Some links to tide you over until the start of the Biggest Game of the Season (For Now):
• The Washington Post (!) has a feature of the C’s improved play in the post-season. The highlight is Perk reflecting on the stitches he received during Game 1:
“I look at it like I’m already ugly,” Perkins said of his new look.
• When the C’s were on the verge of trading for Nate Robinson, much was made of the fact that he’d cost them an extra $2 million because of a bonus he’d receive if his team made the post-season. (The bonus was $1 million, which the C’s would have to match in luxury tax payments).
Turns out that wasn’t accurate, according to ESPN.com. To earn that bonus, Robinson’s team had to make the playoffs and he had to appear in at least 58 games. He played in 56 games this season. Doc benched him in the Easter Sunday win against Cleveland and in a win three days later against the Raptors. No bonus, no extra $1 million on the luxury tax bill.
• Tom Thibodeau appears to be finally coaching himself out of Boston—unless of course Doc Rivers retires and the C’s promote Thibs to the top job. But his name has now been linked to every coaching opening, and he apparently had his first interview already.
The interviewing team? The New Orleans Hornets, who sent their GM and president to Boston to meet with Thibodeau Thursday, according to the AP.
• Tom Ziller at FanHouse has an interesting piece about one possible reason teams have passed on Thibs in prior off-seasons:
Tom Thibodeau might be the NBA‘s highest paid assistant coach, reportedly making more than $1 million each season he spends in Boston. Thibodeau is considered a defensive genius in many circles, having served under Jeff Van Gundy in New York and Houston, and having kept the Celtics in the top tier of the league’s defenses over his three-year tenure there. He interviews for a few head coaching jobs every summer, but never gets the nod. The knock has been that he’s a bit … intense.
Ziller goes on to say the Kings really liked Thibodeau when they interviewed him last summer. Jeff Van Gundy publicly praised Thibodeau’s head coaching qualifications earlier this week.
There comes a point where an assistant’s name has been mentioned in head-coaching talks so many times that the whole “he’s never been a head coach and he’s not a marquee ex-player” concern drops away. That time might be now for Tom Thibodeau. If so, it will be Boston’s loss.
• Fear the Sword, the SB Nation Cavs blog, discusses what LeBron didn’t say during his MVP acceptance speech Monday night and in the process reveals the whole “will LeBron leave?” thing is driving Cleveland fans insane:
There was a moment, just a moment, but so powerful, at least for me, as LeBron James took that microphone and thanked the commissioner, and shared the credit for his MVP season with his 14 teammates, and with his adoring fans standing there and roaring, when I thought: My God, what if he does it right now, what if he says the simple words in this magic moment that would cause the Richter Scale to jump from the noise he could conjure? What if he simply said “Cleveland, I ain’t going anywhere, I am here to stay.”
• John Krolik at Cavs the Blog is worrying—not about LeBron’s future or his elbow, but about the things the Cavs aren’t doing well through Games 1 and 2. He lists six such things. Here’s one:
This team has become increasingly reliant on its offense, and said offense has become increasingly reliant on jump shots. That’s not ideal. The Cavs have surrounded LeBron with outside shooters, but they’ve left themselves without enough players willing to take the ball strong to the basket. Delonte filled that role last season; he’s been replaced by [Anthony Parker] in the starting lineup, and isn’t nearly as aggressive as he once was when he is in the game. Many of Andy’s minutes have gone to the more jumper-inclined Jamison, and Varejao hasn’t looked aggressive when he is playing. No more settling for contested jump shots early in the shot clock. That goes for everyone.
Now go read the other five and tell John what you think.
• Chad Ford’s newest mock draft is out and he has the C’s, picking 19th (!), selecting a guy named Luke Babbitt, a small forward from Nevada. That exhausts my knowledge of Luke Babbitt. There will be a time for me to study up on the Luke Babbitts of the world. Now is not that time.
• Loyal commenter DRJ, writing at Red’s Army, makes an interesting case that you should not be concerned with how often the C’s are hacking the Cavs—especially early in games.