The Heat’s up-tempo offense was enough to convince Joe Johnson to choose Miami over Cleveland, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. When he was hired to replace David Blatt, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue announced that he wanted to speed things up, but Johnson apparently preferred the fast-paced approach already established in Miami. “Style of play was probably the biggest difference,” Johnson said. “[The Heat] told me they wanted to get up and down the floor and run, and I mean it enticed me. I thought it was the best fit.” The Cavs will face Johnson on Saturday night for the first time since he made his decision.
There’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- Channing Frye‘s former coach in Orlando believes he will be a valuable asset for the Cavaliers in the postseason, Lloyd adds in the same piece. “When he’s on the floor, they’re looking for him,” Scott Skiles said. “So much attention is on other players, and that’s Channing’s game. He just kind of finds spots, and when he gets his feet set, he’s as good of a big man shooter as there is.” Cleveland picked up Frye from the Magic last month in a deal at the trade deadline.
- The Bulls‘ Joakim Noah is unlikely to play again this season, but he tells K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune that his focus is on getting healthy, not his upcoming free agency. Noah had surgery on his separated left shoulder on January 19th, with a projected recovery time of four to six months. “It’s not about free agency right now,” the veteran center said. “People can say, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t think about it.’ You’re always going to think about it. But out of respect for my teammates who are going through the grind, which I know very well, I’m trying to stay focused on what they’re going through.”
- The NCAA Tournament gives Sixers coach Brett Brown a chance to look toward the future and provides a nice distraction from his 9-59 team, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Watching all of the games and the spirit of the tournament and the excitement of trying to figure out who we might draft comes into play, but mostly I just love the time of year,” Brown said.
- The Bucks sent guard Rashad Vaughn to Canton of the D-League, the team announced today. He averaged 2.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 61 games with Milwaukee.