Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘I thought there were definitely some calls that were missed’

The Cleveland Cavaliers did something that no team has done to the Brooklyn Nets, and that’s lead by double-digits at halftime.

However, they play two halves in the NBA, and in the second half, Brooklyn(13-5) outscored Cleveland 65-49 and defeated the Cavs 117-112 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday night.

The Cavaliers(9-9) have now lost four straight.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Nets:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-After missing three games due to illness, Cavs C Jarrett Allen had 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Allen played well against his former team and was active on both ends of the court. 

-Darius Garland had 16 of his 24 points in the first half, 11 assists, and five rebounds against the Nets, but he did not shoot that great from the field(9/27). However, he made everything go for the Cavs last night. For example, Cleveland was leading 73-64 with just under seven minutes left in the third when Garland, after taking a blow to the face from DeAndre’ Bembry, left the game. The Cavs were outscored 16-7 with Garland off the court, and ultimately, Brooklyn would have the momentum and take a two-point lead into the fourth.

-Lauri Markkanen made his return after missing nine games due to COVID. In his return, Markkanen scored 22 points and added eight rebounds. 

-Second Quarter: Cleveland got out fast against Brooklyn and played exceptionally well in the second quarter as they outscored Brooklyn 36-26. The Cavs shot 53% from the floor in the quarter and took an 11-point lead into halftime.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

-Third Quarter: See Garland at the top, but Cleveland was outscored 32-19 in the third. The Cavs shot 24% from the field, including 20% from three-point range. Furthermore, Brooklyn got hot in third and shot 57% from the floor. 

Fourth Quarter Garland: The third-year guard shot 1/10 from the floor in the fourth, including 0/3 from downtown. 

Referees?:  After the game, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff made it clear that he was not happy with the officiating on Monday night. With Cleveland trailing 106-105 late in the fourth, Ricky Rubio shot a three in the corner but was called for an offensive foul. It was a close call and one that the Cavs tried to challenge, but to no avail, as the referee did not see Bickerstaff calling for a timeout.

Patty Mills would hit a three for Brooklyn on the following possession to put the Nets up 109-105.

According to Cleveland.com, the Cavs were angry about a few calls, including two “phantom” calls on Kevin Durant jumpers — one early and one late. Constant uncalled contact on Darius Garland drives that led to just four free throws and Allen getting mugged in the paint.

“What’s right is right, and I thought there were definitely some calls that were missed, and that is wrong,” Bickerstaff said after the game.

Brooklyn has called for seven more fouls than Cleveland on Monday night.

Bottom Line:

The biggest stretch in this one is when Garland had to leave the game in the third. Cleveland lost their rhythm with him off the court. However, Brooklyn is an excellent team, and you’re going to have to be at your best to beat them. The Cavs are a work in progress, and obviously, this is a game they would have liked to have gotten, but learning how to win these close games consistently takes time. 

Back to Bickerstaff’s rant about the refs, he did the right thing, and every so often, even if it cost you money, you have to protect your players, and that is what he did on Monday night. 

Watch Bickerstaff’s rant below:

 

Best of the Rest:

-Cleveland had five guys in double figures, and all five players scored at least 15 points or more for the second time this season. Rubio had 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists off the bench.

-Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 27 points; LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points off the bench, Patty Mills had 17 points, including a game-high five threes, and James Harden had 14 points and a game-high 14 assists. Brooklyn also had five players in double figures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cavs’ Love on loss to Nets: ‘There was so much we did better in the second half’

The Brooklyn Nets are one of the best teams in basketball, so even with a healthy roster, the Cavs would have a hard time beating them at Barclays Center. 

Cleveland, who were without four of their five starters(Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen, and Evan Mobley), trailed by as many as 23 points before trimming the lead to seven in the fourth. However, they would fall short and lose to the Nets(11-5) 109-99 on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers(9-7) have now lost two straight.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Brooklyn:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Cavs’ Backcourt: Ricky Rubio(25 points, five assists, and four rebounds) and Darius Garland(24 points, six assists, and five rebounds) combined for 49 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds on Wednesday. These two scored half of Cleveland’s points against Brooklyn, but it wasn’t enough.

Second-Half Garland: Garland was sizzling in the second half. He scored 20 points in the second half, including 13 points in the fourth. He finished the half 8/14 from the field, including 3/7 from downtown. After struggling early, the third-year guard kept on shooting, and the shots started to fall. Garland ended the game 10/26 from the floor.

Third Quarter: Cleveland trailed 62-41 at halftime. However, they finally woke up in the third. The Cavs outscored the Nets 32-19 in the quarter, and Garland and Rubio had seven points apiece. Ultimately, the Cavs got within striking distance as they trailed 81-73 after three. 

“There was so much we did better in the second half (and) really started to make (the Nets) feel us,” Kevin Love said postgame.

Love is in the Air: Love returned after missing eight games due to his bout with COVID-19. He was solid on Wednesday as he had 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

“The first four or five days were pretty tough,” Love said. “All the usual symptoms that I think people might get. Crazy muscle aches, sensitive skin, can’t smell, taste, muscle spasms, fatigue. Then just chest and head got hit pretty tough as well. Definitely don’t wish that on anybody.”

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

First Half:  In the first half, the Cavaliers were ice-cold as they shot 33.3% from the field, including 4/24 from three-point range. Brooklyn was moving the ball in that half as they had 17 assists on 20 made field goals. 

First Half Garland:  Garland shot 2/12 from the field, including 0/4 from downtown, and finished with four points, two assists, and two turnovers. He struggled, but as we all know, he turned it around in the second half.

Bottom Line:

We all knew Cleveland would have to play out of their mind to beat Brooklyn, and they still might have lost. This would be a tough stretch for the Cavaliers with all their players, but it becomes even more difficult without their key players. After the Warriors, who have the best record in basketball, they have the Nets again on Monday and the Suns on Wednesday before ending their homestand on Saturday against the Magic.

What’s Next:

On Thursday night, the Cavs return home to start a four-game homestand against the Warriors.

Best of the Rest:

Brooklyn had four players score 20 points or more on Wednesday night led by James Harden’s 27 points; LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points off the bench, Kevin Durant had 23 points, and Patty Mills chipped in with 21 (six threes).

Ed Davis got his first start of season for Cleveland. He was effective in 24 minutes and finished with six points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Listen below as Love and Garland react to Cleveland’s loss to Brooklyn:

Ex-NBA player Shawn Bradley paralyzed after bike accident

Former NBA player Shawn Bradley announced via the Dallas Mavericks that he is paralyzed. The 48-year-old Bradley, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA with the 76ers, Nets, and Mavericks, was recently involved in a bike accident.

Below is a statement from Bradley via the Dallas Mavericks:

“Shawn Bradley released the first public details today of the accident that he suffered on January 20, 2021. Bradley, the 7’6” former NBA player with the Dallas Mavericks, was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle a mere block from his home in St. George, Utah. The accident caused a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. After undergoing neck fusion surgery, Bradley has spent the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation. 

Bradley, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent two years performing missionary work in Australia after his freshman year at Brigham Young University. Following his mission, Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the number two pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, but he spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. His very strong sense of faith is being tested as he participates in grueling physical therapy and learns how to cope with the challenges of paraplegia. Doctors have advised him that his road to recovery will be both long and arduous, perhaps an even more difficult physical challenge than playing professional basketball.

With his wife Carrie at his side around the clock, and supported by an amazing team of rehabilitation specialists and family, Bradley is in good spirits. He plans to use his accident as a platform to bring greater public awareness to the importance of bicycle safety.

Bradley asked to convey his deep appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers he has received from family, friends and fans. Their support has energized his recovery and bolstered his confidence that he will manage the long process ahead successfully. He does not plan to issue further public updates, preferring to devote his full concentration on his rehabilitation.”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban:

“We are saddened to hear of Shawn’s accident. Shawn has always been incredibly determined and shown a fighting spirit. We wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. He will always be a part of our Mavs family.”

Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn’s injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. In his eight-plus seasons in Dallas, Shawn demonstrated all of the qualities you want in a person representing your organization. He has always exhibited unwavering grit and determination and we are thinking of him at this difficult time. He is a Maverick for life.”

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on Sexton: ‘There’s a small group of guys in this league that can do what he did tonight’

He’s back and better than ever! After missing five games due to a sprained ankle, Cavaliers G Collin Sexton returned on Wednesday night against the star-studded Brooklyn Nets, who had their Big 3 of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving together for the first time.

However, Sexton was the biggest star on Wednesday night. The third-year guard scored 20 straight points, including 15 points in the second overtime and finished with a career-high 42 points as the Cavaliers(7-7) defeated the Nets(9-7) at home 147-135 in double overtime. 

Sexton out-dueled Irving last night, who returned after missing seven games and scored 37 points for Brooklyn. Sexton took over the game in OT, and according to his head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, not many players in the NBA could have done what Sexton did against Brooklyn. 

“Collin(Sexton) has proven time and time again against all his doubters is he’s not afraid of the big moments,” Bickerstaff said. “He likes pressure-filled moments. Not everybody in our league has the courage to do what he did tonight. Not everyone in our league have the ability to do what he did tonight… 

“Collin Sexton brought us home tonight, and again, people can say what they want to say about him, but there’s a small group of guys in this league that can do what he did tonight.”

Cavs’ Cedi Osman, who scored 25 points on Wednesday night, added this about Sexton: “That was a hell of an effort, man. He had 20 straight points. He played great; he played out of his mind. It was amazing. I don’t know what to say.” 

Even Irving enjoyed what he saw from Sexton.

“You gotta love NBA ball, though,” he said. “I was smiling when Collin Sexton was making those shots.”

Irving and Sexton will forever be linked. The former Cavalier was traded to Boston in 2017. In that deal, Cleveland was able to secure a first round pick, which turned into Sexton. After the game, Sexton acknowledged his connection to Irving.

“I am in Cleveland,” he said. “I wear number 2, and I do wear Kyrie’s(sneakers), so you know that’s definitely going to be linked together, so I just gotta take it.”

Sexton was terrific last night, and before the injury, was playing at a high level. What he is doing thus far this season is not a surprise. However, the way Cleveland is playing this season, especially when you consider the injuries, is impressive. Once they get fully healthy(Darius Garland and Kevin Love), they could be a team in the mix for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

 

Ex-Nets Allen, Prince say they would’ve done the Harden deal

Last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince in a three-team deal with the Rockets and Nets that sent James Harden to Brooklyn. In the deal for Harden, Houston received forward Caris LeVert(sent to Indy for Victor Oladipo), forward Rodions Kurucs, three first round draft picks, and the rights to swap four first round draft picks from Brooklyn.

Obviously, for the Nets, it’s all about winning a championship right now. Brooklyn has a former MVP and a two-time NBA champion in Kevin Durant, another champion in Kyrie Irving, and now they have another former MVP in Harden. With the addition of Harden, the Nets are clearly one the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and possibly win an NBA title. 

Anytime you can get your hands on a player like Harden, you find ways to make it happen, and the Nets did just that. 

According to both Allen and Prince, if they were the Nets’ general manager, they would have made the move, too.

“In all honesty, I would say I would do it. I’m not going to lie,” Allen said. “If you look at what happened with the Lakers, they did the same thing, and then the next year they went and got their ring. If I take myself out of it, I would love to stay in Brooklyn, but I understand that an opportunity like that, you have to go get it. 

Prince added: “To be completely honest, yeah. You got James Harden, who is probably one of the best scorers we’ve seen in our generation. Same with Kev(Durant), Kyrie(Irving), great point guard he is. I probably would have done the same thing.”

It’s hard to argue with the deal from the standpoint of all parties. The Nets got a big piece for a title run, Houston gets an opportunity to retool with draft picks and players, and Cleveland gets a young center in Allen. So it’s clear, Allen and Prince might have an NBA front office job waiting for them when they retire. Maybe not, but it was a deal the Nets could not pass up.

Watch below as Allen and Prince talk Harden trade:

Cavs’ GM is excited about the acquisition of Jarrett Allen

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team trade that also includes the Houston Rockets, the team announced on Thursday.

In exchange, Cleveland is sending guard Danté Exum and a 2022 unprotected first round draft pick via Milwaukee to Houston, and the lesser of Utah and Cleveland’s 2024 second round draft picks to Brooklyn. The Cavaliers have also acquired from Brooklyn the draft rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov, who was selected by the Nets with the 57th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

As part of the three-team trade, the Nets are receiving guard James Harden from the Rockets. In exchange, Houston is receiving forward Caris LeVert, forward Rodions Kurucs, three first round draft picks, and the rights to swap four first round draft picks from Brooklyn. While it’s not official, it is expected that LeVert will be shipped to Indiana for Victor Oladipo.

For Cleveland, they add a young center in the 6-11 Allen. In 12 games (five starts) for the Nets this season, Allen is averaging career highs of 11.2 points on .677 shooting from the field, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 26.7 minutes. The 22-year-old Allen is an excellent finisher around the basket and is a very good shot-blocker.

Cavaliers GM Koby Altman is excited about the acquisition of Allen and what he brings to the table. 

“Obviously, you build through the draft,” Altman said on Thursday. “When we started this process a couple of years ago, we knew we were going to build through the draft. Very excited about the additions we made there the last two, three years… To add a center that’s 22 years old, but that’s going into his fourth year in the league. That’s proven, that has more upside, that has all the intangibles you look for to add to your culture. To have that opportunity yesterday, we just felt was too good to pass up. 

Adding Allen, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, to what the Cavs have in guys like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro is exciting. There is a lot of youth with a lot of upside right now in Cleveland.

Regarding the 26-year-old Prince, he will get a decent opportunity, especially with all the injuries in Cleveland. In 12 games (four starts) this season with the Nets, Prince is averaging 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.2 minutes.

With this trade, the Cavaliers have three centers in JaVale McGee, Andre Drummond, and Allen. Drummond can become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so what Cleveland does there should be interesting. The 27-year-old Drummond, who has played well and is making $28.7 million this season, could be enticing for some teams because of his expiring contract, so with Allen in the mix and based on what the Cavs gave up to get Allen, it would appear that Drummond could be the odd man out in Cleveland. We’ll see how that situation plays out.

Also, on Thursday, the Cavaliers waived center Thon Maker and released guard Yogi Ferrell. Maker played in eight games with Cleveland this season, averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.5 minutes. He joined the Cavaliers in the 2020 Preseason. Ferrell (6-0, 178) was signed to a 10-day contract by Cleveland on Jan. 11 and appeared in two games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 9.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 20.0 minutes.

 

Clippers’ Frank: ‘Luke(Kennard) is a young, ascending player who has worked hard to establish himself as a reliable shooter and playmaker’

The LA Clippers have completed a three-team trade with the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets, the teams announced on Thursday. The Clippers acquired Pistons guard Luke Kennard, center Justin Patton, the draft rights to Jayden Scrubb (Nets 55th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft), and four second-round draft picks (Portland 2023, Detroit 2024, 2025, 2026).

The Nets received Clippers guard Landry Shamet, Pistons guard Bruce Brown, and the draft rights to Reggie Perry (Clippers 57th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft).

The Pistons acquired the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (Nets 19th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft), Clippers guard Rodney McGruder, Nets forward Dzanan Musa, a second-round draft pick (Toronto 2021), and the draft rights to Jaylen Hands.

“Luke is a young, ascending player who has worked hard to establish himself as a reliable shooter and playmaker,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “We’ve admired him from afar for quite a while and are excited to have him. In addition, the draft assets allow us the opportunity to continue drafting and developing young talent, or otherwise explore trade opportunities, for years to come.” 

Last season was a breakout year for the 24-year-old Kennard. In 28 games, the former 2017 lottery pick of the Pistons, averaged 15.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and, 3.5 rebounds per contest. However, he played in only 28 games due to knee tendonitis. With Kennard, the Clippers get a shooter(40% career three-point shooter). Also, he adds more depth to an already deep team. 

The 23-year-old Shamet, who was acquired from the 76ers in 2019, had his moments with the Clippers and is a knockdown three-point shooter, which should be very useful playing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

According to the L.A. Times, with this move, the Clippers are set to be eligible to use their full midlevel exception, worth $9.2 million, which they can use to add another player.

 



Report: Warriors trade Andre Iguodala to Grizzlies

The Golden State will look a lot different next season. On Sunday afternoon, Kevin Durant made the announcement that he was headed to Brooklyn to join the Nets. Late Sunday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors had acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Nets in a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant. It’s a four-year, $117 million max contract for Russell, according to the report.

Finally, according to Wojnarowski, Golden State shipped Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies.

This is a lot to unpack, and there could be some more moving parts, but here is what you need to know for now; Durant to Brooklyn, Russell to Golden State, and Iguodala to Memphis.

What a day!

Westbrook gets triple-double number 33

The Russell Westbrook triple-double show made a stop in Brooklyn last night; he messed around and got triple-double number 33. OKC defeated the Nets 122-104. Westbrook stat line was 25pts, 12 rebs and 19 assts. The Thunder are 27-6 when Westbrook messes around and gets a triple-double. In order for Westbrook to finish the season averaging a triple-double and being at 30ppg, he would need to average 21.8 ppg, 8.8 apg, and 7.5 rpg. Can he do it? I think he will.

If he finishes the season averaging a triple-double, he has to be the MVP.  I just can’t see how he could not be the MVP. What’s happening here is historic. This achievement warrants the MVP!

We’ll see if the MVP voters agree!