Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Kris Humphries will likely have role in Hawks-Cavs series

Kris Humphries will likely play a role in the Atlanta Hawks’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ATL coach Mike Budenholzer.

The late-season acquisition appeared in just one of the Hawks’ six playoff games against the Celtics in the first round. The center played 8:48 in a Game 5 blowout win, entering in the fourth quarter with the Hawks leading by 29 points. Budenholzer chose to use a combination of Mike Muscala and Mike Scott to combat the smaller and quicker lineup the Celtics used in the series. Humphries had five DNP-CDs.

– Atlanta Journal Constitution

By InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner

(Note: I am typing this entire blog entry on my cellphone while in a cab around 11:15pm Friday night and not editing this, so I insist that you forgive and ignore any typos)

Friday night in Charlotte the Miami Heat beat the Hornets 97-90 to tie their first round NBA playoff series at three games apiece.

A minor side story was “Purple Shirt Guy” — an unnamed fan (if he’s famous, we didn’t recognize him) with a great courtside seat, quickly nicknamed Purple Shirt Guy because, why not.

He was standing up and loudly taunting veteran Heat star Dwyane Wade, who responded with some huge clutch baskets.

My opinion is that while fans close to the court have a right to stand up and be enthusiastic, I’m not sure that SUSTAINED yelling by a fan as he is out of his seat at a player should be allowed, especially if the fan is courtside and therefore very close to the players.

I’m not sure exactly where the league should draw the line. Naturally they should err in favor of passionate fans. But in this sort of situation in the future, perhaps a security guard needs to encourage him/her to get back into their seat and stay there.

Tough call. But Purple Shirt Guy in Charlotte did, in my opinion, cross the line slightly. Players have to feel comfortable and protected.

The good news is, D-Wade sure appeared to feel fine as he suddenly drained key three-pointers and rose up like the star he’s been for many years.

Spencer Hawes knee injury: MCL sprain

Spencer Hawes knee injury: MCL sprain

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that center Spencer Hawes underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee. Hawes is listed as out for Game 6 tomorrow night in Charlotte and will be re-evaluated in a week. He suffered the injury during the Hornets win in Game 5 last night in Miami. Hawes has appeared in five playoff games for Charlotte with averages of 3.6 points (.462 FG%) and 3.2 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game.

The Hornets currently lead the Heat 3-2 in their first round NBA playoff series.

Kings hire Ken Catanella as assistant GM

Kings hire Ken Catanella as assistant GM

The Sacramento Kings today hired Ken Catanella as Assistant General Manager.

Catanella has more than ten years of experience in player negotiation, contracts, statistical scouting systems and a comprehensive understanding of the salary cap. He joins the Kings front office after serving the Detroit Pistons for nearly five years as Director of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. Prior to the Pistons, Catanella worked for the NBA and the New Jersey Nets.

“We are focused on building a winning team and part of that process is ensuring we have a sound front office structure,” said Divac. “We are thrilled that Ken Catanella is joining the Kings to help us build on our progress and drive success on the court. Ken’s unique statistical and player expertise will provide a significant boost to our basketball operations team.”

In his role with the Kings, Catanella will function as the organization’s salary cap specialist, support Divac with personnel decisions and day-to-day management of the basketball operations department and assist with the team’s statistical and analytical systems.

A graduate of Amherst College where he played and coached, Catanella’s professional experience includes a stint on Wall Street where he provided analytics to sports franchises examining arena financing. While earning his MBA at Duke University, he served as a graduate assistant to the Blue Devils Men’s Basketball team from 2004-06. Catanella also played professional basketball for the Bundesliga’s Cologne 99ers of the German League and later served as the assistant general manager for the 99ers.

The New York Knicks are currently built around forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Those are the key players right now. But while Porzingis just finished a very solid rookie season, Melo is the star. And if there’s one guy that Knicks boss Phil Jackson would consult with about a decision that greatly affects the entire team, it’s Melo. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Phil Jackson has not consulted with Melo on Knicks coaching search

Carmelo Anthony’s input hasn’t been needed, or asked for, yet.

The Knicks star forward has yet to speak to Knicks president Phil Jackson about the ongoing coaching search, but plans to be involved at some point, after raising concerns late in another dreary season about the direction of the franchise and wanting to be involved in the decision-making process.

“I hope so,” he said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday when asked if he would have a role in who the next coach is.

One thing Anthony feels certain of is that Tom Thibodeau would have accepted the Knicks job had it been offered.

New Kings logo 2016

The Kings finished 33-49 this season and as expected, were not a contender to qualify for the playoffs.

Today, they changed things up in the team branding department, revealing a new logo. Check it out:

Link: New Sacramento Kings logo

Wizards hire Scott Brooks as head coach

Wizards hire Scott Brooks as head coach

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that Scott Brooks has been hired as the team’s new head coach. Brooks will become the 24th head coach in franchise history. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“I am beyond thrilled to return to coaching with a team that is filled with such potential and to be able to join an organization that is committed to helping us reach our goals,” said Brooks. “I’m very grateful to Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld for this opportunity and I can promise the great fans of Washington that we will work extremely hard both on and off the court to represent them in a manner fitting the most powerful city in the world.”

Brooks joins the Wizards after serving as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s head coach for seven seasons (2008-09 through 2014-15). With Brooks at the helm, the Thunder amassed a 338-207 (.620) record, tallied four 50-plus win seasons (including 60 wins in 2012-13), made three appearances in the Western Conference Finals (2011, 2012, 2014), and advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals.

“Scott’s approach to the game, track record for player development and ability to communicate with his players made him the clear-cut choice to guide our team as we continue to rise as contenders in the Eastern Conference,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and Wizards Majority Owner Ted Leonsis. “His accomplishments as a coach are matched only by his sterling reputation around the league and we’re confident that our fans and players alike will embrace and support him as he leads the way.”

Brooks was named the 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding OKC to a 50-32 record in his first full season as head coach and leading the team to a 27-win improvement (tied for the eighth-largest in NBA history). He also was twice named as head coach for the Western Conference All-Star Team (2012 and 2014). Brooks was originally promoted to head coach of the Thunder on April 15, 2009, after being named interim head coach on Nov. 22, 2008.

Steve Kerr wins 2015-2016 NBA Coach of Year award

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose team won a league-record 73 games, has won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year. He is the Warriors’ first winner since coach Don Nelson in the 1991-92 season.

Kerr, in his second season as Warriors head coach, got 64 first-place votes and 381 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts, who guided his team to the playoffs with four new starters, finished second with 37 first-place votes and 335 total points. Three-time winner Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was third with 10 first-place votes and 166 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Under Kerr and assistant coach Luke Walton, who served as interim head coach until Kerr returned from back-surgery complications in January, the Warriors (73-9) posted the best regular-season record in league history, eclipsing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10). The defending NBA champions opened the season 24-0, the best start in league history, which pushed their overall regular-season winning streak to 28 games, the second longest of all time.

The Warriors set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 victories to finish last season), and went 39-2 at Oracle Arena for the second season in a row. Golden State also became the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row or losing to the same team twice.

The Raptors and Pacers are tied 2-2 in their first round NBA playoff series. Raptors guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan haven’t been at their best, to put it lightly. Looking at this as Glass Half Full, things can only get better — right? We’ll see. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting:

Kyle Lowry can tell you to the third decimal what he is shooting in the playoffs.

And even if he’s not happy about that particular number he is not at liberty to grouse about it or let it affect him.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not upset at how I’m playing,” Lowry said. “But I’ve got to be positive. At the end of the day my teammates bank on me to be positive and lead these guys, and that’s what I’m going to do no matter how I’m shooting the ball, I’ve got to make sure my teammates are positive and confident.”

And on that front he has been for the most part successful.

DeRozan and Lowry both know they need to shoot the ball better but getting frustrated over it is not something either will allow himself.

“No, not at all. I’m not frustrated,” DeRozan said Sunday following practice.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on the Pistons, who were eliminated yesterday by the Cavs in the first round of the 206 NBA playoffs:

Cold-blooded threes by Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were monumental in the Cavaliers sweeping the Pistons with the 100-98 victory Sunday night at the Palace.

For the series, Cleveland made 57 threes for the series, a little more than 14 per game.

Irving’s triples were of the spectacular variety.

His final one, with 43.2 seconds left and the shot clock running down, gave the Cavaliers a 100-96 cushion.

As the buzzer sounded, Irving waved good-bye to the Pistons crowd as he finished with 31 points and averaged 27.5 points per game for the series.

“For our team it doesn’t matter who is the leading scorer,” said LeBron James, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds Sunday. “The fact that he was in a great groove throughout this whole series. … We rode his coattail, we rode Kev’s (Kevin Love).

The Pistons were eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs Sunday, losing in a 4-0 series sweep to the Cavaliers. Here’s the Detroit Free Press on the future of the squad, which if all goes according to plan will revolve heavily around big center Andre Drummond:

Andre Drummond will likely get max deal from Pistons

Pistons owner Tom Gores stood in the middle of the locker room, talking about the future, about his desire to extend Andre Drummond and give him a max deal, despite the obvious free-throw issue, despite the fact that caused Drummond to be on the bench at the end of a must-win game.

Gores said he has no hesitation to give Drummond the money. None at all. He wants Drummond back for the long haul; there’s no question in his mind.

“I think he’s a great player,” Gores said. “He deserves it, without a doubt. He’ll figure it out.”

Gores was recapping the season, talking about the addition of Tobias Harris.

“The good news is, the bet they made on Tobias worked,” Gores said. “He’s a good man.”

As he spoke, Stanley Johnson walked by.

“How about that guy?” Gores said, shaking hands with Johnson, the 19-year-old rookie forward, who seemed to grow up in these playoffs.

Report: Lakers fire Byron Scott

This is a summer of change for the Los Angeles Lakers. Although they already have some young talent, the saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant truly marks the start of a new era. And the first major move in that era is, according to reports, to say goodbye to head coach Byron Scott. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

Report: Lakers fire Byron Scott

After overseeing the Lakers finish with their worst record in franchise history for two consecutive years, Byron Scott will not coach the Lakers in the 2016-17 season, according to a source familiar with the situation.

It is not immediately clear who will replace Scott or if any of his assistants will be retained, including Paul Pressey, Mark Madsen, Larry Lewis and Thomas Scott. The Lakers lost out on potential coaching candidates after mulling Scott’s future for the week. Those possibilities included Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota) and Scott Brooks (Washington). Possible replacements for Scott could include Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton, former Rockets and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, UConn coach Kevin Ollie and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina.

Marcus Smart fined for flopping

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 3 of the Celtics’ Conference First Round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The incident occurred with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 111-103 victory over the Hawks last night at TD Garden.

Jarell Martin injured, done for playoffs

Jarell Martin injured, done for playoffs

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jarell Martin will undergo a procedure to alleviate soreness in his left foot, the team announced today. Martin will miss the remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs and is expected to make a full recovery.

Martin originally underwent surgery on Sept. 3, 2015 to repair a left foot fracture sustained one day earlier in a collision with another player during a workout. A follow-up procedure had been previously scheduled for the offseason, but after Martin experienced recent soreness in the foot, it was determined the best course of action for Martin and the organization was to address the discomfort immediately.

The Denver Nuggets finished 33-49 this season. Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson wasn’t a big part of the team this season, and his best days are behind him. Here’s the Denver Post blog with insight on next season:

Jameer Nelson hopes for increased role on Nuggets

Jameer Nelson is back in Philadelphia, spending time with his family and doing more than a little bit of thinking about his future with the Nuggets.

“We’ll see how things go,” he said. “We all have decisions to make.”

Nelson’s preference is to return to the Nuggets next season. Not only just return, but get back to playing a big role on the court. He’s got two years left on the three-year, $13.5 million deal he signed with the team last summer. But he played a total of just seven minutes in the Nuggets’ last 24 games of the season as D.J. Augustin took over the primary reserve point guard role. Nelson doesn’t want a repeat of that next season.

If it appears that a drop off in playing time is in store again, Nelson wouldn’t be apprehensive at all to authorize his agent to request he be traded. His first choice, however, is to return to the Nuggets with his role restored.

CJ McCollum wins 2015-2016 NBA Most Improved Player award

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who more than tripled his scoring average from the previous season, is the winner of the 2015-16 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The 6-4 guard joins Kevin Duckworth (1987-88) and Zach Randolph (2003-04) as the only Trail Blazers to earn the award, which is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons.

McCollum received 101 first-place votes and 559 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets (seven first-place votes, 166 points) and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (four first-place votes, 99 points) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

McCollum averaged a career-high 20.8 points (18th in the NBA) in his third season since being selected by the Trail Blazers with the 10th pick of NBA Draft 2013 presented by State Farm. He raised his scoring average by 14 points from last season’s 6.8, the largest increase (minimum 40 games each season) since Tony Campbell improved by 17 points from 1988-89 (6.2) to 1989-90 (23.2). McCollum established career highs in field goal percentage (44.8), three-point field goal percentage (41.7, eighth in the NBA), assists (4.3 apg) and rebounds (3.2 rpg), helping Portland make the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

Last season, McCollum appeared in 62 games (three starts) and averaged 15.7 minutes. He scored in double figures 18 times and reached the 20-point mark three times. This season, as one of four new starters for Portland, McCollum hit double figures in 79 of his 80 games, scored at least 20 points in 40 games and notched eight 30-point games. McCollum ranked ninth in the NBA with 197 three-pointers made, and he teamed with Damian Lillard to form the league’s third-highest scoring duo (45.9 ppg).

Kurt Rambis was the New York Knicks’ interim head coach this past season. David Blatt was in charge of the Cavaliers, before the team decided to part ways and go with Tyronn Lue. Those two coaches are reportedly favorites to lead the Knicks next season, per ESPN.com:

Knicks coaching candidates include Kurt Rambis, David Blatt

The New York Knicks’ coaching search remains focused, for now, on interim head coach Kurt Rambis and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt, league sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Team president Phil Jackson loosely discussed the Knicks’ head-coaching vacancy with Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton last week, but sources say that the Knicks, at this point, are not seriously considering anyone beyond Rambis or Blatt.

Jackson and the Knicks did not reach out to ex-Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to discuss the club’s vacancy before Thibodeau agreed to accept the Minnesota Timberwolves’ offer to become coach and team president on Wednesday, sources said.

Jonas Jerebko buys house from Ben Gordon

Here’s Realtor.com with an update on the sale of a house that is apparently cool enough for pro ballers to buy from other pro ballers:

Jonas Jerebko buys house from Ben Gordon

Former Piston Ben Gordon‘s baller Detroit-area mansion is staying in the family. Current Celtics forward (and Gordon’s former Pistons teammate) Jonas Jerebko has purchased the massive six-bedroom home complete with an indoor gymnasium and three-section pool with a fountain for $2.2 million.

Jerebko (pictured above) was traded from the Pistons to the Celtics more than a year ago, but the Swedish star is keeping his roots in Michigan—and getting a great deal in the process.

Gordon’s home was originally listed at $4,189,000 in 2014, which means Jerebko waited in the weeds for a couple of years and saved almost $2 million from the mansion’s peak price.

Look. The NBA playoffs are very competitive, but there’s still an occasional opportunity for players to give helpful advice to guys on other teams. The latest generocity comes from Charlie Villanueva, who offers a useful tip to Russell Westbrook. Via ESPN.com:

Charlie Villanueva suggests Russell Westbrook take his dancing to a club

Charlie Villanueva has a simple request for Russell Westbrook: Find somewhere else to dance.

The Dallas Mavericks reserve forward and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar guard had a minor confrontation before Monday’s Game 2, after Villanueva stepped between Westbrook and rookie guard Cameron Payne during their normal pregame dance routine in front of the scorer’s table at midcourt.

Villanueva, who was shoved by Westbrook but didn’t push back, weighed in Tuesday after video of the incident went viral.

“If you want to go dancing and stuff like that, go to a nightclub,” Villanueva said on a Fox Pro Cast video he filmed.

The Grizzlies are without several of their best players, and in big trouble in their first-round NBA playoff series against the mighty Spurs. Here’s the Memphis Commercial Appeal reporting:

Matt Barnes says Grizzlies need to change gameplan

After the Grizzlies scored their fewest points in the postseason during their 94-68 Game 2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, journeyman forward Matt Barnes had a suggestion or two or 10.

“We’ve got to roll the dice a little bit. We’ve got to play small, play fast. We’re coming to a gunfight with some spoons,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to do something to try to switch this up at home next game. It’s very frustrating.”

Memphis is 0-16 all-time when scoring 86 points or less in the postseason. San Antonio is responsible for six of those losses.

“You can credit their defense a little bit,” Barnes said, “but you’ve got to put the onus on us to make shots.”

Indeed.

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