Archive for May 9th, 2014

Enjoy these video highlights of LeBron James helping the Miami Heat take a 2-0 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets in their second round NBA playoff series:

clippers

The National Basketball Association has named former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, effective immediately, it was announced today by Commissioner Adam Silver. Parsons is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners and sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization,” said Silver. “Dick’s credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility.”

“Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers’ team, fans and partners have endured,” said Parsons. “A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending, and I completely support Adam’s leadership in navigating the challenges facing the team and the league. The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity. I am honored to be asked to work with them, build on their values and accomplishments, and help them open a new, inspiring era for their team.”

After attending the University of Hawaii, where he played basketball, Parsons earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1971 and began his distinguished legal career as a staff lawyer for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was appointed Vice President of the United States, Parsons followed him to Washington, where he also worked closely with President Gerald Ford.

Parsons returned to New York in 1977 and became a partner and ultimately managing partner of the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. In 1988, Parsons left his law firm to become president and then chairman and CEO of Dime Bancorp, Inc. Parsons began his long and distinguished career at Time Warner in 1995, joining as president and then becoming chairman and CEO from 2002 until 2008. In 2009, after retiring from Time Warner, he served as chairman of Citigroup until stepping down from that position in 2012.

Parsons’ extensive list of accomplishments also includes having served as a member of President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team.

Spurs bench continues doing big things

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs, who use their bench in a big way and usually get great results:

spurs

The bench was once again a massive advantage for the Spurs, who outscored Portland’s reserves 50-19 for the second straight game as they took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The backups also enjoyed edges of 12-4 on the boards and 8-1 in assists, providing a boost Portland simply had no answer for.

“Our bench has been very important for us all year,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We would not have this home-court advantage right now if it had not been for the play of those guys. They have done a wonderful job all season long, and they are continuing to do it.”

They didn’t during most of their first-round series with Dallas. But even though it only ended on Sunday, that matchup seemed like a distant memory as the usual suspects all thrived.

Here’s CSNNW reporting on the Spurs and Trail Blazers second round NBA playoff series:

The San Antonio Spurs proved why they are a fascinating, well-oiled, attention to detail running machine. Their execution is clean and crisp. They run their sets and get into them with plenty of time to go through their options.

But what was blatantly noticeable during their 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to go up 2-0 in the series is how they got their guys open shots and quality paths to the basket. It’s not rocket science. In order to free someone up, there has to be one of those body-to-body clashes that you seldom see anymore.

Damian Lillard explains exactly what that annoying contact is termed in the game of basketball. It’s a tactic the Spurs do often and so well.

“Their screens hurt. They actually set real screens,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “They do a great job of setting and holding screens. It wears you down. Chasing Tony Parker is one thing. Getting hit every single time is another thing. It takes a toll on you.”

The Los Angeles Lakers need a new head coach. And veteran star Kobe Bryant wants his opinion to be heard as the team figures out who to hire. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to consult him on head coach hire

Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring their next coach.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

Taking over for a legend like Phil Jackson is never easy, of course. Bryant said he still speaks to Jackson “often” and expects the 11-time championship winning coach to transfer those results to his front-office role with the New York Knicks.

“I think he’ll do fantastic,” Bryant said. “Especially the more people say that he won’t be successful.”

Bryant had similar faith in the Lakers’ brass, endorsing the efforts by Jackson’s fiancée and Lakers president, Jeanie Buss, as well as her brother and Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, in steering the franchise in the right direction.

“Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Bryant said.

The Nets are battling the Heat in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Miami is a loaded team, and one of the key advantages the Nets should have is at the point guard position, where Deron Williams is supposed to be a better player than Mario Chalmers. But D-Will shot 0-of-9 in Game 2, finishing with zero points in the Nets loss. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Deron Williams shoots 0-for-9 in Nets Game 2 loss to Heat

History tells us this series is over. The Nets might still win a game. But they don’t have what it takes to win a playoff series against the Miami Heat.

Their problems start, guess where? With the guy who is their most important player.

What a bad night for this to happen, but Deron Williams had his first scoreless playoff game of his career and it was the main story coming out of his team’s 94-82 loss to the two-time defending champs.

Williams’ line on Thursday night was awful: Thirty-six minutes. Nine shots. No makes. And no trips to the foul line. Yes, he had six assists and seven boards. But that was merely silver lining stuff.

If he had been a factor with his shooting and was able to give the Nets his usual 17 points he averaged in their eight previous playoff games, this series could perhaps be tied at 1-1.

At this point in his career, Kevin Garnett is mostly focused on rebounding, defending, working hard and doing the zillion little things that help a team win. But he still has to score at least a little, especially against a championship-level team like the Heat. Not happening so far early in the Heat-Nets series. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Kevin Garnett barely scoring so far in Nets-Heat playoff series

Two days after he went scoreless for the first time in his playoff career, Kevin Garnett was somehow worse in Game 2 – scoring just four points while missing five of his six shots in the paint.

The culmination of the 37-year-old’s frustration was an open five-footer with 5:28 remaining, which turned into a Ray Allen 3-pointer at the other end, and an eight-point Brooklyn deficit.

It also left Garnett grabbing his head as he walked to the bench following a timeout.

“I’m not happy with my play right now. I’m trying to get in a flow and a rhythm,” said Garnett, who is shooting 20% and averaging two points in the two games against Miami. “Try to bring something. It’s just frustrating. But I’ll grind through it.

“(I’ll) continue to work. Continue to find ways to be aggressive offensively. Continue to look for opportunities. Rebound the ball. And continue to talk and inspire.”

The Heat are up 2-0 against the Nets in their second round NBA playoff series. Here’s the Miami Herald on a couple of Heat players who so far in the playoffs have a good view from their seats on the bench. Which isn’t surprising, considering the Heat rotation players already have championship rings from their previous playoff efforts:

michael beasley

In crafting its roster last summer, the Heat hoped Greg Oden and Michael Beasley would provide an extra boost in its title defense.

Turns out, neither has been needed so far in the early stages of the playoffs.

Not only are both out of the rotation, but one is usually relegated to the Heat’s inactive list, alongside rookie Justin Hamilton.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra kept Beasley active ahead of Oden in the first and second games of this series because the Nets “are a very perimeter-oriented team.”

With the Nets playing a lot of smaller lineups, this series is not the ideal matchup for Oden, who played 212 minutes in 23 games this season, including six starts, and averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Oden, who hasn’t appeared in a Heat playoff game, might earn minutes in an Eastern Conference finals matchup against Indiana’s Roy Hibbert or Washington’s Marcin Gortat, though he likely would play behind Udonis Haslem if he plays at all.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the San Antonio Spurs, who have taken a 2-0 series lead in their second round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers:

kawhi leonard

Maybe it was being pushed to seven games by Dallas, or the re-emergence of the bench, or meeting an opponent with nowhere near the playoff experience they have.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter why the San Antonio Spurs look once again like the class of the Western Conference, like the team that went 12-2 in the West playoffs last season, won a league-best 62 games and won 19 games in a row this season.

Whatever the reason, the Spurs are on a dominant run that started with a 23-point win in Game 7 against Dallas and continued Thursday with their second consecutive shellacking of the Trail Blazers, this time 114-97 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series at the AT&T Center.

The victory came two nights after a 24-point win in Game 1.

“The aggressiveness, the concentration for 48 minutes — off the charts,” guard Manu Ginobili said. “So we are very happy with that, and hopefully, we maintain this.”

Basketball blog