Morning shootaround — June 6


VIDEO: The Starters discuss Kyrie Irving’s injury

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Kyrie Irving has fractured kneecap, out for Finals | LeBron: I’m not ‘discouraged‘| Tom Thibodeau has ‘no regrets

No. 1: Kyrie Irving has fractured kneecap, out for Finals — When Kyrie Irving limped off the floor during overtime of Game 1, he did his best to mask the pain he was clearly experiencing. One day later, after an MRI, it’s worst fears realized for Irving and the Cavaliers. The Cavs announced yesterday that Irving suffered a fractured kneecap and will miss the remainder of the postseason. Irving’s injury will require surgery, which typically has a 3-4 month recovery period. While Irving missed several playoff games dealing with tendinitis in his left knee, the Cavaliers say this injury is unrelated. As Irving himself posted on Instagram

I want to thank everyone for the well wishes. Saddened by the way I had to go out but it doesn’t take away from being apart of a special playoff run with my brothers. Truly means a lot for all the support and love. I Gave it everything I had and have no regrets. I love this game no matter what and I’ll be back soon. To my brothers: You already know what the deal is. And to Delly: “ICE it down del” *Big Perk voice *

***

No. 2: LeBron: I’m not ‘discouraged‘ — With Irving out, along with Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao, the Cavs may not be able to get things to go their way. But LeBron James has been around long enough to have seen plenty before, and according to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, LeBron isn’t discouraged by being down a game in the Finals …

In his storied career with 12 seasons nearly complete, James can say he has and has not been in this situation before. The odds were already long for a Finals triumph and now they’re longer, but if there is a player with the skills and experience to navigate this situation, it’s James.

He’s 1-5 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and his Cavs lost Game 1 (and Game 3) of the conference semifinals to the Bulls.

In Miami, where James won two titles and played in four Finals, both championships followed defeats in Game 1. He battled through playoffs at times with a hobbled Dwyane Wade (who missed one playoff game with James) and an injured (as in, out for nine games) Chris Bosh.

But James never lost Wade and Bosh at the same time, like he has here with Irving and Kevin Love. And yet, when the Cavs lace them up for Game 2 Sunday, it will not be the first time James takes the floor in a playoff game without his two Cleveland wingmen.

Irving, of course, has been battling foot and left knee issues for weeks. When the Cavs trailed the Bulls 2-1 in the conference semis and Irving was clearly hurting, James talked about “not being shattered” around teammates in what appeared to be a bleak moment.

Then James went out and won Game 4 with a turnaround jumper at the buzzer, not dissimilar from the shot he missed against the Warriors.

Irving missed two full games in the conference finals against Atlanta. Cleveland won both of those games and James nearly averaged a triple-double in the series.

“There are a few things that you would love to have going late in the season,” James explained. “That’s being healthy, having a great rhythm, and then you need a little luck as well. We’ve had a great rhythm. We haven’t had much luck, and we haven’t been healthy.

“But I haven’t gotten discouraged.”

***

No. 3: Tom Thibodeau has ‘no regrets‘ — It’s been a few days since the Chicago Bulls fired coach Tom Thibodeau, ending a five-year run where the Bulls experienced plenty of success, but also plenty of bad luck. Speaking for the first time since then, Thibs said despite any issues he had with Bulls management, he wants to move forward, writes Nick Friedell…

“Obviously, there were some issues, and I don’t want to get into all that,” Thibodeau said. “I’m very proud of what the team did. … I think any time when you have a pro franchise, there’s going to be some carping that goes on along the way.”

During a news conference to announce Thibodeau’s firing, Forman and Paxson stressed the need for a better communicator and painted a picture that Thibodeau wasn’t listening to much of the input from the front office.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf also issued a statement hinting that there were communication issues.

“While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone’s ideas and opinions,” the statement said. “These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization — staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.”

Thibodeau said Friday that he wasn’t worried about comments from the Bulls’ front office in the immediate aftermath after the decision was made.

“I don’t worry about stuff like that,” Thibodeau said. “I know for me, I put everything I have into each and every day. So I have no regrets. I’m going to let the record speak for itself.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is donating $5 million to his alma mater, Indiana University, for a technology center … Royce White is closing in on a return in time for Summer League … The Knicks will work out draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay next week … Why Arn Tellem is giving up being a sports agent and joining the front office of the Detroit Pistons …

27 Comments

  1. DRose says:

    But I do regret that I had to play for a coach who know nothing about offense except asking players to play their heart out……

  2. sanjay says:

    if cavs lose game 2, it is over.

    why my post is not posted?

  3. Steve Fitz says:

    Don’t count the Cavs out just yet. Its an uphill battle, but it is do-able: http://straighthoops.com/the_only_way.html

  4. Kal says:

    what I hear in my head when I watch the Warriors play:
    Katrina & The Waves – Walkin On Sunshine

    what I hear in my head when I watch the Cavs play:
    Dimmu Borgir – Progenies of the Great Apocalypse

    except for when the Grizz take a 2-1 lead or Curry and Klay are getting concussions or Iggy is guarding LeBron, then it’s like a jarring horrific intrusion of the Cleveland’s themesong in sunny California… revealing that the Warriors have had a lot moreso than they’ve been battle tested. … but that could change / is changing, the Cavs’ seem to be bringing out more of the warrior in the Warriors so far.

  5. taekayo says:

    Much like the Rockets, Cleveland now is a one-man show. Though Harden has a much much better support cast than LBJ (even if all Cavs are healthy), Harden’s impact is not close to LBJ. That’s a fact, not an LBJ fan (or any other diva for that matter), but I respect his skills. GSW just have to continue to challenge LBJ (his 44 points are mostly tough shots), but more importantly, not let everyone else contribute. As long as they keep the other Cavs from performing well, LBJ has to carry all that load. And the same as last year against SAS, that would take its toll on a 7-game series. The Cavs may steal a win or two, but winning four would be too much for one man.

    As for Thibs, I do respect his old school rules regarding accountability and defense. In basketball, there are just some intangibles that has to be maintained even if the game evolves every now and then. Hardwork, nose for the ball, grind and hustle, never giving up on a play, good physical defense, these are just some things that win games up to now. And Thibs preaches those things. However, there is one change that he hasn’t accepted, THE NBA SCHEDULE. In the past years, injuries has been the major setback of the league. No team is safe, and I don’t even know if maybe the players just got soft because all of the pampering or what. But the fact remains, the schedule is killing the players. If your team is a contender, YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR PLAYERS FOR THE DEEP PLAYOFF RUN. Even the oldest of the old-school coaches knows that. Pop rests his key players and gives minutes to his young guns. At the end of the season, his key players are good, his become players have become better. I like Thibs and I hope he gets another coaching gig, but he has to learn how to utilize all his players.

  6. harriethehawk says:

    Best wishes to Coach Thibs, who I saw on the Mike and Mike show last week. He looked relaxed and as if he has moved on. And so should the media, until he gets his next gig.

  7. Richard Kimble says:

    Who says Lebron James can’t play starting point guard, which makes Shawn Marion as starting Small Forward.
    Too bad Blatt isn’t going to do it, even though it would work out competitively.

  8. SDC says:

    Momentum is a mysterious thing in any sport, especially in big moments. If Cavs win game 2 in GS, weird things can happen.
    Wait and see…!

  9. kris says:

    It’s too bad Kyrie got injured. Despite not being 100, he looked better and more aggressive than Steph Curry.

  10. bu says:

    Cavs can still win wil Del playing dirty ball & get everyone else on Warriors injured

    If LBJ can won by himself like this, I’ll not watch NBA anymore.

    Thibs is good coach, but ain’t perfect. His team is professional like night in night out. Quite different from Steve Kerr’s team, where they just relaxed & laugh to 67-15. Can’t say which works better, but Thibs does hv more veterans while Kerr has many young guys.

    Anyways, I really haven’t seen any laughs or smiles on Bulls team under Thibs. Not sure if this is really breaking the spine of the team with too much pressure.

  11. Bojeezy says:

    Any team would be lucky to have coach Thibs as their Head Coach. He is a hard nosed, no nonsense coach that doesn’t let his players off the hook defensively and makes his players work hard every game for every possession. No disrespect to Laker great Byron Scott but I think coach Thibs would be a great coach for any team that is trying to rebuild and has the pieces to be able to compete. If I were a GM or the owner I would buy out Scott’s contract and go for coach Thibs if I had the opportunity. The problem with the Lakers is that sometimes they don’t have that sense of urgency and attention to detail unless Kobe is in the game. He makes every player accountable. If you are trying to create a culture of winning, this coach is your guy.

    Unfortunately, he does run your players into the ground and has issues with minutes management but you have to go with the best players on the floor if you want to win the game. I don’t honestly know where the Bulls are headed now. Just look at the Lakers for example and how they seem to be stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference no matter how hard they try. A great coach can make a big impact on a team.

  12. BIG-GAME-JAMES-23 says:

    As much as I believe this series is basically over for the Cavs, we all have to wait and see how the Cavs bounce back in game 2 before we can come to any conclusions about GSW winning the series easily. I think the Cavs will make adjustments, they are not just going to give up because Kyrie is injured. They didn’t give up when Kevin Love got his shoulder ripped out, they didn’t give up when Kyrie sat out multiple games in the ECF, and they didn’t give up when JR got suspended two games. This team is a lot tougher then they get credit for and GSW will still have to play at an extremely high level to beat the Cavs. Delly can give some quality defensive minutes and is good spot up shooter, he changes the pace and style of the Cavs when he plays and if that isn’t working then LBJ can play the PG position. Everybody has to step up and do there part, LeBron will continue to do his part, but its going to to take a collective team effort in order for them to have a chance. It won’t be easy, but this GSW team is not the Spurs, they can be beaten.

  13. NBAfan says:

    The Warriors celebrated the Chinese new year this season with special uniforms, it was ‘The year of the GOAT’ and they had a near perfect (almost injury free) season, making history as top 10 ranked regular season of all time.. Coincidence?? I think not!!

    Anyone dismissing the Warriors path to the finals as easy because each team they’ve faced have had certain players injured, need to be reminded this, they’re first team ever to face the complete ALL NBA 1ST TEAM every round of the playoffs.
    Round 1 A.Davis, Round 2 M.Gasol, Round 3 Harden, Now Lebron!
    They’ve had some luck on their side sure, but this season/playoffs run with a healthy team was mostly because of outstanding coaching/minutes management and very deep roster.

  14. Denry Presto says:

    eveRyssummer!!
    ther’s a new surprises. about team’s decsesion

  15. Anyone picking the Cavs to win at this point is a troll.

  16. sally says:

    Why would it be a problem without Kyrie ???? You haven’t been watching any games with Cleveland playing if you think it will be. They played through the biggest part of the playoffs without Kyrie and Kevin Love only played one game I think. There are plenty of guys who will step up and win this championship. You will see who the underdog is. Go Cavs !!!

  17. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Cleveland has played well with out Love and Irving there in the Finals, and the Warriors are a very good off and def team, and game one was close, but the Cavs are not out of this because of Irving they can still win the ship,

  18. BigO says:

    Cavs aint winning championship this year. Golden State will win this series if Lebrone gives everything every game i can see him stopping a sweep, even if golden state only win at home thats all they need. Teams too banged up and their coach is too fresh, LBJ runs the team anyway half the time. If he does it, will be one of the greatest championships every won but i just don’t see it happening.
    Also Bulls can bad mouth Tom all they like, their the ones loosing out and the record shows that, even when they blew up the team around roses injury scares to save money, Tom had them top 4 four, every season for the last three at least. OKC? might be what they need now they have got shot of their coach.

  19. funkypiston says:

    Every championship run needs a touch of luck to go with effort and talent. Golden State seems to have the luck favoring them. Take Steph for example. Round 1, Jrue Holiday was hobbled. Round 2, Mike Conley was, Round 3, Patrick Beverly and now the finals has Kyrie out. I’m not saying they all would have won the series but would have definitely made Steph work harder.

    This series is all but over since Lebron’s isolation plays will be even more and he has been utterly inefficient doing so. Golden State has just too many weapons to throw at Lebron. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Golden State wins in 5.

  20. Nick says:

    The best thing James can do is back off the iso’s!

  21. Kobron says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Brooms in the Oakland/San Francisco are completely sold out.

  22. Movkev says:

    I think the Cleveland Cavaliers is more than capable to defeat the Golden state warriors, despite losing game 1, losing Kyrie Irving. Lebron James will lead his team to win the championship without Irving and Love, he has what it takes and the rest of the team will follow his lead to great success. So everyone can now relax and see this championship going to Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games… Stop the doubting cause Lebron and the rest of his team mates will fight hard and win the NBA championship..

  23. Billy O'Brien says:

    The Kyrie Irving injury is completely devastating to the Cavs’ chances at a title this year. The Warriors are just too tough, with too many weapons, and too good offensively. I hate to say it, but the Cavs now have no chance: http://straighthoops.com/any_chance.html

  24. VM says:

    Thibodeau is the latest victim of the ugly drama in the Chicago Bulls front office. So many good coaches came and went not because of their inability but simply because they did not dance to the tune of front office. Bulls will continue miserable as long as Paxson and Forman keep their jobs.