Morning shootaround — Nov. 20

VIDEO: Highlights from games played Nov. 19


Blatt wants more from all of Cavs | Kidd rips into Nets’ brass | Carter’s emotional tribute in Toronto | Cuban touting new in-arena technology

No. 1: Blatt wants better play across board from Cavs — The Cavs had last night’s game against the Spurs in a situation they couldn’t have dreamed up better: down one point, with LeBron James bringing the ball up court with seconds left to go in the game. But as James crossed halfcourt, he lost his dribble, Manu Ginobili scooped up the loose ball and San Antonio had a 92-90 win. Afterward, coach David Blatt pointed out how the Cavs can’t keep counting on LeBron to save their bacon every night, writes Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group:

That last possession is not what put the Cavaliers in a situation where they are now standing a subpar 5-5. James had a rough go offensively. Spurs foward Kawhi Leonard did a phenomenal job shadowing James and forcing him into help zones.

James ended the night with 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting, with six rebounds and nine assists.

“Kawhi is a really, really good defender and T.D. (Tim Duncan) is kind of always protecting the paint,” James said. “They want everybody in the paint to try to make it tough on me. I missed some shots. They did a great job forcing me into some tougher shots that didn’t go for me.”

When James doesn’t play well offensively, the Cavaliers tend to follow suit. He is averaging 32.6 points and shooting 53 percent in wins and 19.2 points and 39 percent in losses.

Those numbers are not a newfound revelation, but according to head coach David Blatt it shouldn’t be an excuse for others not to bring it.

“What I would say to that is we all have to step up,” Blatt said. “Not just one guy. One guy is not responsible for a whole team. I’m not going to throw out any names or throw anybody under the bus, but the thing about a team is, if everyone is engaged, I think each and every guy has to step up and make himself felt and contribute what he can to the game.”

Clearly not enough guys stepped up in James’ time of need. But overall, Blatt felt his team came ready to play, which was not the case Monday in a home loss to Denver.

“I thought we played it with the right level of intensity, focus and determination,” he said.

Defense wasn’t the issue this time. Blatt made it a point to single out Kyrie Irving, calling it his best defensive game of the season for his play on Spurs guard Tony Parker, who was 2-of-7 and had eight points in 33 minutes.

Coughing the ball up is what players harped on. The last thing any team wants to do is hand the Spurs’ efficiently-run offense extra possessions.

“Turnovers killed us,” Anderson Varejao said. “At the end of the game we had a couple of bad ones and I believe that’s why we lost.”

VIDEO: The Spurs handle the Cavs in an early season East vs. West showdown


No. 2: Kidd rips into Nets’ brass — Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks did everything they could to make coach Jason Kidd’s return to Brooklyn as exciting as possible. Although it took them three overtimes to pull it off, the Bucks topped the Nets in a game that had deep meaning for Kidd, the coach of Brooklyn last season. After the win, Kidd didn’t hold back in taking shots at his old club and its front office, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

Before his Bucks emerging with a thrilling 122-118 triple overtime victory — sending Brooklyn to a fifth-straight loss — Kidd held court for nearly 10 minutes in front of a throng of reporters and couldn’t help himself when asked why he has mentioned multiple times in recent weeks that he has referred to reports that his job was in jeopardy last December as motivation for his departure.

“I think it really helped me to see what I was dealing with, what type of people I was dealing with, you know?” Kidd said. “To give me a fair chance to coach a team that had injuries, we make a big trade … but I think understanding that they did want to fire me in December, so it just shows what type of people I was dealing with.”

Kidd was clearly referring to Nets general manager Billy King, who Kidd wanted to supplant when he went to ownership in his failed power play to take control of basketball operations, a story first reported by The Post in late June.

If there was any doubt of that, though, Kidd made it clear when he was asked directly about King.

“Well, he’s management, so my relationship with Billy was to figure out how to get things right when he was around,” Kidd said. “There was really no relationship.”

He also managed to get a shot in at Mikhail Prokhorov, after the Nets owner recently said, “Let the door hit you where the good Lord split you,” in reference to Kidd’s departure.

“I thought it was a great quote,” Kidd said. “I’ve heard it before. So was it something new? No.”

Kidd later spent time with Kevin Garnett in the hallway outside the Bucks’ locker room, before exiting the arena with a smile on his face after getting a much more meaningful win than he was willing to actually admit.

Before the game, Kidd also managed to hit the Nets with a familiar refrain he has used multiple times in recent weeks: that they have continued to talk about him while he has moved on … only to, at the same time, keep talking about the Nets.

“As a player, you get traded, and as a coach you have the opportunity to get traded, so that’s what happens, we move on,” he said. “Unfortunately one side hasn’t, but eventually both sides will move on.”


No. 3: Carter tears up over tribute in Toronto — Now in their 20th season, the Toronto Raptors are celebrating their past by honoring various standout players and figures. One such figure is Vince Carter, who was traded by the team in 2004 after 6 1/2 seasons in Canada because the relationship between team and player had soured. Since his departure, Raptors fans have been harsh with Carter and often booed him. At last night’s Grizzlies-Raptors game, though, the team paid tribute to Carter (now in Memphis) and his emotions got the best of him. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun has more:

Vince Carter was not sure what to expect from Raptors fans after nearly 10 years in the basketball wilderness.

Aware the team would be honouring the contributions of its all-time best player as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations on Wednesday night, Carter did his best not to fret ahead of the game, but it was clear he was wondering if the customarily chilly reception would thaw at all.

Forget thawing, a near decade of animosity vanished in a flash, as the video of Carter’s high-flying Raptors days was met with a standing ovation from the ACC crowd, along with loud cheers.

Carter, looking surprised, mouthed “wow” and had to dab away tears from his eyes with his shirt. Fittingly, once Carter checked into the game, he was booed every time he touched the ball, marking a return to normalcy.

“It was an amazing feeling to relive it as it was happening. As each play was happening, I could remember it like yesterday,” Carter said afterward, calling his tears “an honest reaction.”

“I couldn’t write it any better. I’m extremely thankful.”

VIDEO: Watch the Raptors’ in-arena tribute to Vince Carter


No. 4: Cuban, Mavs preparing to unveil new video technology — The latest, cutting-edge technology and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have been practically synonymous for years now, so it’s not a big surprise he’s got a new toy to unveil in Texas. According to The Dallas Morning NewsBrad Townsend, Cuban is all but ready to unveil a new video-capturing service that — if it lives up to Cuban’s billing of it — may change how NBA games are viewed:

Cuban said Wednesday that company in which he has invested – freeD (Free Dimensional Video) – has completed six weeks of installing high-resolution cameras in the American Airlines Center rafters and will begin testing a revolutionary product as soon as Friday, when the Mavericks host the Lakers.

Sports fans may recall having seen freeD’s technology in use during recent NFL games and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

With the high-resolution cameras, data collected from the digital images and software, any video image can be frozen and turned 360 degrees, giving fans seeing the images on the AAC videoboard and viewers watching Fox Sports Southwest telecasts highly unique views of the action.

Cuban said the software also can, for example, take any byte and transform that into views – “For example, right at the jump ball, what does Tyson (Chandler) see? It literally recreates that perspective.

“If the ball goes out of bounds and you want to see who touches it, you’ll be able to spin the whole thing and look from any angle.

“The secret sauce is it converts (the high-resolution video) to actual data,” Cuban said. “And the double secret sauce is from that data, you can recreate any of the visuals. So from this, that is recreated into data. From using the software, you can look at it from any angle.”

Cuban said he doesn’t believe the testing phase will take long, though he can’t say for certain how soon the technology will be in full use at Mavericks home games.

And, yes, because NBA replay officials in Secaucus, N.J. will have access to the Fox SW video feeds, they will be able to use the freeD technology to confirm or reverse calls.

The Mavericks and most NBA teams currently use SportVu cameras in arena rafters to gather information such as speed, distance, player separation and ball possession data.

“It’ll blow away SportVu, just blow it away,” Cuban said.

“And, for fans, watching a game is going to be crazy.”


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Rival executives say the Boston Celtics aren’t seriously looking to trade Rajon Rondo … Orlando Magic rookie Aaron Gordon will see a foot specialist soon … Philadelphia 76ers reserve Jason Richardson (remember him?) says he’ll be playing before the All-Star break … Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers is a huge fan of Nikola Vucevic … The Phoenix Suns have a well-known logjam at point guard and may have one at small forward, too … Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic says his ankle is bothering him (as well as his wrist)

ICYMI OF THE NIGHT: We (usually) highlight the best play of the night in the space, but this missed game-winning breakaway layup by Brandon Knight is one we still can’t believe happened … 

VIDEO: Brandon Knight gets a breakaway with a shot to win it … and misses the layup



  1. Stingray says:

    Good technical explanations by Cuban 🙂
    “The secret sauce is it converts (the high-resolution video) to actual data”
    Video is a data by definition 🙂

    But anyway, good for him – trying out new stuff.

  2. harriethehawk says:

    Joe Johnson is a bum. And so is Derron Williams.

  3. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Pacers with another good win, Lakers back to back wins on the road, what?? Vince Carters best highlight’s came when he was in Toronto, he was dunk’n on everbody and flying in the air, might be the best in game dunker of all time.

  4. Game Time says:

    Funny article on the front of Kobe finds a new way to win. Well, not really. He shot 10-28 last night. The Lakers were just lucky that Howard wasn’t there. So if Kobe’s new way to win means having the star player of each team absent, there will be very few victories that way.

  5. T gas TT ako says:

    cavs need this losses for their maturity as a team,, kidd had a good laugh ,, vinsanity will remain in my mind in toronto,,,

  6. Bo says:

    Nets need to stop that stupid Joe Johnson ISO for the last 5 possessions of every game, rest of the team is just standing cold and he’s making them lose games.

    And also what was that last possesion play? whats this Hollins guy doing, draw something for a 3, keep the ball to the very end….

  7. verkleyalex says:

    Carter was a superstar and kickstarted basketball in Canada. I grew up watching Vincesanity take over. He was the reason I started watching basketball, he was the guy all of us kids on the playground wanted to imitate. Yes he left Toronto in a bad way, and yes he never had big time playoff success anywhere he went but he was a major part of what Canada basketball is now, without Carter the Raptors wouldn’t be in Toronto still. Great career, Hall of Fame worthy for sure

  8. TheKush says:

    I like how Cuban keeps raising the bar for owners in the NBA, Vince Carter’s a hall of famer just for dunking over that french 7 footer in the olympics. If that was the only thing he did in his professional career I would still have him in the hall of fame just for that one dunk. LeBron is the coach of the Cavs,

    Blatt is trying to incorporate that European basketball into the NBA but the difference is the NBA has freakish athletes who can run an uptempo game for upto 9 months a year! The reason the Spurs can play that Euro style and get away with it is because in desperate times they can throw the ball down to Tim Duncan and tell him to get them a basket. I don’t like how Blatt is playing his guys, I understand the whole team concept but he’s throwing in all his best players at one time and then throwing in all his subs another time.

    He has three superstar caliber players he should rotate them all with their subs and do it whether the team is winning or losing so teammates can feel comfortable when on the floor. It’s a process, if you watch the watch the spurs Pop plays all his guys but he does it intelligently and let’s it flow with the game plan, he watches what works and has the balls to stick to what’s working. What does that mean to the Cavs? it could mean if LeBron, Kyrie or Love weren’t having a good game and it was close game and a crunch time scenario it could mean leaving one of the Cavs big three on the bench and then dealing with the mainstream press if the Cavs lose a game or two or three…

    Pop does this so much and most people don’t even notice it because he’s done it over and over again even in big game situations. Spoelstra didn’t have the balls to do that, and from what I’m seeing neither does Blatt! LeBron is the coach of the Cavs best I can tell!

  9. WarriorsRule! says:

    Brandon Knight should’ve slammed that thing home,and they could’ve ended the game right there!

    • Dan says:

      The problem was the perusing defender. OJ Mayo should have been following close behind and he could have easily put it back up.

      • Mamba says:

        There was no time for a follow-up especially since it was a fast break off a steal with less than 5 seconds.. He had enough time for a dunk though.. Nonetheless it was really funny!! LOL