Archive for May 9th, 2010

Should LeBron guard Rondo?

Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Should LeBron guard Rondo?

It’s time for LeBron James to guard Rajon Rondo.

It will go against every fiber of Cavs coach Mike Brown’s defense-is-everything being, especially with the possible fallout of who is left to match up against Paul Pierce.

But Rondo, the Celtics’ fourth-year point guard, is having his way with the Cavs in the Eastern Conference semifinals, while Pierce has been mired in mediocrity. How much the latter has to do with James is up to debate.

So it’s time for drastic measures.

Tied 2-2, the series has turned into a best-of-three heading into Game 5 on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. And while both teams have been subject to wild swings in consistency and intensity, the one constant has been Rondo.

The AP reports:

Game 4: Stoudemire scores 29, Suns sweep Spurs

Steve Nash scored 20 points and played with a right eye that was swollen shut as Phoenix swept San Antonio from the Western Conference semifinals with a 107-101 win Sunday night. Amare Stoudemire led the way with 29 points to help the Suns get past the Spurs in the playoffs for the first time in five tries.

“That was ugly,” Suns forward Channing Frye said walking off the court.

Kind of like Nash’s black-and-blue, stitched-up eye.

But it didn’t bother Nash, who scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help smother a rally by the Spurs. Nash was accidentally struck by one of Tim Duncan’s elbows in the third quarter and briefly went to the locker room. He came back with an ice pack on his eye when he finally returned to the court…

Tony Parker scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who were swept out of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. George Hill had 17 points, and was fouled while hitting a 3-pointer with 26.5 seconds left that gave the Spurs a flicker of hope.

InsideHoops.com notes:

The Suns got a huge boost from Jared Dudley, who came off the bench to shoot 6-of-7, including 3-of-3 three-pointers, for 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 31 minutes.

Grant Hill was a role player, putting up just four points and few measurable stats in 35 minutes.

Leandro Barbosa shot just 2-for-10, for seven points.

Goran Dragic received just 11 minutes, scoring six on six shots, with three assists.

For the Spurs, Manu Ginobili had a great game aside from miserable shooting, hitting just 2-of-11 shots (but with 10-of-12 free throws) for 15 points, six  rebounds, nine assists and five steals.

Tony Parker scored 22, but needed 19 shots to do it.

Tim Duncan had 17 points (on 14 shots), eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks.

Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

rondo

The Boston point guard [Rajon Rondo] had 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and the Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-87 on Sunday to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece…

Rondo became the third player in playoff history to have at least 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Oscar Robertson had 32 points, 19 rebounds and 13 assists in 1963, and Wilt Chamberlain had 29 points, 36 rebounds and 13 assists in 1967.

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett scored 18 apiece for the Celtics, who rebounded from the worst home playoff loss in franchise history and ensured they’ll get at least one more game at home…

LeBron James scored 22 points—only one more than he had in the first quarter of Game 3—and seemed frustrated during a seven-turnover performance. Shaquille O’Neal added 17 points, his high for this postseason, but was on the bench when the Celtics blew by the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter.

InsideHoops.com notes:

Tony Allen had a monster game for Boston off the bench, shooting 6-of-7 for 15 points and five rebounds in almost 26 minutes.

Paul Pierce continued his struggles in this series, shooting 3-of-8 for nine points and little else. He’s looked lost.

Both teams were miserable from three-point range: Cavs 4-of-21, Celtics 1-of-14.

Delonte West came off the Cavs bench to shoot 0-of-7 for three points in 20 minutes.

While Rondo was a hero for Boston, Cleveland’s point guard, Mo Williams, shot 3-of-9 for 13 points and not too much else.

Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

76ers interview Sam Mitchell

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski met with Sam Mitchell in Dallas, TX today regarding the Sixers vacant head coaching position.

Joining Stefanski at the meeting with Mitchell was Sixers Sr. Vice President and Assistant General Manager Tony DiLeo and Sixers consultant Gene Shue.

“Sam has been a successful head coach in the league, having been named Coach of the Year in 2007, and we were very interested in speaking with him,” Stefanski said. “It was good to sit down with him to exchange ideas about our team and this opportunity.”

76ers interview Bill Laimbeer

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski met with Bill Laimbeer in Dallas, TX today regarding the Sixers vacant head coaching position.

Joining Stefanski at the meeting with Laimbeer was Sixers Sr. Vice President and Assistant General Manager Tony DiLeo and Sixers consultant Gene Shue.

“We want to speak to as many qualified candidates as possible and certainly Bill Laimbeer’s credentials as a player and success as a coach - including three championships in six seasons in the WNBA - speaks for iteslf,” Stefanski said. “We want to thank Bill for meeting with us.”

Mike Beasley vows to find himself

Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald reports:

The all-points bulletin essentially has been issued for Michael Beasley. The GPS device was set to take him back to the last place he knew anything about dominance.

Mike Beasley vows to find himself

Before moving forward to the next phase of his offseason, Beasley returned last week to Kansas State.

It’s a place where almost everything about basketball came easy to Beasley. But since he left, the Heat’s lightning-rod forward has been struck by frustrating inconsistencies while tightroping a line between hope and hopelessness in two NBA seasons.

“I need to get back to being me,” Beasley said of his quest to reconnect with “that beast in college” who averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds and expected to take the NBA by storm. “I haven’t shown nothing yet. When I find him, that Mike Beasley, you’ll know. The one you saw these two years, I don’t like him much.”

Kirilenko returns for Jazz

Michael Black of the Deseret News reports:

Kirilenko returns for Jazz

It didn’t take long Saturday night for Andrei Kirilenko to make his long-awaited return to the lineup during Game 3 of the Jazz’s playoff series against the Lakers.

With 6:54 left in the first quarter, Kirilenko checked into the game to a rousing standing ovation from the EnergySolutions Arena crowd. It was the first time back on the court for him in nearly two months due to a strained left calf muscle that was injured in three separate places. He had missed 23 of Utah’s last 25 games, but by the crowd’s response, absence only made the heart grow fonder.

“I have a long, long relationship with our fans. We have always been very close,” Kirilenko said. “I missed those two months, so I was pretty happy to just be back and start playing again.”

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Down 3-0 to the Suns in their Western Conference semifinals series after a horrid showing at the line contributed heavily to Friday’s Game 3 loss at AT&T Center, the Spurs no longer are laughing about missed foul shots.

Tim Duncan shooting bricks from foul line

Tim Duncan missed 7 of 12 free throws in Friday’s loss. He is 13 for 27 from the line in the series, the primary offender on a team that has made only 65.4 percent of its 81 foul shots in the series.

After making 271 of 374 free throws during the regular season, a respectable 72.5 percent, Duncan has made only 30 of 62 foul shots in nine playoff games, a 48 percent figure that is embarrassing to him.

Ronny Turiaf receiving Gonzaga degree

The AP reports:

A very familiar graduate will walk across the stage at Gonzaga University’s commencement on Sunday. Ronny Turiaf will receive his degree in sports management, four years after leaving Gonzaga as one of the best players in its history.

Turiaf, who plays for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, is one of 48 Gonzaga athletes who will receive diplomas.

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