Archive for May 6th, 2008

Kobe officially wins MVP

Kobe has officially won MVP. Coming in second, as expected, was Chris Paul.

Kevin Garnett came in third, LeBron James fourth, and Dwight Howard fifth.

Bryant finished the season ranked second in the league in scoring at 28.3 ppg, having shot .459 from the field, .840 from the free-throw line and .361 from three-point range. In addition, Bryant added 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The 6-6 guard led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (57-25, .695), a 15-game improvement over last year (42-40, .512), and the franchise’s 19th Pacific Division title.

Discuss the results with other fans here.

Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding the inadvertent clock stoppage that occurred at the end of the third quarter of the Detroit Pistons’ 100-93 win over the Orlando Magic last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals:

To read it, click here.

Chuck Swirsky leaves Raptors for Bulls

Chuck Swirsky, an icon with the Toronto Raptors radio and television broadcasts as play-by-play announcer for the past 10 seasons, is leaving the organization for personal reasons related to his family. Swirsky and his family are returning to the Chicago area where he served as sports director at WGN Radio from 1982-94, broadcaster of DePaul University basketball for 10 years, host of the Chicago Bears Radio Network for 10 years and held similar responsibilities for the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for a dozen seasons. Swirsky will assume a position as radio play-by-play broadcaster with the Chicago Bulls.

For more info, click here.

Heat hope to run next season

The Miami Herald (Michael Wallace) reports: New Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has visions of running an up-tempo, slashing, dunking offense that takes advantage of an athletic nucleus anchored by guard Dwyane Wade. But it’s going to require a gear Wade had been unable to reach the past two seasons. Wade began his latest — and what he hopes to be his last — rehabilitation on his troublesome left knee Monday in his hometown of Chicago, where he is working with Michael Jordan’s former trainer, Tim Grover. It is the latest step Wade has taken in an attempt to put two injury-plagued seasons behind and regain his more-explosive form from the Heat’s 2006 championship season, when Wade was named MVP of the NBA Finals.

Pacers want help at PG and C

The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports: The Pacers are slotted to pick 11th if lottery seeds hold, their earliest selection since picking Erick Dampier 10th in 1996. They believe the draft is the first step to improving. Team president Larry Bird wouldn’t divulge names, but he said the Pacers have targeted point guard and center as their primary needs. As important, Bird said the player has to fit coach Jim O’Brien’s style at least “90 percent” of the time.

Mavericks have big summer decisions

The Dallas Morning News (Eddie Sefko) reports:   The Mavericks must decide if there is a reasonable market for players such as Josh Howard, Jason Terry and/or Jerry Stackhouse. Those are trade chips of varying value. But it’s about all the Mavericks have to dangle unless they want to make a serious change in philosophy and trade Dirk Nowitzki or admit the Jason Kidd trade was a mistake and deal him. Kidd enters the final year of his contract, worth $21 million. The Mavericks also will have Reyshawn Terry and Renaldas Seibutis, two former second-round picks, in summer league. Both are being given a decent chance of making next season’s roster. Meanwhile, some of the prominent names around the league who could be on the trading block are the LA Clippers’ Corey Maggette, Sacramento’s Ron Artest and Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace or Jason Richardson.

Hawks could face summer changes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Sekou Smith) reports: Two of their key players, Josh Smith and Josh Childress, are restricted free agents and must be re-signed; the price tag for both could be huge. Hawks coach Mike Woodson and his staff have contracts that end June 30, and Hawks general manager Billy Knight is in a similar situation, with the team holding an option on his contract for next season. “I don’t know what to do with myself, man,” Al Horford said Monday as he walked down a corridor to his car. “I know we lost, but I just don’t know what to do with myself. You’re just done. “Obviously, you know the season is going to end at some point. But in school, you kind of knew what you had going on next. Here you’re done and you’re just … done.” Keeping a nucleus together for next season, and possibly another run to the postseason, is the only thing on the minds of the players.

May 5: Hornets 102, Spurs 84

The AP reports: Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists, leading the New Orleans Hornets to a 102-84 victory Monday night and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven, second-round series. Peja Stojakovic made five 3-pointers and scored 25 points for the Hornets, who’ve won both games by wide margins in becoming the first team to put San Antonio in an 0-2 playoff hole since 2001, when the Spurs were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals… After allowing David West to score a career playoff-high 30 points in the series opener, the Spurs held the All-Star power forward to 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting. But West remained active under the basket with 10 rebounds… Tyson Chandler had 11 rebounds and all of his five points, including an alley-oop dunk of Paul’s lob, during a key stretch midway through the fourth quarter when the Hornets prevented San Antonio from getting within single digits. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 18 points and eight rebounds, far better than his miserable Game 1, when he tied a career playoff low with five points and three rebounds. But by the final minutes, Duncan was on the bench, resting his cheek on his hand with a dejected 100-yard stare. Stat Notes: The Hornets shot 48.0%, the Spurs 42.5%. The Hornets nailed 10-of-17 three-pointers (Peja Stojakovic hit 5), the Spurs an awful 8-of-27. The Hornets got to the free throw line more, and hit a better percentage. Rebounds and assists were close, but the Spurs had 15 turnovers, the Hornets just 8.

For the Hornets, Chris Paul (11-of-20) had 30 points and 12 assists. Peja Stojakovic (8-of-13, 5-of-7 threes) had 25 points and 6 rebounds. Morris Peterson (5-of-5) scored 12. David West (miserable 2-of-11) had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists (but 4 of the team’s 8 turnovers). Bonzi Wells hit just 1-of-6 off the bench.

For the Spurs, Tim Duncan (6-of-11) had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Brent Barry (4-of-5, all threes) had 14 points and 3 assists in under 18 minutes. Manu Ginobili had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists, but 5 turnovers. Tony Parker had a quiet 11 points on awful shooting and as many turnovers as assists.

May 5: Pistons 100, Magic 93

The AP reports: Chauncey Billups made the 3-pointer in question at the end of the third quarter and Detroit went on to beat Orlando 100-93 Monday night, taking a 2-0 lead in their second-round series… Billups officially made the shot with 0.5 seconds left in the third after the clock froze at 4.8 seconds… The Magic still had a chance to win after trailing by 14 in the first half. Orlando had the ball down by two points late in the game, but Rashard Lewis missed a running scoop shot with 14 seconds left, Dwight Howard just missed on a putback and Hedo Turkoglu couldn’t grab the offensive rebound… Dwight Howard bounced back from a lackluster game with 22 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks. He had just 12 points and a career playoff-low eight rebounds when Detroit won the series opener by 19 points. Stat Notes: The Pistons shot 47.4%, the Magic 43.8%. The Magic poured in 11-of-23 three-pointers (Jameer Nelson 5 threes), the Pistons a quiet 4-of-12. The Pistons got the line a bit more, and shot better from there. The Magic committed 19 turnovers, the Pistons only 8.

For the Pistons, Chauncey Billups (8-of-19, 10-of-10 free throws) had 28 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Tayshaun Prince (8-of-13) had 17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Rasheed Wallace had 17 points, not much else. Richard Hamilton (awful 4-of-18) had 14 points. Jason Maxiell, still starting while Antonio McDyess comes off the bench, shot 5-of-5 for 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks.

For the Magic, Dwight Howard (8-of-11) had 22 points, 18 rebounds and 2 blocks, but no assists and 5 turnovers. Jameer Nelson had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Rashard Lewis (awful 6-of-21) had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 turnovers. Maurice Evans scored 13. Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points, 7 assists but 6 turnovers.

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