Archive for April 23rd, 2014

Heat edge Bobcats for 2-0 series lead

LeBron James scored 32 points and added eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 20 points and the Miami Heat held on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-97 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series.

Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, plus had a steal in the final seconds to help seal the win for Miami. Mario Chalmers added 11 for the Heat.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 22 points for Charlotte, which got 18 points and 13 rebounds from Al Jefferson, who played through a left plantar fascia strain and shot 9 for 23 from the floor.

– Associated Press

Tuesday in Toronto, the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 to tie their first round playoff series at one win apiece. In the win, DeMar DeRozan shot 9-of-21, with 12-of-14 free throws, finishing with 30 points. He did commit six turnovers; still, the all-star stepped up and helped his squad squeeze out a much-needed victory. Here are some DeRozan video highlights:

No, Phil Jackson is not going to name himself as new Knicks coach

The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated.

Phil Jackson won’t be hiring himself to coach the Knicks.

Two days after firing Mike Woodson, Jackson reiterated Wednesday that he won’t be returning to the bench, despite the fact that even fiancee Jeanie Buss told him he should.

But Jackson, who retired from coaching in 2011 after winning an NBA-record 11 titles, said his body isn’t up to doing the job.

“Jeanie Buss was here with the Board of Governors last week and stayed through the weekend, and tried to encourage me to coach the team. And if there’s anyone that can encourage me to do anything, it’s Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments the whole time,” Jackson said at the Knicks’ training center.

– Associated Press

Tuesday in Chicago, the Washington Wizards beat the Bulls 101-99 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead. Wizards guard Bradley Beal shot 9-of-20 for 26 points, 7 rebounds and two steals in the win. John Wall is the star guard in the Wizards backcourt, but Beal is on the rise. Here are some video highlights:

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a report on the Warriors and their San Francisco arena plans:

Plan for San Francisco waterfront Warriors arena gets ditched

The Golden State Warriors have abandoned their plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge and instead have purchased a site in San Francisco’s burgeoning Mission Bay to hold a new 18,000-seat venue.

The Warriors bought the 12-acre site from Salesforce.com at an undisclosed price in a deal signed Saturday night, said Rick Welts, the Warriors’ president and chief operating officer. The team plans to have the arena ready for the 2018-19 NBA season.

The shift in location provides the Warriors with predictability and fewer regulatory hurdles. It also eliminates any need for voter approval, which may have become necessary for the Pier 30-32 venue that Mayor Ed Lee once called “my legacy project.”

The change has assuaged some of the project’s most vocal critics, who opposed building a 125-foot-high arena near the Embarcadero amid concerns about traffic, environmental harm during construction and blocked views of the Bay Bridge…

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and the team says the arena will be entirely privately financed - a rare instance of a modern sports venue that would use no taxpayer funds or public land.

The new site off Third Street does not, however, have the iconic feel and stunning views of the Bay Bridge. Instead, the view is of a dry dock, an industrial pier and rusting old pilings that dot the water. Visible across the bay are the cranes and skyline of Oakland, the Warriors’ home after the team played in San Francisco from 1962 to 1971.

The Warriors’ planned arena is part of a redevelopment area and growing biotech hub, with a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital being built diagonally across from the arena site.

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Wizards, who have played two NBA playoff games against the Bulls, both in Chicago, and won both. Nice position to be in:

The Washington Wizards had to wait six years to get back to the postseason. But they only needed two games to really get introduced to playoff basketball, with more physical play, short tempers and extreme rallies. In the intense cauldron of United Center — a place that has devoured more seasoned units — the Wizards refused to relent after watching a 17-point lead turn into a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and didn’t crumble when they were betrayed by missed free throws and calls that went against them.

The Wizards have been through several ups and downs during the regular season, and they staged a game against the Chicago Bulls that matched those emotional oscillations. Relying upon the scoring of its youngest player, Bradley Beal, and the guile of Nene, Washington took a two-games-to-none lead in this best of seven series with a 101-99 overtime victory in which it outscrapped and outwilled the Bulls.

“I wanted our guys to be greedy,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “Nothing is guaranteed. We’ve got two wins, you’ve got to get to four. We have to continue to understand how we won these games and the way we went about it.”

Beal scored a game-high 26 points and Nene scored 17, with six coming in overtime, as the Wizards accomplished their mission of returning to Washington for Friday’s Game 3 with two wins. Grasping to a two-point lead in the closing seconds, Nene fouled out while contesting Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich on a driving layup, sending the former Wizard to the free throw line with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Here’s TMZ.com reporting on Eric Williams, who played for the Boston Celtics and other teams in the NBA, and later made some appearances on the TV show “VH1 Basketball Wives.” We have no idea if this report is accurate or not. TMZ tends to be good at knowing when former pro athletes are struggling, though. Anyway, keep in mind that they are usually on point with stuff, but also do make mistakes.

Eric Williams broke homeless

Former NBA player Eric Williams — who spent 12 seasons in league — says he is homeless and broke … this according to legal docs obtained by TMZ Sports.

Williams — who also appeared on “Basketball Wives” — made the shocking statements in a letter he wrote to a Colorado court recently explaining why he could not attend a child support hearing in CO earlier this month.

Among the reasons, Williams says a “court-ordered citation for me to appear was not delivered to my home address as I have no home.”

Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, who helped lead the Suns to a 23-win improvement while establishing career highs in scoring and field goal percentage, is the winner of the 2013-14 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.

Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (155 points, 16 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

Dragic, who entered the 2013-14 campaign with a career scoring average of 9.5 points, averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds, as the Suns finished with a record of 48-34, one game behind the Dallas Mavericks, who claimed the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He shot a career-best .505 from the field, including a .408 mark from behind the three-point arc. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Dragic started 75 of the 76 games he appeared in, and helped keep the Suns in playoff contention, despite the extended absence of teammate Eric Bledsoe, who was limited to 43 games this season.

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