Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Kevin Love going through NBA Concussion Protocol

The Warriors beat the Cavs 110-77 Sunday night to take a 2-0 NBA Finals lead. Cavs forward Kevin Love did little in his nearly 21 minutes of play, shooting 2-of-7 and grabbing just three rebounds. But he did get nailed in the head, leading to what is hopefully nothing. But, to be safe, he’s been placed in NBA Concussion Protocol. Here’s the Cavs’ announcement, which came during the second half:

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love experienced dizziness after returning to play at the start of the second half of tonight’s NBA Finals Game 2. He was taken to the locker room for further examination. As a result of that exam, Love was placed in the NBA Concussion Protocol and did not return to play. Love did not exhibit any signs or symptoms during the first half, or at halftime, that would have caused him to be placed in the concussion protocol prior to the third quarter. His status will be updated as appropriate.

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Sunday’s Finals Game 2, which thanks to Draymond Green and friends resulted in a blowout Warriors victory for a 2-0 Golden State championship series lead:

Draymond Green shines, Warriors win NBA Finals Game 2

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into the NBA Finals with a clear defensive game plan that essentially insults Warriors forward Draymond Green.

The strategy: Lay off him and spend your defensive energy on his teammates, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in particular.

This did not go well for the Cavs in Game 1 and was downright disastrous in Game 2 Sunday night.

Given plenty of room to shoot or pass, Green as a frequent ball-handler did plenty of both and was largely responsible for a 110-77 demolition of the Eastern Conference champions before an ecstatic sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena…

Green poured in a game-high 28 points, draining 5-of-8 from 3-point distance, adding seven rebounds and a team-high-trying five assists. He committed one turnover, posting a plus-20 in 34 minutes of playing time.

Hawks promote Jeff Peterson to assistant general manager

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club on Thursday promoted Jeff Peterson to assistant general manager, according to General Manager Wes Wilcox. In this role, Peterson will be involved in all areas of day-to-day team management, while continuing to oversee the Hawks scouting process.

“Jeff has been an integral part of our front office over the past few seasons. In that time, he has demonstrated the ability to identify players who fit our culture and system; build meaningful relationship across the world of basketball; while continuing to learn the complexities of team-building in the NBA,” Wilcox said. “Jeff has a bright future in the NBA and we would like to congratulate Jeff on this opportunity.”

Peterson was promoted by the Hawks Director of Scouting before the start of the 2015-16 season. Prior to that, he served as a Scout and Coordinator of Basketball Operations for the team.

Peterson, who joined the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in 2012, finished his collegiate playing career at Florida State.

Knicks hire Jeff Horancek as head coach

It’s been out for a while now that Jeff Hornacek was to become the new head coach of the New York Knicks, but the news became official yesterday. Hornacek becomes the 28th head coach in the franchise’s 70-year history in the National Basketball Association.

“Jeff has a tremendous basketball acumen and possesses strong leadership skills,” said team President Phil Jackson. “During his career as both a player and coach, he has demonstrated the ability to elevate the game.”

“I am extremely excited and honored to be the next coach of such an historic franchise,” Hornacek said. “I look forward to working with Phil - a coach and teacher of the game I have admired for many years - and collaborating with him and our staff to take this team to the level that Knicks fans expect.”

Hornacek, 53, most recently led the Phoenix Suns as its head coach over parts of three seasons from 2013 through 2016, while engineering a 23-win improvement and a 48-34 record in his first year leading the organization, becoming the runner-up in the 2014 NBA Coach of the Year voting. He became just the third person in NBA history to be named both Player and Coach of the Month over the course of their career (December 1991, December 2013). He concluded his Phoenix coaching career with a 101-112 (.474) overall record.

The Elmhurst, Ill-native, began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz under head coaches Jerry Sloan and Tyrone Corbin from 2010-11 through 2012-13 following an illustrious 14-year playing career.

Warriors win NBA Finals Game 1

The Warriors on Thursday took a 1-0 NBA Finals lead against the Cavaliers. Game 2 is Sunday in Oakland. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Warriors win NBA Finals Game 1

This time, they brought Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love at full strength. They hounded Stephen Curry into a miserably quiet night and rendered Klay Thompson a virtual non-factor.

And, still, the Cleveland Cavaliers came up empty in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Warriors unleashed the full strength of their numbers Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Shaun Livingston scored 20 points to lead seven players in double figures - Curry was the seventh to get there and Thompson never did - as Golden State pulled away in the second half for a 104-89 victory.

This was the sixth consecutive time the Warriors conquered the Cavs, including the last three games of the 2015 Finals and two regular-season contests. The Warriors also have reeled off four consecutive victories in this postseason, since they fell behind 3-1 to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals.

InsideHoops.com NBA Finals Game 1 stats roundup:

Warriors 49% FG, 9/27 threes, 9/10 FT
Cavaliers 38% FG, 7/21 threes, 18/20 FT

Warriors 29 assists, 9 turnovers
Cavaliers 17 assists, 15 turnovers

Kyrie 26 pts on 22 shots
LeBron 23 pts on 21 shots, 12 rebs, 9 asts
S. Livingston 20 pts, 8 of 10
K. Love 17 pts on 17 shots, 13 rebs
Draymond 16 pts, 11 rebs, 7 asts, 4 stls
H. Barnes 13 pts
Iguodala 12 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts
Steph just 11 pts on 15 shots, 5 rebs, 6 asts
Barbosa 11 pts, 5 of 5

The Portland Trail Blazers have finalized their coaching staff for the 2016-17 season, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Assistant coach Dale Osbourne has been promoted to the front of the bench, and John McCullough has joined the coaching staff after spending the previous four seasons as the team’s advance scout.

Osbourne, entering his fifth year as an assistant, returns to head coach Terry Stotts’ staff along with David Vanterpool (fifth season), Nate Tibbetts (fourth season) and Jim Moran (second season).

Rockets hire Mike D`Antoni as head coach

The Houston Rockets have named Mike D’Antoni [dan-TONE-ee] as the 13th head coach in the history of the franchise. He is the fifth head coach since Leslie Alexander took over ownership in 1993.

“We are thrilled to add a coach of Mike’s caliber and experience,” said Alexander. “Mike’s ingenuity laid the groundwork for what drives success in today’s NBA and we are confident in his ability to help reignite our pursuit of a championship.”

The Rockets finished last season with a 41-41 record and lost four games to one in the first round of the 2016 playoffs to the Warriors. They were a good offensive team last regular season but struggled on defense.

D’Antoni has over a quarter of a century of coaching experience. Over a four season span as head coach of Phoenix from 2004-05 through 2007-08, he guided the Suns to a record of 232-96 (.707), including back-to-back trips to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006. In eight seasons as a head coach in Italy, D’Antoni compiled a 288-101 (.740) mark. D’Antoni also served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball, with the National Team posting a 49-1 mark during his time on staff, while earning gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2004-05, D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins in his first full season as head coach. The Suns increased their scoring average by 16.2 points per game over the previous season, marking the largest scoring increase from one season to the next by any team since the introduction of the shot clock in 1954-55.

A dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, D’Antoni was named one of the 50 Most Influential Personalities in European Club Basketball history by Euroleague Basketball in 2008. He spent parts of four seasons playing in the NBA and ABA during the mid-70’s before embarking on a standout career in the Italian League.

John Wall receives 2015-16 season NBA Cares Community Assist Award

In recognition of his many charitable efforts and yearlong dedication to community outreach, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has received the 2015-16 season-long NBA Cares Community Assist Award. The award recognizes an NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the 2016 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner and would like to thank all the fans and my many friends who voted for me on social media,” said Wall. “I am privileged to be in a position to better my communities in both Washington and Raleigh and I consider the outreach that I do to be the most rewarding part of being an NBA player.”

Owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and Kaiser Permanente Senior Director of External Affairs Maritha Gay will present Wall with the award at Bright Beginnings Inc. (BBI) tomorrow afternoon in Washington, D.C. Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will also donate $25,000 to the John Wall Family Foundation.

Following the award presentation, Wall and attendees will participate in a community service project at Bright Beginnings Inc., a non-profit that offers education, shelter and meals to homeless children and their parents. Earlier this year Wall surprised BBI with a generous donation to support programming and a new facility, and he recently received their Champions for Children Award honoring his commitment to the health and welfare of children and families.

In addition to his efforts with BBI, Wall worked to make a difference for those in need throughout local communities this season. After his friend, 5-year-old DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, lost her battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma, Wall sponsored the “Miyah’s Troupe” walking team, and joined DaMiyah’s family in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in D.C.

In partnership with the John Wall Family Foundation, Wall funded the Passport to Manhood Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, which teaches adolescent boys responsibility, leadership and the importance of giving back through community service projects. He also hosted various Wizards Make-A-Wish nights, and his second “FITTED” Prom Project, where he provided ten high school seniors with suits and accessories for their upcoming proms.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today named David Fizdale as the team’s new head coach.

Here is what the Grizzlies say about Fizdale:

Considered one of the rising stars in NBA coaching ranks, Fizdale comes to Memphis after spending eight seasons (2008-16) with the Miami Heat, including the last two as the assistant head coach and the previous six as an assistant coach under Erik Spoelstra. During that time, Fizdale’s assistance in game preparation, involvement in player development and rapport with the roster played a major role in the Heat’s championship success. Dating back to his first season on the Heat sidelines in 2008-09, Miami won more playoff games (70) and playoff series (15) than any team in the NBA and compiled the league’s second-best regular season (.623) and fourth-best postseason (.619) winning percentages.

Before his tenure in Miami, Fizdale spent four seasons (2004-08) as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks, where he was instrumental in the development of their young players. The Hawks increased their win total in each of his final three seasons and in 2007-08 earned the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 1999. He began his NBA coaching career as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors for one season (2003-04).

Prior to joining the Warriors, Fizdale spent five seasons coaching in the college ranks. After one year (1997-98) in the Heat video department, he started his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of San Diego. After four seasons (1998-2002) with the Toreros, he spent one season (2002-03) as an assistant coach at Fresno State University.

A three-year starter at point guard while playing at the University of San Diego, Fizdale was selected to the All-West Coast Conference team after his senior season in 1996.

The Los Angeles native earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in sociology from San Diego in 1996.

A few days ago, the Thunder had a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors. But after last night it’s a tied series, with Game 7 in Oakland on Monday. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on some key late turnovers that helped seal OKC’s fate last night:

Late turnovers hurt Thunder in Game 6 loss

Forget the Thunder’s disappointing 55-win record this season or Golden State’s record-setting 73-win march to history. Forget the first round breeze by Dallas, the second round shock of San Antonio, the first five games of this series and the first 45 minutes on Saturday night.

Go back to October or mid-March or two weeks ago and lay out this scenario for Sam Presti or Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook: You’re up three at home with possession of the ball and under three minutes to play. Close it out and you’re in the NBA Finals. None of what came before it matters. Not the midseason struggles, the KD free agency chatter or the historic dominance of their two conference rivals. KD and Russ will jump at that scenario every time. The bumpy road had navigated them to that very spot on Saturday night, a conference title in their grasp. But in three of the most agonizing minutes in the franchise’s young history, they fumbled it away.

Neither star had a first half turnover in Game 6. Not one in 24 minutes. But Durant and Westbrook combined for eight turnovers on Saturday night. Six — 6!!! — came in the final three minutes. That’s six on the Thunder’s final eight possessions, all committed by Durant and Westbrook. The final one didn’t matter. KD fumbled it away with seven seconds left. But by then, the damage was already done, the colossal loss already decided.

Tragedy has struck the New Orleans Pelicans and the league. Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting:

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot to death in Dallas

New Orleans Pelicans player Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot to death in Dallas after he mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, his agent told CNN on Saturday (May 28).

Scott Nichols told the news network that Dejean-Jones was in Dallas to visit his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday.

Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment, authorities said Saturday.

A man living at the apartment was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior Cpl. DeMarquis Black said in a statement. When Dejean-Jones began kicking at the bedroom door, the man retrieved a handgun and fired.

With many recent playoff games coming by way of blowout rather than dramatic close victory, fans need all the thrilling games they can get. And Thunder at Warriors Game 5 Thursday night provided just that. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Thunder-Warriors Game 5 provides much-needed drama

Finally, the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder provided a game that more completely explains why there should be two more of them.

Not because of the identity of the victor, mind you. The Warriors extended the Western Conference Final with a sweatbox-quality 120-111 win over the Thunder in Game 5, forcing a trip back to the Midwest. No, we speak of more of its quality, and the way it more accurately reflected the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and hidden face cards of these two teams.

Kevin Durant was brilliant. Stephen Curry was healed. Russell Westbrook was deliciously erratic and indomitable in the best Iversonian tradition. Andrew Bogut rose from the morgue to play perhaps his best important game since those in the Denver series two years ago, and Stephen Adams struggled as a result. There was give and take, yin and yang, hoi and polloi and a wonderful sense of balance between two teams that would do this mostly sub-mediocre postseason an enormous solid by having the NBA declare it a best of 13-series.

Draymond Green continues to struggle

The champs are in trouble. After getting blown out in Game 3 and beaten fairly soundly in Game 4, the Warriors are down 3-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. One Warriors in particular who has struggled in dramatic fashion has been Draymond Green. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Draymond Green continues to struggle

Green’s performance in a 118-94 loss to Oklahoma City in Game 4 brought neither him nor the Warriors any comfort.

Game 3 was the worst of his four-year career, and Game 4 was about as bad.

“I don’t think the last 48 hours affected me,” Green said. “But I think it’s the first time in my life that I didn’t respond to critics. That’s what’s kind of been my story.”

A second-round draft pick in 2012 that was selected for the All-Star team in February played 38 minutes. The sum of his production was 6 points (1-of-7 shooting from the field), 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals, one blocked shot – and six turnovers.

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Warriors forward Draymond Green has many talents, and one of them appears to be nailing Thunder center Steven Adams in a painful place during playoff games.

It seemed possible that the league might suspend Draymond Green for Game 4, but their decision, revealed around 7:30pm ET Monday night, was to fine Draymond Green $25k and upgrade the foul on him to a Flagrant 2.

The incident occurred with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 133-105 win over the Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on May 22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“During a game, players – at times – flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul,” VanDeWeghe continued, “but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”

The Thunder currently lead the Western Conference Finals 2-1. Game 4 will be played in OKC Tuesday night.

LeBron James now 3rd in all-time NBA playoff total assists

The Cavs lost to the Raptors in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, but at least LeBron James reached another career milestone, passing Jason Kidd in total playoff assists:

1) Magic Johnson
2) John Stockton
3) LeBron James
4) Jason Kidd
5) Tony Parker
6) Larry Bird
7) Steve Nash
8) Scottie Pippen
9) Kobe Bryant
10) Michael Jordan

Rockets coaching search update

The Rockets finished 41-41 this past regular season and then were quickly tossed out of the playoffs. Some roster changes are needed. But first, they need a head coach. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

The Houston Rockets, after focusing their coaching search on Mike D’Antoni for much of the past week, have opted to broaden the search.

The Rockets, according to league sources, have scheduled a Monday interview with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego, who is a finalist for the Memphis Grizzlies’ coaching vacancy.

ESPN reported earlier this week that Borrego and Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale had emerged as strong contenders for the Grizzlies’ post following the decision by Frank Vogel, Memphis’ top target, to take the Orlando Magic job.

Timberwolves announce mass firings

Timberwolves announce mass firings

Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden this afternoon announced changes in the team’s front office and coaching structure:

“Effective immediately, the following individuals will be relieved of their respective duties: previous General Manager Milt Newton, Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Babcock, Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander, Assistant Coach Sid Lowe, Director of Sports Performance Koichi Sato, Manager of Team Travel/Facilities Coordinator Bill Hohenecker, Head of Video Department and Manager of Basketball Technology Brice Long and Scouts Milton Barnes and Jason Hervey.”

“We would like to thank all of these individuals for their contributions to our organization and wish them well in their future endeavors.”

The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) has named Memphis Grizzlies Head Athletic Trainer and Vice President of Player Care Drew Graham as its 2015-16 Joe O’Toole Athletic Trainer of the Year. The award is chosen each year for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBATA.

Graham, who recently concluded his 10th season as the Grizzlies’ head athletic trainer, has been on the executive committee and foundation committee for the last four years.

“Every year the NBATA recognizes a Head Athletic Trainer for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBA and the NBATA,” said Kevin Johnson, Chairman of the NBATA and Head Athletic Trainer of the Philadelphia 76ers. “Drew Graham’s professionalism, knowledge and work ethic has made him our Trainer of the Year.”

Graham joined the Grizzlies in 2006 after working the previous six seasons (2000-06) as an assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach with the New Jersey Nets. In addition to his NBA experience, Graham served three years (1997-2000 as the director of athletic training at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and three years (1994-97) as an athletic trainer for the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals. Before beginning his career in professional sports, Graham worked for four years at The Ohio State University as an athletic trainer for men’s hockey (1994-95), football (1993-94) and baseball (1992-93).

“When there is an award given from your peers who know what your day and season consists of, there really isn’t anything more special,” Graham said. “I want to thank the NBATA, the Memphis Grizzlies and the entire medical staff I work with every day. Without their help, I wouldn’t have received this award.”

The award is named for Joe O’Toole, the long-time former head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Hawks who is regarded as the father of the NBATA.

2015-16 NBA All-Rookie teams announced

2015-16 NBA All-Rookie teams announced

NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks have been unanimously selected to the 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today. Both players received all 130 First Team votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada.

Joining Towns and Porzingis on the First Team are the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker (103 First Team votes, 231 points), the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (73 First Team votes, 186 points) and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Jahlil Okafor (71 First Team votes, 186 points).

The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of the Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow (151 points, 44 First Team votes), the Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell (142 points, 25 First Team votes), the Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay (140 points, 35 First Team votes), the Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner (139 points, 28 First Team votes) and the Sacramento Kings’ Willie Cauley-Stein (50 points, two First Team votes).

The voting panel was asked to select five players for the First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position. Two points were awarded for First Team votes and one point for Second Team votes.

Towns, the No. 1 overall pick of NBA Draft 2015, led all rookies in scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg, eighth in the NBA) and ranked second in blocks (1.68 bpg, 10th in the NBA) – making him the league’s only player to reach those averages in the three categories. The unanimous Rookie of the Year also ranked third in the league in double-doubles (51) and eighth in field goal percentage (54.2). Towns, one of six NBA players to start all 82 games, won all six NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards.

Porzingis was third among rookies in scoring (14.3 ppg), second in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and first in blocks (1.86 bpg). A three-time Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month winner, Porzingis became the first Knicks rookie to score at least 1,000 points in a season since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.

Booker finished fourth among first-year players in scoring (13.8 ppg), second in three-pointers made (99) and first in free throw percentage (84.0). Five of the 19-year-old guard’s rookie-high six 30-point games came after the All-Star break, when he averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 28 games.

Jokic, the 41st pick in NBA Draft 2014 presented by State Farm, made his NBA debut this season and averaged 10.0 points (eighth among rookies), 7.0 rebounds (tied for third), 2.4 assists (seventh) and 0.99 steals (fourth) while shooting 51.2 percent from the field (fourth).

The NBA All-Rookie First Team is rounded out by Okafor, who ranked second among first-year players in scoring (17.7 ppg), tied for third in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and fourth in blocks (1.15 bpg).

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

Kelly Olynyk undergoes shoulder surgery

The Boston Celtics announced today that Kelly Olynyk yesterday underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations. He will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season.

The 7’0” forward/center recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on December 11, 2015 against the Golden State Warriors.

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