Archive for April 14th, 2017

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2. The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month. He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game. George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Here is a recap of April for George and Paul:

Paul George, Indiana Pacers
April 4 vs. Toronto: Notched 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 108-90 victory against the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Milwaukee: Finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a 104-89 win over the Bucks.
April 12 vs. Atlanta: Made five three-pointers on his way to 32 points and added 11 rebounds in a 104-86 victory over the Hawks.

Chris Paul, LA Clippers
April 1 vs. L.A. Lakers: Recorded 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in a 115-104 win against the Lakers.
April 5 vs. Dallas: Registered 22 points, 11 assists and three rebounds in a 112-101 win over the Mavericks.
April 10 vs. Houston: Contributed 19 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 125-96 victory against the Rockets.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

The Indiana Pacers’ Nate McMillan and the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

McMillan guided the Pacers to a 5-1 record during April, tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. Indiana closed the month and the regular season with five consecutive victories to secure the seventh playoff seed in the East. For the month, the Pacers ranked third in the NBA in scoring (115.5 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.1) and point differential (plus-11.7). Indiana’s only defeat was a 135-130 double-overtime loss to its first-round postseason opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 of the series is Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA’s only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games. LA outscored its opponents by a league-best 16.4 points per game and led the NBA in field goal percentage (51.5). On the final day of the regular season, the Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 to clinch the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers will host the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their first-round series on April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Denver’s Michael Malone, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luke Walton, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

The New York Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez and the Phoenix Suns’ Tyler Ulis today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

Hernangomez, the 35th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, led all Eastern Conference rookies in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and ranked second in scoring (12.5 ppg). He was also fourth in assists (3.0 apg), steals (1.17 spg) and field goal percentage (49.2). The 6-11 center from Spain scored in double figures in four of six games and recorded two double-doubles. On April 9, Hernangomez matched his career highs with 24 points, five assists and three steals and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 110-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Ulis, the 34th pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm, paced all rookies with 20.7 points and 6.8 assists per game. The 5-10 guard, who shot 48.5 percent from the field for the month, scored at least 20 points in four of six games. On April 2, he registered the highest-scoring game by a rookie this season, finishing with 34 points to go with nine assists and a career-high nine rebounds in a 123-116 loss to the Houston Rockets. Ulis also posted 20 points and 10 assists in a 124-111 win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 9.

Here is a recap of April for Hernangomez and Ulis:

Willy Hernangomez, New York Knicks
April 4 vs. Chicago: Finished with eight points, nine rebounds and three assists in a 100-91 victory over the Bulls.
April 7 @ Memphis: Contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 101-88 loss to the Grizzlies.
April 9 vs. Toronto: Posted 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 110-97 loss to the Raptors.

Tyler Ulis, Phoenix Suns
April 2 vs. Houston: Notched a near triple-double with 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a 123-116 loss to the Rockets.
April 9 vs. Dallas: Recorded a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists in a 124-111 victory over the Mavericks.
April 11 @ Sacramento: Registered 27 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 129-104 loss to the Kings.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert, Denver’s Jamal Murray, Detroit’s Henry Ellenson, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, New Orleans’ Cheick Diallo, Philadelphia’s Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric, Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss and Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere.

Maine Red Claws forward Abdel Nader today was named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year. The award, voted on by the league’s 22 head coaches, recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the season.

Nader (6-7, Iowa State) averaged 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 40 games, propelling the Red Claws to a 29-21 record and the Eastern Conference’s second seed in the 2017 NBA D-League Playoffs. In addition to shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, Nader recorded a team-high 99 three-pointers.

Nader led the Red Claws in scoring 16 times, logged five games with at least 30 points and posted three point-rebound double-doubles to help the Red Claws capture their third consecutive Atlantic Division title. The 23-year-old tallied 16 points, four rebounds and four assists in this year’s NBA D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Nader is the first internationally-born player to be named NBA D-League Rookie of the Year and the third Red Claws player to earn the honor. Selected by the Boston Celtics with the 58th overall pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm, the Celtics hold Nader’s Draft rights.

Nader will be presented with the 2016-17 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year trophy prior to the Red Claws’ Eastern Conference Finals game against Raptors 905 on Sunday, April 16 at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland, Maine.

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