Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category

Video: Top 10 NBA dunks of the week

Check out this video of the top 10 NBA dunks of the week, through March 15, 2014:

Shawn Marion scored 19 points, Vince Carter added 18 and the Dallas Mavericks beat Oklahoma City 109-86 on Sunday night, ending a seven-game regular-season losing streak to the Thunder.

Kevin Durant scored 30 points for Oklahoma City, his 26th straight game of 25 points or more, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan did so in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season.

Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points and Jose Calderon had 16 points for Dallas, which entered the game tied for seventh in the Western Conference standings. The Mavericks, who begin an eight-game homestand on Monday, became only the third Western Conference team to win this season in Oklahoma City, joining the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Dallas’ win over the Thunder was its first since Jan. 2, 2012. In addition to the seven straight regular-season losses to Oklahoma City, the Mavericks also were swept by the Thunder in a 2012 playoff series.

– Associated Press

Gerald Green is back from the kind of “vacation” that no NBA player likes to take.

Markieff Morris had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Green scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and the Phoenix Suns won their second straight game, beating the Toronto Raptors 121-113 on Sunday.

Green had joked about being on vacation after scoring just six points in his previous two games, missing 17 of 23 field goal attempts. He had previously scored 10 points or more in a career-best 15 straight games.

“He came in yesterday to practice, worked on his shots and he told us all he was back from his little mini-vacation,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “When Gerald plays like that, he gets unstoppable. He can make all kinds of shots and I think our guys feed off that when he’s rolling.”

– Associated Press

Ray Allen steps up, Heat beat Rockets

Ray Allen was somewhat surprised to see how open he was. So was Dwyane Wade, who even took an extra dribble before believing his eyes and sending a 50-foot pass to the best 3-point shooter in NBA history.

Moments later, the Miami Heat were back on track.

Allen scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter on a milestone day for the veteran, Wade and LeBron James each added 24 points and the Heat closed with a flourish to beat the Houston Rockets 113-104 on Sunday and snap their worst stretch of results since 2011.

“When Ray gets into a rhythm, he’s the best 3-point shooter of all-time,” said Heat forward Chris Bosh, who scored 18 points to help Miami win for just the second time in its last seven games…

Harden finished with 30 points for Houston, which got 21 points and 14 rebounds from Dwight Howard. Patrick Beverley added 15 points and Terrence Jones scored 12 for the Rockets, who’ve dropped three straight.

– Associated Press

Knicks beat Bucks for 6th win in a row

Before Phil Jackson can begin reshaping their future, the New York Knicks are trying to make something of this season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 20, and the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-94 on Saturday, giving them a season-high six straight victories as they prepare to welcome Jackson back to the franchise.

“We’ve got to really focus in on what’s the task at hand, and that’s still trying to make this push and not even looking forward to next season at this point,” Anthony said.

Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each scored 15 for the Knicks, who easily ended their daytime woes by pounding the team with the NBA’s worst record.

New York began the day 3½ games behind Atlanta for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference. But the playoff push has taken a backseat to the news that Jackson was coming in to run the Knicks’ front office — except in the locker room.

– Associated Press

Nuggets beat Heat 111-107

Kenneth Faried scored 24 points, Darrell Arthur led a big effort from Denver’s bench with 18, and the Nuggets beat the suddenly reeling Miami Heat 111-107 on Friday night, handing the NBA champions their fifth loss in six games.

Evan Fournier scored 14, Ty Lawson had 13 and JJ Hickson added 11 for the Nuggets. Denver’s reserves scored 57 points.

Ray Allen scored 22 points for Miami, which fell three games behind Indiana in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James scored 21 points, Dwyane Wade added 19, Mario Chalmers had 16 and Chris Andersen scored 14 for the Heat, who turned the ball over 20 times and shot 7 for 24 from 3-point range.

It was only the fifth win for Denver in its last 18 games.

And for the Heat, it was the first time they’ve lost back-to-back home games since March 2011.

– Associated Press

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on an NBA milestone set by Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki:

With a fadeaway jumper at the 11:46-mark of the first quarter in his team’s game against the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki officially moved past Hall of Famer and Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek.

Nowitzki moved into a tie with Havlicek for 12th place with a 15-foot jumper at the 8:29 mark of the fourth quarter in the team’s 108-85 loss to the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night. He eventually finished with 31 points and moved into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the all-time scoring list in the Mavericks’ 108-101 win over the Jazz.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle began his NBA career in Boston and got to know Havlicek well. He can say without hesitancy that “Hondo” respects Nowitzki.

Spurs player rotation rolls deep

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News Blog with some insight on the Spurs rotation and what it could mean in the big picture:

The Spurs boast arguably the deepest roster in the NBA, with nine players getting regular minutes and scoring between 17.8 and 8.4 points per game. Eight have a Player Efficiency Rating above the weighted average of 15.0. The league-leading production differential of their bench is nearly double that of No. 3 Memphis.

That depth saved the Spurs this season, allowing them to stay afloat while missing five of those players for significant chunks in January and February. Healthy once more, they’ve gone 9-1 since the All-Star break to surge atop the league standings at 46-16.

But as critical as it’s been, the Spurs’ emphasis on balance over raw star power doesn’t bode well from a historic perspective. Indeed, according to the NBA’s weekly media newsletter, there hasn’t been an NBA championship with nine eight-point scorers since the Celtics back in 1966.

That’s about as obscure as it gets from a statistical threshold. And while rare, ensemble championships are far from unheard of in the NBA.

Video: Top 10 NBA dunks of week

Here’s a video of the top 10 NBA dunks of the week, through March 8, 2014:

From Jodie Meeks’ big day to the final result, this was definitely a surprise.

Meeks scored 24 of his career-high 42 points in the second half, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Oklahoma City 114-110 on Sunday despite a triple-double by Thunder star Kevin Durant.

Pau Gasol added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the injury-ravaged Lakers, who had lost 29 of their previous 37 games. Meeks was 11 of 18 from the field and 14 for 14 at the line while becoming the third player to reach the 30-point mark this season for last-place Los Angeles (22-42).

“The most important thing is that we keep going out there and fighting and not giving up,” Meeks said. “The season isn’t going the way that we planned, but we still have 18 games left. So we’ll play them hard and see what happens.”

Meeks is averaging 19.2 points in 11 games since returning from a sprained right ankle. Before the injury, he was averaging 14.4.

– Associated Press

Dirk Nowitzki says he wasn’t thinking about the last time the Dallas Mavericks blew a 30-point lead and lost.

The biggest collapse in franchise history was a long time ago, and he was too busy trying to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Nowitzki scored 22 points, Devin Harris hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute and the Mavericks rallied in the fourth quarter after blowing their huge first-half lead, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 103-98 Friday night.

“You’re just out there battling,” Nowitzki said. “They’re a very, very good team. They came back a lot quicker than we wanted it to be, but we kept fighting and got the win.”

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 30 for Portland, including 18 in the third quarter when the Blazers went in front for the first time at 69-67 after trailing 44-14 early in the second quarter.

– Associated Press

Despite turnovers, Celtics beat Nets

Jared Sullinger was at a loss to explain how his Boston Celtics could win while committing a season-high 28 turnovers.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said.

Try this: 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds by Rajon Rondo, a 62-37 rebounding advantage by the Celtics and a horrible 4-for-30 shooting performance on 3-pointers by the Nets.

The result was a 91-84 victory in which Brooklyn never led and had its four-game winning streak stopped Friday night.

The rebounding “was obviously the difference in the game for us, from our standpoint. That, and they missed the 3s,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “I’d like to say that it was this outstanding 3-point defense, but I think when you re-watch it, it’s a lot of open 3s they missed.”

– Associated Press

Knicks beat Jazz by 27 points

There’s little margin for error, and the New York Knicks know it.

They need a big finish to the regular season, and after the way they’ve started the last two games, maybe they have one in them.

Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter, sending the Knicks to a rare easy night in a 108-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday.

With a long way to go to get back into playoff position, the Knicks won their second straight following a seven-game losing streak. They began a favorable portion of their schedule by opening an early double-digit lead and remaining comfortably ahead the rest of the way.

– Associated Press

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Heat superstar LeBron James, who says he does not like having to play while wearing sleeved NBA jerseys:

James partly blamed the jersey for his off shooting night in the Miami Heat’s 111-87 loss Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs. He was 6-of-18 from the field, his second-worst shooting game of the season.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” said James, who had 19 points. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

James said the sleeves affect him on long-range shots, especially 3-pointers. He was quick to point out that the jersey also bothered him on Christmas Day, when he shot 0-of-4 from 3-point range in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and during the All-Star Game last month, when he was 0-of-7 on 3-pointers in sleeves.

Gerald Green scored 25 of his career-high 41 points in the third quarter and the Phoenix Suns erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-122 on Thursday night.

Markieff Morris added 24 points, including two free throws with 24.4 seconds to play. Goran Dragic scored 22, including six of the Suns’ final 12 points after Oklahoma City led 118-116.

Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 36 for the Thunder, who would have pulled a half-game ahead of Indiana for the NBA’s best record with a victory. Kevin Durant added 34.

Green’s outburst fell one point shy of a Suns record for most points in a quarter set by Stephon Marbury in 2002. His career-best eight 3-pointers also was one shy of the franchise mark.

– Associated Press

Tim Duncan leads Spurs past Heat

Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed against the Miami Heat, weathering a sluggish third quarter for an intense and emotional 111-87 victory Thursday.

Tony Parker scored 17 points, including 14 in a wild first half, Boris Diaw added 16 and Kawhi Leonard had 11 for San Antonio, which has won five straight.

Chris Bosh had 24 points, LeBron James added 19, Dwyane Wade had 16 and Michael Beasley 11 for Miami.

James, who ditched the protective mask he was wearing early in the first half, was hounded by Leonard into shooting 6 for 18.

– Associated Press

Al Jefferson had a pretty good inkling it was Charlotte’s night when he banked in a 31-footer from well beyond the top of the key to beat the shot clock midway through the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t call the bank, but I trusted my right hand,” Jefferson said with a laugh.

Jefferson scored 34 points and the Bobcats stunned NBA-leading Indiana 109-87 Wednesday night, handing the Pacers just their second two-game skid of the season. Jefferson was 16 of 25 from the field and had eight rebounds for the Bobcats (28-33), who won their fifth straight at home to equal their combined win total from the previous two seasons.

“I’m not accepting that we’re a team that guys look at on the schedule anymore and say, ‘OK, we have the Bobcats (so) we can take the night off.” Jefferson said.

– Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets have signed center Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Collins, who signed his first 10-day contract on February 23, has appeared in five games for the Nets, totaling three points and five rebounds in 36 minutes.

Currently in his 13th NBA season, Collins has played in 718 NBA games, with averages of 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is not a fan of the NCAA and the rule that requires players to be one year removed from high school and at least 19 years old before entering the NBA.

Cuban thinks the NBA Development League is preferable to a year in college, saying the one-and-done players are not prepared mentally and emotionally for the NBA.

“I think what will end up happening — and this is my opinion, not that of the league — is if the colleges don’t change from the one-and-done, we’ll go after the one,” Cuban said, according to ESPNDallas.com. “The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there’s absolutely no reason for a kid to go (to college) because he’s not going to class.

“He’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League.”

– Sports Xchange

Here’s the Los Angeles Times, via the Chicago Tribune website, reporting on NBA legend Scottie Pippen, who has been dealing with an annoying legal situation:

Scottie Pippen has filed a countersuit against a Malibu man who alleged the former NBA All-Star assaulted him at a restaurant last year.

Camran Shafighi filed a $4-million lawsuit against Pippen, accusing him of a “brutal and unjustified physical attack” that allegedly occurred outside upscale Nobu restaurant after Shafighi had sought a picture with the former Chicago Bull.

But in a cross-complaint filed earlier this month, Pippen’s lawyer Mark J. Geragos alleged Shafighi cursed at Pippen using racial slurs, spat on him and his children and said, “I’m going to kill you.”

The cross-complaint also alleges that Shafighi was “extremely aggressive and noticeably intoxicated” and calls for unspecified damages “according to proof.”

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