Archive for April 22nd, 2010

Game 3: Bulls upset Cavaliers, 108-106

The AP reports:

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers can forget about sweeping the Bulls out of the playoffs.

Bulls hang on to beat Cavaliers 108-106

Derrick Rose scored 31 points, Kirk Hinrich added 27 and Chicago hung to beat the top-seeded Cavaliers 108-106 Thursday night in Game 3 of a first-round series after its 21-point lead dwindled to one.

James scored 13 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter but also committed some turnovers down the stretch. Even so, the Cavaliers were within 107-106 after Mo Williams nailed a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left. They immediately fouled Luol Deng, who hit the first free throw but missed the second.

Cleveland’s Anthony Parker got the rebound and raced up the right side but missed a 3 at the buzzer, and the Bulls escaped with the win despite some shaky foul shooting late in the game. Reports:

The Bulls shot 50.0%, the Cavs 43.9%. The Cavs launched 35 three-point attempts, hitting 14 (40.0%), while the Bulls hit 5-of-12.  Free throw attempts were fairly close, but the Cavs only hit 64.5% from the charity stripe. Rebounds and assists were close.

For the Bulls, Joakim Noah had 10 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

For the Cavs, aside from LeBron’s 39, Mo Williams had 21 points but little else, and Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 11 rebounds. But Shaq shot just 2-of-8. And the entire Cavs benched combined for just 13 points.

Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports (via blog):

NBA teams are used to playing games at a much more brisk pace and Skiles thinks whichever team does a better job of adapting to the long break between the second and third games may have a bit of an edge on Saturday.

“I think it’s a factor,” said Skiles when asked about the first round schedule at the team’s practice facility Thursday. “Probably one team will adjust to that better than the other and I would say that team probably deserves the game if they get it because they can adjust to kind of getting out of their rhythm a little bit.”

The Bucks spent four nights and five days in Atlanta for the first two games and while Skiles said that the Bucks considered coming home between games, they decided against it. The Hawks will have a slight travel advantage since they will spend one less night here for the third and fourth games.

Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via blog):

Josh Smith says there is nothing to do in Milwaukee

“There’s pretty much nothing to do,” Josh Smith said (about the city of Milwaukee). “Miami has some really good restaurants. I never really did anything in Milwaukee. I would be happy to just find a restaurant. I’m not bashing the city but I’ve never actually did anything in Milwaukee so I really don’t know what is around there.”

By now Hawks PR Man Arthur Triche, seeing where this was headed, had creeped in to try and break up the party. But, Smoove being Smoove (”I don’t care!”) he wasn’t stopping.

Someone picked up on the Noah thread and asked Smith if he’d be taking any vacations in Milwaukee.

“Would you go there?” Smith asked. “Everybody knows there ain’t nothing to do in Milwaukee, man. Everybody knows that, (even) the people that live there.”

The AP reports:

Kenyon Martin skips practice to rest knee

Forward Kenyon Martin missed the Denver Nuggets’ final practice before Friday night’s Game 3 of their first-round matchup with Utah, resting the balky left knee that caused him to miss 18 games late in the season.

Martin was held out of Thursday’s workout as a precaution. The team said his availability for Friday night’s game will be determined at game time.

”The knee feels good but we want to use him for the game,” acting head coach Adrian Dantley said Thursday. ”He’s not practicing today. He’s just resting the knee.”

NBA fines Matt Barnes, Stan Van Gundy

Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes and head coach Stan Van Gundy have each been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Barnes and Van Gundy have been fined for comments made to the media following Orlando’s 92-77 win over Charlotte on April 21 at Amway Arena.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Barnes said: “Hopefully, the refs will start letting Dwight be a little physical and stop calling such tic-tac fouls on him, you know, give him a chance to play.” Barnes also said: “Dwight gets no respect from the refs, from the league as far as not being mentioned as the MVP. It’s crazy to see what they do to him every single play and then he puts his arm up and they call a foul.”

NBA fines Rasheed Wallace

Boston Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Wallace was fined for comments made to the media on April 19.

According to the Boston Globe, “Wallace drew two fouls in two minutes in Game 1, and he said he knew officials were trying to bait him into a technical. “At times I know they’re out there baiting me like the other night in Game 1 with those two quick fouls,’’ Wallace said. “I know that certain referees were trying to bait me to get a tech. You could see it coming from a mile away. Like I say, I don’t like to be cheated. I can deal with a loss. I can deal with playing bad. I can deal with getting my [butt] busted. I just don’t like to be cheated. Bottom line.’’

The NCAA today announced a new 14-year television, internet and wireless rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to present the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 through 2024 for more than $10.8 billion. As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live across four national networks beginning in 2011 – a first for the 73-year old championship.

Additionally, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting have been licensed and will collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.

Late Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee unanimously passed a recommendation to the Division I Board of Directors to increase tournament field size to 68 teams beginning with the 2011 Championship. The recommendation will be reviewed by the Division I Board of Directors at its April 29 meeting.

The new agreement sustains the long-term financial stability of the Association.  As with the current contract, approximately 96 percent of the revenue generated from this new agreement will be used to benefit student-athletes through either programs, services or direct distribution to member conferences and schools. Further, the agreement ensures student-athletes across all three NCAA divisions will continue to be supported in a broad range of championship opportunities, access to funds for personal and educational needs, and through scholarships in Divisions I and II.

Beginning with the 2011 championship, opening- , first- and second-round games will be shown nationally on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.  CBS and Turner will split coverage of the regional semi-final games.  CBS will provide coverage of the regional finals, as well as the Final Four® including the National Championship Game through 2015. Beginning in 2016, coverage of the regional finals will be split by CBS and Turner with the Final Four and the National Championship game alternating every year between the CBS Television Network and Turner’s TBS.

CBS Sports has broadcast the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 1982. This year’s broadcast of the Championship game earned an average national household rating/share of 14.2/23, up 31% from a 10.8/18 last year, the highest rating in five years.

Under the new rights agreement, NCAA March Madness on Demand®, the Emmy Award-

winning video player that provides live streaming video of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, will continue to be launched from and  Turner has also secured the rights for any Time Warner digital property. The player will be operated and developed by Turner and have enhanced digital rights allowing the NCAA to deliver content for multiple Turner and Time Warner platforms.

“This is an important day for intercollegiate athletics and the 400,000 student-athletes who compete in NCAA sports,” said NCAA Interim President Jim Isch. “This agreement will provide on average more than $740 million annually to our conferences and member schools to help student-athletes in 23 sports learn and compete.”

“We’re excited this agreement continues our long-standing relationship with CBS, a partner company that has captured the unique spirit of the collegiate model of athletics, and brings a new partner in Turner Broadcasting to the Championship and NCAA basketball,” added Isch.

“This agreement with our colleagues at Turner and the NCAA secures CBS’s standing as a year-round leader in sports television well into the next decade,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.

“In this agreement, we have created a new strategic partnership that not only makes this prestigious property an ongoing core asset in our stable of major television events, but a profitable one as well.  We look forward to working with our friends at Turner as together we combine our industry-leading media assets to maximize the value of this great NCAA Championship.”

“This is a landmark deal for Turner Broadcasting and we’re extremely pleased to begin a long-term relationship with the NCAA and our partners at CBS and to have a commitment that extends well into the next decade,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has a rich tradition and is one of the most talked about sporting events every year highlighted by the Final Four and the National Championship Game.”

“We are well-positioned to monetize our investment in NCAA programming across three nationally distributed networks.  With the combined linear and digital assets of these two large media companies we’ll be able to maximize the exposure of the Tournament, as well as provide incomparable access for viewers. ”

Moving forward under the new contract, a committee headed by Harvey Perlman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor, will study and recommend prospective revenue distribution formulas to the Division I Board of Directors. Under the current contract, 96 percent of all NCAA revenue is returned to membership either in direct payments or in programs and services. The committee will follow principles of the current formula that ensure access to funds by student-athletes for educational, personal and emergency needs; that favor a broad-based approach to sports sponsorship; that continue to encourage more grants-in-aid rather than less; and that promote enhanced academic support of student-athletes.

Additionally, given the NCAA emphasis on academic reform, the committee will examine the need to strike a balance between Division I men’s basketball championship performance and academic

achievement through either the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate or Graduation Success Rate metrics or both.

ESPN, the long-standing home for NCAA Championships such as the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, College World Series, Frozen Four and others, will continue to broadcast a full complement of events over the coming years as well.

“The economic challenges of the day are being felt on campuses across the country. The amount of revenue from this agreement isn’t the focus of this moment, rather it is the long-term security it provides as well as what is done with the money. We put our money where our mission is…supporting student-athletes so they can be successful in the classroom and in life,” said Isch.

Rick Mahorn is bankrupt

Robert Snell of the Detroit News reports:

Former Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy” Rick Mahorn, a member of the 1989 NBA championship team and the franchise’s radio analyst, has filed bankruptcy and lost his $500,000 home, records show.

Mahorn, 51, and his wife filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of failed investments, the plummeting value of their Rochester Hills home, and the burden of repaying more than $200,000 to the IRS, he said. Portions of his paychecks have been seized to satisfy delinquent federal taxes, records show. Along with Derrick Coleman, Mahorn is the second retired Pistons star to file bankruptcy in recent months.

Last week, the trustee overseeing Mahorn’s Chapter 7 filing accused him of failing to account for several assets, including his NBA pension and championship rings: one with the Pistons and two as a coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock.

Game 2: Magic handle Bobcats 92-77

The AP reports:

Magic edge Bobcats 92-77, take 2-0 series lead

Vince Carter finished with 19 points, Dwight Howard scored 15 and the Magic took a 2-0 series lead with a 92-77 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night…

Stephen Jackson showed no effects from his hyperextended left knee to score 27 points, and Gerald Wallace had 15 points for the Bobcats. But their 21 turnovers are a big reason why they’re heading home still searching for the franchise’s first playoff win…

The Magic were 24 for 35 on free throws, while the Bobcats were 13 for 18…

Orlando’s biggest offseason acquisition, Carter sliced his way through the lane for several layups late in the third quarter. He anchored a run that put the Magic ahead 75-55 after three quarters with their entire bench standing, waving towels, shouting and smiling as they pulled ahead big.

Game 2: Jefferson hounds Mavs, Spurs win

The AP reports:

Jefferson hounds Mavs, Spurs win

Knowing he was among the guys Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thought “played like dogs” in the opener, Richard Jefferson bounced back by scoring 17 of his 19 points in the first half to help San Antonio beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-88 in Game 2 on Wednesday night. The win ties their first-round series at a game apiece, with the next two games in the Alamo City…

Tim Duncan was San Antonio’s second-half star, scoring 17 of his 25 points then, often just in time to douse Dallas rallies. He also had 17 rebounds…

Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki went from hardly missing in Game 1 to hardly making. The Spurs didn’t even smother him; merely knowing they were creeping his way threw Nowitzki out of whack. He missed six of his first seven shots, and even missed a free throw after having made 88 in a row.

“If they give me those same looks on Friday, I’ll take them,” said Nowitzki, who finished with 24 points, down from 36 in the opener…

Manu Ginobili had 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:48 left that he punctuated with a celebratory punch as fans began rushing toward the exits.

Tony Parker, still coming off the bench, had 16 points and eight assists.

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