Pistons still not getting much credit from outside
The Pistons aren't getting much credit or respect from at least one veteran Cavaliers player. I got the goods in an Akron Beacon Journal article published yesterday.
With each playoff victory, a clear-the-air meeting following a March 24 road loss to the Brooklyn Nets looks like the turning point in the Cavaliers' season.
With each team gathering, like watching the Western Conference finals together at Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto on May 22, the trade with the Orlando Magic for Channing Frye looks like the move that broke up the team's cliques and made them more of a family.
Richard Jefferson said that loss to the lowly Nets was one of several clunkers the Cavs turned in during the regular season. He said "a lot of things were building up" before the team's New York talk. The example he used was a 115-92 victory at Oklahoma City on Feb. 21 followed by a 96-88 home loss to the Detroit Pistons the next night.
"There was no reason for some of those losses that we had this year, where you could see it coming," Jefferson said. "We would go and get a very, very good win and we would follow it up with just laying an egg. We still won — How many games did we win? — 57 games. But we felt personally that we should have been in the mid-60 range if we'd been locked in. Even with the injuries to [Kyrie Irving] and [Iman Shumpert] and the coaching change, we still felt like we should have been a mid-60s team. There were quite a few losses there that stung and probably hurt us more than people recognized."
Frye was around for a few of those, including the clunker against the Pistons. Jefferson said his long-time friend Frye helped Lue change the culture.
Overall a quality fluff article if you will -- read it if you have two minutes. I'll say that Channing Frye should be congratulated for more than just his outside shooting skills.
Quick Thought: maybe Frye should be on the radar as a stretch four option for Detroit's bench next year?
The Golden State Warriors just made NBA history -- Mashable
The bold is my emphasis, in case we would ever forget that series vs. the Orlando Magic.
While the Warriors are just the 10th team in NBA history to have come back from a 3-to-1 deficit, you don't have to go back far to find the last time it happened: the Houston Rockets accomplished that feat last year against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.
The 10 teams to have overcome the 3-to-1 deficit are:
2016 Golden State Warriors
2015 Houston Rockets
2006 Phoenix Suns
2003 Detroit Pistons
1997 Miami Heat
1995 Houston Rockets
1981 Boston Celtics
1979 Washington Bullets
1970 L.A. Lakers
1968 Boston Celtics
Of those teams, the '68 and '81 Celtics and the '95 Rockets went on to win the NBA Finals.
Will the Warriors beat the Cavaliers for the NBA title? I think so -- but really, it's going to be an epic series anyway (whatever epic actually means).
NBA draft bio: Maryland's Jake Layman squarely in line for Pistons at No. 49 -- MLive (videos)
Pistons appeal: Detroit has an affinity for combination forwards. While it would be a shock if the Pistons reached for a small forward in the first round -- they have Marcus Morris for three more years and drafted Stanley Johnson in last year's first round -- they certainly could consider one at No. 49 overall in the second round. Layman has the kind of length and shooting ability the Pistons covet. At the NBA draft combine, Layman recorded the fifth-best shuttle run (2.82 seconds) and the seventh-best maximum vertical leap (39.5 inches). On the downside, Layman was a role player throughout college and Maryland's fourth offensive option his senior year, so there is some question about raising his game at the NBA level.
Ranking Every NBA Team's Alpha Dog -- Point After
Published nearly three weeks ago but I feel it deserves something. Go on and take a look at the list and see where the Pistons' Alpha Dog (Reggie Jackson) is placed.
Enjoy your day out there -- and eat an apple or two while you're at it.