Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category

The NBA continues to do more for teams in regard to scheduling fewer back-to-back games than in the past. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, for one, says the effect has been clear, and positive. Here’s the the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

After playing in 17 sets of back-to-back games this year, the Warriors will play in 14. After playing as many as eight games in 13 days last season, the Warriors’ toughest stretch will entail playing five games in nine days. The NBA also spread out its schedule so there are more days in between games.

“The players are much more prepared to play in every game,” Kerr said. “I’ve only rested guys who are older and banged up. I haven’t felt a need to rest our guys who are in our prime. The league has done a great job with the schedule.”

Granted, the Warriors have still nursed long-term absences this season to Stephen Curry (combined 15 games), Kevin Durant (eight), Draymond Green (six) and Zaza Pachulia (right) for various injuries. But only Klay Thompson represents the Warriors’ lone core player to sit out for rest purposes. That happened only once.

Full article

Agent Henry Thomas has died

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with some very sad news:

Henry Thomas, arguably the most impactful player agent in the Miami Heat’s 30 seasons, died Saturday in Chicago, with Heat forward Udonis Haslem and former Heat guard Dwyane Wade among those who left their teams to travel to Chicago amid Thomas’ failing health.

Thomas, 64, represented Wade, Haslem, Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway and several other Heat players, a particularly strong influence with the organization since the arrival of Pat Riley as Heat president in 1995.

The Heat paid tribute with a moment of silence before Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Thomas’ negotiations with the Heat included a unique conditioning-based contract for Hardaway that included regular weigh-ins after the two sides reached an impasse and then several concessions from Wade over the years to accommodate the contracts of other Heat players.

Thomas was a particularly influential presence in the Heat’s formation of the Big Three championship core in 2010, representing both Bosh and Wade at the time, while also part of the agency that represented LeBron James.

Full article

And here’s Cleveland.com with more:

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dwyane Wade stepped away from the team, missing Friday’s win against the Indiana Pacers, to mourn the death of his agent Henry Thomas — a man Wade viewed as a “father figure,” according to sources close to him.

Wade wrote a heartfelt Instagram message about Thomas on Saturday, complete with a picture of the two shortly after Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003.

“I’m writing this letter to you as I cry both tears of SADNESS and tears of JOY,” Wade said. “I know — i know — I can hear your voice saying, ‘Come on my man. You got this!’ I can picture your face and feel your hugs in so so many moments in my life. Whether it’s you hugging me and saying how proud you are of me or congrats on winning a NBA championship or you hugging me and saying everything’s gonna be alright — we will get thru this. I can’t thank you enough for these last 15 years.”

Full article

Point guard Dejounte Murray made NBA history Tuesday night with an outstanding performance that helped the Spurs beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-102 and also solidified his hold on the starting point guard job.

Murray finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in 30 minutes.

According to the Spurs, the second-year pro became just the second player in league history to record at least 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in 30 minutes or less. Fat Lever was the first to do it with 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight steals in 28 minutes in 1987.

Houston Chronicle

A post shared by Miami HEAT (@miamiheat) on

goran_dragic

The NBA announced today that Miami HEAT guard Goran Dragić was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for week 13 (games played Monday, January 8 through Sunday, January 14). It is the fourth time Dragić has been named Player of the Week in his career, including the second time this season after also earning the honor on November 27. He has now become just the fourth player in the Eastern Conference to earn the award on multiple occasions this season and the first HEAT player to do so since LeBron James during the 2013-14 campaign. It also marks the 57th time in franchise history a HEAT player has earned the honor.

Dragić led the HEAT to a perfect 3-0 record for the week, helping to extend their current seven-game winning streak and their NBA-best 14 consecutive victories in January dating back to last season, after averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.00 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from three-point range. He led the team in points in all three games, in assists and steals twice and minutes once. He scored at least 20 points in each contest, matching his season high for consecutive 20-point games. Additionally, he has led the team in assists 19 times and in scoring on 15 occasions this season, both team highs.

Dragić led off the week with a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double at Toronto on January 9, helping Miami to a 90-89 win, handing the Raptors just their second loss at home this season. He also dished out a team-high four assists in the contest while his 12 boards tied his career high. On the second night of a back-to-back set on the road, he scored a team-high 20 points while dishing out a game-high nine assists in a, 114-106, victory at Indiana, helping Miami snap a 10-game road losing streak to the Pacers. Dragić capped off the week scoring a game-high 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter in a, 97-79, win vs. Milwaukee on January 14.

lou williams

And, the league announced that L.A. Clippers guard Lou Williams has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for Week 13 (games played Monday, Jan. 8, through Sunday, Jan. 14). Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat was the Eastern Conference winner. This is Williams’ second Player of the Week award this season (Week 11) and the third of his career.

Williams helped the Clippers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 35.0 points, 4.8 assists and 1.50 steals, while shooting 45.7% from three-point range and 96.7% from the free-throw line in 36.5 minutes. He tallied an NBA best 140 points and scored at least 30 points in three of the team’s four games last week, highlighted by a 50-point performance at Golden State on Wednesday, Jan. 10. It was the highest scoring effort by any Clipper in a single game since Charles Smith tied a franchise record with 52 points on Dec. 1, 1990.

Now in his 13th NBA season, Williams is averaging career-highs in points (23.1), assists (4.9), three-point percentage (41.4%) and minutes (31.7) this season. He is currently the NBA’s leading bench scorer, averaging 21.8 points per game as a reserve, the highest scoring average of any bench player since Ricky Pierce averaged 23.0 points per game as a reserve in 1989-90.

A post shared by LA Clippers (@laclippers) on

Dion Waiters will have ankle surgery

A post shared by 🔥🔥🔥🔥 (@waiters3) on

Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters will have surgery on his left ankle sometime in the near future, the team confirmed today.

“We are confident this surgery will resolve all of the issues with the ankle,” said the Heat in a statement. “This process will not just repair the ankle, but also kick-start a whole new reboot for Dion. A full recovery is expected.”

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Waiters said in September he was told last season that the estimated timetable for a return from such surgery would be eight to 10 months.”

Waiters this season is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 assists per game, shooting just 39.8% from the field and just 30.6% from three-point range.

More from the Sun Sentinel: “The Heat are now positioned to apply to the NBA for the $5.5 million disabled-player exception, half of Waiters’ 2017-18 salary, but would have to open a roster spot, already at the roster maximum of 15 players, not counting the two additional players on two-way contracts with the developmental-league. Such an exception signing would be limited to the balance of the season and would have to be exercised by March 12. The exception could only be used on a replacement player in the final year of a contract, be it on a free-agent, in a trade or for a waiver claim.”

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Xavier Munford to a Two-Way contract, and have converted forward Joel Bolomboy to a standard NBA contract. Munford, who attended training camp with the Bucks, had previously spent all season with the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. Bolomboy had been on a Two-Way contract with the Bucks since Oct. 20.

Munford, 25, is currently fourth in the NBA G League in scoring, averaging 24.1 points per game, and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.476). He has appeared in 20 games (19 starts) with the Herd this season and is also averaging a team-high 5.4 assists with 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 52.5 percent overall. In November, Munford was named to the 12-man USA roster for the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, where he averaged 13.0 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting in two games.

Undrafted out of Rhode Island in the 2014 NBA Draft, Munford spent last season between the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League and FC Barcelona Lassa (Spain). He played in 14 regular season games for the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2015-16 season, averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, and also appeared in all four of the Grizzlies playoff games in 2016.

Bolomboy has played in six games with the Bucks this season, averaging 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 6.3 minutes per game. In nine games (all starts) with the Herd this season, Bolomboy averaged 15.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field.

The Bucks roster now stands at 17 players.

NBA Week 8 preview notes

DYNAMIC DONOVAN: As a freshman at Louisville in 2015-16, Donovan Mitchell started five games and averaged 7.4 points for the season. On Dec. 1, the Utah Jazz guard became the first NBA rookie to score at least 40 points in a game since Blake Griffin in 2011. The 6-3 Mitchell has developed rapidly over the last few years, allowing him to make an immediate impact after being selected with the 13th pick in NBA Draft 2017. He is averaging more than 16 points per game and leads all rookies in three-pointers made. With Mitchell sparking the offense, Utah has won five consecutive games to improve to 12-11. Mitchell faces several challenging opponents at shooting guard during Week 8, including a matchup against newly named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week James Harden and the West-leading Houston Rockets on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

SECOND HELPING: While Mitchell is one of many rookies making headlines, several talented second-year players are also turning heads this season. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Boston Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown have helped fuel strong starts for their respective teams. Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray have produced big scoring games. Reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks remains a steady contributor, while Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn and Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis are finding their groove after offseason trades. Count Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray and Toronto Raptors big men Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam among the top second-year performers, too. The promising play from the NBA’s first- and second-year players sets the stage for a fantastic Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles.

NBA MEXICO CITY GAMES 2017: This week, the NBA will play two regular-season games in Mexico City for the second straight season. The Brooklyn Nets will participate in both games, meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass) and the Miami Heat on Saturday (6 p.m. ET, NBA TV) at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. All three teams will be playing regular-season games in Mexico for the first time. The matchups mark the 25th and 26th games – including the sixth and seventh regular-season games – in Mexico since 1992, the most held in any country outside the United States and Canada. Last season, the Phoenix Suns played two regular-season games in Mexico City, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and losing to the Dallas Mavericks.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

NBA suspends referee Courtney Kirkland for one week, and Shaun Livingston for one game

NBA Official Courtney Kirkland has been removed from the league’s officiating rotation for one week and Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has been suspended one game without pay for their roles in an on-court altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which began when Livingston aggressively approached Kirkland while protesting a non-call, occurred with 6:24 remaining in the second quarter of the Warriors’ 123-95 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday, Dec. 3 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

As part of the incident, Livingston and Kirkland bumped heads, and Livingston was assessed a technical foul and ejected for making contact with a game official. Upon league office review, it was determined that Kirkland moved toward Livingston and shared responsibility for the contact that occurred.

Kirkland’s suspension will begin tonight and run through Sunday, Dec. 10. He will be eligible to return to game action on Monday, Dec. 11.

Livingston will serve his suspension tonight when the Warriors play the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

NBA notes from around the league

Houston guard James Harden has scored at least 20 points in each of his 21 games this season, the NBA’s longest season-opening streak since LeBron James’ 33-game run in 2012-13.

Utah has outscored opponents by an average of 22.8 points during its current four-game winning streak.

Orlando forward Aaron Gordon has become the first Magic player with multiple 40-point games in a season since Dwight Howard in 2010-11.

Minnesota guard Tyus Jones is averaging 11.3 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 steals in his last four games, a stretch that includes three starts in place of the injured Jeff Teague.

Portland ranks second in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 99.5 points per 100 possessions. Last season, the Trail Blazers ranked 21st and allowed 107.8 points per 100 possessions.

On Thursday, when Cleveland defeated Atlanta to extend its winning streak to 10 games, Cavaliers forward LeBron James passed Alex English (10,659) for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time list for field goals made.

In his last two games, Chicago guard Kris Dunn has totaled 43 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds and shot 70.4 percent from the field (19-of-27).

Denver swingman Will Barton scored a career-high 37 points in Thursday’s victory over Chicago, the highest-scoring game by a Nuggets reserve since J.R. Smith’s 41-point performance against Atlanta on Dec. 23, 2009.

The Nuggets will retire Fat Lever’s No. 12 jersey on Saturday, when they play host to the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time All-Star recorded 43 triple-doubles, the eighth-highest total in NBA history.

– NBA Newsletter

J.J. Barea receives October NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has received the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his continuous relief efforts in Puerto Rico following devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the NBA announced today.

The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.

Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Barea for his work to immediately initiate aid for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Coordinating five trips to the territory where he was born and raised, Barea used the Mavericks’ team plane, with help from owner Mark Cuban, to personally deliver much-needed supplies in the days after the hurricane. Working with partners in North Texas, Barea has provided more than 100,000 pounds of supplies to the island, including 32 generators, 14,000 pounds of water, 10,000 pounds of food and 3,000 pounds of medical supplies, diapers, clothing, cleaning products and toiletries on the first trip alone.

Barea also launched a fundraiser on YouCaring.com for families affected by the hurricane that has raised more than $250,000, and personally raised nearly $500,000. Additionally, he worked with the Mavericks to donate 100 percent of all single-game ticket sales from their Oct. 25 game against the Memphis Grizzlies to Puerto Rico, generating an additional $114,000 for the island’s recovery.

“Puerto Rico is such a small island and I think help is going to be needed there for at least the next year, maybe longer,” said Barea. “This effort is something I will carry with me forever, and anything I can do to help people put things back in order is a must for me.”

Before the Mavericks’ home game against the Boston Celtics tonight, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Barea during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 to the J.J. Barea Foundation.

NBA notes, Nov. 2, 2017

Boston, which has won six consecutive games since an 0-2 start, leads the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 95.1 points per 100 possessions. During the winning streak, the Celtics are permitting 90.0 points per game.

Toronto visits Utah on Friday, Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass. The Raptors and Jazz had an NBA-high seven international players each on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season (active and inactive).

The LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin has made at least two three-pointers in all seven games this season. He did it nine times all of last season, appearing in 61 games.

In Indiana’s first four wins of the season, Domantas Sabonis shot 28-of-29 from the field (96.6 percent). The Pacers are now 5-3 and riding a three-game winning streak.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell finished with 28 points off the bench in Wednesday’s overtime victory over Portland, the highest-scoring game by a Jazz rookie reserve in 37 years.

– Via NBA News newsletter

NBA milestone watch

LeBron James, Cavaliers: On Wednesday, the four-time MVP became the sixth player to record 400 regular-season games with at least 30 points, joining Michael Jordan (562), Wilt Chamberlain (515), Karl Malone (435), Kobe Bryant (431) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (429). James needs eight points to reach 29,000 for his career.

Carmelo Anthony, Thunder: Anthony needs 53 points to pass Hall of Famer and former teammate Allen Iverson (24,368) for 24th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Gregg Popovich, Spurs: The San Antonio coach enters tonight’s game against Golden State (8 p.m. ET, TNT) needing one victory to tie Phil Jackson (1,155) for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list.

Kemba Walker, Hornets: The 2017 All-Star has passed Glen Rice for the most 25-point games in franchise history (110).

- Via NBA News newsletter

NBA notes, Oct. 26, 2017

Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas guest-starred as himself on Wednesday’s episode of Law & Order: SVU, one of his favorite television shows. “To be a part of SVU is something I’ll tell people about forever,” Thomas said.

Brooklyn is the first team to score at least 115 points in each of its first five games since the 1985-86 Pistons. The Nets have opened 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

With San Antonio’s 4-0 start, coach Gregg Popovich has moved within two victories of passing Phil Jackson (1,155) for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list.

Cleveland’s LeBron James needs 75 points to become the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 29,000-point mark.

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Andre Drummond of Detroit became the second-youngest player to reach 5,000 career rebounds. Dwight Howard did it at age 23 in 2009.

– Via NBA News newsletter

The legendary Connie Hawkins has died

The Phoenix Suns have released the statement below following last night’s passing of Suns legend and Basketball Hall of Famer, Connie Hawkins.

“’The Hawk’ revolutionized the game and remains to this day an icon of the sport and one of basketball’s great innovators. His unique combination of size, grace and athleticism was well ahead of its time and his signature style of play is now a hallmark of the modern game.

A flip of the coin changed the Suns’ fortunes and he helped put Phoenix on the map as the city’s first professional sports superstar. Rightfully, he became the first Suns player inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and his No. 42 hangs in the rafters at Talking Stick Resort Arena as part of our Ring of Honor.

Connie’s passion for the game was only matched by his desire to give back to the Phoenix community, a role which he played proudly as a Suns community ambassador, spreading warmth and kindness to everyone he encountered. We will miss Hawk dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as we mourn the passing of a true Suns legend.”

NBA preseason games against non-NBA opponents are always interesting, in that for the NBA team the event is a mere warmup in preparation for the regular season, while for the non-NBA team it’s a chance to win respect, gain some fame, impress their home fans, and treat the game as an important contest. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

The Sydney Kings’ team website is billing its exhibition game against the Utah Jazz Monday night at Vivint Arena as the “Match Up to end all Match Ups.”

While that’s probably overselling a contest that will take place in early October, the occasion is a historic one, as it marks the first time a team from Australia’s National Basketball League will have taken on an NBA squad.

The game is the opening act of a trio of contests between the NBA and NBL over the next two weeks that will also see Melbourne United play the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brisbane Bullets face the Phoenix Suns.

Kings head coach Andrew Gaze, a legend in Australian basketball who played in five Olympic games and had NBA stints with the old Washington Bullets and the San Antonio Spurs, is confident these contests will have a big impact on hoops in his country, regardless of what the scoreboard may say when the final buzzers sound.

Full article

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired four-time All-Star and 2016 NBA Champion Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick.

“Kyrie is one of the best scorers in the NBA. He has proven that on the biggest stage, the NBA Finals, the last three years,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “He’s been an NBA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a four-time All-Star. For all he’s accomplished, we think his best years are ahead of him.”

“Isaiah and Jae have been a huge part of our success,” said Celtics Co-Owner and Governing Partner Wyc Grousbeck. “Isaiah’s playoff performance under very difficult circumstances will live on in history, and we wish them all the best.”

Selected by Cleveland with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving, 25, has posted career averages of 21.6 points (45.7% FG, 38.3% 3-PT, 87.3% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.32 steals and 34.2 minutes in 381 games (all starts) throughout six seasons with the Cavaliers. The 6-3 guard has registered a scoring average north of 20.0 points in four of his six NBA seasons, including a career-high 25.2 points in 2016-17.

Irving played a vital role in helping Cleveland capture its first NBA title in 2016, averaging 25.2 points on 47.5% shooting (44.0% 3-PT), and 4.7 assists during the Cavaliers 21-game playoff run to history. He scored a postseason-high 41 points on 17-of-24 shooting (5-7 3-PT) in a win against the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals that season, one of 18 games in which the Duke product logged at least 20 points. In three career postseason appearances, all of which resulted in trips to the NBA Finals, Irving has averaged 23.9 points (46.5% FG, 41.5% 3-PT, 87.6% FT), 3.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.46 steals and 36.4 minutes in 52 games.

In parts of three seasons with the Celtics, Thomas averaged 24.7 points (44.3% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 2.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Crowder produced 12.8 points (44.4% FG, 35.3% 3-PT, 80.4% FT), 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in parts of three seasons in Boston.

“Isaiah embodied what it meant to be a Celtic. He captured fans’ hearts not only with his spirit, but his personality,” said Ainge. “Jae’s toughness was contagious for our team. He improved his skills each year, but it’s his energy and fight that will be remembered. We wish them and their families the very best.”

NBA poll results: Best rookie

A poll on InsideHoops.com that ran in part of June and part of July asked which 2017 NBA draft prospect will go on to have the best NBA career.

With over 1,200 votes tallied, here’s how fans responded:

Lonzo Ball 28%
Jayson Tatum 17%
Markelle Fultz 14%
Josh Jackson 12%
De’Aaron Fox 10%
Dennis Smith 8%
Malik Monk 2%
Jonathan Isaac 2%

Other 6%

Nike News — There’s a big development in the NBA uniform world, starting in 2017-18

Coinciding with the introduction of the new uniforms, the NBA is eliminating its “Home” and “Road” uniform designations. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, home teams will pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams will choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment.

Because of this change, Nike and the NBA worked together to create four core uniforms for each team, classified as “editions,” which draw from the rich heritage of the NBA and its respective franchises.

The first two editions of the NBA uniforms, which will be introduced by teams this summer and will make their on-court debut at the start of the season, are the Association and Icon editions. The two remaining core uniforms, inspired by the mindset of the NBA athlete and the communities that support their teams through thick and thin, respectively, will be revealed in the coming months.

The Association Edition, the traditional home white uniform that all 30 teams will have in their assortment, links them as members of the most exclusive basketball club in the world. It represents an achievement that most athletes have worked their entire lives to reach.

The Icon Edition, previously known as the road uniform, represents the rich heritage and iconic identity that exists within each franchise. This edition utilizes the team’s primary color, a color that dominates the closets of the most diehard fans.

Also this season, eight NBA teams will have a Classic Edition uniform that will be available in the fall. The Classic Edition celebrates some of the most iconic uniforms in league history and can be worn at each team’s discretion.

Russell Westbrook wins 2016-17 NBA MVP award

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2016-17 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, it was announced this evening during the first-ever NBA Awards Show.

Westbrook earned MVP honors after joining Oscar Roberson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook registered a league-best 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds (10th in the NBA), 10.4 assists (third in the NBA) and 1.63 steals in 34.6 minutes per game.

During the 2016-17 season, Westbrook established a new NBA record with 42 triple-doubles (Oklahoma City went 33-9 in those games) as he helped lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

The six-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP recorded triple-doubles in seven consecutive games on two separate occasions this past season (11/25-12/9 and 3/22-4/4), to become the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. He was named Western Conference Player of the Month for November and February and earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors four times.

In winning his second scoring title in three seasons, Westbrook paced the NBA in games with at least 20 points (72), 30 points (44), 40 points (18) and 50 points (four).

Last month Westbrook was named to the All-NBA First Team for a second consecutive season after receiving 99 First Team votes (498 total points).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Draymond Green wins 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been named the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York. Green, who finished as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons, is the first player in Warriors history to earn the award.

Green was named to the All-NBA Third Team this season after averaging 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.38 blocks in 32.5 minutes over 76 games, while leading the league with a career-high 2.03 steals. The 6’7” forward became the first player to tally averages of at least 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block over the course of a season since blocks and steals were first recorded in 1973-74, while becoming the first player in Warriors history to total at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a single campaign. Earlier today, Green was named to the All-Defensive First Team for a third consecutive season, becoming the first player in Warriors history to earn First Team honors three times.

Throughout the 2016-17 campaign, Green made several key defensive stops in the final moments of close games, including steals on the last possession of two-point wins on Nov. 19 at Milwaukee (8.5 seconds remaining) and Dec. 13 at New Orleans (2.3 seconds). Green ranked second in the league in deflections per game (3.9) and fifth in contested shots per game (13.7), helping the Warriors rank second in the league in defensive rating (101.1). On Feb. 10 at Memphis, Green swiped a franchise-record 10 steals and recorded the first triple-double in NBA history without scoring in double figures, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists to go with his 10 steals.

Golden State went an NBA-best 67-15 (.817) in 2016-17, becoming the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), and set an NBA postseason record for best single-season playoff winning percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the team’s second NBA title in three seasons.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard were also named as finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The NBA Awards are chosen by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Basketball blog