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Lebron James

LeBron James in Limbo

Can the Cleveland Cavaliers’ deadline day trades save another NBA finals defeat for LeBron James?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been particularly hard to watch this year. LeBron James is having one of his best years statistically and he seemingly can’t find any teammates to lessen the burden on his shoulders. Since Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded, they’ve looked one-dimensional and pedestrian, the only threat coming from Lebron driving to the paint. The reasons for this could be that head coach Ty Lue or Dan Gilbert made the trade swapping Irving for Isaiah Thomas, then scrapping that trade by February—even though Thomas had a 10-month hiatus as a result to a labral tear to his hip, so he needed more time to get used to basketball again. However, without knowing the atmosphere in the Cavalier’s dressing room before Thomas was shipped off to the Lakers, it’s very hard to pinpoint the cause of their decline: We question if the new look Cavaliers could still win it all this year.

Firstly, the new look Cavs have gone four and four, leaving most fans confused as to what the ownership saw in these players, which is completely unfair. There isn’t a team in the league that could introduce four players who are given significant minutes and win consistently, they’ve only been with the team a month as well as having the all-star break in between this.

One thing to be concerned about is that the Cavaliers have the busiest end of year schedule in the NBA, so getting the team training together is going to be challenge.

Cleveland acquired George Hill, a 6”3’-point guard from Sacramento. He’s an efficient player averaging 10 points per game and an impressive 45 percent from the three-point line. They brought in another good three-point shooter in Rodney Hood, a 6”8’ shooting guard from the Utah Jazz, averaging 15 points a game. They’re both athletic defenders that are very capable perimeter shooters, who LeBron James loves to play with. LeBron James uses these players whilst he drives to the paint causing the defenders to sink closer to the basket to try and protect the rim, making the perimeter shooters available for the pass.

The Cavaliers also traded for Larry Nance Jr, he stands at 6”9’, plays as a power forward and will primarily be used as a center by Lue. Nance is a good rim protector and can also spread out the floor because of the threat of an alley-oop pass to him. He can be a spark plug for the team, he’s a vicious dunker that has Kevin Durant amongst his posterized victims. Nance never had a true role in LA, so he will benefit from having a more defined role.

Lastly, Jordan Clarkson was brought in alongside Nance from the LA Lakers. Clarkson’s a 6”5’ point guard, averaging 15 points per game, can score from anywhere and doesn’t need other players to create for him. This is as opposed to Hill and Hood who can’t create off the dribble. The Cavs will look to use him as a player who can create for himself giving LeBron James a rest from ball handling duties.

In conclusion, the Cleveland Cavaliers added reliable role players to back up LeBron James and Kevin Love. Before the trade, Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade and Isaiah Thomas just weren’t willing to be used as mostly off-the-ball players later in their careers, leading them to be disillusioned and not fight as hard as they once would have. The new additions will be sponges to the Cavaliers system and are young and fresh enough to run up and down court for the whole game. However, they will be relying on LeBron James and Love to get 60 points per game for them, then relying on the supporting cast to get around 10 points each.

All the focus is on the Golden State Warriors, who are still the heavy favorites to win the Championship since they have four perennial All-stars to the Cavaliers’ two. However, winning back to back Championships is difficult because mentally it’s so tough to keep the performance levels the same after achieving the ultimate goal the year before. My expectation is that they are good enough to win through to the finals, but may ultimately lose to the Warriors. These players are a good improvement, but the lack of consistent high volume shooters on the Cavs will be their downfall.

Further reading: NBA Star Derrick Rose to Sign With Timberwolves

NBA Star Derrick Rose

NBA Star Derrick Rose to Sign with Timberwolves

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA star Derrick Rose has plans to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the remainder of the season.

“Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose has agreed to a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rest of the season, league sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski said.

“The deal will reunite him with coach Tom Thibodeau and former Chicago Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.”

The Athletic reported that NBA star Rose and his wife welcomed their new born child earlier this week, and any plans of signing with the Wolves had been postponed until then.

The player was waived by the Utah Jazz back in February after the team had acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 8. As Rose was waived before March 1, he was eligible to join the Timberwolves.

Rose was side-lined because of injuries this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has played just 16 games.

The NBA star has had much bad luck with injuries throughout his career, having lost 2012 playoffs to injuries and the 2012-2013 and most of the 2013-2014 seasons for the same reason.

In November 2017, Rose took a sabbatical from the game to decide which next step he should take in his career; he returned shortly after.

Rose is highly revered in the NBA, having first been drafted in the 2008 NBA Draft and obtaining Rookie of the Year honors in 2009. He later won the NBA MVP Award in 2011.

San Diego Coach Arrest

Lamont Smith Resigns as San Diego Coach after Arrest

Lamont Smith resigns as San Diego Coach on Wednesday March 7, just shy of two weeks after his arrest following suspicion of domestic violence.

USA Today reported that the men’s basketball coach at the University of San Diego was placed on administrative leave by the school the day after the arrest.

“We appreciate Coach Smith’s contributions to Torero Athletics and to the men’s basketball program since he joined us three years ago.

“Coach Smith elevated the level of competitiveness of our program, recruited an outstanding group of student-athletes and established a strong foundation for future success.

“This situation has been difficult for all concerned and our prayers continue to remain with everyone,” said the school in a statement announcing Smith’s resignation.

Smith had been arrested just hours after the Toreros played against the University of San Francisco on 25 February. Police arrived at a hotel where a woman, whose identity remains anonymous, had visible marks of injury who said that Smith had caused the marks.

“As a result of the evidence obtained from the investigation, Mr Smith will not be charged at this time,” said Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office in an email to USA Today Sports.

A statement by Gail Shifman, Smith’s attorney, states: “After reviewing all the evidence and completing their investigation, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office has discharged the matter and has declined to file any charges against Coach Smith.

“An arrest in California is not the same as being charged with a crime. The San Francisco District Attorney’ Office has declined to file charges because there is insufficient evidence and there are no court proceedings.”

Smith had played for San Diego from 1995-1999. The 42-year-old was initially hired to coach the basketball team in 2015, and had two years remaining on his contract.