Russell Westbrook wins 2016-17 NBA MVP award

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2016-17 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, it was announced this evening during the first-ever NBA Awards Show.

Westbrook earned MVP honors after joining Oscar Roberson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook registered a league-best 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds (10th in the NBA), 10.4 assists (third in the NBA) and 1.63 steals in 34.6 minutes per game.

During the 2016-17 season, Westbrook established a new NBA record with 42 triple-doubles (Oklahoma City went 33-9 in those games) as he helped lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

The six-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP recorded triple-doubles in seven consecutive games on two separate occasions this past season (11/25-12/9 and 3/22-4/4), to become the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. He was named Western Conference Player of the Month for November and February and earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors four times.

In winning his second scoring title in three seasons, Westbrook paced the NBA in games with at least 20 points (72), 30 points (44), 40 points (18) and 50 points (four).

Last month Westbrook was named to the All-NBA First Team for a second consecutive season after receiving 99 First Team votes (498 total points).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Draymond Green wins 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been named the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York. Green, who finished as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons, is the first player in Warriors history to earn the award.

Green was named to the All-NBA Third Team this season after averaging 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.38 blocks in 32.5 minutes over 76 games, while leading the league with a career-high 2.03 steals. The 6’7” forward became the first player to tally averages of at least 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block over the course of a season since blocks and steals were first recorded in 1973-74, while becoming the first player in Warriors history to total at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a single campaign. Earlier today, Green was named to the All-Defensive First Team for a third consecutive season, becoming the first player in Warriors history to earn First Team honors three times.

Throughout the 2016-17 campaign, Green made several key defensive stops in the final moments of close games, including steals on the last possession of two-point wins on Nov. 19 at Milwaukee (8.5 seconds remaining) and Dec. 13 at New Orleans (2.3 seconds). Green ranked second in the league in deflections per game (3.9) and fifth in contested shots per game (13.7), helping the Warriors rank second in the league in defensive rating (101.1). On Feb. 10 at Memphis, Green swiped a franchise-record 10 steals and recorded the first triple-double in NBA history without scoring in double figures, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists to go with his 10 steals.

Golden State went an NBA-best 67-15 (.817) in 2016-17, becoming the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), and set an NBA postseason record for best single-season playoff winning percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the team’s second NBA title in three seasons.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard were also named as finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The NBA Awards are chosen by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wins 2016-17 NBA Most Improved Player award

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, the league announced tonight at the inaugural NBA Awards show. Antetokounmpo is the first player in Bucks history to be named Most Improved Player.

“I’m honored and humbled to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and grateful to so many people for helping me reach this point in my young career,” said Antetokounmpo. “Thank you to my family whose love and support means the world to me. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and staff with the Bucks who push me to succeed every day. Thank you to our fans who never stop cheering for us. Thank you.”

A full thank you video from Antetokounmpo can be found here: http://on.nba.com/2rVfVTb

In his fourth season, Antetokounmpo set career highs in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), assists (5.4 apg), blocks (1.9 bpg) and steals (1.6 spg), as well as field goal percentage (.521). He became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for a season, and was the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-20 for total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Despite playing nearly the same number of minutes per game in 2016-17 (35.6) as he did in 2015-16 (35.3), Antetokounmpo increased his scoring average from 16.9 points per game, to 22.9 points per game this season.

Antetokounmpo earned his first All-Star appearance when he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 66th NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans in February. He was the Bucks’ first All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004 and the first All-Star starter since Sidney Moncrief in 1986. Antetokounmpo scored an Eastern Conference-high 30 points on 14-for-17 shooting.

“Giannis wants to be the best and this is a terrific achievement for him and for our organization,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. “No one puts in more work than Giannis and we’re thrilled for him to receive this honor.”

During the 2016-17 season, Antetokounmpo recorded three triple-doubles to give him eight for his career, which tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in team history. He was also one of just five players in the NBA this season to average over 20 points per game while shooting 50 percent or better. In May, Antetokounmpo was named Second Team All-NBA, the highest All-NBA Team selection for the Bucks since Moncrief in 1986.

Mike D`Antoni wins 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year award

During yesterday’s inaugural NBA Awards Show, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the third coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Tom Nissalke (1976-77) and Don Chaney (1990-91).

This marks D’Antoni’s second Coach of the Year award, having won in 2004-05 after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins. He is the eighth coach in NBA history with multiple Coach of the Year honors and joins Gregg Popovich as the only ones who are active.

In his first season as head coach of the Rockets, D’Antoni guided the team to a 55-27 mark after Houston went 41-41 in 2015-16. The 55 wins tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The Rockets clinched a playoff spot on March 14, 2017 after not securing one until the regular season finale in 2015-16. D’Antoni was named Western Conference Coach of the Month in December after Houston went 15-2, tying for the most wins in a single month in franchise history.

D’Antoni engineered an offense which set the NBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season with 1,181. Houston finished second in the league in scoring with 115.3 points per game, tying for the second-highest scoring average in franchise history. The Rockets scored at least 130 points 12 times in 2016-17, marking the highest single season total by any team dating back to 1992-93.

During his time in Phoenix, the Suns posted the NBA’s three-highest single season totals for 3-pointers made from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Prior to 2004-05, only three teams had more than 700 3FGM in a single season. Since D’Antoni’s final season with Phoenix in 2007-08, 73 teams have hit at least 700 3-pointers in a single season, including 25 of the 30 teams in 2016-17.

Jared Dudley out 3-4 months after surgery

Jared Dudley out 3-4 months after surgery

Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley underwent a left toe ligament and bone procedure last Friday. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Porter at Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis. Dudley is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately 3-4 months.

Dudley averaged 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 64 appearances in 2016-17, his 10th NBA season, sixth with the Suns and first in his second tenure with the team. Dudley ranks third in franchise history by shooting 41.2 percent from three-point range and seventh with 514 three-point makes.

Bob Myers wins 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year award

Golden State Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Bob Myers has been named the 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year, earning his second such honor in three seasons, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York.

Myers, who previously won the award in 2014-15, is the first Warriors executive to earn the honor on multiple occasions, marking the third such honor in Warriors history (Dick Vertlieb, 1974-75). Myers is the 11th executive in NBA history to earn the honor multiple times and joins R.C. Buford (2013-14 & 2015-16), Bryan Colangelo (2004-05 & 2006-07), Geoff Petrie (1998-99 & 2000-01) and Stan Kasten (1985-86 & 1986-87) as the only executives to win the award twice in a span of three seasons.

Myers assembled a roster that won an NBA-best 67 games (67-15, .817) in 2016-17 and set an NBA single-season playoff record for win percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the Warriors’ second title in three seasons. Golden State became the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), making its third-straight appearance in the NBA Finals.

Throughout Myers’ tenure, the Warriors have retained many of their top talents, signing starters Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to contract extensions. Following the 2015-16 season, Myers bolstered Golden State’s roster through free agency by signing two members of the Warriors’ 2016-17 starting lineup in Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia, as well as key reserves JaVale McGee and David West. Durant, the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, went on to earn 2017 NBA Finals MVP honors in Golden State’s 4-1 series win over Cleveland.

Myers, who originally joined the Warriors on April 14, 2011, as assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations and was named general manager on April 24, 2012, also acquired 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in a three-team trade in 2013 and signed key contributors Shaun Livingston (2014) and Ian Clark (2015) to free agent contracts in recent years.

The Warriors have qualified for the postseason in each of Myers’ five full seasons at the helm, making five consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since qualifying for the postseason in each of the first six years of the league’s existence (1947-52). Golden State has compiled a regular-season record of 305-105 (.744) during Myers’ five-year tenure.

Kemba Walker wins 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award

The NBA announced yesterday that Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner. The 27-year-old becomes the first Charlotte player to earn the accolade since the award’s inception following the 1995-96 season.

The annual award is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court and consistently displays the principles of sportsmanship, fair play and integrity. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient in 1995-96.

“I’m honored to be recognized by the NBA and my peers with an award that acknowledges that basketball is more than just a game,” said Walker. “This award celebrates my family, teammates, coaches and players throughout the league who helped teach me, and continue to exemplify, respect, sportsmanship and integrity on and off the court.”

Walker (Southeast) was one of six divisional finalists, joining the Toronto Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll (Atlantic), the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (Central), the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (Northwest), the Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston (Pacific) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (Southwest).

A panel of five former players selected the six divisional finalists from a pool of team nominees.
A vote was cast from each player from all 30 NBA teams, with eleven points being awarded for a first place vote, nine for second, seven for third, five for fourth, three for fifth and one for sixth.

Malcolm Brogdon wins NBA Rookie of the Year

Malcolm Brogdon wins NBA Rookie of the Year award

Malcolm Brogdon was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced tonight at its inaugural NBA Awards show. Brogdon joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) as the only players in team history to win Rookie of the Year. He is the first player not drafted in the first round to win Rookie of the Year since 1966.

“I am both humbled and honored to win this award,” said Brogdon. “As the oldest rookie to win this award in decades, I know it is the culmination of many special people who believed in me, starting with my mother, and continuing with my owners, my teammates, Coach Kidd and the entire Bucks’ staff. My five years at Virginia truly prepared me for the NBA and for life after the NBA. Thanks to Coach Bennett for a great education in basketball and for making me better. Thanks to the great fans of Milwaukee. Their work ethic truly inspires me every night.”

A second round pick (36th overall) from Virginia, Brogdon played in 75 games (28 starts) during a stellar rookie season that saw him lead all rookies in assists (4.2) and steals (1.1) per game, while ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage (.404) and free-throw percentage (.865). He also ranked third in field goal percentage (.457) and fourth in points per game (10.2) among rookies, and became one of just five rookies in NBA history to shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc while averaging at least four assists per game. Brogdon recorded the first rookie triple-double in team history when he scored 15 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds at Chicago on Dec. 31.

Brogdon started all six playoff games for the Bucks in 2017, and ranked first among rookies in the playoffs with 3.5 assists per game, and was second in points (9.0) and rebounds (4.3) per game.

“Malcolm worked tirelessly to improve his game and became a valuable contributor,” said Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd, who won co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill in 1995. “In fact, he was so reliable it was easy to forget that he was a rookie. Malcolm has a boundless future and we want to congratulate him on winning this well-earned award.”

Earlier today, Brogdon was unanimously selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, joining Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Willy Hernangomez (New York), Buddy Hield (Sacramento) and Dario Saric (Philadelphia). Brogdon is the 13th Buck to be named to an All-Rookie Team, and is the team’s first All-Rookie First Team selection since Brandon Jennings in 2009-10.

Eric Gordon wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

During tonight’s inaugural NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the first player in franchise history to receive the award.

In his first season with the Rockets, Gordon came off the bench in 60 of his 75 games played after starting 398 of 417 career games entering 2016-17. He finished second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and had the third-highest scoring average (16.3 ppg) of any reserve with at least seven appearances this season.

Gordon ranked fourth in the NBA with 246 3-pointers made this season after not having more than 141 in a season prior. He set the NBA single season record for the most 3FGM by a reserve with 206, breaking the previous mark of 179 by Mirza Teletovic in 2015-16. Gordon also became the first player in Rockets history to win the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Over a 21-game span from Nov. 27 through Jan. 5, Gordon averaged 4.6 3-pointers made on 47.1% shooting. He hit at least three 3FGM in each of the first 13 games of that stretch, tying for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Rockets were 35-7 in games in which Gordon scored at least 15 points, including 17-2 when he scored 20 or more. He averaged 17.6 ppg on 43.6% shooting (41.3% 3FGs) in wins compared to 13.4 ppg on 34.3% shooting (28.4% 3FGs) in losses.

Timberwolves waive Jordan Hill

Timberwolves waive Jordan Hill

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived forward/center Jordan Hill.

Hill appeared in seven games for the Wolves, averaging 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game. He was signed by Minnesota as a free agent on July 20, 2016.

According to the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Hill’s contract was non-guaranteed, so the move saves the Wolves just more than $4 million as they attempt to free up as much salary cap space as possible heading into free agency, which starts Saturday.”

Hill recently turned 29 years old. He should still have some years left as an NBA backup.

The Wolves attracted big headlines lately due to their trade for Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. They were expected to be a team to watch last season but didn’t reach expectations. But the addition of Butler is serious business. They’ll be a squad to watch.

Tony Allen named to All-Defensive Second Team

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the 2016-17 season, the NBA announced today. This marks the sixth career All-Defensive selection for Allen, who previously received First Team honors in 2014-15, 2012-13 and 2011-12 and Second Team honors in 2015-16 and 2010-11. Allen has now been recognized on the NBA All-Defensive Teams six times in his seven seasons with the Grizzlies.

Allen (6-4, 213) appeared in 71 games (66 starts) for Memphis this season, averaging 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and a team-leading 1.62 steals in 27.0 minutes per game. The 35-year-old led the league in steal percentage (3.1), his second time to lead the league in the category (4.1 in 2014-15).

As in past seasons, Allen ranked among the elite perimeter defenders in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DRPM) stat, finishing second among shooting guards: Andre Roberson (2.64), Allen (2.15), Jimmy Butler (1.80), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (1.78) and Danny Green (1.71).

Jamal Murray named to All-Rookie Second Team

The NBA announced today that Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has been named to the All-Rookie Second Team.

Murray, 6-4, 207, appeared in all 82 games (nine starts) in his rookie campaign, averaging 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 21.5 minutes per game. He scored 20+ points on seven occasions and registered one point/assist double-double.

The native of Kitchener, Canada was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November after averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He was also named MVP of the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-141 Team World victory.

The 20-year-old guard finished the season ranked sixth among all rookies in scoring, ninth in assists, 10th in minutes per game and 11th in three-point field goal percentage. He made the second most three-pointers of any first-year player (115) and was one of just three rookies to appear in all 82 games.

Murray was drafted by Denver with the 7th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft after spending one season at the University of Kentucky. He is the eighth Nugget in franchise history to be named to the All-Rookie Second Team.

Brandon Ingram named to All-Rookie Second Team

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team, it was announced today. This is the third consecutive season that a Laker has been honored with an All-Rookie team selection and Ingram is the fifth Laker in team history (Kobe Bryant and Travis Knight in 1996-97, Nick Van Exel in 1993-94 and D’Angelo Russell in 2015-16) to be awarded Second Team honors.

The second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft played in 79 games (40 starts) in 2016-17, averaging 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. He finished the year ranked eighth among rookies in points and 10th in rebounds, and was one of 10 American rookie and sophomore players selected by the league’s assistant coaches to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2017.

In 11 games played (11 starts) in March, Ingram notched 13.5 points (.517 FG%), 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Ingram continued his strong play in April, scoring in double-figures in 16 of his last 17 games played.

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric were named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team as voted on by a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters. The voting panel each selected five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Saric was a unanimous selection. He and Embiid are the first teammates to earn the recognition since Seattle’s Kevin Durant and Jeff Green in 2007-2008.

Embiid and Saric are the 13th and 14th players in franchise history to earn All-Rookie First Team honors. It’s also the fourth consecutive year a Sixers player has been named All-Rookie First Team. Only the Knicks have had a longer such streak, seeing a player named All-Rookie First Team in five consecutive seasons from 1964-68.

Embiid appeared in 31 games (all starts), averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks in 25 minutes per game. He shot 47 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He led all rookies in points, rebounds and blocks per game. His averages in points, rebounds and blocks per game were the highest of any NBA rookie since the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, who was named 2011 Rookie of the Year.

The Cameroon native scored 20 or more points 19 times in his rookie season, which was the most such performances among rookies. Embiid posted at least 20 points in 10 straight games from December 23-January 18, as he became the first rookie to score 20-plus in at least 10 consecutive contests since Griffin did so in 14 straight. He scored in double-figures in his first 15 career games and in 30 of his 31 games overall. He was one of six NBA rookies to score at least 10 points in 30 or more games in 2016-17.

Saric appeared in 81 games (36 starts), averaging 13 points, six rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes per game. He shot 41 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He led all qualified rookies in points per game and was second in field-goal and free-throw percentage.

The Croatian native scored 20 or more points 14 times in his rookie season, which was the second-most such performances among rookies. He scored in double-figures in 22 straight games between February 6 and March 24 – the longest streak by an NBA rookie in 2016-17 and the longest by a Sixers rookie since Allen Iverson scored 10-plus in 26 straight in 1996-97. His 50 overall games with at least 10 points led all rookies.

The NBA announced today that guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

In 36 games (29 starts) with the Mavericks, Ferrell averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 29.0 minutes while shooting .412 from the field, .403 from behind-the-arc and .877 from the free throw line.

Ferrell (6-0, 180) originally signed a 10-day contract on Jan. 28 and helped the Mavericks to a 4-1 record during that stint including the sweep of a pivotal back-to-back at San Antonio (1/29) and vs. Cleveland (1/30). The Mavericks signed Ferrell to a multi-year contract on Feb. 7.

The 6-foot point guard out of Indiana scored a career-high 32 points (11-17 FGs, 9-11 3FGs, 1-2s FTs) and a team-high five assists at Portland (2/3) to become the first undrafted rookie in NBA history to score 30-plus points and also lead his team in assists. After connecting on nine 3-pointers at Portland, Ferrell tied the NBA’s rookie record for 3-pointers in a single game, originally set by the Mavericks’ own Roddy Beaubois (at GS, 3/27/10), and joined 2017 All-Stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Isaiah Thomas as one of only four players to hit nine 3-pointers in a single game this season.

After his impressive February, the NBA named him Western Conference Rookie of the Month.

Marquese Chriss named to NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss has been named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, the league announced today.

In his rookie campaign, Chriss averaged 9.2 points (8th among rookies) on 44.9 percent shooting (6th), 4.2 rebounds (5th), 0.85 blocks (3rd), 0.82 steals (7th) and 21.3 minutes while playing all 82 games. Chriss led all rookies in games started (75) and dunks (103). He was one of just two first-year players along with Joel Embiid to finish in the top 10 on the rookie leaderboard in scoring average, rebounds per game, blocks per game and steals per game. Showing his versatility, Chriss joined Jerry Stackhouse and Shane Battier as just the third rookie in NBA history to total at least 65 each of three-pointers made, blocks and steals.

The NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January, Chriss continued to elevate his game after the All-Star break, averaging 12.7 points on 49.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.0 percent from three-point range, 5.9 rebounds, a rookie-high 1.44 blocks and 0.92 steals during the season’s second half. For the season, the 8th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft recorded 29 double-digit scoring games, including six with 20-plus points topped by a career-high 27 points vs. Milwaukee on Feb. 4.

Patrick Beverley named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

Today, the NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley was named NBA All-Defensive First Team as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the fourth different player in franchise history to earn All-Defensive First Team honors and the first since Scottie Pippen in 1998-99. It is the second time Beverley has been named to an All-Defensive Team, having earned Second Team distinction in 2013-14.

Despite missing 15 games in 2016-17, Beverley still ranked tied for sixth in the league in charges taken and was third amongst guards. He was also one of eight players with at least 200 deflections and 100 loose balls recovered, and the only one to do so in fewer than 75 games played.

Beverley helped the Rockets rank fourth in 3-point defense in 2016-17 (opponents 34.3%) after Houston finished 21st in 2015-16 (opponents 36.1%). The Rockets were 26-5 when holding opponents below 33.3% shooting from behind-the-arc this past season.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green named to NBA All-Defensive Teams

The NBA today announced that Kawhi Leonard has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the third consecutive season, while Danny Green has earned his first career honor by being selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team.

Leonard, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons, receives his fourth straight selection overall after being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2013-14. The only Spur to ever win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards, Leonard is the first San Antonio player to be named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in three straight seasons since Bruce Bowen earned five straight selections from 2003 to 2008.

The First Team All-NBA performer was one of three players in the league this season to record at least 130 steals and 50 blocks, along with Golden State’s Draymond Green and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, averaging 1.78 steals and 0.74 blocks. The sixth-year forward also averaged a career-highs of 25.5 points and 3.5 assists to go along with 5.8 rebounds in 33.4 minutes while shooting .485 (636-1,311) from the floor, .381 (147-386) from beyond the arc and a personal-best .880 (469-533) from the free throw line.

Draymond Green named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced today. Green has been named to the All-Defensive First Team in each of the last three seasons, becoming the first player in Warriors history to earn three such honors.

Green, who was also named to the All-NBA Third Team this season, tallied averages of 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.38 blocks in 32.5 minutes over 76 games, while leading the league with a career-high 2.03 steals. The 6’7” forward became the first player to tally averages of at least 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block over the course of a season since blocks and steals were first recorded in 1973-74, while becoming the first player in Warriors history to total at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a single campaign.

Buddy Hield named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the league announced today.

Selected out of Oklahoma with the sixth overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, Hield joined Sacramento in mid-February and finished the season scoring double-figures in 22 of the Kings 25 contests. The former Sooner standout accrued averages of 15.1 points (.480 FG%, .428 3pt%, .814 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 29.1 minutes per game as a King, earning Rookie of the Month honors for games played in March. Overall, the 6-4 shooting guard registered 10.6 points (.426 FG%, .391 3pt%, .842 FT%), 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 23.0 minutes in playing all 82 contests during his rookie campaign, ranking third in scoring, fourth in 3-point and free throw percentage, eighth in field goal percentage and 11th in rebounding among all rookies.

Hield becomes the 16th player in Kings franchise history and the 11th during the Sacramento era to earn All-Rookie Team distinction, a list that includes teammate Willie Cauley-Stein (2015-16 All-Rookie Second Team).

Basketball blog