Rumor Roundup: Cavs, Teague, Pelicans

LeBron James and the Cavaliers open the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.

A quick look at the latest news, moves, and views from around the world of pro hoops:

Per Elias Sports Bureau: “LeBron James’ teams have won 19 consecutive first-round games, one win shy of tying the longest streak of its kind since the current playoff format began in 1984.”

Per ESPN Stats & Information: “With Monday night’s Game 2 win, the Cavaliers have now been outscored in the fourth quarter in nine of their last 10 games dating back to the regular season.”

Per HoopsHype: “The Cavaliers currently lead the Pacers, 2-0, in their first-round series. With that said, Indiana stuck around in both games – missing a potential game-winner in the first contest and losing the second game by just six points.”

Per HoopsHype: “It’s clear that Cleveland has some issues they’re still working through and Indiana will be a tough out, especially as the series shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.”

Per HoopsHype: “We have to play with an edge defensively, get out and run, and keep playing hungry,” Jeff Teague said. “That’s what we did to close the season [with five straight wins]. We still have a chance to shock the world.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “The Cavs are 12-0 in series in which they win the first two games. They should indeed win this series. The Pacers have become Paul George and a bunch of role players. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see George force a trade in the offseason. Anyway, whether the Cavs win in four games or six will depend on if they can cut down on turnovers, make the extra pass, and share the ball.” (Full column.)

Per the Boston Herald: “It’s not that the Celtics are a bona fide power. We get that. They are a team still in serious rebuilding mode that came upon their standing prematurely. They showed up for brunch still dressed in their pajamas.”

Per the Boston Herald: “But last night they weren’t even cohesive. So troubling was their play that Stevens was left to reach for something that might work. Among the few bright spots was Terry Rozier, who didn’t get off the bench in Game 1. Tyler Zeller sat out the first half and started the second.”

Per the Boston Herald: “These weren’t the Celts we had seen in the regular season, and while, as we said, we knew it would be different now . . . well, not this different.” (Full column.)

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Kyle Lowry’s step-back 20-footer over Malcolm Brogdon with 8.9 seconds left gave Toronto a 104-100 lead and finally secured the victory, after the Bucks rallied several times and tied the score late in the game on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s three-pointer.”

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “The Bucks had two wide-open three-point looks by Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova with chances to take the lead moments later — after DeMar DeRozan’s jumper gave the Raptors a 102-100 edge with 1:43 left.”

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Brogdon’s shot spun inside the rim before bouncing out. Even after the three-point misses, the Bucks had a chance to tie the score or take the lead after Toronto forward P.J. Tucker missed two free throws.” (Full report.)

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “At their season-ending news conference last week, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and Coach Alvin Gentry praised the prospect of having Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins paired together for an entire season instead of only after the All-Star break like this season.”

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “But if the Pelicans are going to fare better next season than their 34-48 record in 2016-17, they will need to put better shooters around Davis and Cousins.”

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Fortunately for the Pelicans there is a strong class of free agents this summer who can fill their biggest need for perimeter scoring. Los Angeles Clippers veteran shooting guard J.J. Redick becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, so does Cleveland Cavaliers’ veteran shooting guard Kyle Korver, Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala, Toronto Raptors small forward P.J. Tucker, Chicago Bulls and former Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “The New York Knicks lost a pingpong ball tiebreaker to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday and will fall behind them in the order if neither team lands in the top three during the NBA draft lottery.”

Per ESPN: “The Knicks’ and Wolves’ positions in the lottery — to be held May 16 — were the highest positions determined during the tiebreakers Tuesday. Minnesota will be slotted sixth and the Knicks seventh after the lottery unless either team — and/or a team below them — land among the top three spots.” (Full report.)

Per the Orange County Register: “With the second-worst record at No. 29, the Lakers would have had a 55.8 percent chance of drawing a top-three pick, which they wouldn’t have to convey to Philadelphia. With the third-worst at No. 28 where the Lakers finished, they just dropped to 46.9 percent.”

Per the Orange County Register: “Worse, their No. 1 in 2019 pick is also at greater risk. If they keep this year’s lottery pick, they owe Orlando only a pair of second-rounders (2017 and 2018) to complete the Dwight Howard trade. If they lose this year’s lottery pick, the Magic get their unprotected No. 1 in 2019.” (Full report.)

Per Hoops Rumors: “Dallas is currently slotted with the ninth pick, though if the franchise has a 6.1% chance at landing a top-3 pick in the draft, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors details. While Rick Carlisle would certainly like to move up, he believes you can get a productive player anywhere within the top 10.”

Per Hoops Rumors: “I’ve been looking at it for about 10 days now,” Carlisle said. “It’s deep. It’s 13 or 14 deep with guys that are going to legitimately help teams; not only teams that are bad but teams that are good. It’s a good year to be in the top-10. We’ll take advantage of it. There’s a lot of work to do between now and draft night.” (Full report.)

Amico: Some mid-day Cavaliers musings