Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Steve Kerr wants more edge from Warriors tonight

Many different words can be used to describe “edge.” As in, playing with more edge. Nerves. A sense of urgency. Pick whatever word or phrase you like — you get the idea. But you aren’t Warriors coach Steve Kerr. He’s got a better sense of all of this. And here’s what he said on the matter:

“For us as a team tonight, we’ve got to be more on edge,” said Kerr before the game, according to the Bay Area News Group. “I hope we’re a little more nervous. We didn’t seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Greg Popovich line. You need that. When we come out in the beginning of Game 4 and lose shooters and turn the ball over carelessly, we’re obviously not ready. I would hope we’re more ready, more prepared tonight.”

More from the Bay Area News Group: There’s a running theory that the pressure is on the Warriors tonight. They own a 3-1 series lead, but after the Cavs took Game 4, that’s now the same deficit they overcame to beat the Warriors a year ago. If they can get a win in Oakland to send the series back home, they might gather enough steam to pull it off.

NBA Finals Game 5 is tonight in Oakland at 9 p.m. ET. The Warriors lead 3-1.

James Dolan he is hands-off on Knicks decisions

If you hire Phil Jackson and pay him a massive amount of money to run your basketball team, you might as well let him do his job, right?

According to New York Newsday, “Knicks owner James Dolan gave his usual answer when he was asked about his basketball team during an appearance on “Good Day New York” on Fox. “Ask Phil,” Dolan said.”

More from Newsday: “Dolan said he’s continuing to leave all basketball decisions to team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills. Since hiring Jackson in March 2014, Dolan has been mostly hands off and let Jackson run the club. “It’s all Phil. It’s all Steve,” Dolan said. “I’m working on my music. They’re working on the basketball team.”

An issue here, of course, is the job that Phil Jackson has been doing. So far, it hasn’t resulted in much success. The Knicks aren’t a playoff team, and only have one good young prospect: Kristaps Porzingis, whose season ended more with frustration than inspiration.

Still, Dolan’s words make sense.

Draymond Green makes fun comments about Cleveland fans

Warriors forward Draymond Green is a great quote. He’s got big personality and unleashes lots of fun stuff when speaking to the media. And he didn’t hold back when discussing his thoughts on fans in Cleveland.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “asked Sunday whether he regretted saying after Game 4 that Clevelanders “don’t seem to be the sharpest people around,” Green detailed why he seized the opportunity to deride the opposing fan base. “I didn’t bash them,” Green said. “I just gave my thoughts.”

More from the Chronicle: After the referees told the scorekeepers that the first technical should have been assigned to Kerr, Green stepped back on the court. In the wake of Golden State’s 137-116 loss, when a reporter asked him whether he had noticed that the first technical had been announced as his, Green said: “I don’t pay much attention to anybody in Cleveland, honestly. Don’t seem to be the sharpest people around. So, whatever.”

Trash-talk on the court is fun. And off the court? Still fun. Green won’t label this trash-talking. He’s merely expressing his opinion. And if anybody takes offense, that’s their problem!

But seriously: Green is fun, and we enjoy hearing his take on just about anything. Especially the opposition.

LeBron James will not play 3-on-3 basketball in Olympics

The 2020 Olympics in Japan will include 3-on-3 basketball as an event, but unless LeBron James has a big change of heart, don’t expect him to participate.

“I’m not very good in a three-on-three thing, I’m more of a five-on-five guy,” said James to the media, according to ESPN.com. “I stay out of the one-on-one matchups during our practice, the two-on-twos and the three-on-threes. So probably not. I probably won’t be a part of the three-on-three matchup that it has to offer.”

“I think it’s great for basketball,” said James, per ESPN. “For us to be able to add another category to the Olympics, another basketball category, I think it’s pretty great. I haven’t seen the full layout of how they plan on executing it; and are they going to use NBA guys or are going to use college guys?”

It’ll be interesting to see what caliber of players do represent the USA in 3-on-3. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. It’s quite possible NBA players won’t be involved.

2017 NBA Draft is critical for Sixers

Before you say anything: Yes, the draft is of huge importance each year to every team with both a horrible record and a high pick. But with the Sixers, it’s different. They’ve invested years into a very long rebuilding process. And if they can land a difference-maker this year — or at least another big-time prospect who is an actual keeper — then the team’s future can finally take shape. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with more:

The Sixers had top-three selections in each of the next three drafts. In each one, they didn’t have to make tough decisions.

The 2014 draft was regarded as a three-player affair with Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker. Even with a broken right foot, Embiid was thought to be far superior to any draft prospect not named Wiggins and Parker. So with those two off the board, the Sixers did the obvious and drafted Embiid.

The following summer, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Jahlil Okafor were regarded as the top three prospects. The Sixers went the safe route by selecting Okafor third over Kristaps Porzingis after Towns and Russell went first and second.

The 2016 draft was Colangelo’s first with the team. The Sixers were awarded the first overall pick. He had to decide between the super-hyped Ben Simmons or the good but undersize and raw Brandon Ingram. Colangelo did what most would have done by selecting Simmons.

Now, he’s faced with a decision that is arguably tougher than parting ways with Holiday, who had an injury history the Sixers concealed from the Pelicans.

The Cavs are in big trouble, down 3-0 in the NBA Finals against a superior-looking Warriors team. Cavs veteran Richard Jefferson says reaching the Finals is no prize if it doesn’t include the acquisition of a championship ring at the end. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Championship or bust, says Richard Jefferson

“I still do not feel like we’ve reached our potential,” Jefferson said Friday, after the team’s shootaround at their practice facility. “We’ve said it all along — it doesn’t matter if we lose in Game 7, what happens with tonight: If we don’t win a championship, then the season was unsuccessful. That’s it. It’s the same for them.

“It’s probably the same for three teams in this league every single year. And it’s true. If we don’t win a championship, it’s unsuccessful. Nobody would be surprised at the end of the day if before this series you said the Cavs won. No one would be surprised if someone said San Antonio won a championship at the beginning of the season. No one would be, like, mind blown.

“So for the three, four teams that are in that position, regardless of how it ends or whatever, if you don’t raise that banner the next year, then it was unsuccessful.”

Warriors take 3-0 NBA Finals lead

The Cavaliers did everything right in Game 3 except what they needed to do most — close it out.

The Cavaliers on June 7 followed the blueprint drawn up by coach Tyronn Lue for Game 3 like a team of construction engineers erecting a futuristic skyscraper, and still lost, 118-113, and now are one loss away from becoming the first team swept out of the NBA Finals since the San Antonio Spurs did it to the Cavaliers in 2007.

The Warriors went on an 11-0 run to after a 26-footer by J.R. Smith gave the Cavs a 113-107 lead with 2:32 remaining. Smith preened for the Cavalier fans sitting in the front row of The Q as he trotted down the court on defense — way too early, as it turned out.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving said he had to be more assertive driving to the hoop and he was. His driving layup high off the glass as the first half ended were his 16th and 17th points of the first half and cut the Warriors’ lead to 67-61. He finished the game with 38 points.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Steph Curry was incredible much of the night, going for 26 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Klay Thompson parlayed his huge Game 2 into a bigger Game 3, nailing six of the Warriors’ 16 threes and hitting 30 points for the first time in this postseason. He kept them afloat early.

But Kevin Durant, the frontrunner for Finals MVP, drove the Warriors home in the final sequence.

With less than two minutes left, the Warriors trailed by four and their perfect playoffs were in peril. But with 1:15 left, Durant powerfully pushed Kevin Love back on a drive, got to about 12 feet out and planted a floater to pull the Warriors within two.

– Bay Area News Group

By the time the Warriors entered halftime up 67-61, they had tallied assists on 21 of 23 field goals. It was the most assists by any team in a half of a Finals game since the Bulls had 22 in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals. With the Cavaliers’ season on the edge of disaster, James and Irving had combined for 44 points on 18-for-27 shooting. The rest of Cleveland had mustered 17 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

With Durant, Klay Thompson (30 points) and Curry (26 points, 13 rebounds) leading the way, Golden State weathered inspired performances from James (39 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) and Kyrie Irving (38 points). The Warriors’ 16 three-pointers and 29 assists ultimately overshadowed their 18 turnovers. After posting their two worst offensive outings of the playoffs in Games 1 and 2, the Cavaliers scored 46 points in the paint. But the immense assignment of toppling Golden State eventually took its toll. Visibly gassed, Cleveland didn’t score over the final 3:09.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Tonight in Cleveland, the Cavaliers face the Warriors in NBA Finals Game 3. Down 2-0 in the series, the Cavs have clearly been the best team in the Eastern Conference, but the Warriors have been on another level all regular season and all playoffs long.

Now, we don’t actually root for one team over another. But we certainly root for what’s good for basketball. And the Warriors going on to win Game 3 in all likelihood means they will go ahead and win the series. Which is great for NBA history buffs whosw main interest is to compare the Warriors with other dominant NBA teams of the past. But for regular everyday basketball fans, it would certainly be better for the Cavs to step up tonight, defend home court, take the win, and make it look like a real series.

We’ll be watching.

Many NBA Draft prospects intentionally avoid mentioning a favorite team, or who they hope to play for. Not Lonzo Ball. He hopes to be a Laker, and has no problem stating that to the world. Here’s ESPN.com with more:

After an individual workout in front of Lakers brass — which included Magic Johnson, the player he patterned his game after — point guard Lonzo Ball reiterated his desire on Wednesday to play for his hometown team.

“Of course,” Ball answered during an eight-minute media session that followed the workout. “It’s home.”

Ball also said that if the Lakers pass on him, he would play for any team.

“I’ll go to any team and just do what I do,” Ball said. “Play basketball.”

Here’s CSN Philly reporting on the Sixers, whose best young talent is center Joel Embiid and injured guard Ben Simmons, who like Embiid missed his rookie season but is expected to be active this year. Simmons is the height of a big forward, yet has crazy ball-handling and passing skills. So should he be used as a point guard, thus creating constant matchup problems for the opposition? That’s up for debate:

No, Ben Simmons is not a point guard, says Larry Brown

After missing his rookie season with a Jones fracture in his right foot, the Sixers will try the 6-foot-10 Simmons at point guard in 2017-18.

Brown believes that would be a mistake.

“He’s not a point guard,” Brown said Monday on 97.5 The Fanatic’s Midday Show. “Everybody that’s saying that is ridiculous.

“I watched that kid at Montverde. He’s a point guard when he gets the ball in the half court. He’s a point guard if he gets the ball off the board because he’s such a willing passer and so good with the ball, but if he’s going to have to back it down and bring the ball up against little guys, it’s going to take away from what he’s capable of doing. Whoever is saying that is a moron.”

Charles Oakley rejects plea deal

Here’s the NY Post with the latest on the Charles Oakley legal saga stemming from the incident in Madison Square Garden:

Charles Oakley rejects plea deal

Ex-Knick Charles Oakley refused a plea deal Friday for allegedly assaulting two Madison Square Garden security guards during a televised scuffle at a basketball game in February.

Assistant District Attorney Ryan Lipes offered Oakley an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal — a deal that wouldn’t require him to admit any guilt. If the baller stayed out of trouble for six months, the case would be dropped.

But his lawyer, Alex Spiro, standing beside the 6-foot-8 retired forward, rejected the offer and opted to go to trial instead. Judge Joanne Watters set a trial date of Aug. 4 in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Oakley had been heckling Knicks owner James Dolan, who was sitting nearby, during the Knicks’ Feb. 8 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, sources said at the time.

There was all sorts of winning going on in the Warriors fan world yesterday. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the competition that surely has you on the edge of your seat each year: The National Spelling Bee.

Ananya Vinay couldn’t watch the Warriors start the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers, but she had her own victory to celebrate.

Vinay, a 12-year-old Warriors fan, won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night while Golden State downed Cleveland to take a 1-0 advantage in the Finals.

“Go Curry” she said when asked about her Warriors fandom.

Also, Vinay’s little brother wore a Curry T-shirt — to the joy of Dub Nation.

The Warriors beat the Cavs 113-91 Thursday in Oakland to take a 1-0 NBA Finals lead. Some quotes from the web are below:

Warriors beat Cavs in NBA Finals Game 1

To kick off a matchup that has been anticipated since the Cavaliers escaped Oracle Arena with the Larry O’Brien trophy 347 days earlier, Golden State sent a statement: It is much improved from the group that squandered a 3-1 lead to Cleveland.

The biggest difference for the Warriors, of course, is that they now have a do-everything future Hall of Famer who thrives on the biggest stages. Durant poured in 23 of his game-high 38 points in the first half Thursday, adding eight rebounds and eight assists to finish with a near triple-double.

Stephen Curry overwhelmed Cleveland with a sterling third quarter on a night he finished with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Because Golden State was at its ball-moving best, he and Durant feasted on open looks. The Warriors had more assists (31) Thursday than the Cavaliers had field goals (30).

By the start of the fourth quarter, the most-hyped NBA game of the year was rid of suspense. It was the type of thorough pummeling that only underscored why few have given Cleveland much of a shot in this series. Though he scored 28 points, LeBron James piled up eight of the Cavaliers’ 20 giveaways. Tristan Thompson, one of the league’s elite role players, was a non-factor on a night he totaled zero points and four rebounds in 22 minutes.

– San Francisco Chronicle

The Cavs committed 12 turnovers in the first half — seven by LeBron James. They were slow on the defensive glass, allowing the Warriors 11 offensive rebounds in the first 24 minutes. To put that in perspective, Golden State had only five offensive rebounds the entire game on Christmas Day when the Cavs beat the Warriors, 109-108, at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State took 61 shots in the first half compared to 43 by the Cavaliers. Despite those lopsided numbers, the Cavs were down only eight, 60-52, in a building in which they know they can win.

– News Herald

Durant shook LeBron to the ground for a slam, powered through Irving for another layup — his first eight makes were all at the rim — and then forced his way to the free throw line a few times late in the first half, putting up 23 in the first 24 minutes. He finished with a game-high 38 — finally busting out his 3-point shot late to cap the huge night.

But Steph Curry never had to get hot from 3 because he just stayed hot, carrying over his scorching stroke from the last round to plant six of his 11 threes on Thursday, giving him an NBA-high 59 made 3s in 13 playoff games. Kevin Love is the next closest shooter, with 41 makes in 14 games.

– Bay Area News Group

The Warriors are doing just fine — okay, way better than fine — so far in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. They’re 12-0 and will play the Cavaliers on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But they remain without head coach Steve Kerr. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News with the latest update:

Steve Kerr not ready to return to coaching yet

Steve Kerr made a surprise appearance in front of reporters after the Warriors’ practice on Monday, filling in for his fill-in, Mike Brown, who was out with the flu.

Kerr updated his own health status in an 11-minute interview with reporters, saying he’s still unsure whether he will coach Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers on Thursday night, though it sounds unlikely.

“No. As of right now, I would not coach Thursday night,” Kerr said. “But it’s still up in the air. Waiting for that ‘ahhhhhh’ (moment). It’s coming.”

It sounds like Kerr has set a deadline for himself, saying he doesn’t want it to be a night-by-night decision about whether he can return to the sideline throughout the Finals. He wants to make a firm decision, either way, before Game 1 tips off.

Here’s CSN Mid Atlantic reporting on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, who became a very well-paid player one year ago and lived up to most expectations this past season:

Good year for Bradley Beal under new deal

Beal signed his new deal, a five-year contract worth $128 million, last July. It was a max contract for a guy who had never made an All-Star team and who had battled injuries, including last season when he only played in 55 games and only started 35. Naturally, some wondered if he was worth the money because of his problems staying healthy through four NBA seasons.

But in his first year under a new contract, Beal achieved newfound durability. He had some minor issues here and there, but managed to play 77 out of the Wizards’ 82 games and then appear in all of their 13 playoff games.

“If anything, I’m proud of that. I’m happy for myself, being able to be healthy for a full year,” Beal said. “Being able to be on the floor, man, that’s all I wanted. Just being able to be here. I knew if I was healthy that I would have a successful year. I had that opportunity this season.”

The Warriors will face the Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals. Warriors reserve Matt Barnes is still a hard-nosed competitor, but up there in age. Is retirement on the horizon? Not just yet. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Matt Barnes thinks he has a few more NBA seasons left to play

At age 37, Warriors forward Matt Barnes is a case study in persistence. The former second-round pick from UCLA has played for nine teams.

As he prepares to end his 14th season with his first career Finals appearance, the question for Barnes becomes: Could he cap his last professional basketball game by hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy?

“I think I’ve still got a little bit left in the tank,” Barnes said of retirement. “Obviously, I’d like to come back here and finish up here, but I feel like I’ve got another year or two left in the tank.”

No surgery for David Lee

David Lee, who averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game for the Spurs this past regular season, and 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game in the playoffs, will be able to recover from his latest injury without the need for surgery, reports the San Antonio Express News:

No surgery for David Lee

Spurs forward David Lee will not need surgery to repair his injured left patellar tendon, his agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed Saturday.

Lee suffered the injury in the first quarter of Game 3 of the West finals against Golden State and did not play in Game 4…

Lee, 33, has a player option on his $1.6 million salary next season.

Isaiah Thomas hopes to avoid surgery

Playing without injured star point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics were recently eliminated in five games by the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas, in recovery, must still figure out if surgery is a necessary option for him. Long-term health is in mind. Here’s the Boston Herald with the latest:

Isaiah Thomas hopes to avoid surgery

The goal now is to return to what Thomas calls an “MVP” level, and he hopes to get there without surgery, though that remains a possibility. He also wants to play until he’s 40 years old.

“I’ve only seen one (doctor) but we’ve sent the information to a few of them,” he said. “I’m just waiting to hear back. We’re really waiting on the swelling to go down to see what the No. 1 option is. And then we go from there and attack that, whatever it may be. (Surgery is) not the No. 1 option right now but it could be once the swelling goes down. They want to let it die down a little bit then take another MRI once everything is down and it’s back to normal.

“We’ll go from there. Hopefully I don’t have to have surgery but I know that is an option.”

Thomas added that he doesn’t know how long he played with a tear in his hip, but that he had hip issues prior to suffering the injury on March 15 against Minnesota.

Heat, Chris Bosh may soon part ways

Chris Bosh is still technically a member of the Miami Heat, but the future between the two sides is clearly one of separation. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Heat, Chris Bosh may soon part ways

The Miami Heat, Chris Bosh and the players’ association have tentatively agreed to a resolution that would allow all parties to move on, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Bosh, 33, hasn’t played since February 2016 because of blood clot issues. He has remained on the Heat roster as the sides have worked through complex medical and legal issues in this delicate and unique situation.

The agreement hasn’t been finalized as Bosh and his family, agents and lawyers are still reviewing documents…

Bosh is guaranteed $52 million over the next two seasons, though a significant portion of that is covered by insurance. But he has remained on the Heat’s salary cap, limiting their ability to replace him. This agreement is expected to remove Bosh from the cap and allow the Heat to move on with their team.

Lakers hire Gunnar Peterson

Lakers hire Gunnar Peterson

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Gunnar Peterson as Director of Strength and Endurance Training.

Peterson will design and implement a strength and conditioning program for the team with the goal of keeping the players performing at elite levels throughout the NBA season.

“From his time in college at Duke University until now, Gunnar has pursued excellence in training and fitness,” said General Manager Rob Pelinka. “Gunnar is a true pioneer and visionary at his craft, and will bring a new mentality to our weight room which we are all very excited about. Since Magic and I have worked with Gunnar in the past, we have a strong relationship with him, which makes working together now feel seamless.”

Prior to joining the Lakers, Peterson was a personal trainer for some of the top entertainers and athletes in the world. A 28-year veteran of the fitness industry, Peterson has worked with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, boxing and various NCAA sports.

The Houston, TX native is a graduate of Duke University and is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

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