After a 113-99 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, Cleveland Cavalier guard J.R. Smith said his level of concern is “extremely high” regarding the state of his team, which has suddenly lost three of its last four games.
“We can’t play basketball like this going down the stretch,” Smith said of the Cavs, whose lead over the Toronto Raptors for the top seed in the Eastern Conference now sits at just 1½ games. “There’s 24, 25 games left in the year and you talk about contending, being a championship contender and get blown out by a team. … After losing a game to the No. 2 team in the East then you come out and get thrashed and make it look good at the end.
“We can’t do that. If we’re serious about who we’re supposed to be, then we can’t do this.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN
Sources: Luka Doncic Declares for 2018 NBA Draft
Potential No. 1 overall pick Luka Doncic of Real Madrid has declared for the 2018 NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Doncic, 19, submitted draft paperwork this week to formally enter his name, league sources said. Doncic is arguably the most decorated European player to make a jump to the NBA, a wunderkind who’s been playing in the EuroLeague since 2015. He is currently leading Real Madrid in the EuroLeague playoffs, averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists this season.
The 6-foot-7 Doncic has the ability to play multiple positions, from being a primary ball-handler to shooting and playmaking off the ball. His season in Europe could continue into late May or June. NBA executives have long been intrigued by Doncic’s potential stardom, and several are continuing to make scouting trips for him.
Doncic, born in Slovenia, has played for Real Madrid since joining its junior team in 2014.
Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports
Sources: David Fizdale, Ettore Messina to Interview for Hornets Head Coaching Job
San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale are set to interview for the Charlotte Hornets head-coaching job in the coming days, league sources told ESPN.
Messina and Fizdale are considered two of new Charlotte GM Mitch Kupchak’s top candidates to replace Steve Clifford, league sources said.
Fizdale has interviewed for openings with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Report: NBA Fines Wizards’ Markieff Morris, Celtics’ Marcus Morris
The NBA has fined Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris and twin brother Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics for their roles in separate incidents during playoff games.
Markieff Morris has been fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for attempting to escalate an altercation and pushing an official during a game against Toronto on Friday night. Morris shoved official Ken Mauer aside when Morris and Toronto’s OG Anunoby had to be separated after a near-fight that drew other players less than three minutes into the Wizards’ 122-103 victory.
Meanwhile, Marcus Morris was also docked $15,000 for criticizing officials after the Celtics’ 116-92 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He was called for a technical foul in the third and was critical of the officiating after the game.