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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

The Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and the Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 15.

DeRozan led the Raptors to a 3-0 week, averaging 30.7 points (second in the East) on 51.5 percent shooting to go with 7.3 rebounds. The 27-year-old guard opened the week by posting season highs of 41 points and 13 rebounds in a 114-106 win over the Boston Celtics on Jan. 10. The performance marked the two-time All-Star’s third 40-point game of the season. He closed the week by tallying 23 points, five rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes in a 116-101 win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 15.

Hayward averaged 23.7 points on 73.5 percent shooting (fourth in the West) and added 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Jazz won all three of its games. The 26-year-old forward shot 10-for-12 from the field on his way to 28 points in a 100-92 win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 10. Hayward tied a season high with four three-pointers against the Cavaliers and shot 60.0 percent (9-for-15) from behind the arc for the week.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, the LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas.

NBL boss Larry Kestelman will fly to the United States next month to ramp up discussions with NBA officials about Australian teams playing pre-season games in the US.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Kestelman confirmed his ambitious proposal for the NBL to take on the NBA’s best was well advanced.

His goal is for teams like Sydney and Melbourne to play pre-season matches against some of the NBA’s biggest franchises.

“We are having dialogue with the NBA and I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said.

– Daily Telegraph

The Utah Jazz vs Cleveland Cavaliers home game on Tuesday, Jan. 10 will be broadcast live in virtual reality, as part of NBA Digital and NextVR’s season-long initiative to deliver weekly games in VR through NBA LEAGUE PASS.

This programming marks the first regular schedule of live games delivered in VR by a professional sports league.

The VR broadcasts are fully produced with dedicated announcers, multiple unmanned camera angles and optimized graphics. Game breaks are filled with in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena and VR-specific commentary.

“The Utah Jazz are excited to be featured in two virtual reality broadcasts by the NBA this season,” said Utah Jazz President Steve Starks. “We support the NBA’s drive forward in VR innovation and the capability of giving our global fan base courtside seats for Jazz games through technology.”

For local viewers, the VR broadcast of Utah-Cleveland game will be blacked out. More information on the NBA LEAGUE PASS VR Game of the Week is available at

The Utah Jazz game at Oklahoma City on Feb. 28 is also on the NBA VR broadcast schedule.

Sixers center Joel Embiid and Pelicans guard Buddy Hield today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Embiid, 22, the third pick in NBA Draft 2014, led all rookies in scoring (19.8 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and blocked shots (2.40 bpg) in December. He also attempted a rookie-high 73 free throws in 10 games, hitting 78.1 percent. The 7-foot center scored 23 or more points in four of his last five games during the month, highlighted by a career-high 33-point performance to go with 10 rebounds in a 108-107 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 18.

Hield, 23, the sixth pick in NBA Draft 2016, led West rookies in scoring (10.6 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (47.8) and topped all first-year players in three-pointers made (33). The 6-4 guard scored in double figures nine times in 16 games, including 12 or more points in each of the final three games of December (a 3-0 stretch for New Orleans). On Dec. 15, Hield set career highs with 21 points and five three-pointers in a 102-95 victory against the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn’s Isaiah Whitehead, Dallas’ Dorian Finney-Smith, Denver’s Jamal Murray, Memphis’ Andrew Harrison, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, Philadelphia’s Dario Saric and Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss.

Wizards guard John Wall and Rockets guard James Harden today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Wall led the Eastern Conference in assists (10.7 apg) and steals (2.67 spg) and ranked fifth in scoring (24.5 ppg) as the Wizards (10-5) posted their first 10-win month since December 2014. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week was one of only three players to average a point-assist double-double in December, joining Harden and the LA Clippers’ Chris Paul. Wall, who scored a career-high 52 points in a 124-116 loss to the Orlando Magic on Dec. 6, shot 49.1 percent from the field and 81.4 percent from the free throw line for the month.

Harden led the league in assists (12.0 apg) and ranked fourth in scoring (28.3 ppg) as the Rockets (15-2) tied a franchise record for wins in a month and outscored their opponents by an average of 12.9 points per game. He became the first player in NBA history with at least 50 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game when scored a career-high 53 points, equaled a career best with 17 assists and grabbed a Rockets-season-high 16 rebounds in a 129-122 win over the New York Knicks on Dec. 31, one of his five triple-doubles in December. Harden added 9.1 rebounds and 1.53 steals while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 85.9 percent from the free throw line.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

NBA player notes, Dec. 29, 2016

isaiah thomas

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics: Thomas has scored at least 20 points in each of his last 16 games, the longest streak in the NBA this season. Thomas and Boston look for their seventh win in eight games when they visit Cleveland tonight at 8 p.m. on TNT.

Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks: Nowitzki enters tonight’s game against the Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT) with 853 regular-season wins, tied with Derek Fisher for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time list. Nowitzki leads all active players, followed by San Antonio’s Tony Parker (803).

DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: With 29 points against Golden State on Wednesday, DeRozan (10,290) passed Chris Bosh (10,275) to become Toronto’s all-time leading scorer.

Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks: In his last four games, the rookie guard has made 18-of-23 shots from the field (78.3 percent) and averaged 10.5 points and 5.8 assists in 27.0 minutes.

New Orleans Pelicans: Winners of three in a row and four of five, the Pelicans are 13-13 since an 0-8 start.

nicolas batum

Nicolas Batum, Hornets: He has scored at least 20 points in four straight games, averaging 21.8 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds during this stretch. Charlotte has won four of five.

Alex Abrines, Thunder: The rookie guard from Spain has scored in double figures in three of his last four games, making 13-of-26 from three-point range (50.0 percent) in the four appearances.

Brook Lopez, Nets: The 7-foot center and nine-year veteran ranks 37th in the NBA in three-pointers made with 56. He entered the season with three triples made for his career – a total he exceeded against Chicago on Wednesday when he hit five in a 33-point night.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs: Aldridge has totaled 60 points and converted 25-of-32 from the field (78.1 percent) in his last two games, both wins for San Antonio (26-6), which has matched its 32-game record from last season.

Tobias Harris, Pistons: After starting his first 31 games, Harris has come off the bench in Detroit’s last three games, averaging 23.3 points on 55.8 shooting.

– Via NBA News

NBA national notes, December 25, 2016

demarcus cousins

50-Point Games: Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins (55 points vs. Portland on Tuesday) is already the fifth player with a 50-point game in 2016-17, joining Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Washington’s John Wall, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis. The NBA record for most players with 50-point games in a season is eight, set in 1989-90.

Tyler Johnson, Heat: He scored 32 points in Tuesday’s double-overtime loss to Orlando, the highest total for a Miami reserve in franchise history. His 13.4 points per game is the second-highest scoring average among players with no starts this season.

Deron Williams, Mavericks: Williams, who recently passed Derek Harper for 21st place on the NBA’s career assists list, is averaging 19.8 points (on 53.6 percent shooting) and 6.8 assists in his last four games.

Shaquille O’Neal: Miami will retire Shaq’s No. 32 jersey at halftime of tonight’s game against the Lakers (8 p.m. ET, TNT), while the Lakers announced this week that they will unveil a bronze statue of the Hall of Fame center at Staples Center on March 24, 2017.

Dennis Schröder, Hawks: In his last 12 games, the 23-year-old guard from Germany is averaging 21.8 points (on 53.1 percent shooting) and 7.6 assists.

nikola jokic

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets: The second-year center’s run of six double-doubles in his last 10 games includes a 27-point, 15-rebound, nine-assist performance against Dallas on Monday, making him the first Denver player to reach those three totals in a game since Fat Lever in 1988.

Myles Turner, Pacers: The second-year center has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games, averaging 18.0 points while shooting 55.2 percent from the field.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies: He scored a career-high 38 points and made 14-of-17 shots (82.4 percent) from the field in Wednesday’s victory against Detroit, becoming the first Grizzlies player to score 38 points or more while shooting at least 80 percent in a game since Shareef Abdur-Rahim on Jan. 7, 2001. Gasol raised his scoring average to a career-high 20.1 points.

evan fournier

Evan Fournier, Magic: In his last six games, Fournier is averaging 22.2 points and shooting 52.0 percent from the field.

Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Candidates: Muggsy Bogues, Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace and former NBA referees Sid Borgia and Jake O’Donnell are among the first-time nominees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

– Via NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

2016 NBA Christmas Day game matchups

Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, noon ET, ESPN
Boston: Isaiah Thomas, who ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring at 26.6 points per game, is second in the league in fourth-quarter scoring (8.1), behind Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (9.8). Thomas has scored at least 20 points in each of his last 12 games, the longest active streak in the league.
New York: Carmelo Anthony (23,112) needs 38 points to pass Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 28th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Anthony and the Knicks host Orlando tonight before facing Boston on Christmas Day.

Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Golden State: The Warriors have climbed to second in the NBA in defensive rating – allowing 100.8 points per 100 possessions – which matches their No. 2 ranking in offensive rating. Golden State has held each of its last three opponents to 90 points or fewer.
Cleveland: Kyrie Irving set a career high with 13 assists in Wednesday’s victory over Milwaukee, which came four days after he had equaled his previous career high of 12 assists in a win against the Lakers. Irving has also scored at least 20 points in 15 of his last 16 games and in a team-high 22 games overall.

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs, 5 p.m. ET, ABC
Chicago: In a conference call with international media this week, Jimmy Butler discussed playing on Christmas Day, the key to his emergence as an All-Star, his admiration for Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili, and more. Click here for the transcript.
San Antonio: Kawhi Leonard has scored at least 30 points seven times in 28 games this season. He entered the year with four 30-point games in 324 career appearances.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Minnesota: The Timberwolves are attempting to become the first team in NBA history to have three players – Karl-Anthony Towns (22.1 ppg), Andrew Wiggins (21.9) and Zach LaVine (20.7) – who were under the age of 22 at the start of the season each average at least 20 points for the season.
Oklahoma City: Enes Kanter (12.6 ppg) ranks third on the team in scoring despite placing seventh in minutes per game (19.4). Kanter’s seven double-doubles are good for second on the Thunder behind Russell Westbrook, who is tied for the league lead with 23.

LA Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Clippers: Chris Paul (7,970) needs 18 assists to pass Rod Strickland (7,987) for 10th place on the NBA’s career list. Paul is 30 assists from 8,000 for his career.
Lakers: Earlier this month, Lou Williams had the highest-scoring four-game stretch for a bench player (137 points) since at least the 1970-71 season. For the season, the 30-year-old guard leads the Lakers in scoring with a career-high 18.8 points, coming off the bench in all 31 appearances.

– Via NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was ratified this week by the NBA players and NBA Board of Governors. The new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017 and run through the 2023-24 season.

The parties voted based on a term sheet that outline the key deal points. Once the NBA and NBPA finish drafting and execute the complete agreement, specific details will be released.

Shortly after Darryl Dawkins’ and Moses Malone’s sudden heart-related deaths sent “shock waves” through the NBA community in August of 2015, Adam Silver picked up the phone and called Michele Roberts.

The NBA commissioner and NBA Players Association executive director both agreed that something had to be done before the NBA lost another beloved retired player due to health. Soon after that, today’s stars and the game’s biggest name from the past, Michael Jordan, joined the cause.

With Jordan, now the league’s most famous owner, working over his fellow co-owners to lend a very influential assist along with current stars like Chris Paul, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony voicing their desire to take care of the previous generations of NBA players, the NBA will become the first professional sports league to offer retired players medical benefits as part of a comprehensive and enhanced player retirement package.


Our Quick Take: This is long overdue, and the right move. Looking forward to hearing the finer details once they become official.

DeMar DeRozan, James Harden named NBA Players of Week

Raptors scoring guard DeMar DeRozan and Rockets do-everything guard James Harden were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week today, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Dec. 18.

DeRozan led Toronto to a 3-1 week, averaging a league-high 31.5 points on 60.5 percent shooting to go with 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. This marks the second time this season he has scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games. DeRozan also shot over 50.0 percent from the field in all four games. On Dec. 16, he tallied 34 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 125-121 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. On Dec. 18, he finished with 31 points, three rebounds and three assists in a 109-79 victory over the Orlando Magic.

james harden

Harden led Houston to a 4-0 week behind averages of 27.0 points (third in the West), a league-best 12.8 assists, 9.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals. He recorded back-to-back triple-doubles in victories over the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, giving him six for the season and 15 for his career. Harden surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon for most triple-doubles in Rockets franchise history. He tallied at least 20 points and 10 assists in three of four games, giving him 18 such games this season, tops in the league.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week include Golden State’s Kevin Durant, the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Washington’s Bradley Beal and John Wall.

Magic Johnson rejoining ESPN NBA coverage

ESPN today announced that Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the two-time Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and sports icon, will return to the company and re-join NBA Countdown as a studio analyst this season, first appearing as part of ABC’s Christmas NBA coverage. From there, Johnson will join NBA Countdown pre-game coverage for the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series – the NBA’s marquee game of the week, starting Jan. 21, 2017.

Johnson will re-unite with Michael Wilbon, who is also making his return to NBA Countdown as an analyst this season on Saturday nights. They will join Sage Steele, returning for her 4th season as NBA Countdown host, to form the new Saturday trio.

Saturday editions of NBA Countdown begin at 8 p.m. ET and are 30 minutes long, prior to the 8:30 p.m. game broadcast. says: Magic Johnson’s NBA analysis tends to be on the… basic side of things. But he’s famous, likable, a familiar face to the masses, and a basketball legend.

Reggie Jackson returns to action for Pistons

Reggie Jackson’s return was a welcomed sight for the Pistons fans at The Palace. But on the same night Jackson made his season debut, the defense departed — and the Pistons paid for it.

They had a good start but a lackluster second quarter put them in a hole they couldn’t dig out of, as they fell to the Magic, 98-92, on Sunday night at The Palace.

The loss ended the Pistons’ three-game win streak; they also had won seven straight against the Magic — including the last four at home.

Jackson, who missed the first 21 games after recovering from tendinitis treatments in his knee and thumb, made his first shot of the game — a second-chance 3-pointer — and finished with 18 points and four assists in 23 minutes.

– Detroit News

Quick Take: The Pistons are 11-11 this season. They’re being led in scoring by Tobias Harris (17.1 ppg), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15.2 ppg), Andre Drummond (14.3 ppg) and Marcus Morris (14.0 ppg). Reggie Jackson, now that he’s back, will be a nice upgrade over Ish Smith.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tyronn Lue and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

Lue guided the reigning NBA champion Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference-best 13-3 record during October and November, matching the best 16-game start in franchise history. Cleveland, which began the season with six straight victories, ranked second in the NBA in scoring (111.3 points per game), three-point field goal percentage (39.0) and three-pointers made (13.8 per game). The Cavaliers sank a team-record 21 three-pointers in a 137-125 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 23.

Kerr led the Warriors to an NBA-best 16-2 record in October and November, including 12 victories in a row entering December. Golden State paced the NBA in scoring (117.6 ppg), assists (31.1 apg), field goal percentage (50.2) and blocked shots (6.6 bpg). The Warriors notched at least 30 assists in 10 consecutive games, the longest streak in franchise history, and they registered a team-record 47 assists in a 149-106 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 23.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Houston’s Mike D’Antoni, the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers, the Lakers’ Luke Walton, Memphis’ David Fizdale, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

ben simmons

Ben Simmons (fractured foot) is continuing his rehab with the Sixers at their training complex in Camden, New Jersey. The team has implemented a three-part rehab that hones in on health, education and shot improvement.

“He’s doing great,” Brown said. “That thing that we talked about where it’s such a holistic thing — in film sessions with the team, in film sessions with me, on a court with our shooting coach, in a weight room with our strength and conditioning people, in a medical area that is just A-plus at our practice facility with all the physiotherapists, etcetera.”

The Sixers still have not announced a date for his return. When Simmons is cleared, Brown has a vision of how to utilize the 6-foot-10 point-forward.

“My intention is to give him the ball and let him be the point guard,” Brown said. “That’s the plan. That doesn’t just happen. It takes a little bit of time to introduce him.”

– CSN Philly

Quick Take:  This will immediately be fun and awesome to watch. Sadly, we may not see Ben Simmons in action for months, and maybe not until next season. We haven’t heard any sort of definitive return date for him.

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