Archive for February 25th, 2014

Here’s a new basketball video from the fine people at AQUAhydrate, who make a cool product that Sean “Diddy” Combs also appears to love and support. Enjoy “Take it to the court.”

Will Cavs eventually lose Kyrie Irving?

Here’s ESPN.com on what would be a very sad day for the Cleveland Cavaliers, should Kyrie Irving someday decide to hit the road for good:

If Kyrie Irving truly wants to be on a different team next season he can probably make it happen.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will offer Irving a maximum contract extension once they’re allowed to on July 1, and if he hasn’t signed it by October, the team will likely be forced to trade him before the Oct. 31 deadline for third-year players to extend their contracts.

The Cavs aren’t without leverage. They can match any deal offered if Irving hits restricted free agency in the summer of 2015, and they control his rights through summer 2016. Waiting out that period would cost Irving millions, not to mention open himself up to losing it all should some unforeseen major injury occur. For these reasons, no player in Irving’s position has ever declined to a sign a maximum contract offer.

But the scars of LeBron James’ departure four years ago are far from healed, and they’re certainly going to affect the way the club and its current star player handle their future together.

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on an upcoming Nuggets opponent:

LaMarcus Aldridge out for Blazers, taking time to heal

The Nuggets will catch a break in facing Portland tonight with the Trail Blazers playing without star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is resting a groin injury.

And they’ll take it.

“I normally like to face a team when they’re at full strength, to get the best out of us and the best out of them,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.

Then he smiled.

“But this is one instance where after that 44 that he gave us, his career high, I don’t mind that he’s out,” Shaw said. “We’ve played him twice, and he’s kind of had his way with us both times, so I hope whatever ailment he has, he gets better, but I’m not mad he’s not going to face us tonight.”

Celtics, Rajon Rondo controversy?

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who doesn’t seem to be acting like much of a team captain right now:

The Celtics are not taking it as a major issue, but the team is still hoping to straighten things out with Rajon Rondo after his decision to stay in Los Angeles and not accompany the team to Sacramento for Saturday’s game.

While some were displeased by the move, for which Rondo did not receive official permission, others pointed out he was not scheduled to play in the game anyway (on the second night of a back-to-back), and that he may have simply been making some assumptions based on precedent. Multiple sources say he remained in LA for a birthday celebration. He turned 28 on Saturday.

The captain didn’t want to get into the matter before last night’s 110-98 loss to the Jazz.

“We already talked about it,” Rondo said. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

That doesn’t appear to be the case. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said yesterday he is still looking into the situation.

ESPN.com reported: NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe acknowledged in a recent interview with ESPN.com that the league office, at least in an exploratory fashion, has weighed expanding the dimensions of the court and the introduction of a 4-point shot. In a sitdown with ESPN’s TrueHoop TV conducted during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans earlier this month, Thorn and VanDeWeghe spoke of both concepts mostly from a hypothetical standpoint but did concede that both ideas have been presented for discussion at a league level.

NBA RESPONSE FROM SENIOR VP TIM FRANK: “No one at the NBA, nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a 4-point line. Rod Thorn and Kiki VanDeWeghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out of the box ideas and ESPN.com chose to make a story that doesn’t exist.”

Read NBA fan reaction or share your opinion in this forum topic.

Dee Bost doing his thing in the D-League

Dee Bost is a former high school quarterback who once collected MVP honors in the North Carolina Class 3A State Championship Game.

Today he’s the NBA D-League’s top quarterback, averaging a league-best 8.8 assists through 35 games with the Idaho Stampede. That’s no small feat, considering he shared a backcourt for much of this season with Pierre Jackson, the most dynamic scorer the NBA D-League has seen in recent years, and someone who had the ball in his hands … a lot. (Jackson left Idaho last week to sign a contract overseas).

In his first full week sans Jackson, Bost did okay, if your definition of okay is averaging a triple-double. In two games, the 6-2 guard from Mississippi State, who went undrafted in 2012 out of Mississippi State, averaged 20.5 points, 14.5 assists and 11.5 rebounds, as the Stampede posted wins over the Maine Red Claws and Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Bost, who played his first professional season for KK Buducnost in Montenegro (Adriatic League), was in training camp with the Portland Trail Blazers in October, and subsequently picked up by the Trail Blazers’ NBA D-League affiliate Idaho. He was recently selected to play in the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans, tallying four points and seven assists in 20 minutes.

As far as his NBA chances go, Bost continues to be somewhat of a mixed bag in the eyes of most scouts. He has NBA-caliber speed and quickness, along with very good vision. The strength of his game is his ability to get in the lane and find people. The flipside is Bost is very turnover prone — he’s averaging 3.5 turnovers this season — and when you pair that with streaky outside shooting, his attractiveness as a backup point guard at the NBA level diminishes.

Still, guards who average better than 8.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds in a very competitive NBA D-League, and have impressive physical tools, are going to be on the radar for NBA teams. If Bost can reign it in a bit, and continue to improve as a perimeter shooter, he has a chance to play in the NBA someday.

– Via NBA D-League News

Here’s Yahoo Sports with a report on the Knicks and Earl Clark, who does seem like he has the skills to stick around in the NBA:

Knicks reportedly interested in Earl Clark

The New York Knicks are pursuing a deal with free-agent forward Earl Clark, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Knicks are trying to sign two defensive-minded players before meeting the Miami Heat on Thursday in Miami, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

After acquiring him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Philadelphia released Clark, 26, and he cleared waivers to become a free agent.

Kendrick Perkins out six weeks after surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins underwent a successful procedure on his left groin, the team announced today.

The injury occurred during the third quarter of the Feb. 20 game versus the Miami Heat. This season Perkins has appeared in 54 games (all starts) averaging 3.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.7 minutes per contest.

Perkins is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed guard DeAndre Liggins to a 10-day contract from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “The move by the Heat comes a week after felony domestic violence charges were dropped in Oklahoma against Liggins, who had charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of domestic abuse in the presence of a minor and one count of violating a protective order after an Aug. 31 arrest, when his girlfriend told police he attacked her in front of their 2-year-old son. Because misdemeanor charges still could be filed, the Heat said neither the team nor Liggins would comment on the incident.”

Liggins has appeared in 35 games (34 starts) with the Skyforce this season averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.54 steals and 40.3 minutes while shooting 39.8 percent from the field. The 2014 NBA D-League All-Star has appeared in 54 career D-League games (53 starts) and averaged 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.26 steals and 38.2 minutes while shooting 41.4 percent from the field.

The University of Kentucky product has also appeared in 56 career NBA games (one start) and averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 7.2 minutes of action while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. He appeared in eight postseason NBA games with Oklahoma City last season totaling eight points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 68 minutes.

Liggins was originally drafted in the second round (53rd overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.

He will wear number 14.

The Orlando Magic have signed center Dewayne Dedmon and guard-forward Adonis Thomas to 10-day contracts, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Dedmon and Thomas are the 23rd and 24th “call-ups” of the 2013-14 NBA Development League season.

Dedmon (#3, 7’0”, 255, 8/12/89) has played in 15 combined games this season with Golden State and Philadelphia, averaging 2.5 ppg. and 3.3 rpg. in 10.4 minpg. He also appeared in 15 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, averaging 15.2 ppg., 13.1 rpg., 1.3 apg., 2.33 blkpg. and 1.53 stlpg. in 33.7 minpg.

Thomas (#8, 6’7”, 235, 3/25/93) has played in 26 games (21 starts) with the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, averaging 16.2 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 35.1 minpg., while shooting .469 (38-81) from three-point range.

Not drafted by an NBA team in 2013, Dedmon played in 51 games (49 starts) during his two-year career at USC, averaging 7.1 ppg., 6.7 rpg. and 1.67 blkpg. In 2012-13 as a redshirt junior, he appeared in 31 games (29 starts), averaging 6.7 ppg., 7.0 rpg., 2.13 blkpg. and 1.10 stlpg. in 22.3 minpg. He led the Trojans in rebounding and blocked shots. Dedmon did not play organized basketball until his senior year of high school due to religious reasons and played one season at Antelope Valley College in his hometown of Lancaster, CA, before transferring to USC.

Also undrafted in 2013, Thomas played in 55 games (44 starts) during two years at the University of Memphis, averaging 10.7 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and 1.5 apg. in 27.5 minpg. He was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament Team in 2013.

Orlando’s roster now stands at 14 players.

Bucks beat Sixers by 20

The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t won too often this season, and a road victory has been even rarer.

They earned both in a laugher over the nearly-as-hapless Philadelphia 76ers.

O.J. Mayo made seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points, Ersan Ilyasova added 20, and the Bucks placed seven players in double figures in a 130-110 rout of the 76ers, who lost their 11th straight game on Monday night.

“In our situation, it’s great to get a win any way we can get it,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said.

Ramon Sessions scored 16 points, Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight had 15 each, and Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 13 for the Bucks (11-45), who own the NBA’s worst record. John Henson added 12 for the Bucks, who had their highest scoring game of the season.

– Associated Press

Raymond Felton facing gun charges

New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton was questioned by police Tuesday morning after allegedly pointing a gun at a woman, sources said.

The starting point guard, whose wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, recently filed for divorce, was being quizzed at the 20th Precinct Station House on the Upper West Side, according to law-enforcement sources.

Police said Felton was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second, third and fourth-degrees.

– New York Post

Felton was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a firearm, which are felonies, and fourth-degree possession of a firearm, which is a misdemeanor, the spokesman said. Further details on the weapons charges are not known at this point.

– ESPN New York

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