Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 1:52 PM
COLLEGE HOOP NEWS/NOTES: NORTH CAROLINA SNAGS 82-78 WIN/COVER VERSUS DUKE
If nothing else, then game-day program sales will be way up at Cleveland Cavaliers' games the rest of this 2017-18 regular season!
The three-time defending Eastern Conference champs played a game of musical chairs with their roster prior to yesterday's 3 p.m. ET NBA Tread Deadline and -- when all the dust had settled -- the Cavs had added a second-round draft pick (from Miami), guards Rodney Hood and George Hill (from Utah and Sacramento, respectively) plus G Jordan Clarkson and F Larry Nance, Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers; on the flip side, the Cavs subtracted G Dwayne Wade, PG Derrick Rose, swingman Jae Crowder, a first-round draft pick, F Channing Frye and - get this - PG Isaiah Thomas.
Okay, so maybe all those folks traded this way and that don't matter much considering LeBron James will be calling all - and taking all - the shots for this year's Cavs and then he's 90 percent likely to move to left coast where Thomas' expiring contract will help the 2018-19 Lakers make way for King James and maybe even a second superstar (see Oklahoma City's Paul George) ... in other words, this is the new cast 'round James for one last grab at a second brass ring in Cleveland and then "Believe Town" will go back to being a so-what/who-cares town when it comes to pro hoops.
Still, gotta say the Cavaliers likely improved this current bunch with Hood a legit "second" or "third" scorer to go along with currently-injured F Kevin Love while getting rid of Wade/Rose/Crowder/Thomas was addition-by-subtraction for Tyron Lue's club - don't you agree?
In terms of the other NBA Trade Deadline moves, very few of the deals (and there were 11 of 'em made on Thursday) carry any real meaning but count us among the folks who like the three-team move that shifted Doug McDermott from New York Dallas, G Devin Harris from Dallas to Denver and PG Emmanuel Mudiay and a future second-round pick from Denver to New York ... the Knicks could use a youthful guard who can shoot, the Nuggets need Harris' veteran stability and the Mavericks will welcome McDermott's perimeter (and he'll get more run than he was getting with the Knicks).
One question we do have is why didn't the likes of San Antonio and/or Toronto get involved and add a piece or two? The Spurs may - deep down - feel as if adding parts when going up against the likes of Houston and/or Golden State in this spring's NBA Western Conference Playoffs might not be worth it while the Raptors (37-16) were said to be interested in Los Angeles Clippers C DeAndre Jordan but the teams couldn't get a third team involved in the process. Don't buy any of this silliness that Boston "should have" swung a deal - the Celtics are fine as is and were smart not to mortgage any of those future first-round draft picks.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers absolutely blasted the Las Vegas and offshore books throughout the NFL Playoffs / Super Bowl LII and so we'll give ourselves one last round of applause and move on to the hardwood -- so let's cash in big with NBA and College Basketball Winners starting tonight here online or at 1-800-323-4453.. Keep rollin' in the profits with Jim Hurley's Network and make sure you're getting all the b-ball winners tonight and all season long!
COLLEGE HOOP NEWS/NOTES
Can we ask you a quickie question? Was Villanova's 79-75 loss to 16-point road underdog St. John's enough to threaten a #1 seed for the Wildcats? In a word ... no.
However, Wednesday's humbling setback - hey, way to set the stage for the Philadelphia Eagles' massive parade on Thursday, guys! - does mean that another "bad loss" by 'Nova could hurt 'em and you could possibly see a case where Jay Wright's team loses another regular-season game and then a Big East Tournament game and then be relegated to the #2 seed line come next month's NCAA Tournament ...
Meanwhile, last night's college action featured North Carolina's 82-78 win/cover against 1.5-point underdog Duke - the Tar Heels busted out of the second-half starting gate by outscoring the Dookies 16-2 but the trouble for the Tar Heels was they couldn't sink a shot for much of the game's final five-plus minutes and so things got tight despite the fact the Blue Devils drained just 9-of-25 trifectas overall in Part I of this rivalry series. Duke's bench provided a rare lift with G Alex O'Connell and C Marques Bolden combining for 19 points and 5 rebounds but North Carolina's downtown shooters - specifically G Kenny Williams (see 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and 20 points) - saved the day and you probably saw UNC's veteran leaders hold things together a bit better than Duke's youngish lineup. Key stat from this ACC win for the Heels: A snazzy 15-to-2 assists-to-turnover rate thanks in large part to veteran PG Joel Berry II (see 6 assists, 0 turnovers).
NOTE: More College Hoops in the next Jim Sez.