Archive for May, 2011

2010-11 All-NBA Teams named

2010-11 All-NBA Teams

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, the 2010-11  NBA Most Valuable Player, and LeBron James of the Miami Heat, winner of the two previous MVP awards, highlight the 2010-11 All-NBA First Team. James was the lone unanimous choice, receiving all 119 first-place votes. Joining James and Rose on the First Team are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

Earning his first All-NBA team selection, Rose led the Bulls to an NBA-best 62-20 mark. He averaged team highs of 25.0 points and 7.7 assists to go along with 4.1 rebounds, becoming only the seventh player in NBA history to average at least 25.0 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds. Rose was the only player in the NBA to rank in the top 10 in scoring (seventh) and assists (10th).

James, who earns First Team honors for the fourth straight season and fifth time overall, was second in the NBA in scoring (26.7 ppg), and averaged team highs in assists (7.0 apg) and steals (1.57 spg) to go along with 7.5 rpg. James became the first player in history to surpass the 2,000-point, 500-rebound, 500-assist and 100-steal marks in four consecutive seasons.

Howard, an All-NBA First Team selection for the fourth consecutive season, earned the 2010-11  NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, becoming the first player to win the award three straight seasons. He led the league with 66 double-doubles, while ranking second in rebounds (14.1 rpg) and fourth in blocks (2.38 bpg). Howard also averaged a career-high 22.9 points.

Bryant, an All-NBA First Team selection for the sixth straight season and ninth time in his career, finished fifth in the league in scoring (25.3 ppg), while averaging 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Among active players, Bryant is tied with the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan for most First Team selections.

Durant earns his second All-NBA First Team selection. Durant led the league in scoring (27.7 ppg) for the second consecutive year, to go along with 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Durant scored at least 40 in a league-high five games this season.

The All-NBA Second Team consists of guards Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, forwards Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, and center Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks.

The All-NBA Third Team includes the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul at guard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph at forward, and the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford at center.

The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

Below are the results of the voting for the 2010-11 All-NBA Teams, with First Team votes in parentheses:

2010-11 ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LeBron James, Miami (119) 595
Forward Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (69) 492
Center Dwight Howard, Orlando (118) 593
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (98) 551
Guard Derrick Rose, Chicago (118) 593

2010-11 ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers (2) 259
Forward Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (47) 437
Center Amar’e Stoudemire, New York (2) 258
Guard Dwyane Wade, Miami (24) 392
Guard Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 184

2010-11 ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland 135
Forward Zach Randolph, Memphis 67
Center Al Horford, Atlanta 62
Guard Manu Ginobili, San Antonio 106
Guard Chris Paul, New Orleans 157

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first team votes in parentheses): Rajon Rondo, Boston, 68; Paul Pierce, Boston, 55; Carmelo Anthony, Denver-New York, 53; Kevin Love, Minnesota, 48; Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 43; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers, 36; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 27; Kevin Garnett, Boston, 22; Deron Williams, Utah-New Jersey 19; Steve Nash, Phoenix, 17; Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee, 13; Monta Ellis, Golden State, 11; Nene, Denver, 11; Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers, 9; Kevin Martin, Houston, 7; Tyson Chandler, Dallas, 7; Joakim Noah, Chicago, 5; Marc Gasol, Memphis, 3; Al Jefferson, Utah, 3; Kendrick Perkins, Boston-Oklahoma City, 3; Andrea Bargnani, Toronto, 2; Chris Bosh, Miami, 2; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia, 1; Emeka Okafor, New Orleans, 1; Eric Gordon, L.A. Clippers, 1; Gerald Wallace, Charlotte-Portland, 1; Jason Kidd, Dallas, 1; Luis Scola, Houston, 1; Luol Deng, Chicago, 1; Ray Allen, Boston, 1.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reports:

Sacramento Kings co-owner George Maloof said Wednesday he has agreed to make team financial data available to a city-commissioned group studying ways to finance a new sports and entertainment facility.

That group, headed by national arena builder ICON Venue Group and downtown Sacramento developer David Taylor, is due to present an arena feasibility study to the City Council on May 26.

Team officials previously refused to provide business data for the study.

Hornets season ticket sales on rise

The AP reports:

Despite uncertainty about the Hornets’ ownership, how long they’ll be in New Orleans, or even if there’ll be an NBA season in 2011-12, support for the club appears to be building among fans and businesses in Louisiana.

The club has sold about 8,000 full-season tickets for 2011-12, up from about 6,300 when the 2010-11 season began.

“Being ahead of where we were last year is really a good sign considering that we’re at the beginning of May,” said Matt Biggers, the Hornets’ senior vice president of marketing. “We still have a lot of work to do because we want to get to 10,000 (season tickets), so we’re going to keep working hard all offseason to get to that number.” …

The Hornets have set their season ticket goal at 10,000 because that is about what they had in 2008-09, the last time the club turned a profit. Attendance averaged just under 17,000 that season, compared to just more than 14,700 this season, which ranked 26th in the NBA out of 30 clubs.

Over the next few summers, Madison Square Garden is renovating. It’ll look pretty different next Knicks season, and vastly different a year later. So naturally there’s plenty of stuff in MSG worth collecting (or throwing out, depending on how big a fan you are). Here’s the info:

The Madison Square Garden Company and Steiner Sports Collectibles announced today that they are partnering to offer collectors and avid fans the chance to own a piece of The World’s Most Famous Arena. MSG-Steiner Collectibles which already offers fans rare and unique artifacts, memorabilia and hand-signed items for the Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty, will now be offering fans a variety of unique exclusive Madison Square Garden memorabilia as a result of The Garden Transformation. The first items that will be available beginning today are authentic seats from The Garden. The announcement was made by Steiner chairman Brandon Steiner and Scott O’Neil, president of MSG Sports.

“While construction crews work around the clock to transform The World’s Most Famous Arena into the world’s most spectacular arena, we were intent on preserving some history for our best and most loyal fans. We have the seat you sat in for the ‘94 Stanley Cup run and Larry Johnson’s 4-point play, and the seat you stood next to when you went to see Elton John or Billy Joel for the fifth time,” said O’Neil. “MSG-Steiner Collectibles is offering these seats as well as other one-of-a-kind pieces that represent not just Madison Square Garden’s history, but New Yorkers and visitors from around the world’s history at Madison Square Garden.”

“What a showcase item,” said Steiner. “It will be a kick to watch a game televised on MSG Network at home, sitting in a Garden chair.”

Madison Square Garden is currently undergoing a comprehensive top-to-bottom transformation that will make the Arena a state-of-the-art building. During the current Knicks and Rangers offseason the arena is shut down to complete work on the lower bowl. When the building opens for the 2011-12 seasons it will include all new lower bowl seating area, expanded Madison Concourse (lower concourse) with city views and additional food and beverage offerings, all new Event Level Suites and club spaces. The current Madison Square Garden opened in 1968; this is the fourth location for the Arena. Additional memorabilia from The Garden will be available through MSG-Steiner Collectibles at a later date.

The Madison Square Garden seats are priced at $899.99 for a pair and $549.99 for an individual seat, and are available in two colors, fuchsia and teal. To order call 800-759-SCORE or log onto www.PieceofTheGarden.com.

The AP reports:

kevin durant

Kevin Durant’s work was done early.

After three quarters. Not three overtimes.

Instead of hunting down key shots, he was tracking down a T-shirt from the stands and reveling in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 99-72 blowout of the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night that gave them their first series lead in the Western Conference semifinals…

Marc Gasol had 16 points to lead Memphis, which didn’t have much left after such a draining loss on its home court.

The Grizzlies shot a season-worst 36 percent, matched their lowest point total from the regular season and never put up much of a fight in the second half…

Zach Randolph, who played 56 minutes in the marathon Game 4, never was effective for Memphis. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds, and even missed four of his first five free throws. He had been averaging 26 points and 14 rebounds in the series…

Conley made just 4 of 16 shots, Tony Allen was 4 for 13 and O.J. Mayo 2 for 8 on a dreadful night when nothing was going in…

Westbrook had 11 points in 25 minutes—half of what he played in Game 4. Mohammed added 10 points and Collison had nine points and 10 rebounds, helping the Thunder to a 50-33 edge on the boards.

Heat eliminate Celtics in five games

The AP reports:

d-wade

Vanquishing the team they couldn’t beat for so long with a 16-0 run to end the game, Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James put the Heat up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 left on the way to a 33-point effort, and Miami topped Boston 97-87 to win their East semifinal series Wednesday night in five games.

James added a game-sealing—more aptly, a series-sealing—3-pointer with 40.4 seconds left, then turned and posed for some fans who screamed in delight.

A steal and two-handed slam 6 seconds later for good measure, followed by a Celtics turnover, got the party started. It was over, the Heat and Celtics knew it, and Boston coach Doc Rivers stood silently near the bench, his arms folded across his chest as James ran down the clock on Miami’s final offensive possession of the series…

Chris Bosh finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, including head-faking his way past Kevin Garnett for a game-tying dunk with 2:57 left…

Ray Allen led Boston with 18 points. Garnett had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Paul Pierce scored 12 and Delonte West added 10.

Rajon Rondo finished with six points in 31 minutes for Boston, playing with what appeared to be a slimmer brace over the still-painful left elbow that he dislocated during Game 3…

Miami shot 5 for 19 in the game’s opening 14 minutes, plus made six turnovers in that span to help Boston take a 26-16 lead by the early portion of the second quarter. Garnett started particularly strongly, going 5 for 7 from the field for 12 points in the opening quarter, punching his chest at times after makes.

The AP reports:

Robert `Tractor` Traylor dies in Puerto Rico at 34

Former NBA and University of Michigan player Robert “Tractor” Traylor has died. He was 34.

Police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a statement he was found dead Wednesday on the bedroom floor of his oceanfront apartment. Police and the Bayamon Cowboys basketball team said he had been missing for a few days and apparently died from a heart attack.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

The 6-foot-8 Traylor, a former University of Michigan star, played for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1998-2000. He had been playing in a Puerto Rican professional league.

On draft night in 1998, the Bucks traded the rights to Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to Traylor.

Statement from Milwaukee Bucks on the death of Robert Traylor: “The entire Milwaukee Bucks organization is saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death.  Robert was a fierce competitor on the court who helped the Bucks reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee (1998-2000). Off the court he was a gentle giant, displaying his smile and care, especially toward young people through his involvement in school visits and his work with the Special Olympics clinic. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.”

The following statement was released today on behalf of the New Orleans Hornets Organization upon learning of the passing of Robert Traylor: “The entire New Orleans Hornets organization is deeply saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death. “Tractor” was a great teammate and  loved by the community and our fans in both Charlotte and New Orleans during his three seasons with us. He was a compassionate human being who always had an upbeat attitude and a winning smile. Our deepest prayers and sympathies are with the Traylor family and he will be missed dearly.”

Derek Fisher not retiring yet

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher should probably be a reserve at this point, but he’s still definitely useful as a defender, flopper, leader, positive influence around young players, and occasional shot-maker. And he’s reportedly not looking to retire just yet. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Derek Fisher not retiring yet

Derek Fisher will be 37 before he plays another NBA game — 38 if he, as NBA players’ union president can’t help prevent last season from being lost to work stoppage — but he is not considering retirement at all.

“That’s not even a thought,” Fisher said Tuesday.

Fisher said the Lakers didn’t get better this season, saying: “Sometimes you think you have it figured out.”

He expressed confidence the team, as constructed, would succeed next season.

“I’d take the same exact group of guys and line ‘em up and lace ‘em up and we’d get the job done,” Fisher said. “That’s what I believe can and will happen.”

It’ll be very interesting to see what changes the Lakers make this offseason.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

derrick rose

Derrick Rose scored 33 points, Taj Gibson scored all of his 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 95-83 in Game 5 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead.

Luol Deng added 23 points and Chicago let out a big sigh of relief…

Rose showed why he is the league’s youngest MVP, hitting 11 of 24 shots and finishing with nine assists. It was a big improvement over Game 4 when he needed 32 shots to score 34 points, and he was particularly effective down the stretch, attacking the rim.

“He made unbelievable plays. He exploded off the pick and roll,” Atlanta’s Josh Smith said.

Jeff Teague was big again for the Hawks in place of the injured Kirk Hinrich, scoring 21 for the third time in this series, but Atlanta came up short in the end.

Smith contributed 16 points. Joe Johnson scored 15, Zaza Pachulia finished with 13 points and Al Horford added 12 points and 10 rebounds. But Jamal Crawford scored just two points on 1-of-9 shooting…

Things got particularly tense after a two-handed dunk by Smith cut Chicago’s lead to 61-60 with just over 4 minutes left in the period. He hung on the rim and Carlos Boozer gave him a forearm to the face, leading to a retaliatory shove from Smith and technical fouls for both players.

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

Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird met Tuesday in Los Angeles and have announced that Bird will remain in his position.

“I’m quite pleased with the success we experienced this past season and pleased with the direction our team is going,” said Simon. “I’m glad Larry is staying to help us continue in the positive direction we are going.”

“The past few months have been the most enjoyable since I took over as President of Basketball Operations,” said Bird. “To see our young players develop, to see us make the playoffs and then to see us compete in a hard-fought series with Chicago are indications we are headed in the right direction and it has made me even more determined to help this team improve further and go to the next level.

“I hope we can keep our core basketball group together and one of my first priorities will be to address the coaching situation.”

Simon and Bird also announced that David Morway will stay as general manager.

We live in an increasingly politically-correct public world, where celebrities, sports stars and other famous people have to be careful about what they say, for fear of pissing off at least some major group somewhere. And in this case, as the AP reports:

The Miami Heat star muttered the word after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals as he and Dwyane Wade listened to a question about Wade’s takedown of Boston guard Rajon Rondo.

James had his hand covering his mouth when he said “that’s retarded” as a reporter asked Wade whether the play that dislocated Rondo’s elbow was dirty.

I’m glad that’s resolved.

The AP reports:

kevin durant

Kevin Durant scored six of his 35 points in the third overtime, and the Thunder scored the final 10 points to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 133-123 in a thriller that started Monday night and ended early Tuesday morning.

It was the second straight overtime game in the series and the NBA’s first triple-overtime playoff game since Chicago downed Boston 128-127 on April 30, 2009…

The Thunder blew a 16-point lead in losing Game 3 101-93 in overtime. This time, Memphis was up 18, lost that and fell behind 10 in the fourth quarter only to rally.

Memphis’ Mike Conley hit a 3 over a couple defenders to set up the first overtime. Grizzlies rookie Greivis Vasquez hit an off-balance, one-handed 3 setting up the second overtime, and it was Marc Gasol’s scoring to help extend this game five more minutes…

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 40 points and only three turnovers in more than 51 minutes of play. James Harden added 19, and Daequan Cook had 10. Durant, Westbrook and Harden played the most minutes in a single game in their pro careers. For Memphis, Zach Randolph and Gasol posted career highs in minutes…

Randolph led Memphis with 34 points and 16 rebounds. Gasol had 26 and 21 rebounds. O.J. Mayo had 18 points and Conley 16 before both fouled out. Vasquez had 14.

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

The AP reports:

lebron james

LeBron James scored 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Miami to a 98-90 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night and give the Heat a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Dwyane Wade scored 28 with nine rebounds and Chris Bosh had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, which could eliminate the defending conference champions and advance to the East finals with a victory in Game 5 in Miami on Wednesday night…

James, Wade and Bosh scored 83 of Miami’s 98 points and had 35 of its 45 rebounds.

Paul Pierce scored 27, Ray Allen had 17 and Kevin Garnett had seven points and 10 rebounds for Boston…

In the overtime period, Garnett threw the ball away and then James made a fallaway jumper as the shot clock expired to give Miami an 88-86 lead. Allen missed, Bosh dunked at the other end, West missed a 3-pointer and then James drew a charging foul on Pierce. After another Boston turnover, Wade made a 2-pointer with his foot on the 3-point arc to give Miami a 92-86 lead with 2 minutes left in overtime.

Fans discussed the game live as it happened in this forum topic.

Thoughts from InsideHoops.com coming Tuesday.

The AP reports:

Smith, Teague lead Hawks past Bulls 100-88 in Game 4

Josh Smith is frequently criticized by Atlanta fans for his inconsistent play. He heard nothing but cheers Sunday night, coming up with a huge game that helped the Hawks even the Eastern Conference semifinal against top-seeded Chicago at two games apiece.

Largely ignoring the long jumpers that aren’t his forte, Smith had 23 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal in Atlanta’s 100-88 win over the Bulls…

Jeff Teague also played a big role in stopping the skid.

Filling in for injured Kirk Hinrich, the second-year guard again directed the team with the poise of a veteran instead of someone who played infrequently during the regular season and hardly at all in the first round of the playoffs. He scored 12 points and doled out four assists, putting the capper on a late 10-0 run that broke open a game that had been tight and intense all the way…

The actual MVP scored 34 points. But Derrick Rose needed 32 shots to do it, and he wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in scoring a career-best 44 points in Game 3, leading the Bulls to a 99-82 rout that restored Chicago’s home-court advantage…

Seven-footer Jason Collins started at center between Al Horford and Smith, putting Marvin Williams in a reserve role. Collins had a couple of early dunks, but he wound up playing less than 12 minutes…

Carlos Boozer had 18 points for Chicago, and Luol Deng added 13. Korver had an especially rough night, going 1 for 8 from the field. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

By Scott Spangler

It looked like the Los Angeles Lakers, who on Sunday were swept 4-0 in their second round playoff series by the Dallas Mavericks, lost Games 3 and 4 in the last five minutes Friday night. It is obviously easy to say this now, but it was my feeling at the time.

Dirk Nowitzki

The Mavs were down eight midway through the fourth quarter in Game 3, and responded with a 20-7 run to close. When Dirk Nowitzki hit a lefty hook to give the Mavericks the lead for good, there was no mistaking the Lakers’ body language.

Only moments earlier, a must-win, yet could-win situation for the Lakers was in play. As they left the court of American Airlines Center, eyes cast down and shoulders slumped. The final minute of Game 3 robbed L.A. of any ambition that might have remained.

The Lakers played defense at a high level most of Game 3 - championship caliber defense, in fact. On Sunday during Game 4, it was gone. Maverick guards got in and out of the paint at will. Jason Terry was the beneficiary of a lot of it, as he nailed several open threes, but J.J Barea made his way in the painted area with ease. Even 38 year-old Jason Kidd got inside for kickout passes to open teammates.

Sunday was just the day Dallas shooters were really knocking them down. Of course, that will happen when the opponent isn’t giving much in the way of resistance.

jason terry

And once threes started falling for Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic, L.A. packed it in. Andrew Bynum started short-arming everything, except J.J. Barea. Lamar Odom was thinking about a beach. Phil Jackson pondered life after coaching, but certainly not peyote.

Might the Mavericks have left the door open once shots stopped falling? Tough to say. Since shots kept going down, we will never know for sure. Dallas has been guilty of easing off the pedal before, and not just in Miami five years ago.

This is the club that led Portland 3-0 in 2003, only to see the series go seven games. And the Lakers are the one franchise that would seem capable of making that type of history. Until now, Dallas would seem the perfect victim.

But again, shots kept falling for the Mavs. The defense continued to smother Kobe Bryant and dared others to convert. No one stepped up and the Los Angeles Lakers went quietly, without much of a fight.

All due respect to the two-time defending world champions. This is a trophy kill for the little Mavericks, a team that many believed wouldn’t survive Portland. There’s much to be proud of for Mark Cuban and Dallas fans everywhere.

Still, the effort Sunday wasn’t what one would expect from a champion. Perhaps all Laker will had been sapped through three games. And maybe, Dallas just took it.

What’s your reaction? Discuss opinions with other fans in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

Mavs eliminate Lakers, sweep Phil Jackson to retirement

Jason Terry and the Dallas Mavericks ended Phil Jackson’s tenure, and the Lakers’ reign as two-time champions, with a 122-86 victory Sunday. After two tight finishes and another game that was relatively close, the Mavs turned this one into a rout in the second quarter.

With Terry leading the way, Dallas hit a barrage of 3-pointers to go ahead by 24 points at halftime. When he made 3s on consecutive possessions early in the third quarter, Los Angeles knew it wasn’t going to come back in this game or the series.

Things got ugly early in the fourth quarter, with vicious, frustration-fueled cheap shots by Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum getting them ejected 45 seconds apart. But at game’s end, Dallas coaches, players and team owner Mark Cuban lined up to bid farewell to the Zen Master…

Terry tied a playoff record with nine 3-pointers, and the club matched NBA postseason marks with 11 3s in the first half and 20 for the game. Dallas made 63 percent of its shots from behind the arc (20 of 32) and 60 percent of its field goals (44 of 73)…

Terry made 11 of 14 shots for 32 points. J.J. Barea set a career playoff-best with 22 points and Peja Stojakovic added 21 points. All three of those guys come off the bench…

Bryant finished 7 of 18 for 17 points. Shannon Brown was Los Angeles’ next-best scorer with 15. Pau Gasol’s lost postseason continued, too; he had 10 points and eight rebounds.

The AP reports:

Panathinaikos won the Euroleague basketball final Sunday, beating Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 78-70 behind 16 points and nine assists from Dimitris Diamantidis.

This was the sixth European title and third in five years for the Greek club. Italy’s Montepaschi Siena beat Real Madrid 80-62 for third place.

Former Arizona State center Mike Batiste, who also won the title with Panathinaikos in 2007 and ’09, scored 18 points and Drew Nicholas added 14. Maccabi’s Chuck Eidson had 17.

The Israelis were within three points at halftime, but their outside shooting faltered in the second half when it made just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. Panathinaikos used a strong third quarter to build a double-digit lead, then withstood a late run from Maccabi…

Diamantidis, the regular-season MVP, was also the MVP of the Final Four. The only others to win Final Four MVP awards more than once are Toni Kukoc (four) and Dejan Bodiroga (two). Diamantidis won the championship for the third time with the Greens.

NBA fines Phil Jackson for comments on officiating

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been fined $35,000 for public comments about the officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Jackson made his comments yesterday during the Lakers’ off day media availability.

The AP reports:

Montepaschi Siena beat Real Madrid 80-62 on Sunday to claim third place in the Euroleague Final Four.

With Madrid only three points behind, the Italian champions went on a 13-2 run to gain control for good in the third quarter.

Eleven players scored for Montepaschi, led by forward Ksistof Lavrinovic who had 17 points and four assists. David Moss added 11 points, while Bo McCalebb chipped in with 10 more.

The AP reports:

His left arm wrapped in a sleeve and dangling lifelessly by his side, Rajon Rondo broke for the basket and sailed past LeBron James for a layup.

The dislocated elbow and stiff back weren’t going to stop him.

Rondo returns and helps Celtics beat Heat 97-81 in Game 3

Rondo still had one good arm—and his legs.

The Celtics point guard had 11 assists in the game and a pair of one-armed baskets in the fourth quarter on Saturday night to lead Boston to a 97-81 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“He showed he’s a really tough young individual,” said Kevin Garnett, who had 28 points and 18 rebounds—more than he had in the first two games combined…

Paul Pierce scored 27 for the defending East champions, who managed to avoid a 3-0 hole that no NBA team has ever overcome. But they came out of it with injuries to both point guards: Coach Doc Rivers said Rondo’s future availability is in question, and Delonte West had his bruised left shoulder wrapped at the end of the game…

Dwyane Wade had 23 points and seven assists, and Joel Anthony continued to contribute off the bench, scoring 12 with 11 rebounds. Playing in the building where his Cleveland career came to an end, spurring his free agency defection to Miami, James scored 15 points as he and Wade combined to make just 14 of 35 shots from the floor…

Shaquille O’Neal returned for Boston and was not much of a factor. He scored two points, with zero rebounds, in 8:29 for his first action of the postseason.

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