The new-look Cavaliers sans an injured Kevin Love are 2-0 since the moves and fun to watch again. The Lakers have the ability to sign two major free agents this summer, but the Clippers don’t have that ability until 2019. Trading ex-Clippers star Blake Griffin just months after he signed a five-year contract has to be curious to a prospective free agent as well.“I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays in Cleveland now,” one high-ranking Eastern Conference team executive said. “The Cavaliers put a really good team around him. The Cavaliers have made it really tough for him to decide to leave Cleveland again. The Lakers might have helped them keep LeBron.”
Storyline: LeBron James Free Agency
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond knows exactly what to expect when his team visits AmericanAirlines Arena March 3 to face the Miami Heat. It will mark the first time the Pistons play the Heat during the second stint in Miami for guard Dwyane Wade, meaning it will be much a different atmosphere than previous trips the last year and a half. “The energy down in Miami is back,” Drummond said. “They got their guy back. I’m just really happy for him that he got to go back home and finish out. I just think the energy of the city is going to make them start playing better.”
With 19,067 people mostly on their feet in Staples Center, Baron Davis stuck his head out of the sunroof while wearing Los Angeles Clippers warm-up gear and a red headband. His Clippers teammate Blake Griffin needed a memorable dunk as JaVale McGee was eying the trophy in 2011. While the Kia Ultima wasn’t Griffin’s car of choice, he made it work. And in one of the most memorable and debated NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Championships, Griffin sealed the victory by jumping over the silver sedan, somehow having the timing to catch a misplaced one-handed lob pass by Davis and dunking the basketball hard with two hands. “I was worried that I wasn’t going to get the dunk down,” Griffin said. “The idea was to windmill it. It was a little high. So, then I was just like, ‘Dunk it.’ So right after I dunked it, I came down and I was pissed because I didn’t think it was going to be good enough. But it worked out. But like everything, there was controversy.”
Storyline: All-Star Contests
That’s an easy way to describe the Pistons’ season-ticket situation in their first season after the move downtown to Little Caesars Arena. In many ways, ticket sales have been better than expected, Pistons officials say. One of their key measures, full-season equivalents — combinations of full-season, half-season and 10-game packs — increased by 3,500, a jump that ranked third in the NBA this season. Group-ticket sales have increased 52 percent over last year, a rise that ranks second in the league.