Archive for April 22nd, 2014

The title say it all. Enjoy this video of the top 10 poster dunks of the 2013-14 NBA regular season:

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Clippers, who yesterday enjoyed a huge Game 2 blowout win over the Warriors that tied their first round series at one win each:

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will be limited in practice over the next two days by an injured right hamstring heading into Thursday’s Game 3 of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

“He won’t do much,” coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday. “He may do a little tomorrow but nothing today. We’re not doing anything today anyway, but I don’t need him doing anything.”

Paul injured his right hamstring late in the first half of the Clippers’ 109-105 Game 1 loss on Saturday and received round-the-clock treatment heading into Game 2, when he played 27 minutes and had 12 points and 10 assists in a 138-98 blowout of the Warriors.

Flip Saunders is a former coach himself, so he knows how coveted a head coaching job in the NBA can be.

The Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations may also soon find out how difficult filling an opening can be as well.

Saunders started the search for a new coach in earnest on Tuesday, one day after Rick Adelman announced his retirement. It’s a move that has been expected for some time, and Saunders has no doubt been kicking around possibilities. As a former coach, and a well-respected basketball mind, Saunders has a vast reservoir of contacts in the coaching fraternity, contacts that he will need to tap during a delicate search for a new leader.

Hanging over the process is Kevin Love’s uncertain future in Minnesota. Love can opt out of his contract after next season. The possibility of losing the face of the franchise, one of the best power forwards in the game and a relentless worker who has improved every summer could give some coaches pause when considering Minnesota.

– Associated Press

Maine Red Claws guard Frank Gaines was today named the 2014 NBA Development League Most Improved Player, as voted on by the 17 NBA D-League head coaches. The award, which was instituted prior to the 2009-10 season, honors the player who demonstrated the most significant improvement through the course of the season.

Gaines (6-3, 195, IPFW) finished his rookie campaign in the NBA D-League having played in 48 of the team’s 50 regular season games, averaging a team-high 22.4 points, good for fourth-best in the NBA D-League. He added 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 35.4 minutes.

A 34-game starter, Gaines began his professional career averaging 19.2 points in November, December and January, before finishing the season averaging 25.4 points in February, March and April.

“As a rookie with the Red Claws this season, Frank seized the opportunity to develop all aspects of his game,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “I’m thrilled that the league’s coaches took note of his marked improvement during the season, and I congratulate Frank on an impressive inaugural campaign.”

Gaines becomes the fifth player, and second member of the Red Claws, to earn Most Improved Player honors, joining Cameron Jones (Santa Cruz, 2012-13), Kenny Hayes (Maine, 2011-12), Dar Tucker (New Mexico, 2010-11), and Mildon Ambres (Idaho, 2009-10) as NBA D-League players to have received the award.

The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jim Perzik to Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs/Secretary, and have hired Dan Grigsby as General Counsel, replacing Perzik, it was announced today by team President Jeanie Buss. Grigsby joins the Lakers from the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, where he was Partner and Chairman of the National Sports Law Group since 2004. He has worked as outside legal counsel for the Lakers at the firm, as well as when he previously worked at Arnold & Porter (2001-04), Blanc Williams Johnston & Kronstadt (1997-2001), Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott (1991-97) and Fine, Perzik & Friedman (1981-91). Grigsby graduated from UCLA in 1977 with a degree in political science, and received his law degree in 1981, graduating from the Whittier College School of Law. He passed the California State Bar Exam in May of 1981.

Perzik, who represented former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss for 45 years, was intimately involved in the complicated acquisition of the team by Dr. Buss in 1979 when he purchased the Lakers, the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and related properties from previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. In his new position, Perzik will continue to oversee the Lakers’ legal issues, including the development of the team’s new training facility and offices. In January 2015, he will decrease his office workload, but will continue to work with the team in a consulting capacity.

“Having worked with Dan as our outside legal representative for over 30 years, we’re very familiar and comfortable with him, and have the highest regard for him as both an attorney and person,” said Buss. “Jim has been a part of our Lakers family as well as an important member of our organization for many years,” continued Buss. “His contributions to our company and our success have been invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today. Popovich’s Spurs posted the league’s best record at 62-20 (.756), which provides them with homecourt advantage throughout the postseason.

Popovich, who wins his second NBA Coach of the Year award in the past three seasons and third of his career, joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to receive the honor three times. He totaled 380 points, including 59 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award voting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

The Spurs were the only team to record 30-plus wins both at home (32-9, .780) and on the road (30-11, .732), and their 38-14 record against conference opponents tied for the best mark in the league (Indiana Pacers). San Antonio led the NBA in points per game differential at +7.8, having averaged 105.4 ppg while giving up just 97.6 ppg.

2013-14 marked the 15th consecutive season that Popovich’s Spurs posted 50 or more wins, and the fourth time in that span that the team tallied 60-plus victories. San Antonio recorded a 19-game winning streak – tied for fifth-longest in NBA history – between Feb. 26-April 2.

Popovich presided over a balanced roster which featured no player who averaged 20-plus points, nor 30-plus minutes, with Tony Parker’s 16.7 ppg and 29.4 mpg leading both categories. He ended the 2013-14 campaign with 967 regular season wins, good for ninth on the all-time list.

The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Here’s a video of 2013-14 season highlights from Warriors guard Stephon Curry:

Watch this ridiculous, clutch, four-point play that Kevin Durant got for the Thunder against the Grizzlies in their first-round NBA playoff series. Memphis wound up winning the game in overtime, but check the video footage:

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