Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category

Giannis Antetokounmpo wins 2016-17 NBA Most Improved Player award

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, the league announced tonight at the inaugural NBA Awards show. Antetokounmpo is the first player in Bucks history to be named Most Improved Player.

“I’m honored and humbled to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and grateful to so many people for helping me reach this point in my young career,” said Antetokounmpo. “Thank you to my family whose love and support means the world to me. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and staff with the Bucks who push me to succeed every day. Thank you to our fans who never stop cheering for us. Thank you.”

A full thank you video from Antetokounmpo can be found here:

In his fourth season, Antetokounmpo set career highs in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), assists (5.4 apg), blocks (1.9 bpg) and steals (1.6 spg), as well as field goal percentage (.521). He became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for a season, and was the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-20 for total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Despite playing nearly the same number of minutes per game in 2016-17 (35.6) as he did in 2015-16 (35.3), Antetokounmpo increased his scoring average from 16.9 points per game, to 22.9 points per game this season.

Antetokounmpo earned his first All-Star appearance when he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 66th NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans in February. He was the Bucks’ first All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004 and the first All-Star starter since Sidney Moncrief in 1986. Antetokounmpo scored an Eastern Conference-high 30 points on 14-for-17 shooting.

“Giannis wants to be the best and this is a terrific achievement for him and for our organization,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. “No one puts in more work than Giannis and we’re thrilled for him to receive this honor.”

During the 2016-17 season, Antetokounmpo recorded three triple-doubles to give him eight for his career, which tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in team history. He was also one of just five players in the NBA this season to average over 20 points per game while shooting 50 percent or better. In May, Antetokounmpo was named Second Team All-NBA, the highest All-NBA Team selection for the Bucks since Moncrief in 1986.

Mike D`Antoni wins 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year award

During yesterday’s inaugural NBA Awards Show, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the third coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Tom Nissalke (1976-77) and Don Chaney (1990-91).

This marks D’Antoni’s second Coach of the Year award, having won in 2004-05 after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins. He is the eighth coach in NBA history with multiple Coach of the Year honors and joins Gregg Popovich as the only ones who are active.

In his first season as head coach of the Rockets, D’Antoni guided the team to a 55-27 mark after Houston went 41-41 in 2015-16. The 55 wins tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The Rockets clinched a playoff spot on March 14, 2017 after not securing one until the regular season finale in 2015-16. D’Antoni was named Western Conference Coach of the Month in December after Houston went 15-2, tying for the most wins in a single month in franchise history.

D’Antoni engineered an offense which set the NBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season with 1,181. Houston finished second in the league in scoring with 115.3 points per game, tying for the second-highest scoring average in franchise history. The Rockets scored at least 130 points 12 times in 2016-17, marking the highest single season total by any team dating back to 1992-93.

During his time in Phoenix, the Suns posted the NBA’s three-highest single season totals for 3-pointers made from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Prior to 2004-05, only three teams had more than 700 3FGM in a single season. Since D’Antoni’s final season with Phoenix in 2007-08, 73 teams have hit at least 700 3-pointers in a single season, including 25 of the 30 teams in 2016-17.

Bob Myers wins 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year award

Golden State Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Bob Myers has been named the 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year, earning his second such honor in three seasons, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York.

Myers, who previously won the award in 2014-15, is the first Warriors executive to earn the honor on multiple occasions, marking the third such honor in Warriors history (Dick Vertlieb, 1974-75). Myers is the 11th executive in NBA history to earn the honor multiple times and joins R.C. Buford (2013-14 & 2015-16), Bryan Colangelo (2004-05 & 2006-07), Geoff Petrie (1998-99 & 2000-01) and Stan Kasten (1985-86 & 1986-87) as the only executives to win the award twice in a span of three seasons.

Myers assembled a roster that won an NBA-best 67 games (67-15, .817) in 2016-17 and set an NBA single-season playoff record for win percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the Warriors’ second title in three seasons. Golden State became the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), making its third-straight appearance in the NBA Finals.

Throughout Myers’ tenure, the Warriors have retained many of their top talents, signing starters Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to contract extensions. Following the 2015-16 season, Myers bolstered Golden State’s roster through free agency by signing two members of the Warriors’ 2016-17 starting lineup in Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia, as well as key reserves JaVale McGee and David West. Durant, the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, went on to earn 2017 NBA Finals MVP honors in Golden State’s 4-1 series win over Cleveland.

Myers, who originally joined the Warriors on April 14, 2011, as assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations and was named general manager on April 24, 2012, also acquired 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in a three-team trade in 2013 and signed key contributors Shaun Livingston (2014) and Ian Clark (2015) to free agent contracts in recent years.

The Warriors have qualified for the postseason in each of Myers’ five full seasons at the helm, making five consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since qualifying for the postseason in each of the first six years of the league’s existence (1947-52). Golden State has compiled a regular-season record of 305-105 (.744) during Myers’ five-year tenure.

Kemba Walker wins 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award

The NBA announced yesterday that Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner. The 27-year-old becomes the first Charlotte player to earn the accolade since the award’s inception following the 1995-96 season.

The annual award is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court and consistently displays the principles of sportsmanship, fair play and integrity. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient in 1995-96.

“I’m honored to be recognized by the NBA and my peers with an award that acknowledges that basketball is more than just a game,” said Walker. “This award celebrates my family, teammates, coaches and players throughout the league who helped teach me, and continue to exemplify, respect, sportsmanship and integrity on and off the court.”

Walker (Southeast) was one of six divisional finalists, joining the Toronto Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll (Atlantic), the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (Central), the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (Northwest), the Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston (Pacific) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (Southwest).

A panel of five former players selected the six divisional finalists from a pool of team nominees.
A vote was cast from each player from all 30 NBA teams, with eleven points being awarded for a first place vote, nine for second, seven for third, five for fourth, three for fifth and one for sixth.

Malcolm Brogdon wins NBA Rookie of the Year award

Malcolm Brogdon was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced tonight at its inaugural NBA Awards show. Brogdon joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) as the only players in team history to win Rookie of the Year. He is the first player not drafted in the first round to win Rookie of the Year since 1966.

“I am both humbled and honored to win this award,” said Brogdon. “As the oldest rookie to win this award in decades, I know it is the culmination of many special people who believed in me, starting with my mother, and continuing with my owners, my teammates, Coach Kidd and the entire Bucks’ staff. My five years at Virginia truly prepared me for the NBA and for life after the NBA. Thanks to Coach Bennett for a great education in basketball and for making me better. Thanks to the great fans of Milwaukee. Their work ethic truly inspires me every night.”

A second round pick (36th overall) from Virginia, Brogdon played in 75 games (28 starts) during a stellar rookie season that saw him lead all rookies in assists (4.2) and steals (1.1) per game, while ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage (.404) and free-throw percentage (.865). He also ranked third in field goal percentage (.457) and fourth in points per game (10.2) among rookies, and became one of just five rookies in NBA history to shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc while averaging at least four assists per game. Brogdon recorded the first rookie triple-double in team history when he scored 15 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds at Chicago on Dec. 31.

Brogdon started all six playoff games for the Bucks in 2017, and ranked first among rookies in the playoffs with 3.5 assists per game, and was second in points (9.0) and rebounds (4.3) per game.

“Malcolm worked tirelessly to improve his game and became a valuable contributor,” said Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd, who won co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill in 1995. “In fact, he was so reliable it was easy to forget that he was a rookie. Malcolm has a boundless future and we want to congratulate him on winning this well-earned award.”

Earlier today, Brogdon was unanimously selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, joining Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Willy Hernangomez (New York), Buddy Hield (Sacramento) and Dario Saric (Philadelphia). Brogdon is the 13th Buck to be named to an All-Rookie Team, and is the team’s first All-Rookie First Team selection since Brandon Jennings in 2009-10.

Eric Gordon wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

During tonight’s inaugural NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the first player in franchise history to receive the award.

In his first season with the Rockets, Gordon came off the bench in 60 of his 75 games played after starting 398 of 417 career games entering 2016-17. He finished second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and had the third-highest scoring average (16.3 ppg) of any reserve with at least seven appearances this season.

Gordon ranked fourth in the NBA with 246 3-pointers made this season after not having more than 141 in a season prior. He set the NBA single season record for the most 3FGM by a reserve with 206, breaking the previous mark of 179 by Mirza Teletovic in 2015-16. Gordon also became the first player in Rockets history to win the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Over a 21-game span from Nov. 27 through Jan. 5, Gordon averaged 4.6 3-pointers made on 47.1% shooting. He hit at least three 3FGM in each of the first 13 games of that stretch, tying for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Rockets were 35-7 in games in which Gordon scored at least 15 points, including 17-2 when he scored 20 or more. He averaged 17.6 ppg on 43.6% shooting (41.3% 3FGs) in wins compared to 13.4 ppg on 34.3% shooting (28.4% 3FGs) in losses.

D-League officially renamed to G League

Beginning today the NBA Development League (NBA D-League), the NBA’s minor league, will officially become the NBA G League.

Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA G League will feature 26 teams, an expansion of four teams since last season, 22 of which are owned and operated by NBA franchises.

For the first time this coming fall, NBA teams can sign up to two “two-way” players to NBA contracts. These contracts allow “two-way” players to be with their NBA parent team for up to 45 days, spending most of the season in the NBA G League.

The NBA G League has more than tripled in size since it debuted with eight teams during the 2001-02 season. Last season, nearly 1.5 million fans attended games, marking the eighth straight year the league has surpassed 1 million fans.

For the 2017-18 season, the NBA G League will unveil new on-court uniforms and collaborate with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) on programs to enhance player sports performance and recovery. Gatorade will begin to incubate its latest product and equipment innovations into NBA G League locker rooms, and teams will have the opportunity to collaborate with Gatorade to help players maximize their athletic potential and on-court performance.

“This is a pivotal moment for the NBA G League,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “The league is experiencing unprecedented success both on and off the court, and our partnership with Gatorade is helping to drive momentum and create exciting opportunities for innovation, sports performance and player development.”

Forty-four percent of players on 2016-17 end-of-season NBA rosters had NBA G League experience, while 65 percent of players selected in NBA Draft 2016 spent time in the NBA G League last season, including more than half of the first-round picks.

NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts released the following statement regarding the recent comments by Knicks President Phil Jackson on Carmelo Anthony: “We voiced with the Commissioner today our view on the inappropriate comments by Knicks President Phil Jackson. If players under contract cannot, under threat of league discipline, speak openly about their desire to be employed elsewhere, we expect management to adhere to the same standards. The door swings both ways when it comes to demonstrating loyalty and respect.”

That’s the end of the statement.

To catch you up with what the Players Union is referencing, the New York Post yesterday reported that “in a wide-ranging 49-minute press conference, Jackson said he made his intention clear in his “not-contentious” exit meeting with Anthony, who has a no-trade clause in his contract that has two years and $54 million remaining. “We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time,’’ Jackson said in his first remarks to the local media since Sept. 23. “I think the direction with our team is he’s a player who will be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere where he can win or chase that championships.”

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2. The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month. He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game. George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Here is a recap of April for George and Paul:

Paul George, Indiana Pacers
April 4 vs. Toronto: Notched 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 108-90 victory against the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Milwaukee: Finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a 104-89 win over the Bucks.
April 12 vs. Atlanta: Made five three-pointers on his way to 32 points and added 11 rebounds in a 104-86 victory over the Hawks.

Chris Paul, LA Clippers
April 1 vs. L.A. Lakers: Recorded 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in a 115-104 win against the Lakers.
April 5 vs. Dallas: Registered 22 points, 11 assists and three rebounds in a 112-101 win over the Mavericks.
April 10 vs. Houston: Contributed 19 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 125-96 victory against the Rockets.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

2017 NBA Playoffs First Round Matchups

2017 NBA Playoffs First Round Matchups:


Boston vs. Chicago

Cleveland vs. Indiana

Toronto vs. Milwaukee

 Washington vs. Atlanta


Golden State vs. Portland

San Antonio vs. Memphis

Houston vs. Oklahoma City

LA Clippers vs. Utah

Now check the complete series-by-series first round NBA playoffs schedule

The NBA regular season ends Wednesday, and the Sixers will wrap things up with yet another player unable to be on the floor. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

76ers reserve point guard Sergio Rodriguez will miss the remaining three games of the season with a left hamstring strain.

Rodriguez has already missed six games with the injury. The Sixers’ remaining games are against the Milwaukee Bucks (Saturday) and Indiana Pacers (Monday) at Wells Fargo Center before facing the New York Knicks (Wednesday) at Madison Square Garden.

Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the Warriors, who could have Kevin Durant back in action by next weekend:

The Kevin Durant Return Watch will continue for at least two more games after Sunday’s game at Oracle Arena against the Washington Wizards, as coach Steve Kerr ruled the All-Star forward out of the Tuesday’s home game against Minnesota and Wednesday’s road contest at Phoenix.

That puts Saturday’s home game against the New Orleans Pelicans as the most likely date of Durant’s long-awaited return. That would give him a three-game regular-season tuneup for the NBA playoffs. Then again, Kerr joked Sunday that could be up in the air as well.

NBA player notes, March 6, 2017

Some interesting NBA player notes from the past week:

Brook Lopez, Nets: The 7-foot center last week became the second player in team history to score 10,000 points. Buck Williams is the franchise leader with 10,440 points.

Alan Williams, Suns: He has recorded a point-rebound double-double in each of his last three games and four of his last five, all off the bench. During Phoenix’s current three-game winning streak, the 24-year-old forward is averaging 13.7 points and 13.3 rebounds.

Tobias Harris, Pistons: The 24-year-old forward is averaging 16.7 points and shooting 51.5 percent from the field in 24 games off the bench, his predominant role since late December.

Jaylen Brown, Celtics: The No. 3 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is averaging 13.2 points (on 54.5 percent shooting) and 5.2 rebounds in his last six games.

Jusuf Nurkic, Trail Blazers: Acquired Feb. 13 in a trade with Denver, the 7-foot center from Bosnia and Herzegovina is averaging 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in six games with Portland.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Wizards: He has scored 27 points twice in his last three games, making 6-of-7 from three-point range in the first of those big outings (March 1 at Toronto) and 8-of-10 in the second (March 5 vs. Orlando).

Utah Jazz: With Sunday’s overtime victory at Sacramento, Utah improved to 11-2 with a starting lineup of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.

– Via NBA News

Good upcoming national TV NBA games

Some of the good upcoming nationally televised NBA games this week:

Wednesday, March 8: Celtics @ Warriors, 10:30 p.m., ESPN – On April 1 of last season, Boston defeated Golden State 109-106 to snap the Warriors’ NBA-record 54-game home winning streak in the regular season.

Thursday, March 9: Spurs @ Thunder, 8 p.m., TNT – San Antonio, which has clinched a playoff berth for the 20th straight season, begins the week needing two victories to extend its NBA record for consecutive seasons with at least 50 victories to 18.

Saturday, March 11: Warriors @ Spurs, 8:30 p.m., ABC – The two teams with the NBA’s best records meet for the first time since opening night, when San Antonio handed Golden State the first of its three home losses this season. The Warriors start the week with a 2½-game lead over the Spurs for first place in the Western Conference.

Sunday, March 12: Bulls @ Celtics, 3:30 p.m., ABC – Bobby Portis, who recently became Chicago’s starter at power forward, is averaging 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last eight games.

Sunday, March 12: Cavaliers @ Rockets, 9 p.m., ESPN – Houston leads the NBA with 930 three-pointers made, which is only three behind the 2014-15 Rockets (933) for the second-highest single-season total in NBA history. Cleveland, meanwhile, ranks second this season with 807 three-pointers made, including an NBA regular-season-record 25 against Atlanta on March 3.

– Via NBA News

NBA 40-point games info

Russell Westbrook’s streak of scoring at least 40 points may have ended at four consecutive games on Sunday in Dallas, but the Oklahoma City guard is still leading the way in one of the most prolific seasons for 40-point performances in NBA history.

The league through Sunday, March 5 has produced 83 40-point games in 2016-17, which is already the sixth-highest single-season total ever and the second-most over the last 25 years. The NBA is on pace for 109 40-point games this season, which would edge the 2005-06 season (108) for second place on the all-time list.

The NBA record for most 40-point games in a season is 142 in 1961-62, when Wilt Chamberlain posted 63 on his own. This season, Westbrook leads with 13 and Houston’s James Harden has nine.

Westbrook and Harden are two of the 30 players who have scored 40 or more points in a game this season. The NBA single-season record for most players with at least one 40-point game is 32, set in 2008-09.

– Via NBA Newsletter

Hot in the NBA right now

Triple-doubles: The NBA has produced 74 triple-doubles this season, which is four behind the single-season record of 78 set in 1988-89. It is also one behind the 2015-16 total of 75 for the second-most all time.

Dario Saric, 76ers: The Croatian forward has recorded four consecutive double-doubles, the longest streak by a rookie this season. In his last seven games, Saric is averaging 20.3 points and 9.0 rebounds.

Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves: Wiggins has scored 20 or more points in a franchise-record 17 consecutive games, while Towns has done so in each of the last 14 games. Those are the second- and third-longest active streaks in the NBA, respectively, behind Boston guard Isaiah Thomas’ 43 games in a row with at least 20 points.

Miami Heat: Miami has made 43 three-pointers during its current three-game winning streak, the most over any three-game span in team history. The Heat has also scored at least 100 points in 16 straight games, the franchise’s longest streak ever.

Mike Conley, Grizzlies: He scored 31 points in Sunday’s win over Denver, his sixth 30-point game of the season. Conley had five 30-point games in his first nine seasons combined.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: With 25 points in Sunday’s victory against the Lakers, Leonard posted his 27th game with at least that many points this season. He had 26 such games in his first five seasons combined.

DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: In two games since the All-Star break (both wins), Toronto’s all-time leading scorer has totaled 76 points, shot 54.5 percent from the field and made 27-of-28 from the free throw line.

– Via NBA Newsletter

A look at upcoming national TV NBA games

A closer look at some upcoming national television games (all times Eastern):

Monday, Feb. 27: TNT debuts Players Only – a franchise with former NBA and WNBA players serving in all broadcast roles – for tonight’s doubleheader, which features Buck at Cavaliers (7 p.m.) and Pacers at Rockets (9:30 p.m.).

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Warriors at Wizards, 7 p.m., NBA TV – Despite back-to-back losses, Washington is tied for the second-best record in the NBA since Dec. 30 at 19-7. Golden State, the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season, is a league-best 21-4 during that stretch.

Wednesday, March 1: Four of the seven teams currently boasting a .610 winning percentage or better will be in action during ESPN’s doubleheader. The Eastern Conference’s top two teams, Cleveland and Boston, match up in the opener at TD Garden at 8 p.m., followed by the Rockets visiting the Clippers at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 2: Thunder at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m., TNT – Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook has 29 triple-doubles this season, which is two behind Wilt Chamberlain (31 in 1967-68) for the second-highest total in a single season.

Friday, March 3: Spurs at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN – San Antonio big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol and New Orleans big men DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis have combined for 18 All-Star selections.

Saturday, March 4: Clippers at Bulls, 8:30 p.m., ABC – LA’s Blake Griffin is averaging 26.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 11 games this month.

Sunday, March 5: Warriors at Knicks, 3:30 p.m., ABC – Four years ago (Feb. 27, 2013), Golden State’s Stephen Curry scored 54 points at Madison Square Garden. That performance, the first of his five career 50-point games, remains a career high.

– Via NBA Newsletter

Here’s the Oklahoman on former NBA guard Maurice Cheeks, whose very successful basketball career has not yet landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame:

Should Hall of Fame induct Mo Cheeks?

At the end of ESPN’s Around the Horn on Monday, legendary sportswriter Bob Ryan was the winner of the four-man duel for points, earning him the show’s closing words on its “Face Time” segment.

Ryan had something to say about Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks. Ryan, who’s covered the NBA since the 1960’s, vouched for Cheeks to be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

At All-Star Weekend, 14 finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame were announced, and Cheeks was not on the list. A player must be retired for four full seasons before being eligible for enshrinement, then can be nominated in his or her fifth year of retirement.

Cheeks retired after the 1992-93 season, and has been eligible for enshrinement since 1998.

Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League) as part of a multiyear expanded partnership announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade.

This marks the first time a U.S. professional sports league has named an entitlement partner.

Founded as a league to develop NBA talent, the NBA D-League has become an integral part of the NBA family, with 40 percent of current NBA players having spent time in the NBA D-League and four current NBA head coaches starting as coaches on NBA D-League benches. The league has tripled in size from eight teams during the inaugural 2001-02 season to a record 25 teams for the 2017-18 campaign. NBA owners have increasingly invested in the NBA D-League, with 15 NBA clubs purchasing an NBA D-League team since the 2012-13 season, bringing the total number of NBA-owned minor league franchises to 20 for next season.

“As one of the most iconic brands in the world and a founding partner of the NBA Development League, Gatorade is an ideal fit for this first-of-its-kind partnership,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO. “The NBA D-League has prepared hundreds of players for the NBA and Gatorade has always been focused on fueling players to perform at the highest level. We look forward to collaborating with the renowned GSSI team to enhance player development and our game.”

Connectivity between the NBA and the NBA’s official minor league continues to grow. Recent changes to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement have reinforced that synergy, as NBA teams will be able to have up to two “two-way players” on their rosters beginning next season. These “two-way players” will gain experience in the NBA, but will primarily play in the NBA G-League as part of their NBA journeys.

“We have more than 50 years of experience working with athletes and using those insights to help improve athletic performance through innovative sports fuel and equipment,” said Brett O’Brien, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Gatorade. “This expansion of our NBA partnership is a great opportunity to not only work with the elite athletes of the NBA G-League, but also continue to lead the evolution of basketball performance.”

The partners will also collaborate on custom, behind-the-scenes video content which will capture NBA G-League players on their respective journeys, highlighting a shared commitment to enhancing performance through innovation.

A founding partner of the NBA D-League, Gatorade will continue to present the league’s Gatorade Call-Up platform. Since 2001, there have been nearly 500 Gatorade Call-Ups from the NBA D-League to the NBA.

Vince Carter turns 40 on Thursday

Vince Carter turns 40 on Thursday

Grizzlies guard/forward Vince Carter is still going strong in his 19th NBA season as he prepares to celebrate his 40th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The NBA’s oldest active player remains a key contributor for a Memphis team that is pursuing its seventh consecutive playoff berth. Carter is averaging more points (8.2) and minutes (23.8) than he did in either of the previous two seasons. The last player to average eight points or more for a season when he was at least 40 years old at any point was Karl Malone in 2003-04 (13.2 ppg).

Carter is approaching two significant milestones as well. The eight-time All-Star (24,288 career points) needs 81 points to pass Hall of Famer Allen Iverson (24,368) for 23rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Carter also needs four three-pointers to become the fifth player in NBA history with 2,000 for his career, joining Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Milwaukee’s Jason Terry and the LA Clippers’ Paul Pierce.

It is fitting that Carter is close to cracking an exclusive shooting club alongside Terry and Pierce. Carter, Terry and Pierce are three of the six active players who were drafted in the 1990s, a group that also includes San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Metta World Peace.

– Via NBA News

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