Welcome back to the NBA Week in Review. Today we’re talking about J.R. Smith as the voice of reason, Amar’e Stoudemire’s favorite wine and Brad Stevens dunking. You can read last week’s review here.
Stories of the Week
• J.R. Smith is fed up! The Cavaliers guard kinda, sorta ripped into his team Sunday night after a loss to the Wizards, Cleveland’s third loss in fourth games. Smith said his level of concern was extremely high, criticizing the team’s execution on offense and defense. Both Smith and coach Tyronn Lue said the team’s effort was not at the level it needed to be. Here’s the thing: The Cavs lost a road game without LeBron. So what? Cleveland is making the Finals in the East barring some catastrophe. Heck, even with a catastrophe, the Cavs looked semi-competent last year without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the Finals. So I’m not really buying the outrage in Cleveland. J.R. Smith as the voice of reason is hilarious, though.
• Is it okay to hate Shaun Livingston yet? There’s not much more for us to say about Stephen Curry at this point, who has exceeded any and all hyperbole. But the Warriors’ backup point guard is getting on my nerves. I’m tired of watching Livingston post up smaller point guards for three possessions in a row and shooting a turnaround jumper every single time he enters the game. Will just one team try putting a taller guy on him? I’m really happy Livingston is contributing at a high level in this league after the brutal knee injury earlier in his career. But I want someone to put him in a headlock every time he posts up a smaller defender.
• Portland having a better record than Houston right now is unbelievable. Damian Lillard has been unreal, and C.J. McCollum seems to be the frontrunner for Most Improved Player. How much must the Rockets hate each other that they can’t put it together? I was really surprised no one snagged Dwight Howard at the trade deadline, but then I remembered Howard somehow finds himself in a toxic situation no matter which team he’s on. As for PDX, they are only three games behind fifth-place Memphis in the West. I’d be shocked if the Trail Blazers climbed that high, but they’ve already surprised plenty, so who knows?
• Phil Jackson needs to take a nap.
Tweet(s) of the Week
Dwyane Wade's sale pitch to Joe Johnson: "Live in Miami, man. Live in the best place."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 28, 2016
Jonny Flynn (No. 6 pick, 2009): 11 NBA threes in last 1,800 days— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 28, 2016
Stephen Curry (No. 7 pick, 2009): 12 threes on Saturday
Vine(s) of the Week
Celtics coach Brad Stevens dunked off a trampoline ... Hassan Whiteside remains an NBA enigma ... Anthony Davis’s $23 million mission ... Andrew Sharp says the Blazers are the NBA’s best bandwagon ... Andre Drummond hung out with a kid on the Pistons’ bench ... Amar’e Stoudemire said not everyone on the Knicks was a Jeremy Lin fan ... Deadspin’s Albert Burneko is not a fan of the Warriors ... Watch this buzzer-beater from the opposite three-point line.
The Ben Golliver YouTube Corner
Donyell Marshall, back in our lives.
The Fashion Outlet
Big, big fan of these Miami Heat throwbacks.
The One-Question Interview
Off-the-court only. Always longer than one question. This week, Miami Heat forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
Rohan Nadkarni: Do you remember when and where you had your favorite glass of wine?
Amar’e Stoudemire: My favorite glass of wine was at the Chanel Chateau, in Bordeaux, France. I actually had a 1982 bottle of a Bordeaux, and it was the best glass of wine I ever tasted.
RN: Did you have it with a meal? Were you at a tasting?
AS: I actually took my wife there on kind of a romantic trip. She’s a big fan of Chanel. We stayed at her Chateau and had a whole wine tasting experience.
RN: Would you say you have a strong romantic side?
AS: Yeah, but it’s really private. I have a strong romantic side but it only comes out when I feel like it’s needed.