Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Raptors swept by Cavs

Most people predicted the Cavs would eliminate the Raptors in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The only question is how quickly it was going to happen. With Toronto lacking the services of point guard Kyle Lowry for the last few games, it seemed likely to happen sooner than later. Today, the Cavs completed the four-game sweep. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

The defending NBA champions now move on to face either Boston or Washington for the conference title, while the Raptors go off into a summer full of difficult decisions for team president Masai Ujiri.

Free agents Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker have to either be re-signed or let go for nothing, and head coach Dwane Casey and his staff will be up for their annual review. Ujiri has seen his team fall far short of the necessary three-point shooting proficiency in the league today.

Down by as many as 16 points Sunday, Toronto scrapped and clawed its way back to take a one-point lead with about six minutes left.

Kelly Oubre suspended one game for slamming into Kelly Olynyk

Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has been suspended one game without pay for charging and making forceful and unwarranted contact with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Oubre was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 9:12 remaining in the second quarter of the Wizards’ 116-89 win over the Celtics on May 4 at Verizon Center.

Oubre will serve his suspension on Sunday, May 7 when Washington hosts Boston in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference Semifinals series.

Andre Drummond undergoes nose surgery

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on Pistons center Andre Drummond, who recently had a nose-related problem fixed:

Andre Drummond undergoes nose surgery

Andre Drummond has played well enough though five seasons to become one of the NBA’s top rebounders, earn a spot in an All-Star Game and garner a maximum contract from the Detroit Pistons.

And he did it while breathing through a closed left nostril for the past four seasons.

The Pistons center said Saturday he recently underwent nose surgery in New York City to repair a deviated septum that was first injured while playing at UConn, where he spent one season before entering the NBA draft in 2012.

“(I’ve) been playing with my right nostril for four years because I ended up (injuring my nose) some more after my second season,” Drummond said at an eventin Fenton, where he unveiled his signature “Dre Burger” that has been added to the menu of the Michigan fast-food chain Halo Burger.

“I never really had a chance to really sit down and do a surgery. Last year, we made the playoffs and the year before that, I went to the Olympics. It was really tough for me to be out for six weeks and not be able to do anything.”

Isaiah Thomas sustained multiple injuries to teeth

The Celtics have clarified the gory details about what’s going on with guard Isaiah Thomas and the injuries to his teeth:

As a result of a collision that occurred in Game 1 of the Boston Celtics’ Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Washington Wizards, Isaiah Thomas sustained multiple front teeth injuries including a complete fractured tooth and two other subluxed/shifted teeth that required extensive oral surgery to stabilize. He did not suffer a fractured or broken jaw.

Thomas is currently wearing a four-piece temporary bridge that cracked after being re-injured. This necessitated a replacement at halftime during Game 3 of the series. The spanning bridge is necessary to protect and stabilize the injuries. Members of the Celtics medical staff anticipated the need to replace the temporary bridges, and are prepared at any time to do so. Thomas will receive a permanent bridge at a future date.

Tony Parker injured, out for playoffs

Tony Parker injured, out for playoffs

Spurs guard Tony Parker, who has been the team’s second leading scorer through eight games so far during the 2017 NBA Playoffs, underwent an MRI examination this morning in San Antonio. The exam revealed bad news: Parker has suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon.

The injury occurred at the 8:52 mark of the fourth quarter of last night’s Spurs-Rockets game.

Parker will miss the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

Parker had been averaging 15.9 points on 52.56% shooting in these playoffs, though he was only dishing 3.1 assists per outing. Guard Patty Mills now has a lot more pressure on his shoulders, as does forward LaMarcus Aldridge, whose output in the postseason so far has been quite modest.

Suns hire Kevin Ray as TV play-by-play announcer

The Phoenix Suns have hired local veteran broadcaster Kevin Ray to serve as the television play-by-play announcer for Suns broadcasts on FOX Sports Arizona starting with the 2017-18 season. Ray has been part of Suns telecasts for the past 15 years, serving as the team’s sideline reporter the last five seasons, and prior to that as host of the Suns pre- and postgame shows.

“This is a position I have aspired to reach for a very long time and to be selected to move into this seat means the world to me,” said Ray. “I’ve had the same passion for this team that the fans do and to now be able to deliver that emotion to them night in and night out is an absolute dream come true. There are a lot of people who have been instrumental in getting me to this place and to all of them I am truly grateful. I can’t wait to tip off the 50th season of Suns basketball in October.”

Ray replaces Steve Albert who last month announced his retirement following an award-winning 45-year broadcasting career. Albert had called the action for all Suns broadcasts on FOX Sports Arizona the past five seasons.

“Kevin has done a tremendous job for us in multiple broadcast capacities over the years. His commitment to our organization, fans and community made him the ideal candidate and we’re excited to welcome him as our new Suns television play-by-play announcer,” said Suns President Jason Rowley. “His knowledge of both past and present members of our organization is an important factor in connecting with our fans, and in his expanded role Kevin will continue to provide the insight, intelligence and passion for Suns basketball that our fans enjoy.”

Ray has also served as the television play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers.

A versatile talent, Ray has covered multiple Super Bowls, NBA Finals, College Football National Championships and has worked nationally for Turner Sports as a sideline reporter for the NBA Playoffs and NBA Summer League. Ray is entering his fifth season as the national play-by-play voice on Compass Media Networks for both the Dallas Cowboys and Top 25 college basketball.

Ray began his broadcasting career in the Valley on KTAR-AM 620, where he became a fixture of the local sports landscape. Throughout a decorated 14 years at the station, he served in a variety of roles from producer, reporter, anchor, program director and sports director.

A graduate of Pittsburg State, Ray resides in the Phoenix area and has three children, Devon, Zachary and Alexandra.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the NBA Development League today announced the final sale of majority ownership in the Iowa Energy to Glen Taylor.

More information regarding management of the team and an introduction to team ownership will be forthcoming at a future announcement in Des Moines.

The Timberwolves are now one of 25 NBA teams to own or operate a Development League affiliate team.

It’s assumed that eventually, all 30 NBA teams will own their own D-League squad.

Luol Deng undergoes pectoral muscle surgery

Lakers forward Luol Deng underwent successful surgery this morning to repair his right pectoral muscle.

The Lakers say Deng is expected to make a full recovery by the start of 2017-18 training camp.

The Lakers were just 26-56 this season, which was the third worst record in the league. Deng was signed for big money, making $18 million last season according to ESPN, but had a quiet year, averaging 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, shooting an awful 38.7% FG.

According to the L.A. Daily News, “though the Lakers sounded confident about Deng’s future health, his future as a player remains uncertain. The Lakers may try to trade Deng, who has three years left worth $54 million left on his contract. But the size of that contract also presents various challenges in unloading it.”

In case you were wondering if Charles Oakley is still mad at Knicks owner James Dolan, this will shock you but the answer is: yes, still mad. Here’s NY Newsday reporting the latest:

Charles Oakley still mad at James Dolan

Charles Oakley made it clear Tuesday that he is not ready to let bygones be bygones with Knicks owner James Dolan, three months after he was removed from Madison Square Garden against his will.

“Some things don’t go away,” the former Knicks forward said during an appearance at the annual BTIG Charity Day in Manhattan. “It’s just wrong.”

Oakley, who has had a contentious relationship with the Knicks in recent years, was kicked out of the Garden early during a Feb. 8 game against the Clippers, and in the process shoved a security guard. Oakley was arrested and charged with three counts of assault. He said his next hearing is May 30.

“I know that a lot of people are behind me in the city — players, fans — it’s just crazy,” he said.

Raptors face tough battle vs Cavs

Here’s the National Post reporting on the Raptors, down 0-1 in their series, and their quest to contain the Cavs, which mostly means trying to somehow contain LeBron James:

When the Raptors added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline, it gave them extra bodies to throw at LeBron. Between the new guys and DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson and the occasional defence of DeMar DeRozan, Toronto had a host of players with the size and speed to, at the least, get in James’ way.

They did precious little of that in last year’s playoff matchup, and coming into this series it seemed likely that Toronto would try to impede, annoy, frustrate and just generally bother James. Instead, LeBron scored what looked like an effortless 35 points in Game 1 and grabbed a beer from a courtside vendor. If you have ever seen a cat wound a mouse and then take an agonizingly long time to get around to finishing it off, that was LeBron on Monday night. (The Raptors were the mouse.) …

So, could the Raptors try to ugly it up in Game 2 on Wednesday? More traps on James, more double teams, more attention and some of it even legal?

“All that’s in play,” Casey said Tuesday. “We gotta get a little closer (to them). I don’t know if they felt us last night whatsoever. We were half a step off, respecting their speed a little too much. We gotta make them feel us a little bit better.”

New Utah Jazz NBA playoff shirts

After white-out conditions for the 2017 NBA Playoffs First Round at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Utah Jazz fans will be dressed in the team colors of navy, gold and green for the Western Conference Semifinals. The first two home games are set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and 7 p.m. on Monday, May 8 against the Golden State Warriors.

ArenaTshirtMockupThe tri-colored “Take Note” T-shirts, presented by Zions Bank and Key Bank respectively, will be placed on each chair at the 19,911-seat facility for fans to wear for the first two home playoff games. Related to the design of the tri-colored basketball at midcourt, each section in the lower and upper bowls of Vivint Smart Home Arena will have navy, gold or green T-shirts.

As if the Warriors needed more help, according to the San Francisco Chronicle they expect to have Matt Barnes back in action for tomorrow’s Game 1 against the Jazz:

Matt Barnes ready to return for Warriors

Though head coach Steve Kerr still has no timetable for his return, the Warriors can find some comfort knowing that their roster is almost completely healthy.

Forward Matt Barnes, who has been sidelined since April 8 with a sprained right ankle, is expected to be available for Game 1 of the second round Tuesday against the Jazz. Point guard Shaun Livingston remains questionable with a sprained right finger, but is optimistic about being ready for Game 1.

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Larry Bird is stepping down as President of Basketball Operations with current Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Kevin Pritchard assuming Bird’s position. Bird will remain with the team in an advisory role.

“I felt it was time to step away in a full-time capacity,” said Bird. “This has nothing to do with my health or our team. I’m 60 years old and I want to do other things away from basketball. I will do some scouting for the Pacers, NBA, college, international, do some appearances and stay in a capacity to advise senior basketball management. I love the Pacers, I grew up with the Pacers and admired them from a very young age. I want to thank the fans for their support throughout my career. I also want to thank (owner) Herb Simon for the many years of loyalty and for allowing me to stay with the team in a different role.”

“This is not a shock to me as Larry has always been up front about someday stepping down,” said Simon. “I thank him for all that he has done and am very pleased he is remaining with the Pacers in a different capacity.”

The 49-year-old Pritchard has been with the Pacers five years, first as Director of Player Personnel before becoming General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager. He previously had been General Manager for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007-10 where he helped turn around a team that in 2008-09 posted the sixth-best record in franchise history (54-28) and made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

“I want to thank Herb, Larry and Donnie (Walsh) for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Pritchard. “As someone who grew up in Indiana (he was born in Bloomington), I’ve always felt the Pacers’ pride. The goal is always going to be the same as it has been through Donnie and Larry: to make this a world-class organization.”

“I have the utmost faith in Kevin taking over,” said Simon. “He has learned from a couple of great ones, Donnie and Larry, while with the Pacers. We all feel he will do a tremendous job.”

Added Bird, “I’m very happy Kevin is stepping in and glad another Hoosier is in line to take over this job. He has a lot of experience from the past five years as a GM and he’s ready to step into a leading role. With us, he has had his own ideas on the draft, players, and now he gets an opportunity to push his basketball abilities to the forefront. His role will be no different than mine was. He will make all final decisions on all basketball-related matters. There can only be one voice and it will be his.”

Pritchard played collegiately at Kansas and was part of the Jayhawks’ 1988 National Championship team. He played in the NBA with Golden State, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and Washington. After playing, he was the coach/general manager of the Kansas City Knights of the ABA, winning a championship in 2002. He then scouted for San Antonio, became Portland’s Director of Player Personnel in 2004 and in the 2004-05 season was the Blazers’ interim coach for 27 games. In 2006, he became Portland’s assistant general manager before becoming GM in 2007.

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with some insight on Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, who isn’t used to reaching the second round of the playoffs and is obviously excited about it:

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson found himself in the second round for just the second time in his career, having advanced past the first round in his first playoff experience, but never since.

Anderson reached the second round with the 2009-10 Orlando Magic, but lost in six games to the Boston Celtics, the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Back in the second round, Anderson, a nine-year veteran, sought to appreciate the opportunity that has not come often.

Raptors introduce Wayne Embry Fellowship

The Raptors are introducing the Wayne Embry Fellowship, which will give one Canadian applicant each year the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a professional basketball operations environment.

The team will begin accepting applications for the inaugural Wayne Embry Fellowship which will take place from July, 2017 until July, 2018 and will provide a paid position to gain exposure in every area of basketball operations with the Toronto Raptors.

“It has been incredible to see the development of so many players from Canada over the years thanks to their exposure to the NBA since the birth of the Raptors,” said Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “We have also seen some real stars develop off the court during that time and the Wayne Embry Fellowship is meant to give even more people the chance to learn this side of the business and build a career in the front office of a NBA team. Wayne Embry is a man who helped break barriers and create opportunities for many people during his long and successful career, including myself, and this program is another example of that.”

The Wayne Embry Fellowship with the Raptors will consist of a year-long paid position with the team involving time spent in all areas of basketball operations to provide exposure to all facets of the inner-workings of a NBA team, including coaching, scouting, team services, player development, medical, financial, equipment, travel and the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League).

Each rotation within the program will include a mentor and specific responsibilities as they learn the role that each department plays in the organization. The fellow will also have the opportunity to gain event operations experience at NBA Summer League, the NBA G-League Showcase and Basketball without Borders global camp held during NBA All-Star Weekend. Travel and accommodations for these events will be covered by the organization as part of the Fellowship experience.

“It has been very rewarding for everyone in the Raptors organization to see the growth of the game in Canada over the years, but a successful franchise also requires the contributions of so many people behind the scenes,” said Wayne Embry. “This program is the chance to create opportunity for people who dream about a career in basketball but not might otherwise have the chance to develop the necessary experience.”
Applicants are asked to submit a video no longer than two minutes by Friday, May 19, 2017 that answers the following questions: “How are you uniquely qualified for this fellowship through your Perseverance, Persistence, Preparation, Passion, Perception and/or Pride?” and “Why do you want this fellowship opportunity?”

As part of the application process, finalists for the position will travel to Toronto early in June for an in-person meeting with Wayne Embry and interviews with a panel of Raptors executives.

Thursday night in Milwaukee, the Raptors beat the Bucks 92-89 to win Game 6 and the first round playoff series. Toronto will now play the Cavs, with Game 1 scheduled for Monday in Cleveland. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting on tonight’s series-clinching victory:

The real test came in the second half when the Raptors had built the lead up to 25 and looked home and cooled out only to watch the Bucks chip away at the lead as the Raptors offence, which had been running so efficiently bogged down like it never has before. The ball wasn’t just sticking. It was stuck and it stayed that way for the final half of the third quarter and the first eight or nine minutes of the fourth.

The run was 34-7 and if panic didn’t set in it was moments away from doing so.

“I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden they woke up, made a great run and took over the game, had the momentum, had the crowd behind them,” Patrick Patterson said. “We were just discombobulated. A little too selfish on the offensive end, not communicating on the defensive side and they took advantage of that.”

Keeping the panic from overtaking the entire Raptors team was no easy feat and took just about every voice on the bench.

The team leaders, DeRozan and Lowry, were getting plenty of credit for that but so too was Cory Joseph, the only guy outside of Serge Ibaka who has taken an NBA playoff run all the way to its final game.

Jamal Murray undergoes surgery

Jamal Murray undergoes surgery

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has undergone successful surgery to repair core muscle-related injuries, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.

Murray averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists while being the only Nuggets player to appear in all 82 games (10 starts) this season. He was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November after kicking off his NBA career by averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists through his first 18 games. Murray also took home the MVP award for the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-141 Team World victory.

Murray will resume basketball related activities this summer and is expected to be at full-strength when the Nuggets open training camp this fall.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Under Armor’s Stephen Curry basketball, which apparently isn’t selling well.

Stephen Curry’s signature basketball shoe has been the target of plenty mockery. Thursday morning, on the company’s earnings call, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank admitted that he wasn’t pleased with the reception to the Curry 3.

“As we launched the Curry 3 late last year, our expectations continued to run high,” Plank said. “And while the 3 played very well on court for Stephen Curry and our athletes, a sluggish signature market and a warm consumer reception led to softer-than-expected results.”

Here’s the Denver Post with an update on a young Nuggets guard:

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray to have surgery

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray will have surgery Thursday to address a “couple of injuries,” general manager Tim Connelly said during a radio appearance on Altitude 950 AM on Wednesday afternoon.

Murray, who averaged 9.9 points during his rookie season, played part of the season with a sports hernia. Connelly didn’t reveal the issues the guard’s surgery would address. Murray, the only member of the team to play all 82 games last season, routinely downplayed any injuries or pain he was experiencing late in the year.

George Hill clutch from FT line for Jazz

Here’s the Desert News reporting on the Jazz and their first round playoff series vs the Clippers:

George Hill clutch from FT line for Jazz

Despite being an 80 percent free-throw shooter during the regular season, George Hill came into Tuesday night’s playoff game in Los Angeles as the fifth-best foul shooter for the Jazz during the playoffs. So perhaps he was a good choice for the Clippers to put at the line in the closing seconds with the Jazz clinging to precarious leads.

Hill went to the line with 10.8 seconds left and the Jazz up by three points and again with 4.0 seconds left and his team up by two. In both cases, Hill coolly swished both free throws to allow the Jazz to hang on for a 96-92 victory.

Afterward, Hill said he welcomed the opportunity to be put on the line in a pressurized situation and said he goes through it every day in practice.

“Most definitely — we have a shooting competition every day in practice to see who’s the best free-throw shooter,” he said. “We’ve got a belt that we give out to the best free-throw shooter for the month. It’s been in my locker, Gordon’s locker and Joe Ingles’ locker most of the year. So we take a challenge in that.”

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