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Tyler Ennis undergoes shoulder surgery

Bucks guard Tyler Ennis undergoes shoulder surgery

Tyler Ennis undergoes shoulder surgery

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that guard Tyler Ennis underwent successful labral repair surgery to his right shoulder today. After consultation with Bucks orthopaedist Dr. Michael Gordon and Dr. David Altcheck from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, the procedure was performed this morning in New York.

Ennis was acquired along with Miles Plumlee and Michael Carter-Williams on Feb. 19 in a three-team deal with Phoenix and Philadelphia. In 25 games (one start) this season for Milwaukee, Ennis averaged 4.0 points, 2.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game.

Kyrie Irving health status for Eastern Conference Finals: good to go

Kyrie Irving says he will play in Game 1 vs Hawks

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still without Kevin Love, who is out for the rest of the playoffs and inactive for months beyond that, but banged-up guard Kyrie Irving appears healthy enough to play in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Kyrie Irving worked overtime Monday, bouncing around the court during a shooting drill with LeBron James long after the formal portion of practice had ended.

Irving is still fighting injuries to both his left knee and right foot, but he moved fluidly and without a limp. And most importantly, he declared himself ready for Wednesday’s opening game of the Eastern Conference finals at the Atlanta Hawks.

“I’m going to go,” he said.

Irving’s availability was never really in doubt, although Cavaliers coach David Blatt cast a temporary shadow when he said he was hopeful Irving would be ready. After Irving was a full participant on Monday, Blatt said he was “encouraged’ by the progress his star guard made in a relatively short amount of time.

Kyrie Irving sits out Saturday practice

Kyrie Irving sits out Saturday practice

The Cleveland Cavaliers recently proved they can win a big game while LeBron James’ shot is off and Kyrie Irving (and Kevin Love) aren’t on the floor, but it’s not something they care to attempt on a regular basis. Ideally, Irving will be out there, making defenders look slow while he racks up points. But he’s banged up. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting the latest:

Kyrie Irving sits out Saturday practice

Cavs’ All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was held out of practice Saturday after reaggravating a left knee injury in Thursday’s closeout Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls.

An MRI on Monday revealed tendinitis in Irving’s knee. Irving has also been battling a right foot strain suffered in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Boston Celtics.

Cavs coach David Blatt said Irving saw the doctors again Friday. Blatt couldn’t give a definitive assessment of Irving’s status for Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hawks in Atlanta, but said the Cavs “hope” he can play.

Joakim Noah wins 2014-15 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls has won the 2014-15 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). The honor, named after the NBA’s second commissioner, is presented annually by the PBWA to the player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

The other finalists for the award were forward Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic, forward Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons, guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and forward Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Noah, a two-time All-Star center who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Bulls, has dedicated himself to helping children develop a stronger sense of self through his Noah’s Arc Foundation (NAF). The foundation recently launched the “Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness” anti-violence initiative, which supports those affected by violence and encourages youth to express themselves through creative outlets like sports and art.

NAF also produced the “You’re Not Alone” anti-violence video featuring first-hand stories from those who have lost loved ones to violence, including Noah’s teammates Taj Gibson, Nazr Mohammed and Derrick Rose. Last summer, in his ongoing efforts to raise awareness of gun violence and promote unity in Chicago, Noah and NAF debuted the #ChicagoStandUp public service announcement and hosted a basketball tournament that brought together young men from the south and west sides of the city.

“Joakim’s initiatives to slow the violence in Chicago should inspire us all to help in our communities,” said PBWA President Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “His creative, sustained efforts stood out in perhaps the deepest pool of worthy candidates in the 41-year history of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.”

Without Tony Allen, Grizzlies lose Game 5 to Warriors

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Wednesday’s Warriors-Grizzlies second round playoff game, which went quite badly for Memphis:

Without Tony Allen, Grizzlies lose Game 5 to Warriors

Much like the last playoff game in Oakland, Game 5 came down to a key Grizzlies player who was a game-time decision because of injury. While Mike Conley put on a face mask and cape in Memphis’ win in Game 2 at Oracle Arena, Tony Allen was not able to play with a bad hamstring Wednesday night.

The defensive repercussions were obvious, but the Grizzlies were actually somehow worse offensively without their jump shot-challenged tough guy.

“It’s huge, being without Tony,” Grizzlies guard Courtney Lee said. “We can’t replace his energy or his defensive intensity. We needed to step up tonight and we didn’t.” Memphis shot 5-of-25 in a 12:35 span over the end of the first quarter and most of the second quarter, turning a 25-15 lead into a 49-37 deficit.

Memphis shot 5-of-25 in a 12:35 span over the end of the first quarter and most of the second quarter, turning a 25-15 lead into a 49-37 deficit.

And a 12-point deficit might as well be 24 — which it grew to — for a big, physical team that can’t get out on the fastbreak (six points all night) or shoot threes (they made four).

John Wall returns in Wizards Game 5 loss to Hawks

Nobody expected injured Washington Wizards guard John Wall to return during these playoffs. But yesterday it happened, and he gave it his all, though the Wizards fell slightly short to the Atlanta Hawks. Here’s CSN Washington reporting:

John Wall returns in Wizards Game 5 loss to Hawks

John Wall threw himself on the floor with 32.6 seconds left, and the score tied at 78, for a loose ball, corralled it and called a timeout. He slapped the floor repeatedly with his good hand, the right one, as he sensed a Game 5 victory was near Wednesday.

But a 3-2 series lead for the Wizards is oh-so-far away. Wall blocked Dennis Schroder’s shot on the final play as he drove to the basket, but Al Horford darted in like a bowling ball to send bodies scattering to grab the loose ball for the putback with two seconds left and an 82-81 victory for the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena.

“It felt great. I didn’t have any problems with my hand,” Wall said after having 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. “I was able to play aggressive and make plays so I was fine.”

Queens gym being named in honor of Anthony Mason

The late Anthony Mason was an awesome NBA player, and is dearly missed. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Springfield Gardens Education Complex in Queens will honor the memory of its most-decorated basketball player on Thursday when it names its gymnasium for former Knick Anthony Mason in an afternoon ceremony.

Mason, one of the signature players on Pat Reilly’s mid-1990’s Knicks teams, died at age 48 on Feb. 28, less than a month after suffering a heart attack.

“It’s a wonderful way of honoring my pops,” said Anthony Mason Jr., the former St. John’s star. “He really cared about his school.”

Turner Sports has signed Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaq to contract extensions for TNT’s Inside the NBA studio TV show

TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio TV show has signed host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal to multi-year extensions.

“We truly believe Inside the NBA is among the best studio shows of all time and a large part of its success is due to the unrivaled chemistry between Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaquille,” said Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports. “We’re looking forward to continuing the creativity and pioneering spirit behind the show for a very long time.”

The content of the show includes popular re-occurring segments such as “EJ’s Neat-O Stat of the Night,” “Gone Fishin’” and “Shaqtin’ a Fool.”

Inside the NBA is the most-watched NBA studio show on cable television, based on Nielsen Research, and frequently generates the second most-watched program on cable throughout the NBA Playoffs (trailing only live game coverage).

It’s a surprise to many that Shaq lasted all these years. But the network is clearly intent on keeping him around.

Fan discussion: Shaq, Ernie, Kenny and Chuck sign multi-year deal with TNT

Alan Anderson had ankle surgery today

Alan Anderson had ankle surgery today

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Alan Anderson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today, May 12, to remove bone spurs from his left ankle, General Manager Billy King announced. The procedure was performed by Nets’ foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Anderson is expected to resume basketball-related activities in July.

Anderson played in 74 games (19 starts) for Brooklyn this past season, with averages of 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. In six postseason contests, Anderson posted averages of 11.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, while shooting a team-best .610 from the field and .625 from three-point range.

The Milwaukee Bucks today announced that Suki Hobson has been added to the team’s training staff as Senior Strength and Rehabilitation Specialist. Hobson brings over 15 years of experience working with elite athletes in the fields of strength, power and injury rehabilitation to the Bucks organization.

Hobson joins the Bucks full-time after previously running her own interdisciplinary athletic performance and sports consultancy company, Athlete Revolution International, which is based in Melbourne, Australia, and operated around the world. Regarded for her innovative, athlete-centered, goal-driven and scientific approach to training, Hobson is a leader in the fields of strength training and athlete rehabilitation, with a particular emphasis in rehabilitation from ACL injuries. She has previously worked with multiple Australian Football League teams as well as the Queensland Academy of Sport, where she trained Olympic athletes during two summer and one winter Olympic cycles.

Monty Williams fired

Monty Williams fired by Pelicans

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New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams has been fired. The team qualified for the playoffs, and although they were swept 4-0 in the first round by the Golden State Warriors, they played pretty well and were competitive for large parts of each game. This has been looming for a while now, though.

More info here: Pelicans fire coach Monty Williams.

NBA Draft 2015 being held in Brooklyn

The 2015 NBA Draft will be held in Brooklyn NY’s Barclays Center. It’s the third year in a row the draft is being held in that arena.

Here’s more info: 2015 NBA Draft location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY

New Philadelphia 76ers team logo

The Philadelphia 76ers today unveiled an updated brand identity, which includes a redesigned primary logo and a series of partial and secondary logo variations in advance of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 19 and the introduction of new uniforms on Thursday, June 18.

The logo set is effective immediately and updates the iconic Sixers design through the incorporation of new and traditionally significant elements:

New Philadelphia 76ers team logo

The team’s new primary logo is a modern interpretation of the classic Sixers insignia, stylistically redeveloped to include a patriotic blue border with six white stars and “PHILADELPHIA” adorned across the heading. The familiar white basketball has been visually updated with a positional rotation of the seams. The emblematic ring of 13 stars present in the primary, partial and secondary logos continues to represent the original American Colonies.

Fan discussion here: New Sixers logo

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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