Archive for August 15th, 2017

Raptors sign Kyle Wiltjer

The Toronto Raptors signed forward Kyle Wiltjer (pronunciation: WILT-jer) today.

Wiltjer, 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, appeared in 14 games for the Houston Rockets last season, totaling 13 points and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes of action. He also averaged 20.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 35.9 minutes in 22 contests for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League. He shot .379 (81-for-214) from three-point range with the Vipers.

Wiltjer signed with the Rockets as an undrafted free agent in September 2016. He played two collegiate seasons at Kentucky (2011-13) before transferring to Gonzaga (2014-16), where he averaged a team-high 20.4 points during his senior season. Wiltjer was named All-West Coast Conference First Team as a junior and senior.

Pacers sign Damien Wilkins and Ben Moore

The Indiana Pacers have signed free agents Damien Wilkins and Ben Moore.

The 6-6 Wilkins is a 37-year old veteran who last played in the NBA with Philadelphia in 2012-13, averaging 6.3 points and 2.4 rebounds. Since then he has played in China, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and with NBA Development League franchises in Iowa and Greensboro. Before joining the 76ers, Wilkins played with Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Atlanta and Detroit.

Moore is a 6-8 rookie forward who played at SMU. His senior season, he averaged 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. He will be designated as an affiliate player and play with the Pacers’ Gatorade League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Moore played five games with the Pacers’ summer league team in Orlando, averaging 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds.

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced their schedule for the 2017-18 regular season. The Pelicans will open the season at the FedEx Forum against division rival Memphis on Wednesday, October 18, before returning to New Orleans for the team’s home opener against the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on Friday, October 20 on ESPN at the Smoothie King Center.

The Pelicans will head to the west coast for a three-game road trip before returning home to face the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, October 28.

New Orleans is scheduled to appear on national television 14 times this season. In addition to the home opener against Golden State, ESPN is scheduled to broadcast the Pelicans’ matchups Nov. 17 at Denver, Jan. 26 vs. Houston, Mar. 30 at Cleveland, Apr. 4 vs. Memphis and Apr. 9 at the L.A. Clippers. TNT is scheduled to air the Pelicans’ road contests at Sacramento on Oct. 26 and Mar. 6 against the L.A. Clippers. NBATV is set to broadcast six Pelicans games – Oct. 24 at Portland, Dec. 11 at Houston, Jan. 16 at Boston, Feb. 5 vs. Utah, Mar. 9 vs. Washington and Mar. 24 at Houston.

The Pelicans will play 17 of their 41 home games on Friday (7), Saturday (5), or Sunday (5).

All home games will tip off at 7:00 p.m., with the exception of the five Saturday night home contests, as well as the home game vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 10, tipping off at 6:00 p.m.; two Sunday contests that will tip-off at 3:00 p.m. (Jan. 28 vs. L.A. Clippers, Mar. 11 vs. Utah); two Sunday contests that will tip-off at 5:00 p.m. (Mar. 18 vs. Boston, Apr. 1 vs. Oklahoma City); and the matchups against Golden State on Oct. 20 and Memphis on Apr. 4, which will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. as part of ESPN’s national double-header on those evenings.

The Pelicans’ longest homestand will be four games, which will take place twice during the season – Dec. 4-10 when New Orleans plays host to Golden State, Denver, Sacramento and Philadelphia; and Mar. 17-22 with matchups against Houston, Boston, Dallas and the L.A. Lakers. The Pelicans have three, four-game road trips – Nov. 3-9 with games in Dallas, Chicago, Indiana and Toronto; Dec. 15-23 with stops in Denver, Washington, Orlando and Miami; and Feb. 28-Mar. 7 with contests against San Antonio, Dallas, the L.A. Clippers and Sacramento.

The Pelicans will play Southwest Division rivals (Dallas, Houston, Memphis and San Antonio) four times each (twice at home/twice on the road). The same holds true for Pacific and Northwest Division foes, with the exception of the Los Angeles Lakers (one road game on Oct. 22), the Oklahoma City Thunder (one road game Feb. 2), the Denver Nuggets (one home game Dec. 6) and the Phoenix Suns (one home game Feb. 26). New Orleans will also play each team in the Eastern Conference once at home and once on the road.

Pistons move downtown this NBA season

The Detroit Pistons will make their downtown Detroit debut and open the 2017-18 NBA Season at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday, October 18 (7:00 p.m. EST) against the Charlotte Hornets.

The sparkling new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena features a dramatic arena bowl with close proximity to the action, great sight lines, a 5,100 square-foot overhead scoreboard with seamless display and some of the most advanced technology and fan amenities in the NBA.

Highlights of the Pistons’ home schedule include two appearances by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers (November 20 and January 30) and two visits from Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and the Eastern Conference finalists, the Boston Celtics (December 10 and February 23). The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors featuring Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Michigan-native Draymond Green visit December 8, all-star point guard Chris Paul, MVP runner-up James Harden and the Houston Rockets come to Little Caesars Arena on January 6 and reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, all-star forward Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder visit January 27.

Other intriguing Eastern Conference home contests include two meetings with John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards (January 19 and March 29), who pushed Boston to seven games in last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-finals. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors visit Little Caesars Arena on March 7 and April 9 while NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks make stops in Detroit on November 3 and February 28. Joel Embiid, 2017 first overall pick Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers appear on October 23 and April 4.

Enticing Western Conference home matchups include meetings with Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs on December 30 and Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and the re-vamped Minnesota Timberwolves on October 25. Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and the Portland Trail Blazers make their lone stop to the Motor City on February 5 and rookie guard Lonzo Ball and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers come to Detroit on March 26.

The Pistons begin the first of two five-plus game home stands with match-ups vs. Milwaukee (November 3), Sacramento (November 4), Indiana (November 8), Atlanta (November 10) and Miami (November 12). Detroit then hits the road for five of their next six games: at Milwaukee (November 15), at Indiana (November 17), at Minnesota (November 19), vs. Cleveland (November 20), at Oklahoma City (November 24) and at Boston (November 27). From January 30 to February 28, the Pistons enjoy 10-of-13 games at home including a season-high six-game home stretch with games against Cleveland (January 30), Memphis (February 1), Miami (February 3), Portland (February 5), Brooklyn (February 7) and L.A. Clippers (February 9). Detroit embarks on their longest road trip, a six-game stint, with meetings at Utah (March 13), at Denver (March 15), at Portland (March 17), at Sacramento (March 19), at Phoenix (March 20) and at Houston (March 22).

Detroit will make eight appearances on national television with three on ESPN, one on TNT and four games on NBATV. ESPN’s broadcasts include games vs. Golden State on Friday, December 6 (7:00 p.m. EST), vs. Washington on Friday, January 19 (8:00 p.m. EST) and vs. Toronto on Wednesday, March 7 (8:00 p.m. EST). TNT’s broadcast will be on Tuesday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m. EST against Central Division rival Cleveland Cavaliers. NBATV will broadcast Pistons games at L.A. Lakers on Tuesday, October 31 (10:30 p.m. EST), Monday, January 15 vs. Charlotte (12:30 p.m. EST), Monday, March 5 at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST) and Sunday, April 8 at Memphis (2:30 p.m. EST). The club’s local television schedule on Fox Sports Detroit will be announced at a later date. All games will be broadcasted on radio at 97.1 FM The Ticket or WWJ NewsRadio 950.

The Pistons’ schedule features 14 sets of back-to-back games this season. Four of the team’s back-to-back sets begin on the road and end at home, eight back-to-backs are on the road, one begin at home and conclude on the road and one back-to-back is at home.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have announced its 2017-18 regular-season schedule. The team will start its 10th season on Thursday, Oct. 19, at home versus New York, followed by a road contest at Utah on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Regionally, 70 of the Thunder’s 82 regular-season games will be broadcast on FOX Sports Oklahoma, which reaches viewers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. All games can be heard via the Thunder Radio Network, led by flagship station WWLS-The Sports Animal (98.1 FM) in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City is scheduled to appear on national television at least 36 times during the 2017-18 season. ABC will feature the Thunder on six occasions, TNT 12 times and ESPN nine times. NBA TV will also feature the Thunder on at least nine occasions during the regular season.

The Thunder will play 19 home weekend dates comprised of 10 Fridays, one Saturday and eight Sundays. Six of the eight Sunday contests will be played at 6 p.m., while the Thunder contest versus the 76ers on Jan. 28 will start at 5 p.m. and its Feb. 4 matchup with the L.A. Lakers commencing at 1 p.m.

As previously announced, Oklahoma City will play on Christmas Day for the eighth straight season and third consecutive at home when it welcomes Houston to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday, Dec. 25. For the 10th time, the Thunder will be at home on the final night of the year when Dallas visits Oklahoma City on Sunday, Dec. 31. The Thunder will host the Kings in a 2 p.m. matinee on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 15.

The Thunder month-by-month breakdown includes seven games in October (three home, four road), 13 games in November (six home, seven road), 17 games in December (11 home, six away), 14 games in January (six home, eight road), 12 games in February (five home, seven road), 14 games in March (eight home, six road) and five games in April (two home, three road).

Oklahoma City’s schedule includes six three-game road trips, with three lasting five days away from home. The club will also compete in seven one-game and eight two-game trips, including its first-ever contest in Mexico City versus Brooklyn on Thursday, Dec. 7. The game counts as a home game for the Nets.

The Thunder will compete in 14 back-to-back sets during the 2017-18 season, consisting of four road/road, five home/road and five road/home back-to-backs.

Kings season to begin vs Rockets

The Sacramento Kings will host MVP finalist James Harden, nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets in their season opener from Golden 1 Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

For most Kings games this season, tip-off will return to the traditional 7 p.m. start time. Basketball fans have an opportunity to access pre-paid parking spots, ride public transportation and download the dual-mode Kings + Golden 1 Center app to enhance the game-day experience with on-demand information regarding parking and more.

The Kings will be featured on national television 12 times during the 2017-18 campaign, highlighted by a TNT Sports broadcast from Golden 1 Center as Sacramento plays host to DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, Oct. 26. Lonzo Ball and the L.A. Lakers visit on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for the first of three ESPN telecasts originating from Sacramento. The other pair of ESPN matchups from Golden 1 Center include two-time MVP Stephen Curry and four-time scoring leader Kevin Durant as the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors make the short trip down I-80 on Friday, Feb. 2, and a Pacific Division clash with the Portland Trail Blazers a week later on Friday, Feb. 9. Sacramento plays to a national audience on eight occasions delivered by NBA TV, showcasing home contests versus reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Nov. 7), Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves (Feb. 26) and an April Fools road installment with Ball and longtime rival Lakers (April 1).

Sacramento will play 20 of its first 33 contests on the road before returning to Golden 1 Center following the holidays. Marquee contests during this opening stanza include matchups against the Washington Wizards led by John Wall and Bradley Beal (Oct. 29), All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics (Nov. 1), Philadelphia 76ers starring No. 1 draft selections Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons alongside current Rookie of the Year Joel Embiid (Nov. 9), at Golden State Warriors (Nov. 27), a visit to face 4-time NBA MVP and 13-time All-Star LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (Dec. 6), a rematch with Cousins and Davis in the Big Easy (Dec. 8) and perennial title-contending San Antonio Spurs led by 2016 MVP finalist Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and veteran addition Rudy Gay (Dec. 23).

Bucks schedule highlights

The Milwaukee Bucks will tip off their 50th Anniversary season on the road against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, Oct. 18, followed by a four-game homestand at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, beginning with a nationally televised game on ESPN against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Oct. 20. The home opener, presented by BMO Harris Bank, is the first of 18 weekend home games for the Bucks in 2017-18 and the first of 10 nationally televised games on ESPN and TNT.

2017-18 BUCKS SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

Eighteen games available to a national television audience, including six on ESPN (Oct. 20 vs. Cleveland, Nov. 10 at San Antonio, Jan. 18 vs. Golden State, March 4 vs. Philadelphia, March 19 at Cleveland and April 11 at Philadelphia), four on TNT (Oct. 26 vs. Boston, Feb. 27 vs. Washington, March 27 at L.A. Clippers and March 29 at Golden State) and the remaining eight on NBA TV (Oct. 31 vs. Oklahoma City, Nov. 7 at Cleveland, Nov. 30 at Portland, Dec. 4 at Boston, Dec. 9 vs. Utah, Dec. 19 vs. Cleveland, Dec. 26 vs. Chicago and Jan. 8 at Indiana)

A pair of home games against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Oct. 20, and Tuesday, Dec. 19

The lone visit from the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on Friday, Jan. 12

Two December home matchups against the rival Chicago Bulls on Friday, Dec. 15, and Tuesday, Dec. 26

A Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee at the Washington Wizards on Jan. 15

Two Sunday afternoon home games against New Orleans on Feb. 25 and San Antonio on March 25

The 2017-18 regular season schedule for the 50th Anniversary season features two, season-long four-game road trips (Nov. 22-30 and Feb. 4-10) and the season-long four-game homestand at the beginning of the season against Cleveland, Portland (Oct. 21), Charlotte (Oct. 23) and Boston (Oct. 26).

BUCKS SCHEDULE NOTES

The Bucks will play each team in the Eastern Conference four times with the exception of Atlanta (2 home, 1 road), Brooklyn (2 home, 1 road), Miami (1 home/2 road) and Toronto (1 home/2 road) … They will play each Western Conference team twice … The Bucks have 15 back-to-back sets, down from 18 a season ago (7 home/road, 3 road/home, 3 road/road, 2 home/home) … SCHEDULE BY MONTH (HOME/ROAD): October (5/2), November (4/9), December (9/5), January (8/7), February (5/7), March (7/8), April (3/3) … SCHEDULE BY DAY OF THE WEEK (HOME/ROAD): Sunday (3/5), Monday (6/7), Tuesday (6/4), Wednesday (7/7), Thursday (4/3), Friday (10/7), Saturday (5/8).

Celtics face Cavs on NBA opening night

A Christmas Day home game, an international affair against a division rival and a slate of early season matchups against Eastern Conference competitors highlight the Boston Celtics 2017-18 regular season schedule, as announced today by the NBA.

The Celtics – whose 53-29 record topped the Eastern Conference a year ago – will make 25 total National Television appearances between ABC, ESPN and TNT. The first of those scheduled broadcasts coincides with the NBA’s Opening Night on Oct. 17, when Boston matches up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics forward and 2017 NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward will make his highly anticipated TD Garden debut alongside fellow All-Star teammates Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford the very next night on Oct. 18, when the Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks to tip off their 41-game regular season home schedule.

The Celtics’ home schedule expects to be highly competitive over the first month of the regular season, as Boston plays host to four different 2016-17 playoff teams in the first 31 calendar days of the NBA season. Among those four contests looms Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the defending NBA-Champion Golden State Warriors, who make their lone regular season appearance at TD Garden on Thursday, Nov. 16. The Celtics will host the Los Angeles Lakers the week prior on Wednesday, Nov. 8, giving Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum – the No. 2 and No. 3 selections in this year’s NBA Draft – a chance to experience the historic rivalry for the first time.

Highlighted by the franchise’s first home game on Christmas Day, the Celtics will have a recurring presence at TD Garden throughout the holiday season. Boston welcomes the Orlando Magic on Friday, November 24, the day after Thanksgiving, before stepping into the NBA spotlight on Christmas Day for a playoff rematch against the Washington Wizards. The Celtics will also host James Harden, newly acquired All-Star Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Dec. 28, before challenging the Brooklyn Nets in a New Year’s Eve showdown on Sunday, Dec. 31.

Fans will have the opportunity to watch two showcases between the Celtics and Cavaliers at TD Garden this season. LeBron James and the reigning Eastern Conference champions represent Boston’s first opponent of the new year on Wednesday, Jan. 3, and will return the week before the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 11. There will also be ample occasions early in the season to witness Celtics basketball on their home court, as Boston will play a combined 18 home games in the months of November (8) and December (10). The Celtics’ longest homestand of the season is a five-game stretch against Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Dallas from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6. Russell Westbrook – the NBA’s 2016-17 Most Valuable Player – and his new All-Star counterpart Paul George will guide the Oklahoma City Thunder to Boston on Tuesday, March 20 for their only regular season appearance at TD Garden.

The Celtics’ schedule also features an opportunity to play in front of their global fan base. The NBA announced on Aug. 10 that Boston would compete against the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA London Game 2018 at The O2 on Thursday, Jan. 11, marking the Celtics’ first regular season game in London.

Mavs ready to begin 38th season

The Dallas Mavericks have announced their 2017-18 schedule, which will tip-off at American Airlines Center vs. Atlanta on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

The 2017-18 campaign will mark the Mavericks’ 38th season and their 17th playing at American Airlines Center. Dallas will play its first two games of the season at home before traveling to division-rival Houston on Oct. 21 for its first road test.

The Mavericks’ national TV schedule includes five games on ESPN, one on TNT and five on NBA TV.

All five of the Mavericks’ ESPN games will come against Western Conference opponents, with three of those coming on the road. The Mavericks’ first ESPN telecast will come at the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 1. The remaining four ESPN games are: vs. San Antonio (Dec. 12), vs. Houston (Jan. 24), at Phoenix (Jan. 31) and at the Los Angeles Lakers (Feb. 23).

TNT’s lone Dallas game comes when the Mavericks visit the Golden State Warriors for the first time on Dec. 14.

Dallas will also have five games televised on NBA TV, all coming on the road.

Hawks home opener is October 27

The National Basketball Association has released the 2017-18 regular season schedule, and the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club will begin the season at Dallas on Wednesday, Oct. 18. After visiting Charlotte (Oct. 20), Brooklyn (Oct. 22), Miami (Oct. 23) and Chicago (Oct. 26), the Hawks return to Philips Arena to host the Denver Nuggets in the home opener on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

All games will air on the Hawks’ flagship radio station, CBS RADIO’S SportsRadio 92-9 The Game, as well as partner stations on the Hawks Radio Network, with “Voice of the Hawks” Steve Holman on the call. The complete local television schedule on FOX Sports Southeast will be released at a later date.

All of Atlanta’s Monday-through-Saturday home games will feature 7:30 p.m. tip times, with the exception of Monday, Jan. 15 vs. San Antonio (tipping at 3:00 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 20 vs. Chicago (5:00 p.m.). Sunday game times will vary.

The aforementioned Jan. 15 matchup marks the return of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday game to Philips Arena.

Atlanta faces each Eastern Conference team four times, except for Philadelphia and Chicago (two home/one road), as well as New York and Milwaukee (one home/two road), and every Western Conference opponent twice. The Hawks play 19-of-41 home games on weekends (seven Friday, seven Saturday, five Sunday).

The Portland Trail Blazers will tip-off their 48th NBA season at the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Oct. 18, it was announced today by the NBA.

Portland will open the 2017-18 campaign with a three-game road trip, followed by a four-game homestand that begins with the home opener vs. New Orleans at the Moda Center on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

All 82 Trail Blazers games will be televised by national carriers or CSN, and aired on the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

Among the highlights at the Moda Center in 2017-18: the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors make the trip up on Feb. 14 and March 9; the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Portland on March 15; the L.A. Lakers make their lone appearance in the Rose City on Nov. 2; and the Boston Celtics come to town on March 23.

The Trail Blazers will play 10 of their first 14 games at the Moda Center to begin the season, and seven of their final 10 on the road.

Portland will take on 10 of 14 Western Conference opponents twice at home and twice on the road, while playing Golden State, San Antonio, Dallas and the L.A. Lakers only three times apiece. Of those matchups, the Trail Blazers host Golden State and San Antonio twice, and the L.A. Lakers and Dallas once. The team will face each Eastern Conference team twice.

The Trail Blazers will close out the regular season on Wednesday, April 11 vs. Utah.

Cavs have 39 national TV broadcasts

The Cleveland Cavaliers will open the 2017-18 campaign on Tuesday, October 17 at Quicken Loans Arena against the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised game between last year’s Eastern Conference Finals opponents at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT. This will mark the eighth time in nine years the Cavs will tip off the season at The Q, where they will play 17 weekend home dates comprised of five Friday games, seven Saturday games and five Sunday games. The Cavaliers are slated to appear on at least 39 national television broadcasts, 20 of which will originate from downtown Cleveland at The Q.

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