Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

No reason yet to expect a John Wall return in these playoffs

There’s no real reason to expect a John Wall return from injuries during the ongoing NBA playoffs, but a bit of hope is still being kept alive. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:

No reason yet to expect a John Wall return in these playoffs

The fractured left and and wrist of John Wall is starting to look better, but there’s no indication that he’s anywhere close to practicing or playing again as the Wizards prepare Sunday for Game 4 with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at Verizon Center (TNT, 7 p.m. ET).

“Good. Swelling, again, down,” Wittman said when asked if his All-Star point guard had done anything on the practice court following Saturday’s Game 3 win. “Its heading in the right direction so again we’re not to the point of him doing anything on the floor yet or of that nature. It’s heading to a situation where hopefully he can get the ball in his hand, get the feeling, see how that feels and then you take those steps like that.”

Marreese Speights out with calf strain

Marreese Speights out with calf strain

Marreese Speights out with calf strain

Warriors forward Marreese Speights underwent an MRI this morning that revealed a moderate right calf strain. The injury occurred last night during the fourth quarter of Game 3 of Golden State’s Western Conference Semifinals series versus Memphis.

His official injury status will be listed as OUT, and he will be reevaluated in one (1) week.

Zach Randolph scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 21 points and 15 rebounds as the Grizzlies beat the Warriors 99-89 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal…

Mike Conley and Courtney Lee both finished with 11 points for Memphis, which has yet to lose this postseason with Conley in the lineup.

MVP Stephen Curry finished with 23 points for Golden State but was 8 of 21 from the field, including 2 of 10 outside the arc. Klay Thompson had 20 points, and Harrison Barnes added 16…

For a second straight game, the Grizzlies made the Warriors look nothing like the team that was the NBA’s best home or away during the regular season. The Warriors missed seven straight 3s during one stretch, several wide-open looks, and the Grizzlies harassed them into a handful of ugly turnovers.

The Warriors went just 6 of 26 from 3-point range, tying their season-low at 23.1 percent, and 19 of 28 at the free throw line.

– Associated Press

It was a play added to the Washington Wizards’ offense a day earlier, and it was drawn up for a guy, Paul Pierce, who’s been doing this sort of thing for the better part of two decades.

With three defenders near him, Pierce made a fallaway, 21-foot jumper that went in off the backboard at the buzzer to lift the Wizards over the Atlanta Hawks 103-101 on Saturday night, despite playing without John Wall and after letting a 21-point lead evaporate…

Schroder and Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 18 points apiece. … Paul Millsap was out of the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms and looked lethargic once he was on the court. He had eight points and two rebounds.

– Associated Press

Glen Davis fined for flopping

Big babies sometimes fall down. It happens.

Glen Davis fined for flopping

Los Angeles Clippers forward-center Glen Davis has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 3 of the Clippers’ Conference Semifinals series against the Houston Rockets.

The incident occurred with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 124-99 victory over the Rockets last night at Staples Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Look. In games, players fall. And when that player has the ball, sometimes another player tries to grab it. These things happen. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Grizzlies guard Mike Conley and Warriors forward Draymond Green:

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

In the days following Mike Conley’s Game 2 brush with Warriors’ power forward Draymond Green, the Grizzlies’ point guard has gone from “no comment” to “it is what it is” to forming an opinion.

“At the end of the day, I think Draymond Green is a phenomenal player,” Conley said before Friday’s practice. “He’s a competitor. In the heat of the game, things happen. Guys get hit. Guys bring a lot of passion to the game. I have no opinion other than that. I think it was just basketball.”

Conley was driving through the lane when he got tied up by Green and Klay Thompson midway through the second quarter. He recovered the ball with 4:58 remaining and called a timeout while lying on his back with the ball near his chin. Green reached in to try to grab the ball and bumped Conley in a mask designed to protect surgically repaired facial fractures.

Officials reviewed the play as a potential “hostile act” and didn’t call a foul, but that hasn’t changed the opinion of the Grizzlies’ fans. Green said he’s gotten Twitter hate and warnings about coming to Memphis.

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been fined $50,000 for directing inappropriate language at a fan, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The “fan,” it turned out, was the mother of Houston Rockets star James Harden.

According to the Houston Chronicle, “Barnes said today that he didn’t know it was Harden’s mother and that he has spoken with her twice since the incident. Barnes also said reports of what he said aren’t accurate. “We’ve spoken twice since the incident,” Barnes said. “She said something. I said something back. I spoke to her at halftime and after the game. “What I said was said, what she said was said. It doesn’t matter what was said, we both said something. “What’s crazy is fans can say anything and everything. Things about our wives, our kids, anything. We say one thing, and they run and tell, and next thing you know (I’m fined)…”

The incident occurred during the Clippers’ 115-109 loss to the Rockets on May 6 at Toyota Center.

Joakim Noah fined $25,000 for pushing a fan

Joakim Noah fined $25,000 for pushing a fan

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been fined $25,000 for pushing a fan, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred at halftime of the Bulls’ 106-91 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 6 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on John Wall, who has multiple hand and wrist injuries and is still presumably done for the playoffs:

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

While the end appears near for John Wall this postseason, he’s not giving up hope that he could actually play again in this series with the Atlanta Hawks that is tied 1-1 with Game 3 Saturday at Verizon Center. Or at some point in the playoffs if the Wizards can advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Friday, he avoided giving any specifics on a timetable for his return from a left hand and wrist that has five non-displaced fractures.

“It’s moving better but there’s still pain there,” said Wall, who led the Wizards to a 104-98 win in Game 1 with 18 points and 13 assists. “I haven’t tried dribbling again so I’ll probably try it tomorrow. Just the same pain has been there even if the swelling goes down a little bit.

“I have no idea (if I can play again). Depends on my swelling and how all the pain goes away. I finished Game 1 with it not knowing I had anything wrong and then I came back and got evaluations so I have no idea.”

Matt Barnes says Chris Paul will play Rockets-Clippers Game 3

Here’s ESPN LA quoting Matt Barnes on Chris Paul:

Matt Barnes says Chris Paul will play Rockets-Clippers Game 3

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul plans to start Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets on Friday, according to teammate Matt Barnes.

After going through an on-court workout on Thursday and a shootaround on Friday, Paul told teammates he plans to play in Friday’s game.

“He said he’s playing tonight,” Barnes said Friday after going through shootaround with Paul. “You just hope that he’s ready. His game is so much stop-and-go, and he’s such an integral part of our team. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the game because we’re going to need him for this run.”

Chris Paul making progress, may play in Game 3 vs Rockets

The Clippers stepped up without Chris Paul in Game 1 but could have used him in Game 2. And need him back as soon as possible. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Chris Paul making progress, may play in Game 3 vs Rockets

The Clippers left Houston with a win, plenty of confidence and homecourt advantage. But the biggest, most important thing leaving town with the Clippers was a point guard who wasn’t any more injured.

Chris Paul, the man whose last-second shot sent the NBA’s defending champions packing in Round 1, didn’t have to push it in Houston. He didn’t need to try and play to prove the Clippers can be competitive.

Instead, he rested. He healed. He put himself in position to possibly come back.

Paul went through a comprehensive workout on the court Thursday, giving him his best chance to play Friday in Game 3.

John Wall has multiple wrist and hand fractures

John Wall has multiple wrist and hand fractures

Washington Wizards guard John Wall underwent multiple examinations yesterday that revealed five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand.

Wall and the team are currently in consultation with multiple physicians and specialists to determine the best course of action and his playing status has yet to be determined. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Quincy Pondexter recovering after knee surgery

Quincy Pondexter undergoes knee surgery

New Orleans Pelicans forward Quincy Pondexter underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this morning. A timetable for his return to basketball activities will be announced in the near future.

The Pelicans qualified for the 2015 playoffs as the Western conference 8th seed but were swept in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

Pondexter, 6-7, 220, was acquired by New Orleans on January 12, 2015 in a three-team trade with Boston and Memphis. Appearing in a total of 75 games this season with Memphis and New Orleans, Pondexter averaged 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.9 minutes per game. Pondexter appeared in all four playoff games against Golden State, averaging 7.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Nets cannot count on upcoming NBA drafts

Here’s the New York Post providing perspective on the Brooklyn Nets NBA draft situation for the next few seasons. And no, the dog in the photo above is not draft-eligible, so don’t ask:

Nets cannot count on upcoming NBA drafts

Nets general manager Billy King will meet with the media Wednesday morning to address his team’s season and what lies ahead this summer.

The Nets have no control of their own first-round draft picks between now and 2019 — and are without a first-round pick in 2016 and 2018, with both of those selections headed to the Celtics as part of the trade that brought Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in 2013. That leaves many challenges ahead for King, who will try to keep the Nets competitive between now and July 2016, when they are scheduled to have plenty of cap space to remake their roster.

There is still a whole season to play until then, however, and finding the most competitive way to bridge that gap will be King’s biggest challenge.

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, who returned to action and helped his squad beat the Warriors in Golden State to tie their second-round playoff series at one win apiece:

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

After his fearless performance in a Game 2 win over Golden State on Tuesday night, the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley admitted that he was getting pushed and pulled in different directions as to whether he should play so soon after a serious facial injury.

The push was likely coming from some teammates, who sorely missed their point guard’s presence in a decisive Game 1 loss. The pull was coming from his parents, who believed that the 27-year-old should wait a little longer before putting himself at risk again.

A game-high 22-point effort, including nine first-quarter points and a key three-pointer in the closing minutes, and Conley’s parents are probably just fine with their son’s gutsy decision.

“I had to tell my mom and dad, no, I’m playing regardless,” Conley said. “But, I think they’re happy at the end of the day. They support me.”

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

With Chris Paul out, it was the Blake Griffin show even more than usual yesterday. And he stepped up in multiple ways. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

Blake Griffin has always been a quiet leader.

When Chris Paul is yelling instructions or screaming for his teammates to huddle, Griffin can usually be found standing beside the rest of his teammates listening.

“I’m not ever one of those guys that’s going to yell at guys,” Griffin said. “It’s about helping them out.”

On Monday, Griffin helped out the Los Angeles Clippers by morphing into the vocal leader they were missing. With Paul sidelined for the game with a strained left hamstring, Griffin took over and made sure his play, and his voice, were heard loud and clear in leading the Clippers to a 117-101 Game 1 win over the Houston Rockets.

Griffin notched his second straight triple-double — and third in his past eight postseason games — with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. He became the first player with back-to-back triple-doubles in the postseason since Jason Kidd accomplished the feat in 2002 and just the third non-guard with back-to-back triple-doubles in the postseason since John Havelick in 1967 and Wilt Chamberlain (twice) in 1968.

Isiah Thomas now president and part-owner of NY Liberty

Isiah Thomas now president and part-owner of NY Liberty

The New York Liberty and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas today announced that Mr. Thomas has been named team president, with responsibility for basketball and business operations. Mr. Thomas has also taken an ownership interest in the team.

It’s very surprising that Thomas is once again working for the Garden. According to the New York Post, “during a disastrous stint as Knicks president and coach, Thomas was implicated in a sexual harassment involving former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders, who received an $11.6 million settlement from the Garden in 2007 for a hostile work environment.”

“In the fall, Isiah and I began discussions about a possible role for him with the Liberty. Since that time, Isiah has been advising the team, and we are very pleased with the results. He has overseen the strengthening of our coaching staff, with the return of three-time WNBA Champion head coach Bill Laimbeer and the hiring of Herb Williams as assistant coach, as well as our recent free agent signings, draft strategy, trade for Epiphanny Prince and the return of Liberty legend, Teresa Weatherspoon,” said Mr. James Dolan, executive chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company. “Now, we’ve agreed that it is time for him to take a lead role with the team as president, and through his ownership interest. He’s an excellent judge of talent, and I’m confident that he will put all of his energy and experience into making the Liberty a perennially competitive and successful team.”

Mr. Thomas said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the New York Liberty and help the franchise reclaim its position as one of the elite teams in the WNBA. Following a conversation with Jim about his thoughts on the franchise, I expressed my interest and enthusiasm for taking responsibility for both the basketball and business operations, as well as for taking an ownership interest in the team. To me, basketball is basketball. These women are outstanding athletes who want to compete for a championship in New York. I look forward to this challenge – not just to win a title, but also to help broaden the team’s fanbase.”

The New York Liberty was founded in 1996 as one of eight original members of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in 12 of its 18 seasons, with four trips to the Finals in 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002.

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

Pau Gasol is rocking, Derrick Rose looks like D-Rose again and the Chicago Bulls, playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers (no Kevin Love, no J.R. Smith) took a 1-0 lead in their second round playoff series. Here’s the Bulls.com blog:

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

The Bulls Monday didn’t slay the giant, though their 99-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal was complete, efficient and impressive.

Derrick Rose had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, Pau Gasol added 21 points and 10 rebounds, 13 points in the third quarter when the Cavaliers rallied back from a 16-point deficit, and Jimmy Butler added 20 points and a clinching, driving bank shot with 30.6 seconds left.

The wire-to-wire victory gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the series with Game 2 in Cleveland Wednesday.

But it takes four whacks to slay a giant in these things, a giant who has stolen the Bulls championship hopes and dreams the last five years, twice even after losing the first game of a playoff series. Maybe it’s different this time, and perhaps he’s not quite the fearsome giant.

“It’s not a point about looking in the past or talking about the past,” said Rose, who had a late scare with a shoulder “stinger” that apparently proved no problem. “The teammates I have on my team right now, like I said, I’m grateful. I’m so fortunate to be playing with them. I think we can be a dangerous team.

“The way I used to play back in the day is totally different than the way I play now,” added Rose. “I can’t think about the past or even put in my head (losing playoff series after being ahead 1-0). I can only have positive thoughts; just trying to lead my team in a positive way. You can’t think of how many times he beat us in the past; it’s over. We’re in the present now.”

Stephen Curry wins 2014-15 NBA MVP

Stephen Curry wins 2014-15 NBA MVP

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who set a single-season record for three-pointers made and led the league’s best regular-season team in scoring, assists and steals, has won the 2014-15 NBA Most Valuable Player Award, the NBA announced today. The 6-3 guard becomes the second Warriors player to win the award, joining Wilt Chamberlain, who was honored in 1959-60 when the franchise played in Philadelphia.

Curry totaled 1,198 points, including 100 of 130 first-place votes, from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, as well as the Kia MVP fan vote on NBA.com. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.

Rounding out the top five in the voting were the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (936 points, 25 first-place votes), the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (552 points, five first-place votes), the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (352 points) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (203 points).

Curry helped the Warriors win a franchise-record 67 games by averaging 23.8 points (sixth in the NBA), 7.7 assists (sixth), a career-high 2.04 steals (fourth) and 4.3 rebounds. The 27-year-old Curry made 286 three-pointers, breaking his own NBA record of 272 set in 2012-13. He shot 48.7 percent from the field and ranked fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (44.3). Curry also led the NBA in free throw percentage (91.4), converting a career-high 52 consecutive free throws from March 9 to April 4.

Read fan reaction or share your opinion here: Steph Curry named MVP 

LeBron James, still playing with no headband

Here’s the Northeast Ohio Media Group reporting on the state of LeBron James’ headband. These days, the headband is on the bench, waiting to be utlized. But it shouldn’t hold its headband breath. Explanation:

Cavaliers small forward LeBron James has immersed himself in the spirit of togetherness.

On March 10 in Dallas, he played without wearing his patented headband. The last time he went into a game without headgear was a preseason matchup against Detroit during his rookie season.

He has been headband-less ever since.

James never provided a rationale for ditching his branded look. He has simply stated that he chose to do so out of the blue. Recently I was able to get more of an explanation out of him.

“I did it because I just wanted to look like my teammates,” James told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Just wanted to be one. Nothing more than that.”

Basketball blog