A look at the latest news, views and moves from around the world of pro hoops:
Per the Indianapolis Star: “Coach Nate McMillan said goodbye to a throng of reporters and walked across the practice court inside Quicken Loans Arena. McMillan turned on a large TV in the corner of the room and began a brief conversation with his three assistants.”
Per the Indianapolis Star: “One by one, the Indiana Pacers stopped shooting, stretching or talking. They walked toward the chairs, some with the seat higher than others, in front of the TV. All McMillan needed to do to start the team’s film session Sunday was press play.”
Per the Indianapolis Star: “The Cavaliers scored 66 points in the first half because they created favorable mismatches with a screen set in the middle of the court. LeBron James scored on smaller guards such as Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis. Kevin Love did the same against Aaron Brooks. James sprinted around Kevin Seraphin for an easy layup.” (Full report.)
Per The Associated Press: “When you are down one with ball, you have to execute the play and hit the shot. We didn’t do that,” McMillan said, looking back at the Cavs’ 109-108 win in Game 1 on Saturday. I do feel like we let one slip away.” (Full report.)
Per ESPN Stats & Info: “Should Paul George have taken the shot on the Pacers’ final possession Saturday vs. Cleveland? Since 2010-11, he has the NBA’s worst field goal percentage on go-ahead shots with under 20 seconds to go.”
NBA officials never tell bench players to sit down and stop cheering. It's a religion for college officials to do so. Will never understand.
— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) April 17, 2017
Per the Boston Herald: “The cameras were focused on Isaiah Thomas, almost voyeuristic in their desire to capture his grief. He had lost his sister in an automobile accident the day before, and here he was playing through the obvious emotional pain. And playing well. Exceedingly well.”
Per the Boston Herald: “In something so relatively mundane to what Thomas is going through as basketball, the Bulls had a job to do. As much as they, too, hurt for Thomas and heard the roaring ovation for the Celt, their job was to not care about that once the game began. And they succeeded, holding off the C’s, 106-102, to take the lead in the best-of-seven series against the conference’s No. 1 seed.” (Full report.)
Per the Chicago Tribune: “At some point, Dwyane Wade will decide and publicly disclose whether he’ll exercise the player option that would pay him $23.8 million to suit up for the Bulls next season. Now isn’t that time.”
Per the Chicago Tribune: “Wade has been completely transparent all season about the factors that will drive his decision — team fortunes, family and money. He called a question about whether the Bulls qualifying for the playoffs helps check the team-fortunes box a “great question” but otherwise wouldn’t elaborate.” (Full report.)
Per the New York Post: “There’s no reason to feel good about the Knicks’ future as a franchise as long as Phil Jackson, the coach, keeps undermining Phil Jackson, the team president.”
Per the New York Post: “Thought to be playoff contenders when the season began, the Knicks managed to be bad enough to make the lottery, but not bad enough to excite anyone about their potential position for the upcoming NBA draft.” (Full column.)
Per Hoops Rumors: “It also appears that Jackson’s statements on Friday urging Carmelo Anthony to accept a trade this summer have backfired. Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Knicks plan to reopen trade talks before the draft in June, but Anthony has become more determined to spend two more years in New York and try to outlast Jackson. With the Knicks picking up Jackson’s option this week, both he and Anthony have two seasons left on their current contracts.” (Full report.)
Per the Los Angeles Daily News: “They have not panicked, nor have they flung themselves into desperation mode. If the Clippers seemed remarkably at peace the morning after their stunning 98-96 loss in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against Utah, it’s for one simple reason. They’ve been here before.”
Per the Los Angeles Daily News: “By Easter morning, the Clippers were ready to move on from their stunning loss. ‘Nobody died,’ JJ Redick said. ‘No one has cancer that I know of. It’s the playoffs, you’re not going to go 16-0, you move to the next game, you make your adjustments, you try to win the next one. There’s no grieving going on.'” (Full report.)
Per Hoops Rumors: “Four NBA teams finished the 2016/17 season below the league’s salary floor and will have to make up the difference by paying a little extra money to the players who finished the season on their respective rosters. The Nets, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Jazz each fell short of the $84.729MM floor this season.” (Full report.)
Per the Denver Post: “If Michael Malone deserves a fair share of blame for the relationship with Jusuf Nurkic going sour, then doesn’t the Denver coaching staff also deserve credit for the development of Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray? But this is also true: If the Nuggets don’t make the playoffs after his third season as coach, Malone will be on the hot seat.” (Full column.)
Per the Dallas Morning News: “The Mavericks have a great reference point for Yogi Ferrell. His name is Darrell Armstrong. Rick Carlisle’s assistant coach, like Ferrell, went undrafted but managed to carve out a 14-year career and was a feared defender and capable scorer. That’s the goal for Ferrell.”
Per the Dallas Morning News: “But what if there is more to this 6-foot package? He’s going to turn 24 next month, and he’s clearly got tools that all 30 NBA teams overlooked in the draft last year — twice.” (Full report.)
Former NBA guard Will Bynum has agreed to a contract with Luoyang of China, per Amico Hoops.
Former NBA guard Khalid El-Amin has agreed to a deal with Venezuelan club Marinos, per Amico Hoops.
Former NBA and D-League forward Richard Howell has agreed to a contract with Hapoel Jerusalem, per Amico Hoops.
Per HoopDirt: “The hot early name to replace Gregg Nibert at Presbyterian is B.J. McKie. The former University of South Carolina standout is the current associate head coach at Charleston Southern. McKie finished his playing career at South Carolina in 1999 as the Gamecocks’ all-time leading scorer with 2,119. Sounds like he has a ton of support for this one.” (Full report.)