A look at the latest news, views and moves from around pro hoops:
Per ESPN Stats & Information: “The Cavaliers are 6-10 this month. It’s the second month of LeBron James’ career in which his team had double-digit losses. The other one came in his first full month in the NBA (4-11 in November 2003).”
Per ESPN: ” LeBron James said the Cavaliers are in a bad spot, and Kyrie Irving indicated the team had a meeting after its 99-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.”
Irving to reporters: “Every journey’s different. When you’re in it, it absolutely sucks, when you’re in a rut like this. We’re taking steps forward. After the game we took a step forward.”
Irving to reporters: “We won’t be perfect in one day. But it’s no time to hold your head, I’ll tell you that. … We’re gonna be just fine. It’s ugly right now. It’s real, real ugly.”
Per Amico Hoops: “Tyronn Lue has to get control of his team. It may mean bringing one of the stars off the bench for a game or two. Whatever Lue is trying right now isn’t working. Not all of the guys are competing. The coach may need to be aggressive in tinkering with the lineup, and not worry about upsetting a veteran or two.” (Full column.)
Per Cleveland.com: “The Cavs are fooling themselves if they believe their problems on defense will be corrected by playing with more zest and locking into one opponent in the postseason.”
Per Cleveland.com: “They simply don’t have many quality defenders, a fact that becomes more apparent with every passing game, especially since they haven’t shown the ability to contain dribble penetration.”
Per Cleveland.com: “While Lue said the much-maligned defense took a step in the right direction, it’s fair to wonder whether he’s in denial.”
Per Cleveland.com: “Sure, the Cavs held the Bulls under 100 points — the only road foe to not reach the century mark since the New Year — and the Cavs held the Bulls to 42 percent from the field, but they gave up a plethora of uncontested shots.” (Full report.)
Alone At Number 7.
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) March 31, 2017
Per The Detroit News: “Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was arrested early Wednesday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.”
Per Hoops Rumors: “According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, one front office source told him recently that Jimmy Butler is ‘as good as gone,’ suggesting the star swingman is unlikely to start the 2017/18 season in Chicago. However, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune paints a more nuanced picture of the Bulls’ stance.” (Full report.)
Per The National Post: “In a vacuum, there is a case to be made against signing a point guard on the wrong side of 30 to a massive contract. You could argue, as at least a couple of high-profile web sites did this week, that Masai Ujiri might want to move on without Kyle Lowry. There are fair questions about whether Lowry and DeMar DeRozan could be the two best players on a championship team.” (Full column.)
Per the Denver Post: “The NBA playoff dream was cool while it lasted. But reality bites, and it sounds like Jusuf Nurkic talking smack: Have a nice summer. The playoffs ain’t happening for the Nuggets this year. So it’s time for a new, bigger dream: Gordon Hayward.” (Full report.)
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) March 31, 2017
Per Scout.com: “One thing made clear by NBA execs in Chicago: De’Aaron Fox made their decisions harder last month of season. Major topic of conversation.”
UCLA freshman big man TJ Leaf will enter the NBA draft, he announced on his Twitter account.
Per Draft Express: “Lauri Markkanen will announce he’s leaving Arizona and entering the 2017 NBA Draft. Projected DX top-10 pick.”
Per ESPN: “Texas freshman Andrew Jones will test the NBA waters and declare for the draft, but won’t sign with an agent, source told ESPN.”
The Raptors have assigned Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet to Raptors 905, per the team.
The Knicks have assigned rookie big men Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee to the Westchester Knicks, per the team.
Thunder assistant Anthony Grant has been hired as the new head coach at Dayton, per the school.
The Pacers have officially signed guard Lance Stephenson, per the team.