• The Sunk Cost Fallacy is a powerful thing. It explains that people have their present judgment clouded by past decisions, accounting for resources already spent.

    Think of it as getting a ticket to see The Angry Birds Movie, but deciding you’d rather not sit through a bad film. Odds are that most people will still go and suffer, citing the fact that they already paid for the ticket and ‘might as well not waste it.’

    Really, whether or not you sit through garbage is independent from the ticket purchase at that point. Your $12 are gone whether you see the movie or not and if you’d prefer to not watch Angry Birds, it stands to reason that you should just not go.

    Let’s move off of ragging on Angry Birds — how many of you ever have walked out of a theater? Even if you have, how many other bad movies did you sit and finish watching because you’d already paid? I saw The Love Guru in theaters. I saw Green Lantern. I saw The Bounty Hunter. That one I saw for free, but the opportunity cost of doing something else with my time was still there.

    Much of that has to do with loss aversion. It’s the human propensity to err on the side of caution when it comes to decision making, even in the face of potential, and perhaps even more probable, gains. It’s the little tick in your mind that makes the safe play seem proper; it’s what makes ‘playing not to lose’ such a common occurrence. It’s ‘taking the points’ in football and kicking a field goal on fourth and goal.

    It also covers the endowment effect, which dictates that people (as well as other species) place a higher value on things they already own or are familiar with, even when given equally valuable or superior alternatives. In general, people like the status quo. It feels right, and unless something awful is going down, there’s little reason to exchange one thing for another.

    Point being, your prior use of resources should have no effect on your future decisions in a perfectly rational world. In reality, it’s hard to abandon something you’ve invested in. So seeing as how this is a basketball blog (the behavioral economics and consumer behavior stuff is free of charge), how does this all fit in?

    Enter Kevin Love.

    Let me preface the following by saying a few things. Firstly, I do not believe that Kevin Love’s absence was the reason Cleveland wiped the floor with the Warriors in Game 3.

    Secondly, I do not think that Cleveland is a better team without Love. The people saying he shouldn’t see the floor are wrong. I also don’t mean to marginalize Kevin Love and his abilities. I don’t think it’s an insult to say he isn’t capable of performing to his standards against the Warriors, because few people on the planet can claim to do so. Kevin Love was facing an uphill battle in this matchup; one that he was never going to win.

    Love, to me, is a pretty good but not great player who just doesn’t fit well in this series. He’s a valuable floor spacer and can be a wonderful secondary, or even primary, scorer. His defensive shortcomings have been discussed at length in every nook and cranny of the basketball world, and the Love-Kyrie Irving defensive combo is a raw steak to a hungry pitbull.

    The pair were relentlessly attacked by the unimaginative Raptors, and Golden State is running offense in a whole other universe compared to Toronto. Having them share the floor, particularly against Golden State’s starting group, is a massive tactical blunder.

    Love lacks the lateral quickness and footspeed to recover on a rim runner and quite simply can’t do enough to make up for Irving’s defensive shortcomings when the two engage in pick and roll defense. The Cavaliers need a five man defensive effort to keep up with the Warriors, and having two bad defenders share the floor like Love and Irving have is a good way to dig a deep hole.

    Injuries are brutal, and the NBA deserves to be questioned for bungling its own concussion protocol, seeing how Love wasn’t removed until the game was out of reach in the third quarter. In a vacuum, losing one of your star players is a brutal blow at any time, let alone the Finals.

    On the other hand, when Love absorbed an errant Harrison Barnes elbow in the second quarter of Game 2, it may have opened up a window that had previously been sealed shut by a fat check.

    It’s foolish to assume that Cleveland was happy to proceed without Love. He’s a $113 million dollar man for a reason, even if he didn’t fare too well in the first two games of the series. He’s a key cog in the machine that manhandled the Eastern Conference without breaking more than a light sweat.

    Moreover, it’s tough to imagine that Tyronn Lue would want to rock the boat that had only lost two games in the postseason. But maybe the boat needed to be rocked for the Cavs to stand a chance.

    The devil’s advocate argument is that Love’s concussion gave Cleveland a convenient reason to keep him out of the mix and get some fresh faces in with the starters without bruising the ego of an expensive star.

    If Cleveland had the guts and was free of the specter of Love’s big contract, they could have made the move themselves. Neither as a permanent solution nor an indictment of Love as a player, but just to see what might happen.

Fantasy News

  • Jeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.

    Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Luke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings

    Sam Amico of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings' support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.

    The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn't appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton's future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven't been able to access Tennant's lawsuit so more information should merge soon.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. said that he wants to improve his "motor", his ball-handling skills and his shooting mechanics entering year two and he hopes to work with Kevin Garnett over the coming months.

    Jackson and Garnett spent time together last summer and again in February when Garnett visited Memphis to feature Jackson’s game for his segment on TNT. "He has a work ethic that is a throwback that I'm very appreciative of," Garnett said in the segment. "I love working with him. He is the future. I look forward to him becoming the leader of Memphis." The rookie had an impressive season before getting shut down due to a bruised thigh, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.9 triples per contest. He has tremendous upside and owners in dynasty leagues should feel great about him.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Ivan Rabb - F - Memphis Grizzlies

    Ivan Rabb plans to spend much of his offseason in the weight room as he tries to bulk up and show that he has NBA-level defense to pair with his expanding offensive game.

    For all the charm of Rabb's smooth offensive repertoire, he knows his defense needs to improve. It was especially evident in an April 3 loss at Portland when Enes Kanter torched Rabb and the Grizzlies in the post for 21 points and 15 rebounds. Rabb posted almost identical statistics this season to those he posted in 36 games as a rookie, but the second-year post player knocked down 37 percent of his 3-pointers in the G League, showing a comfort level from beyond the arc previously missing from his game. Rabb's deal is non-guaranteed, so the Grizzlies could move on from him if they want but he is only 22 years old and has shown enough potential to likely warrant another season at the relatively low price tag of $1.6 million. Keep him in your radar as he might have an important role next season in what might be a rebuilding year for the Grizzlies.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    The Rockets hope that Clint Capela has benefited from two more days of treatment for the virus that has sapped his energy through much of their first-round matchup against the Jazz.

    Since opening the series with 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, Capela has averaged just 7.3 points on 47.4 percent over the past three games. He was 1-of-6 with seven rebounds on Monday while the Rockets got outscored by 20 points when he was on the floor. "He's trying to battle through it," Mike D'Antoni said. "I think he's been great because he's been able to play. Each day that passes, the virus passes and he'll feel better. Hopefully next game, he's back to almost 100 percent.” The Rockets will try to close out the series on Wednesday night in Houston and they are going to need their starting center to show some signs of life.

    Source: Houston Chronicle

  • Jason Kidd - Team - Los Angeles Lakers

    Bill Plaschke of the LA Times is reporting that the Lakers interviewed Jason Kidd only as a favor to his agent, Jeff Schwartz, who is also the agent for Lakers forward Brandon Ingram.

    Kidd doesn’t really seem to have a chance at the gig and the fact that he lobbied for the job even while Luke Walton held it is a tremendously bad look for the former All-Star guard. Jeannie Buss looks like she has no plans, at least not yet, to support current GM Rob Pelinka with bright, young personnel as he instead is being assisted in this coaching search by Kurt Rambis. The Lakers continue to target Monty Williams, Ty Lue and Juwan Howard and the list doesn’t seem likely to expand.

    Source: LA Times

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter suffered a separated left shoulder in the first quarter of Game 5 on Tuesday night, but he received an injection at halftime and gutted his way through despite clearly being pain at times.

    “I just tried to play through it," Kanter said afterward. "We'll see what happens in the future." The Blazers will have at least through Saturday off as they await the winner of the Nuggets-Spurs series. Kanter’s teammates and coaches were impressed with his ability to play with pain but this looks like a serious injury and it remains to be seen if the Turkish big will be forced to miss any time.

    Source: ESPN

  • Damian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard put up an instant classic performance featuring a game-winning deep three, 10 total triples and a 50-spot in Tuesday's 118-115 closeout win over the Thunder in Portland.

    Lillard started off Game 5 with 34 first-half points while playing all 24 minutes. He finished with seven boards, six dimes, three steals and a block while shooting 17-for-33 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. Despite a big second-half Thunder run, Lillard kept it going all the way until the buzzer as his shot from near the logo fell, giving him an even 50 and a series win as he waived goodbye to the Thunder.

  • CJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers

    CJ McCollum put up 17 points (8-of-19 FGs), two rebounds, two assists, one triple and two blocks in 32 minutes in Tuesday's closeout win over the Thunder.

    McCollum sat a little more than usual in the first half after getting his third foul early, though he also ended with three fouls in another example of why coaches should just leave players in until they get their fourth or fifth. McCollum had been on fire in this series, averaging over 26 points per game coming into tonight's game. He and the Blazers now wait to see if they'll get the Nuggets or the Spurs in the next round.

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter toughed out a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double over 32 minutes in Tuesday's Game 5 victory over the Thunder.

    Kanter also had four assists and a block while shooting 6-for-9 from the floor tonight. He got pretty banged up in the first half, injuring his shoulder which was heavily wrapped after the game. Kanter averaged over 13 points and 10 rebounds in under 30 minutes for the series and he looks like one of the best mid-season signings in the league at this point.