elhassan below:

76ers GM Brand: ‘In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players’

Happy times in Philadelphia as the 76ers acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton from Minnesota in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.

With the move, the 76ers have put themselves in position to contend for an NBA title this year and beyond.

76ers GM Elton Brand believes adding Butler to what they have with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons gives Philadelphia a legitimate chance against the top teams in the NBA:

“We have a championship window that’s centered around the continued progression of our talented young core, as well as our ability to add elite players who elevate our program,” Brand said. “In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players. Now, we’ve added a third top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the NBA’s very best on both ends of the floor. This move further strengthens our pursuit of a championship and gives us a formidable combination to take on the league’s top teams.”

Butler, who has been selected an NBA All-Star in each of the past four seasons, has appeared in 10 games (all starts) this season with Minnesota, averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals (third in the NBA) in 36.1 minutes per game.

Regarding Simmons and Embiid being top 20 players in the NBA, Embiid is a top 20 player. He is an early season MVP candidate averaging 27.7 ppg and 13.9 rpg. At times, he has been unstoppable. Embiid has two 40-pont games in this young season

Concerning Simmons, he has top 20 ability, but I don’t think he is a top 20 player just yet. However, if the 2017 Rookie of the Year can develop a jump shot or something close to it, he will be a legit top 20 player as well.

No matter how you view Embiid and Simmons, it is safe to say that the 76ers have two young players that could be superstars for years to come.

Max Kellerman thinks Butler should consider the Spurs (VIDEO)

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, All-Star F Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Timberwolves and is considering the following teams: Knicks, Nets, and Clippers. While Butler reportedly has those teams on his list, he really wants to be with the Clippers, according to the report.

However, according to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, Butler should consider the San Antonio Spurs.

“He can go to the Spurs, and (Gregg)Popovich would put him in the best position to win,” Kellerman said on First Take today.

Listen below:

Butler, 29, was traded to Minnesota last season after spending his first six seasons in league with the Bulls.

Butler has two years left on his contract, but he can opt out of his deal after next season.

Based on the teams that are reportedly on Butler’s list, he wants to play in a big market. Therefore, while the Spurs might be good for him on the court, off the court, San Antonio is not on the level of Los Angeles and New York. With that being said, Butler to San Antonio probably does not happen.

Zach LaVine on Minnesota: ‘They gonna be really good’

On draft day, the Bulls and Timberwolves pulled off a blockbuster trade. Jimmy Butler went to Minnesota along with Creighton’s Justin Patton, while the Bulls get Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen. After this move, the Timberwolves have positioned themselves to possibly make the playoffs next season, while the Bulls prepare to start over.

The Bulls’ Zach LaVine believes that Minnesota is going to be a solid team with the addition of Jimmy Butler. “They gonna be really good. Jimmy Butler is a helluva of a player. Karl(Towns) and Andrew(Wiggins) are already stars in their own, upcoming guys. There gonna do very well,” LaVine told TMZ Sports.

While LaVine loved his time in Minnesota, he has no animosity toward the Timberwolves.

“I have no hard feelings. I love Minnesota. You gotta understand the business of basketball. I’m prepared for this step as well, and I know that they are too. We get to play twice. Other than that, we still going to all be boys,” said LaVine.

Anything short of the playoffs for Butler and the Wolves would be a disappointment. It’s time for Minnesota to go to the next level, and Butler should make that happen!

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Butler gives his number to all the critics!

Jimmy Butler wants all the critics that have a problem with him to give him a call. Butler gave his number out during his introductory press conference with the Timberwolves today.

 Well, here is the number below if you have an issue:

Jimmy Butler’s trainer: ‘I met drug dealers with better morals than their GM’

The Chicago Bulls made a big trade on draft night. The Bulls sent Jimmy Butler, and Creighton’s Justin Patton to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen. The Bulls are starting over, and Minnesota is looking to take that next step. Adding the talented Butler to a core that has Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, could push the Timberwolves to the playoffs.

There was a lot of speculation about where the 27-year-old Butler could land. Butler’s name was linked to a few different teams, but ultimately he is reunited with his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota.

Butler was in bed when he learned about the trade, and was said to be shocked by the deal, according to Sam Amico.   

Butler is currently vacationing in Paris.

One person who is not happy with the Bulls organization is Butler’s trainer Travelle Gaines. Gaines wrote this tweet to describe the Bulls front office and GM Gar Forman:

https://twitter.com/travellegaines/status/878078236780937218

Strong words from Butler’s trainer!

Based off Butler’s reaction to the deal, and the tweet by his trainer, you wonder if Butler was told something different by the Bulls. Butler reportedly wanted to stay in Chicago.

 

 

Bulls’ Dwyane Wade opts in for 2017-18; Jimmy Butler wants to stay in Chicago?

Dwyane Wade will return to the Chicago Bulls, according to reports.  The 35-year-old Wade has decided to exercise his player option for next season. Wade will make 23.8 million dollars in the 2017-18 season.

When asked by NBA.COM’s David Aldridge why he decided to opt in, Wade said: “24 million reasons.”

With Wade coming back to the Bulls, does that mean Jimmy Butler will stay in Chicago? According to ESPN, the 27-year-old Butler wants to stay in Chicago. Butler’s name had reportedly been mentioned in trade talks with the Celtics, 76ers, and Cavaliers over the past week. At one point, it seemed Cleveland was the favorite, but Butler was not willing to commit long-term to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN.

Cavs GM David Griffin out; Chauncey Billups in?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly busy with trade talks with the Pacers for Paul George, and the Bulls for Jimmy Butler. However, their front office had a little shakeup. GM David Griffin will not return to the team, the Cavs announced on Monday. Griffin, who was the GM in Cleveland for three years, could not agree to a contract extension with the team.  According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Griffin and Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert could not come to an agreement about the future of the team.

With Griffin out, ESPN NBA analyst Chauncey Billups could be a candidate for the job of President of Basketball Operations, according to Wojnarowski.

Also, according to Wojnarowski, the turmoil in the Cavs front office has caused issues in terms of trade talks with other teams. This is not the time to have front office issues. With the draft and free agency around the corner, Cleveland may need to move fast in terms of hiring their new GM.

Busy times in Cleveland!!