Archive for May 13th, 2011

The AP reports:

Doc Rivers agrees to five-year contract extension with Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was approaching his postseason news conference when his cell phone rang.

He smiled and told reporters it was from his new coach, then ducked into the nearby workout room to take the call. But he was only half-joking: It was Doc Rivers calling, and he had just agreed to a five-year contract extension that would not only give him another run at a title with the current roster but keep him in Boston to help rebuild the franchise when the Big Three era is done…

Rivers contract was set to expire - he had an option for next season - and he said after the Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat on Wednesday night that he was “leaning heavily” toward coming back. But he was expected to return on a short-term deal to make one more run at a title with the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

Instead, the five-year contract worth a reported $35 million would give him the chance to lead the franchise with a rebuilt roster that probably won’t include any of the thirtysomething stars who led Boston to its 18th NBA title - and Rivers’ first - in 2008.

Mavs have newfound phenomenal foursome

There is some rhyme and reason as to why the Dallas Mavericks are even hotter in the NBA playoffs than they were during the regular season. It has something to do with several of the best players on the team actually getting to be on the floor together, healthy and happy. Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports:

Dirk Mavs forward

A quartet that got minimal burn together during the regular season has been a major key to the Mavericks’ playoff run.

The foursome of Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea has already played more minutes in the playoffs than it did the entire regular season. And the results have been remarkable.

That group with Brendan Haywood is the second-most used lineup by the Mavs this postseason, putting up a net rating (points per 100 possessions) of plus 28.54, according to NBA.com’s Stats Cube. The net rating with Tyson Chandler manning the middle with that quartet in the playoffs is plus 29.87.

On the rare occasions that quartet played during the regular season, it was actually most effective with Ian Mahinmi at center. That lineup had a net rating of plus 55.70 in 47 minutes. It was a mediocre lineup with Haywood in the regular season (minus 0.14 in 41 minutes) and didn’t play a second with Chandler at center until the playoffs.

The Mavs continue to sit waiting for the winner of the Thunder-Grizzlies series. Oklahoma City leads Memphis 3-2, with Game 6 coming tonight.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

“Day by day, I’m getting better. I felt great,’’ Boozer said, sounding like a guy who was getting close to 100 percent on the health front. “The 15-, 17-footer was there and I just shot it.’’

As far as the Big Three facing off against the Big Two, Boozer wasn’t getting caught up in that.

“All of us have to do our jobs,’’ Boozer said. “We’ve been a team all year long. It’s not a one-man show, but our one man [Rose] is pretty good. We rely on everybody.’’

Give Boozer credit. Even with the game, over he did have one more shot to take, and it wasn’t with a ball in his hand.

Asked about facing Miami’s Big Three, he responded, “They have two great players in D. Wade and LeBron. We look forward to the challenge.’’

No mention of Bosh?

There it was, one more body blow.

Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area reports:

Warriors reach out to Lakers assistant Brian Shaw

The Warriors have officially reached out to Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw about their head coaching opening, CSN Bay Area has learned.

According to two league sources, the Warriors called Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak earlier this week and asked for permission to talk to Shaw, the lead assistant to Phil Jackson.

Shaw, an Oakland native, is considered a leading candidate to succeed Jackson, who retired this week after the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference semifinals by Dallas.

At the same time, the Lakers’ front office has indicated it will interview other candidates, too. Shaw is under contract with the Lakers until June 30, but they have given him the OK to interview with other NBA teams.

Shaw interviewed last offseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but decided to return to the Lakers. He also interviewed for the Chicago Bulls’ heading coaching position in 2008, a job that went to Vinny Del Negro.

Shaw is considered among the best of an assistant coaching crop that also includes: San Antonio’s Mike Budenholzer, Dallas’ Dwane Casey, Boston’s Lawrence Frank and New Orleans’ Mike Malone.

Pacers increase season ticket prices

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

The Indiana Pacers are increasing their ticket prices for the first time in five years.

The Pacers are offering full- and half-season packages and taking deposits on 11-game packages for the 2011-12 season at rates that are about 9 percent higher than this season.

Single-game ticket prices have yet to be determined.

“The ticket packages we’re selling today are higher than last year’s packages, but they’re still less than what they were five years ago,” said Rick Fuson, Pacers Sports & Entertainment chief operations officer.

Yao Ming sues Chinese sportswear maker

Reuters reports:

Yao Ming sues Chinese sportswear maker

China’s NBA all-star Yao Ming has sued a Chinese sportswear maker over alleged name and image infringements, local media reported Friday.

The towering Houston Rockets center has filed a lawsuit against the company for using the label “Yao Ming Era” on its shoes without his consent, Yao’s management said.

Lu Hao claimed the sports maker also used Yao’s signature and portrait on their products while promoting them across the country.

Bulls eliminate Hawks in six games

The AP reports:

carlos boozer

Carlos Boozer scored 23 points, Derrick Rose doled out 12 assists in more of a supporting role and the Bulls cruised past the Atlanta Hawks 93-73 on Thursday night, wrapping up the East semifinal in six games…

As if to prove his point, Rose took a playoff-low 14 shots and finished with 19 points, his second-lowest total of the postseason. This was a textbook performance by the guys around him, each of them comfortable in a supporting role, each of them willing to do the dirty work at the defensive end.

The most impressive number: Chicago had assists on all but seven of its 41 baskets. Or, come to think of it, maybe it was this stat: The Hawks shot just 37 percent (27 of 74) and rarely got an open look…

Luol Deng hit some big baskets early and finished with 13 points, plus five steals. Joakim Noah scored 11 and stifled the Hawks with three blocks. Omer Asik chipped in with two swats of his own. Keith Bogans made only one basket, but it was a big 3-pointer as the Bulls put it away in the third quarter…

“What goes underrated about them is the depth of their team,” said Atlanta’s Al Horford, who had a miserable night and a tough series overall. “They just wear on you. They just kept coming, kept coming every game. It seemed like their starters were fresh.” …

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 19 points. Josh Smith was the only other player in double figures with 18. The Hawks went 1-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

InsideHoops.com notes: Jeff Teague hurt his wrist and finished the game with just four points (2-of-6 shooting) and three assists… Al Horford, playing power forward, was awful and shot 2-of-10 for seven points and four rebounds in 37 minutes… The Bulls dished 34 assists. The Hawks had just 14… Like the Hawks, the Bulls were lousy from three-point range. But Chicago shot 53.2% overall from the field, while the Hawks hit just 36.5% of their shots… The Bulls barely went to the free throw line, hitting 8-of-10.

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

Basketball blog