Cavaliers to muscle up in Game 2 | Heat benefit by Bosh ruling | Knicks looking into aquiring Rubio?
No. 1: Cavs plan to get physical — After spending most of The Finals opener looking like traffic cones that the Warriors just drove on by, the Cavaliers say they plan to put a few bodies on Golden State in Game 2. Power forward Kevin Love and coach Tyronn Lue told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com that the defending champs plan to body up:
Cleveland became the first team in NBA history to fail to record a steal on the defensive end in a Finals game. After reviewing the tape, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue identified a point of emphasis: Up the physicality to disrupt the Warriors’ potent offense.
“I think, just make them feel us,” Cavs forward Kevin Love said on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. “That’s something that I imagine Ty probably talked about [with the media] and we can definitely do a better job of.”
Helped by the fact that the Cavs didn’t take the ball away from Golden State, the Warriors tied an NBA record for the fewest turnovers in a Finals game (four). The Cavs, meanwhile, committed 20 turnovers, leading to 21 points for Golden State.
“They were really good on both sides, being in attack mode — whether it was playing downhill [on offense] or on the defensive end pushing us out, making the catches tough for us,” Love said. “I think at certain points we did that, but we have to do that throughout. That’s how you have to play against a team like them, because if they’re able to move freely and set good screens, the guys are able to just get a little bit of space or a little bit of breathing room [and] be so effective. That’s what makes them tough.”
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No. 2: Bosh ruling benefits Heat — The process of rebuilding the Heat into contenders was helped by a ruling from the NBA and the Players Association that says Chris Bosh has suffered a career ending injury. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel explains that Miami will get salary cap relief from the ruling therefore be able to pursue free agent prizes this summer:
Once the formal application for waivers is made by the Heat, the team will immediately drop below the salary cap. The Heat will have about $37 million in salary-cap space available at the July 1 start of free agency with Bosh’s salary off their cap.
The ruling is largely a salary-cap mechanism that allows the Heat to enter free agency unencumbered by the possibility of Bosh’s salary returning to their payroll. Bosh nonetheless could return to the league at any time, provided can present medical evidence of fitness that meets league approval. League executives, however, have indicated a reluctance to take on such a risk, with the medical ruling likely hardening that stance.
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No. 3: Rubio could be in Knicks sights — With so much work ahead of Knicks president Phil Jackson to make the team relevant again, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports that some members of the organization would like to revisit and idea from the February trade deadline and pursue point guard Ricky Rubio again:
Some members of the organization would again like to try to pursue Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio in a trade this offseason, sources said. The Knicks were close to completing a deal shortly before the trade deadline centered around Derrick Rose and Rubio. Talks continued until shortly before the deadline.
Per league sources with knowledge of the situation, some Knicks decision-makers see trading for Rubio as a viable option this offseason. Incumbent starter Rose also is an option at point guard. But the Timberwolves, coincidentally, see Rose as a point guard option in free agency, as ESPN reported last month. So even if the Knicks prefer to re-sign Rose, they likely will have competition.
It’s unclear at this point whom the Knicks would consider moving in a trade for Rubio or if New York and Minnesota would attempt a sign-and-trade.
If New York renounced its rights to Rose after July 1, it could open up enough cap space to absorb Rubio’s 2017-18 salary ($14 million).
If the Knicks end up acquiring Rubio, it also might impact how they approach the draft. Phil Jackson has said that the club is looking for guards and wings in the offseason.
Rubio seemingly would fill the void at point guard, so it’s possible the Knicks would turn their attention to a wing in the draft.
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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Game Time crew says the Cavaliers supporting cast needs to step up in Game 2…NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner has the five things to note about the start of The Finals…Enes Kanter’s father has been detained in Turkey…Raptors coach Dwane Casey has a meeting with his star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to bond at the NBA Finals…For the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, it’s only fitting that Woodstock star Carlos Santana drops by Oracle to play the national anthem for Game 2…Ice Cube fully backs LeBron James’ stance on racism in America.