David Blatt Would Love It If LeBron James Let Him Do His Job

Working with the most dominant player in your sport at the height of his or her career is a gift and a curse.

On one hand, you experience the luxury of fielding a demigod. On the other, you’ll occasionally find yourself contending with a star who commands as much respect from the team as you, if not more.

Such is the rub for David Blatt. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach is going through double growing pains in his first year as an NBA coach.

On top of adjusting to the league, he’s working with a tossed-salad team of superstars including LeBron James, who appeared to commandeer the job of coach several times during Cleveland‘s 92-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday.

Vine user Jimmy (h/t NextImpulseSports.com’s John Ferensen) posted some snippets of James engaging in the role of head coach/player during the game. You’ll also notice Blatt, who’s left to circle the perimeter of his timeouts like the small guy taping forks together at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Multiple times during the game Blatt found himself boxed out from the team. He just wanted someone to give him a chance and once had to apply a box-out move to get to the center of the huddle.

It’s great to see James leading actively (as opposed to playing passive-aggressive ball), but Blatt is on the team payroll. His job description doesn’t include passing game time with needlepoint and Royal Dansk.

Give him a second, LeBron. He’s been watching the entire game and swears he has an idea or two.

  

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Suns’ Eric Bledsoe Believes Kentucky Would Beat 76ers in 7-Game Series

Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe better bring his A-game the next time he faces the Philadelphia 76ers, or he’ll never hear the end of it.

The 76ers are currently sitting at 0-10, losing by nearly 17 points per game on average. Their struggles have stirred up a popular debate: Could the best college team beat the worst professional team?

The NCAA’s Kentucky Wildcats are loaded with talent and looking good early on this season, but Kentucky coach John Calipari was quick to dismiss the notion that his team could beat an NBA team:

However, Bledsoe—a former Wildcat—disagrees with his college coach.

Bledsoe appeared on SiriusXM’s The Starting Lineup with Brian Geltzeiler and Malik Rose. That’s when he gave his thoughts on if the Wildcats could beat the 76ers in a seven-game series:

You heard that right. Bledsoe would “definitely” take Kentucky, with Philadelphia “maybe” winning a game. That’s a pretty surprising response even for a former Wildcat.

Who would win a seven-game series, the 76ers or the Wildcats?

[John Calipari, SoundCloud; h/t Dime Magazine]

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Who would you prefer? Chris Paul or Derrick Rose

The point guard position is considered the most pivotal position in a NBA roster.  The league is filled with numerous amount of talent in the point guard position, but I will narrow it down to two point guards: Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. Who would you favor out of the two if you had an opportunity to assemble a dynasty? Well, let’s analyze the two and see what you decide.
Throughout their luxurious careers, both Chris Paul and Derrick Rose have received nothing but high praise for their approach and commitment to the game. Acquiring several accolades through their NBA tenure, but the two are absent of one goal and that is winning a NBA title. Although both play the same position, their style of play is entirely different. They both have extraordinary talent and bring a very diverse skill set to their respective team.
Chris Paul “The Floor General”
Chis Paul: 7x All-Star
Chris Paul began his career immediately establishing himself as one of NBA’s best point guards. Paul entered the league with a hu

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NBA Trade Rumors: Corey Brewer Would Bolster Cavaliers’ Title Chances

The rest of the Eastern Conference may not want to hear it, but the Cleveland Cavaliers could be getting some reinforcements on their run to a potential NBA title.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com passed along a developing rumor regarding Corey Brewer:

The Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off heavy back-to-back losses in New Orleans and Dallas and in the latest indication of their growing focus on the future, are in active trade discussions with multiple contending teams pursuing veteran swingman Corey Brewer, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets have emerged as the most serious suitors for Brewer.

While the Houston Rockets would be an intriguing option for Brewer considering their position as a Western Conference contender with Dwight Howard and James Harden, the Cavaliers at least don’t have to worry about the Los Angeles Clippers if this update from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne is any indication:

Before digging too far into this rumor from Cleveland’s point of view, this makes some sense from Minnesota’s perspective.

Brewer will turn 29 years old this season, and the Timberwolves are in full-blown rebuild mode after trading away Kevin Love this offseason. Trading Brewer could net a couple of young players or draft picks for Minnesota, which is exactly what a rebuilding franchise is always looking for with an eye on the future.

Stein noted that Cleveland owns a trade exception large enough to take on Brewer’s $4.7 million salary.

With LeBron James, Love and Kyrie Irving in tow, it is championship or bust for the Cavaliers this season. Defense has long been assumed to be their weakness ever since they traded Andrew Wiggins in a package for Love, and Brewer’s greatest asset is his ability as a perimeter stopper on that end of the floor.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders noted how bad it has been for Cleveland on defense in the early going this year:

He is versatile and athletic enough to defend guards or small forwards and can take some of the pressure off James on the defensive side. James has enough to worry about on offense to have to deal with the opponent’s best perimeter player on the defensive side for 82 games.

Brewer is averaging 1.7 steals a game in the early going, and, per NBA.com, is holding opponents to a minus-4.2 net defensive field-goal percentage overall and a minus-11.4 net defensive field-goal percentage on two-point shots. That means opponents shoot 4.2 percent worse on field goals against Brewer than they normally would and 11.4 percent worse on two-point shots.

If the Cavaliers suddenly became more formidable on the defensive side, they would look like an even more dangerous title contender.

Brewer is also a sold offensive player, especially in transition. Stein pointed out that he was particularly effective off of Love’s impressive outlet passes in Minnesota, and fans would get to see that combination yet again in Cleveland.

One reason that Brewer is impressive in transition is his speed. He commented on that ability when he was in Denver, via Aaron J. Lopez of the Nuggets’ team website: “I always feel like I’m the fastest guy on the court, no matter what. When I get out and run, I feel I can outrun people.”

Brewer averaged more than 12 points a game in 2013-14 for Minnesota and 2012-13 for Denver. He is not the best three-point shooter (29.4 percent on his career), but he can attack the rim with speed off the bounce or as a slasher without the ball.

Outside of the defense and underrated offense, Brewer would boost Cleveland’s title chances because it would give it more depth at the shooting guard/small forward position. The Cavaliers are going to make the playoffs and need James to be relatively fresh by the postseason.

James is averaging 39 minutes a night, and it is only November. The overall mileage on his almost-30-year-old legs could be a long-term issue for Cleveland, especially if it plans on playing deep into the postseason.

Brewer would give the Cavaliers another option to reduce James’ minutes load, especially since the former Florida Gator can play multiple positions. 

Defense and the overall wear and tear on James may be the two biggest concerns for Cleveland. Brewer would immediately address them both.

 

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Bulls Rumors: Ray Allen Would Help Put Chicago over the Top as Title Contenders

It is usually difficult to find impact free agents once the regular season starts in the NBA, but the Chicago Bulls have an opportunity to add a game-changer in Ray Allen.

There have been tons of rumors and speculation throughout the offseason and into the regular season concerning Allen’s future with the NBA. While at one time it seemed as though he was certain to join the Cleveland Cavaliers with former teammate LeBron James, his agent shot that down, via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

The fact is that the 39-year-old guard has not yet decided what he will do this season. Allen discussed his thoughts about a return with Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, via the Sun-Sentinel (subscription required).

“I’ve just been home, taking my kids to school,” Allen said. “I’m working out, taking care of my body. I’m in great shape. I’ll just watch how the season progresses, and if I do feel the desire to continue to play, then I’ll decide what situation is viable for me.”

As the season moves forward, joining a contending team like the Bulls might end up becoming more interesting for a player who would love to add another NBA championship to his collection.

When asked about this possibility, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (subscription required) noted it was possible: “The Bulls have stayed in contact with Allen’s representatives to see if he will play this season. If he chooses to, they’d certainly add another shooter.”

Although many believe Allen will eventually end up with the Cavaliers, a move to Chicago would make as much sense for the veteran.

He would be joining an elite squad that already has the pieces in place to win a championship whether he plays or not. This type of upside without much pressure would be very appealing for a player in his position. 

Additionally, Allen would be placed in a perfect position to succeed on an offense that really knows how to move the ball. Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are two of the best in the league at drawing a double-team and passing to an open man, while Derrick Rose, Aaron Brooks and Jimmy Butler have also proven to be willing passers on the court.

Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders noticed this ability early on this season:

The guard would get open looks all day as long as he is on the floor and should be able to add to his NBA-record 2,973 career three-pointers made.

From the Bulls perspective, adding three-point shooters is not an immediate need with Brooks, Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich playing well to start the year. First-round pick Doug McDermott also has the talent to be one of the best outside shooters in the game.

However, none of them are as consistent as Allen, who has a career mark of 40 percent from behind the arc. Besides, having extra shooters is never a bad thing in the NBA.

Of course, the most important thing he would provide is experience. Noah has played a lot of minutes in the playoffs, while Gasol won two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the team is still relying on a lot of young players to help bring home a championship.

Allen has won two championships in his career and would provide instant leadership to this squad. He also has shown he can be trusted to make a big shot when needed, as he did in the 2013 NBA Finals:

Chicago has a lot of talent on the roster, but few players would bring as much confidence when going up for a vital shot in the closing seconds as Allen.

The Bulls are off to a strong start to the season and clearly have what it takes to contend in the Eastern Conference regardless of any changes to the roster. If they play well enough and stay healthy, they can bring home a title.

Still, Allen could represent that extra piece required to win it all. If the shooting guard is interested in signing, the organization should do whatever it takes to bring him aboard.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Allen Iverson: ‘Practice’ would be a problem if he coached

Don’t expect Allen Iverson’s successful career handling the basketball to transition into a career handling a clipboard.
The former Philadelphia 76ers guard, who’s infamous practice rant went down as one of the best press conferences ever, has made it clear that he never wanted to become a head coach in the NBA. Things are probably better off this way, as he also confirmed that his team would never practice under his watch.

It’s a good thing Iverson isn’t interested, because it’s unlikely he’ll be offered a contract anytime soon after that remark, however humorous it might be.
h/t to Barstool Sports
Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
Filed under: Justin Leger, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Top Stories

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Allen Iverson Says His Team Would Never Practice If He Coached, Gives His Top 5

Even though his playing days are over, Allen Iverson still knows how to entertain. Reporters in the Philippines caught up with The Answer and got him to touch on a number of topics.

For starters, Iverson made it clear that his 1996 NBA draft class is the greatest of all time. The Philadelphia 76ers made Iverson the No. 1 overall pick in that draft, but he was hardly the only star selected that night.

The 1996 draft also produced Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, just to name a few.

Iverson was also asked if he would be interested in coaching the Philadelphia 76ers. His answer: No, because his team “would never practice.”

The Answer also went on to name his all-time starting five. Check out the video to see whom he lists.

[YouTube, h/t BallisLife]

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Beck/Bucher: Would You Rather Give a Max Deal to Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard?

Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are two emerging NBA superstars that can be looked at as franchise cornerstones, certainly worthy of hefty contracts.

With Thompson signing a rich extension with the Golden State Warriors and reigning Finals MVP Leonard still without a deal, we asked our NBA experts who is the better investment.

Ric Bucher and Howard Beck join Adam Lefkoe to debate that topic in the video above.

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LeBron: Greatest achievement would be parade in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers season-opener Thursday against the New York Knicks will be filled with uncontrollable excitement and joy as LeBron James takes the court wearing wine and gold once again. James told USA TODAY Sports that bringing a championship to fans in northeast Ohio will be one of his greatest achievements. “The greatest achievement in my career other than just being the best role model while I play this game is to be able to have a parade down East Ninth Street. It would be an unbelievable achievement,” James said. “I’m working toward that every single day. I will command it out of my teammates, out of my coaching staff and I hope they do the same to me. “Hopefully at some point before my career is over, we can have that parade.” James can’t guarantee the Cavaliers will win a title, but he will give it everything he has. “They’ve been part of one of the biggest championship droughts in professional sports history,” James said. “I feel like I can get them there. Will it be

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Larry Brown thinks Mudiay would set bad precedent

Brown is worried that more top recruits will follow Mudiay’s footsteps.

      
 

 

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