Archive for May 24th, 2012

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shaquille o'neal

NBA great Shaquille O’Neal has declined an invitation to interview for the Orlando Magic’s vacant general manager position.

O’Neal earlier had expressed interest in the job.

“When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued,” O’Neal said in a statement Thursday. “I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home. Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family.

”However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing. I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports. I look forward to many more years with Charles (Barkley), Kenny (Smith) and E.J. (Ernie Johnson). I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach.“

– Reported by the Chicago Tribune

2011-12 All-NBA Teams announced

lebron james

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James, the 2011-12 NBA Most Valuable Player and winner of three of the previous four MVP awards, highlights the 2011-12 All-NBA First Team. James received 118 of a possible 120 first team votes. Joining James on the First Team are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite averaging a career-low 37.5 minutes, the eight-time All-Star led the NBA in plus-minus score differential (+7.6) and ranked third in scoring (27.1 ppg), while pacing the Heat in assists (6.2 apg) and tying for the team lead in rebounds (7.9 rpg). In addition, James established career bests in field goal percentage (.531) and three-point field goal percentage (.362). James earns First Team honors for the fifth straight season and sixth time overall.

kevin durant

Durant earns his third All-NBA First Team selection. He led the league in scoring (28.0 ppg) for the third consecutive year, edging Bryant in the second-closest finish all-time, to go along with career highs in rebounds (8.0 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg). Durant scored at least 40 points four times including a career-high 51 on Feb. 19 vs. Denver. He earned All-Star MVP honors after scoring 36 points in the Western Conference’s 152-149 win over the East.

Bryant, an All-NBA First Team selection for the seventh straight season, becomes the active leader for most First-Team nods with 10. Bryant finished second in the league in scoring (27.9 ppg). On Feb. 6, at Philadelphia, Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list; and on March 9, at Minnesota, he became the youngest player to 29,000 points (33 years, 199 days). Bryant’s 10 First-Team selections tie for second all-time (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Bob Cousy, Michael Jordan, Bob Pettit, and Jerry West). Karl Malone is the all-time leader with 11.

dwight howard

Howard, an All-NBA First Team selection for the fifth consecutive season, led the league in rebounding with a career-high 14.5 rpg and field goal percentage (.573), and finished second in double-doubles (43) and third in blocks (2.15 bpg). Howard also averaged 20.6 points and was one of only three players to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Paul, an All-NBA First Team selection for the second time in his career, paced the league in steals (2.53 spg) and finished third in assists (9.1 apg), adding 19.8 ppg and 3.5 rpg. He posted 23 double-doubles, tying for 16th overall. Paul this season became only the second player (Tim Hardaway, 1990-91) in NBA history to average at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

tony parker

The All-NBA Second Team consists of guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, forwards Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and center Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The All-NBA Third Team includes the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo at guard, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki at forward, and the Knicks’ Tyson Chandler at center.

The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 120 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 2011-12 All-NBA Teams, with First Team votes in parentheses. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

2011-12 ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM

Position     Player, Team (1st Team Votes)        Points
Forward     LeBron James, Miami (118)        596
Forward     Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (117)        591
Center       Dwight Howard, Orlando (75)        476
Guard        Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (104)        568
Guard        Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers (74)        484

2011-12 ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM

Position        Player, Team (1st Team Votes)        Points
Forward     Kevin Love, Minnesota (16)        365
Forward     Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers        170
Center       Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers (33)        400
Guard        Tony Parker, San Antonio (41)        367
Guard        Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (5)        239

2011-12 ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM

Position     Player, Team (1st Team Votes)        Points
Forward     Carmelo Anthony, New York (1)        154
Forward     Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas        136
Center       Tyson Chandler, New York (4)        60
Guard        Dwyane Wade, Miami (1)        235
Guard        Rajon Rondo, Boston (4)        142

Other players receiving votes, with point totals: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland, 55; Marc Gasol, Memphis, 52; Derrick Rose, Chicago, 44; Josh Smith, Atlanta, 33; Paul Pierce, Boston, 31; Al Jefferson, Utah, 30; Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers, 27; Steve Nash, Phoenix, 24; Kevin Garnett, Boston, 22; Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 18; Joe Johnson, Atlanta, 16; Deron Williams, New Jersey, 14; Rudy Gay, Memphis, 10; James Harden, Oklahoma City, 8; Luol Deng, Chicago, 5; Roy Hibbert, Indiana, 5; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio, 3; Danny Granger, Indiana, 3; Joakim Noah, Chicago, 3; Monta Ellis, Milwaukee, 2; Chris Bosh, Miami, 2; Luis Scola, Houston, 2; Marcin Gortat, Phoenix, 2; Paul Millsap, Utah, 2; Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City, 2; David Lee, Golden State, 1; and DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento, 1.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your views in this basketball forum topic.

lebron james

To LeBron James, the simple solution could have prevented the bigger mess.

While not directly calling out the officiating crew at Tuesday’s Game 5 of this Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, James said Thursday that harsher immediate action could have prevented the eventual suspension of Heat power forward Udonis Haslem for Thursday night’s Game 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

James said had Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough been immediately cited for a Flagrant 2 foul Tuesday and ejected for his hard hit on Dwyane Wade, then there would have been no retaliation foul from Haslem. Hansbrough instead was cited for a Flagrant 1 foul, which allowed him to remain in the game. The NBA later upgraded the violation to a Flagrant 2 foul, which would have mandated immediate ejection…

“If there was a Flagrant 2 to start with,” James said, “then U.D. would have never fouled him, which means U.D. never would have got suspended. I mean Hansbrough, it’s not the first time that he went after one of our players this year. We have two guys suspended and basically they have no one suspended.”

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

- The Celtics are not expecting to have Avery Bradley for the rest of the playoffs because of a left shoulder injury, a source close to the shooting guard said Wednesday. Asked for a percentage about Bradley having played his final game this season, the source said in the “high 90s.’’

The source said it’s “highly likely’’ Bradley’s left shoulder would pop out again - it has popped out twice in the series against the 76ers - and playing would put him at risk of “serious structural damage.’’

Bradley has missed the past two games with soreness in both shoulders. The Celtics brass, along with Bradley’s representatives, appear close to deciding to sit him for the remainder of the playoffs. Coach Doc Rivers called Bradley’s injury “day to day,’’ but said he was not sure when he would return.

– Reported by the Boston Globe

On one hand, the club knows it needs to get him ample rest if he is to play at a high level. On the other hand, the C’s can’t afford to have him out of the game for too long.

Doc Rivers has tried to manage the 36-year-old center’s minutes, and Wednesday night in Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers Garnett played 41 and had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Boston’s 82-75 loss that set up a Game 7 Saturday.

“It can be hard, but we’ve got to give him breaks or we wouldn’t be getting what we are from him,” said Rivers.

Veteran guard Keyon Dooling may have put it best.

“Unfortunately this isn’t a video game,” he said. “You actually need a little rest.”

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

Lamar Odom might want to join Knicks

Lamar Odom

Who will Lamar Odom play for next season? That’s currently out of his control. He’s under contract with the Dallas Mavericks, who likely will trade him or waive him.

But a source with knowledge of Odom’s thinking says the New York Knicks would be “on the top of his list” if the Queens native becomes a free agent.

“Lamar is big on being comfortable,” the source said. “And New York is somewhere he can be comfortable.”

The Knicks’ interest in Odom is unclear at this point.

They likely will be limited in their spending this summer. New York is expected to use its mid-level exception to retain restricted free-agent Jeremy Lin, which would leave the organization with little money to spend on free agents.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Sixers force a Game 7 with Celtics

jrue holiday

The buzz at the start was for Allen Iverson’s ceremonial return.

By the end, more than 20,000 fans were on their feet and going wild for Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and the rugged-and-determined play that kept the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers alive for at least one more game.

Yes, the Sixers are talking about Game 7 - and they’re taking this improbable postseason run back to Boston.

Holiday scored 20 points, and Brand had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sixers to an 82-75 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night that tied the Eastern Conference semifinals.

No team has won consecutive games in a series where neither team has played well enough to seize control. But the Sixers were good enough to win Game 6, improving to 5-0 this postseason in games following a loss…

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo could be playing their last game together Saturday night if they can’t find a way to hang onto the ball and put away a Sixers team that won’t quit…

The Celtics posted ugly numbers across the board: Blame the loss on the 33 percent shooting, the 17 turnovers or the 3 for 14 3-point shooting. Either way, there’s enough to go around. Pierce had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Garnett had 20 points and 11 boards…

Pierce led the parade to the line for the Boston. He made his first 11 attempts for a Celtics team that was 17 for 17 through three quarters. The Celtics made only 19 field goals through three.

– Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

Rondo’s final line on Wednesday - nine points, six assists and nine rebounds - was the kind you expect to see from in at the half.

“I don’t know” was C’s coach Doc Rivers’ response when asked about Rondo’s very un-Rondo-like game.

“He wanted to play well,” Rivers added. “He attacked early and missed some shots. He probably got caught in between himself because he saw the offense wasn’t working.”

Boston shot 33 percent from the field and turned the ball over 17 times (for 19 points).

You want to know what a recipe for defeat looks like?

Shooting that poorly and turning the ball over that many times, is a start.

And when you consider so much of Rondo’s game is dependent on others making shots, it’s not all that surprising that the Celtics All-Star’s numbers weren’t nearly as impressive as they usually are.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE

The Celtics flew home for Saturday’s Game 7 with some odious numbers, but none worse than those turned in by the architect of that win in Game 5.

Rajon Rondo, who for long stretches had as many turnovers as assists, finished with perhaps his worst night of the postseason — nine points on 4-for-14 shooting, six assists, four turnovers and his one redeeming stat of nine rebounds.

But he had company. Brandon Bass, the Game 5 hero, had eight points on 2-for-12 shooting against some intensified trapping. Ray Allen, now maneuvering on two bad ankles and struggling to keep up with Philadelphia’s quick guards, fell into foul trouble and shot 4-for-11.

They could only get so far on Kevin Garnett’s jump shooting this time. Keyon Dooling can only dig into his speech file so often.

The Celtics, now 2-11 in potential road game closeout opportunities over the last five years — the new Big Three era — are thus thanking the skies for the fact they have homecourt advantage.

– Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 20 points and dealt six assists. Brand gutted through a sore neck and shoulder for 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Iguodala and Turner had 12 each, and Williams chipped in with 11.

Defensively, the group held Celtic guard Rajon Rondo to only nine points and six assists, and limited Boston to 26-for-78 (33.3 percent) from the floor and turned them over 17 times. And with starting ‘two’ guard Avery Bradley sidelined again with a shoulder injury, there weren’t many able bodies for Rivers to look to.

“It’s what we have,” Rivers said. “Avery is a great defender, but I can’t worry about [not having him]. The penetration hurt us and the isos and they were picking who they wanted [to isolate]. That’s what I would do. I know Doug well. I’m gonna give him a call and say, ‘Listen, none of that.’ We have to do a better job of helping those who can’t keep guys in front of them.

“They’re athletic, young, they’re very fast, and they play with a lot of energy. We knew coming in this would be hard. They have a quickness advantage and we understand that.”

– Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

Evan Turner hasn’t exactly been an offensive machine during this series, but with Allen assigned to him this appeared to be a game where he could break out.

The previous two games saw Turner score in double figures, but his shooting (10-for-35) has been anything but stellar.

By halftime on Wednesday, even with the Sixers struggling to hit shots from the field - they were just 14-for-35 from the field - Turner was off to a decent enough shooting start (3-for-5) that it didn’t look too far out of the realm of possibility that the former No. 2 overall pick might put up some impressive numbers.

And while he never really got his offensive game untracked, that was less important than what he did at the defensive end.

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

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