With 16 teams left with championship aspirations, gearing up to start the second season on Saturday, Friday’s talk is all about the Knicks, who are expected to make a decision on the future of head coach Mike Woodson in the next few days.
SH Blog: Woodson decision to come next week; Kyrie wants something special in Cleveland; Suns say nobody is getting Bledsoe
Wednesday is the final night in the NBA regular season.
It brings with it a lot of fun and excitement, as all 30 teams are in action. It also features quite of a few games of great import, seeing as there are more than a few teams jockeying for position in the playoffs.
More than anything, for a lot of NBA athletes, it brings a moment of reflection: An entire year of hard work is coming to a close. For some, the reflection is less inviting: An entire season has seemingly gone to waste.
Don’t believe me on the latter? Check out Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant’s response to this season.
At times they’ve looked like a playoff caliber team, and other times they’ve looked like one of the most poor and dysfunctional teams in the league.
The rides destination from the start was always the playoffs, and that ride all but came to an end with Saturday nights overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats — the surprise playoff team of the Eastern Conference — but for some strange reason nobody has gotten off of the roller coaster yet.
Expected to be one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference before the season began, the Cavaliers have floundered and are all but out of playoff contention after their latest 117-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
More importantly, there have been rumors all season long about how Irving doesn’t want to remain in Cleveland – rumors Irving has denied. The most recent report, however, went even further, saying he has wanted out of Cleveland for years. Robert Attenweiler of Cavstheblog.com discussed with Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired. This is the last time – once he signs he loses all of his leverage – so this is the last time he gets to enact leverage. I know he’s said all the right things so, fine, on July 1, when they offer a max contract – which they will – and I don’t even know if he’s a max player, but you have to sign him – sign a five year, no out. That’s what a max contract is. A max contract is five years, no out. If you want out or you want three years, that’s not a max contract. You want three years? Okay, we’ll give you $12 million a year. We’re not giving you the full thing.
I’m just giving you my feel right now and my feel is that he’s not crazy about [signing the full max extension] unless he gets everything checked off across the board.
Now, Kyrie has been very upset by this stuff but, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, it exists out there and I’m just saying the way it is. I’m sure Cavs fans are upset about it. The Cavs are upset about it. When I’ve written about it, the Cavs have been like “Why does this stuff have to be written about us?” I say, “It has to be written about you because this could happen.”
The Cavs are making a playoff push, and they’ve filled out their roster with a 15th guy.
Is Scotty Hopson any good? Decide for yourself after watching him play, but here is my take after watching him this season.
On Monday, it was announced that Cleveland had signed the ex-Anadolu Efes wingman to a 2-year, $3.8 million contract, with a team option for next year. There has been talk that the primary focus of the deal was the $2.5 million team option for next season that can be used as a valuable addition to draft day trades, but let’s not forget there is still a basketball player involved in this deal.
Hopson came to Anadolu Efes after a standout year in Hapoel Eilat, who our team, Maccabi Rishon Lezion, played in the quarterfinals of the Israeli League playoffs. Hopson arrived in Israel after a sub-par season in a very physical Greek League in which it is traditionally tough to succeed as a rookie.