2016-17 Lakers preseason schedule

2016-17 Lakers preseason schedule

It’s early, but the Los Angeles Lakers preseason schedule for the 2016-17 season was released today. The preseason line-up includes two games against the Golden State Warriors, in addition to contests against the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns.

Lakers preseason also includes two games being played in the newly opened T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Full 2016-17 Los Angeles Lakers preseason schedule

DATE OPPONENT CITY ARENA TIME

October 4 vs. Sacramento Anaheim, CA Honda Center 7:00pm

October 7 vs. Denver Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center 7:30pm

October 9 vs. Denver Ontario, CA Citizens Business Bank Arena 6:30pm

October 11 vs. Portland Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center 7:30pm

October 13 vs. Sacramento Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena 7:30pm

October 15 vs. Golden State Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena 7:00pm

October 19 vs. Golden State San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center 7:00pm

October 21 vs. Phoenix Anaheim, CA Honda Center 7:00pm

Pacers will not retain Frank Vogel as head coach

Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird announced Thursday that Frank Vogel will not return as head coach of the Pacers. According to the Indianapolis Star, Vogel was at the end of his contract.

“I want to thank Frank for his time in Indiana,” said Bird. “We know he’ll be successful down the road and end up getting a job, but for us, I just feel it’s time to move in a different direction.”

Vogel stepped in as interim coach, Jan. 30, 2011, replacing Jim O’Brien, and was named head coach July 6, 2011. In five-plus seasons, Vogel compiled a 250-181 record, five NBA Playoff appearances, two Central Division championships and two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The search for a new coach will begin immediately.

According to the Indianapolis Star, “Vogel, 42, began his career as the ladder-climbing video coordinator who would do anything to get his foot into the prestigious door of big-time basketball. He climbed all the way to the head of the Pacers’ bench, where he held the position for five full seasons after replacing Jim O’Brien during the 2010-11 season. The Pacers made five postseason appearances under Vogel and developed a reputation as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.”

More from the Star: “However, the Pacers were 31-30 in the playoffs and never averaged more than 97.6 points per game during a postseason run, which includes this season when the Pacers (45-37) finished seventh in the Eastern Conference. On April 18 in Game 5, the Pacers spoiled an opportunity to take a commanding lead in the first-round series with the Toronto Raptors by squandering a 13-point advantage in the fourth quarter. Though the Pacers evened the series the next game, they lost to the Raptors in Game 7 on the road.”

John Wall undergoes surgery on both knees

John Wall undergoes surgery on both knees

The Washington Wizards announced that guard John Wall underwent a successful procedure today to excise calcific deposits in his left patella tendon in order to eliminate pain and assist healing. He will begin the rehabilitation process immediately and is expected to be available for the start of the 2016-17 season. Wall also underwent an arthroscopic lavage on his right knee in order to remove loose bodies.

“I am determined to lead this team back to the playoffs and getting healthy is the best way for me to accomplish that,” said Wall. “I can promise the fans, my teammates and the organization that I will be focused on that goal throughout the summer and it will drive me to do everything I can to be ready for next season.”

The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard D. Parker at the Cleveland Clinic Marymount following consultations with Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Josh Hackel and Wizards Head Team Physician Wiemi Douoguih.

“John’s procedure went very well and should allow him to play without pain once he has completed his rehabilitation,” said Parker. “We have worked closely with the Wizards’ medical and athletic training staff throughout this process to develop the plan he will need to follow this summer in order to resume his normal basketball activities.”

Wall averaged career highs in points (19.9, 21st in the NBA), assists (10.2, third in the NBA), rebounds (4.9), and steals (1.9, tied for eighth in the NBA) this season while posting a career-high 49 double-doubles (tied for fourth in the NBA, second amongst guards) in 77 games. He was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the third straight season, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December and Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Jan. 11-17. Wall was also honored for his charitable contributions with the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for October.

“The consultations with John, his agent and a variety of top medical professionals led us all to the conclusion that the best course of action for John was to have this procedure done now with regards to both next season and his long-term health,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “John has been a true warrior for us throughout his career and we’re confident that his work ethic will have him back leading the team as soon as possible.”

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a Celtics team that made the most of their roster this season and have a lot of help coming in the form of multiple first round draft picks:

Glance at upcoming Celtics offseason

Armed with eight picks in June’s draft, including the Brooklyn Nets’ lottery selection headlining three first-round picks, some intriguing young low-cost talent and salary-cap flexibility, Ainge knows there’s potential for the Celtics to bring in the impact talent necessary to leap to true title contender…

The Celtics are hopeful that a young team with a core that currently includes All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, along with a trusted young coach in 39-year-old Brad Stevens, can create a situation where elite free agents will desire to come to Boston.

The Celtics enter the offseason armed with tradable assets — including $18 million in nonguaranteed salary — that could help it start adding pieces on draft night, regardless of how the pingpong balls bounce on May 17. Adding talent in late June could help further persuade those who are intrigued by Boston’s situation when free agency opens on July 1.

This year’s unrestricted free-agent class is expected to be headlined by the likes of Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Dirk Nowitzki’s celebrity baseball game, which donates proceeds to charity:

Dirk Nowitzki 2016 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game

The Dallas Mavericks superstar will host his Dirk Nowitzki’s 2016 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Friday, June 10, at 7 p.m. at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco…

Among the celebrities scheduled for the game are Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley and defensive back Byron Jones; Mavericks players Deron Williams**, Chandler Parsons, J.J. Barea, David Lee, Devin Harris**, Wesley Matthews, JaVale McGee, Salah Mejri, Justin Anderson, Jeremy Evans, Dwight Powell and coach Rick Carlisle**; Plano-raised actor Chace Crawford (TV series Gossip Girl and Blood and Oil) and actor Geoff Stults (TV series The Odd Couple and upcoming movies Hey Brother and The Kicker); and former Texas Rangers players David Murphy and Michael Young.

Chris Bosh played 44 games for the Heat in the 2014-15 season, and 53 games this season. Major health concerns with the reason for the missed games. And those concerns mean he will not resume playing for the Heat during the 2016 NBA playoffs. Here’s a team statement:

The Miami HEAT and Chris Bosh announce that Chris will not be playing in the remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The HEAT, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible.

And here is ESPN.com reporting:

Chris Bosh will not make return during 2016 NBA playoffs

The announcement eases a degree of tension that was building between Bosh and the team over his status. Bosh and the Heat avoided acrimony, and he remained active with the team and traveled to road games on owner Micky Arison’s plane, but he appeared to be pushing for a resolution in recent days.

Last week Bosh and his wife, Adrienne, used social media to generate attention to his desire to return to the floor this season. On Tuesday, at Bosh’s request, the National Basketball Players Association asked for a meeting with the Heat to address the issue.

It is relevant that Bosh and the Heat released the statement together. Bosh released his own statement in March announcing that he did not have deep vein thrombosis, another name for blood clots in the leg, and said he was positive he would return this season. The Heat had not made a statement on Bosh since February, when an undisclosed medical condition forced Bosh to be ruled out indefinitely.

It is also relevant that the statement indicated the intention for Bosh to return to the playing floor eventually.

Blazers vs Warriors game 2 recap

Still playing without Stephen Curry, the Warriors exploded in the 4th quarter and shut the Blazers down for a comeback win, giving them a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series. Here’s the Columbian Blog with some insight:

Blazers Warriors game 2 recap

For three quarters, it looked like the Portland Trail Blazers would add “beating the 73-9 Warriors at home in the playoffs,” to their list of accomplishments everybody else thought was impossible. But some villains are to vile to stop. Some mountains, too tough to climb. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the Warriors proved to be that mountain again for the Blazers, leading the Warriors to a 110-99 win behind a monster 4th quarter where they outscored Portland 34-12. The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 3 is 5:30 Saturday at the Moda Center.

Damian Lillard loves playing at home and looked better in Game 2, scoring 25 points through three quarters. And he of course wanted to erase a rough Game 1 where he scored 30 but was just 8-of-26 from the field. He was quiet early but exploded for 17 points in the third quarter, helping Portland hold an 8-point lead after three quarters. But Lillard didn’t score in the fourth and nobody on the Blazers could help their cause late as they saw what was likely their best opportunity for a road win in the series slip away.

With a quick turnaround, the Blazers looked overmatched in Game 1. Truth be told, they are overmatched. But they don’t fold and their start to Game 2 was exactly what should have been expected. The Blazers learn and they found ways to attack the Warriors with success. They preyed on Andrew Bogut’s slow feet and it helped create holes in the defense. Those holes weren’t there when Steve Kerr dusted off Festus Ezeli down the stretch, which coincided with Portland suddenly being unable to score. Ezeli suffered an injury and was inexplicably buried on the bench behind Anderson Varejao and Mareese Speights until the 2nd half of Game 2. He made a major contribution and helped turn the game around with his defense as well as improved play from Green and Thompson.

Some key Hornets will be free agents

This summer will be huge for the entire league due to the rising salary cap, but it’ll be specially crucial for the Hornets, who need to make big offer decisions to a number of their most essential players not named Kemba Walker. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Small forward Nic Batum, the Charlotte Hornets’ most attractive free-agent-to-be, said Monday he has “unfinished business” in the Queen City.

Translation: He’s predisposed to re-signing with the Hornets if the salary numbers are competitive…

Batum had a career year with the Hornets after the trade that acquired him from the Portland Trail Blazers in June. Coach Steve Clifford said Monday there’s no question Batum is the top priority among five unrestricted free agents who were in the Hornets rotation this season.

The other four are Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin (assuming he exercises his opt-out), Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee.

Space Jam 2 movie is coming

It took a while, but Space Jam 2 is reportedly finally on its way. Here’s the Hollywood Reporter with details:

Justin Lin, Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello are ready to shoot some intergalactic hoops with LeBron James.

The Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond helmer is co-writing, with Dodge and Botello, Warner Bros.’ Space Jam 2. Lin is also looking to direct and produce via his Perfect Storm Entertainment, and sources say he will be thoroughly involved in the creative development of the project.

The WME-repped Cleveland Cavaliers forward, who recently appeared in Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck, will star in the sequel. Rumors of a follow-up to the live action/animated 1996 hit have been circulating for years but picked up steam in July when James and his company SpringHill Entertainment signed a deal with Warner Bros.

Kris Humphries will likely have role in Hawks-Cavs series

Kris Humphries will likely play a role in the Atlanta Hawks’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ATL coach Mike Budenholzer.

The late-season acquisition appeared in just one of the Hawks’ six playoff games against the Celtics in the first round. The center played 8:48 in a Game 5 blowout win, entering in the fourth quarter with the Hawks leading by 29 points. Budenholzer chose to use a combination of Mike Muscala and Mike Scott to combat the smaller and quicker lineup the Celtics used in the series. Humphries had five DNP-CDs.

– Atlanta Journal Constitution

By InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner

(Note: I am typing this entire blog entry on my cellphone while in a cab around 11:15pm Friday night and not editing this, so I insist that you forgive and ignore any typos)

Friday night in Charlotte the Miami Heat beat the Hornets 97-90 to tie their first round NBA playoff series at three games apiece.

A minor side story was “Purple Shirt Guy” — an unnamed fan (if he’s famous, we didn’t recognize him) with a great courtside seat, quickly nicknamed Purple Shirt Guy because, why not.

He was standing up and loudly taunting veteran Heat star Dwyane Wade, who responded with some huge clutch baskets.

My opinion is that while fans close to the court have a right to stand up and be enthusiastic, I’m not sure that SUSTAINED yelling by a fan as he is out of his seat at a player should be allowed, especially if the fan is courtside and therefore very close to the players.

I’m not sure exactly where the league should draw the line. Naturally they should err in favor of passionate fans. But in this sort of situation in the future, perhaps a security guard needs to encourage him/her to get back into their seat and stay there.

Tough call. But Purple Shirt Guy in Charlotte did, in my opinion, cross the line slightly. Players have to feel comfortable and protected.

The good news is, D-Wade sure appeared to feel fine as he suddenly drained key three-pointers and rose up like the star he’s been for many years.

Spencer Hawes knee injury: MCL sprain

Spencer Hawes knee injury: MCL sprain

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that center Spencer Hawes underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee. Hawes is listed as out for Game 6 tomorrow night in Charlotte and will be re-evaluated in a week. He suffered the injury during the Hornets win in Game 5 last night in Miami. Hawes has appeared in five playoff games for Charlotte with averages of 3.6 points (.462 FG%) and 3.2 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game.

The Hornets currently lead the Heat 3-2 in their first round NBA playoff series.

Kings hire Ken Catanella as assistant GM

Kings hire Ken Catanella as assistant GM

The Sacramento Kings today hired Ken Catanella as Assistant General Manager.

Catanella has more than ten years of experience in player negotiation, contracts, statistical scouting systems and a comprehensive understanding of the salary cap. He joins the Kings front office after serving the Detroit Pistons for nearly five years as Director of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager. Prior to the Pistons, Catanella worked for the NBA and the New Jersey Nets.

“We are focused on building a winning team and part of that process is ensuring we have a sound front office structure,” said Divac. “We are thrilled that Ken Catanella is joining the Kings to help us build on our progress and drive success on the court. Ken’s unique statistical and player expertise will provide a significant boost to our basketball operations team.”

In his role with the Kings, Catanella will function as the organization’s salary cap specialist, support Divac with personnel decisions and day-to-day management of the basketball operations department and assist with the team’s statistical and analytical systems.

A graduate of Amherst College where he played and coached, Catanella’s professional experience includes a stint on Wall Street where he provided analytics to sports franchises examining arena financing. While earning his MBA at Duke University, he served as a graduate assistant to the Blue Devils Men’s Basketball team from 2004-06. Catanella also played professional basketball for the Bundesliga’s Cologne 99ers of the German League and later served as the assistant general manager for the 99ers.

The New York Knicks are currently built around forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Those are the key players right now. But while Porzingis just finished a very solid rookie season, Melo is the star. And if there’s one guy that Knicks boss Phil Jackson would consult with about a decision that greatly affects the entire team, it’s Melo. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Phil Jackson has not consulted with Melo on Knicks coaching search

Carmelo Anthony’s input hasn’t been needed, or asked for, yet.

The Knicks star forward has yet to speak to Knicks president Phil Jackson about the ongoing coaching search, but plans to be involved at some point, after raising concerns late in another dreary season about the direction of the franchise and wanting to be involved in the decision-making process.

“I hope so,” he said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday when asked if he would have a role in who the next coach is.

One thing Anthony feels certain of is that Tom Thibodeau would have accepted the Knicks job had it been offered.

New Kings logo 2016

The Kings finished 33-49 this season and as expected, were not a contender to qualify for the playoffs.

Today, they changed things up in the team branding department, revealing a new logo. Check it out:

Link: New Sacramento Kings logo

Wizards hire Scott Brooks as head coach

Wizards hire Scott Brooks as head coach

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that Scott Brooks has been hired as the team’s new head coach. Brooks will become the 24th head coach in franchise history. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“I am beyond thrilled to return to coaching with a team that is filled with such potential and to be able to join an organization that is committed to helping us reach our goals,” said Brooks. “I’m very grateful to Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld for this opportunity and I can promise the great fans of Washington that we will work extremely hard both on and off the court to represent them in a manner fitting the most powerful city in the world.”

Brooks joins the Wizards after serving as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s head coach for seven seasons (2008-09 through 2014-15). With Brooks at the helm, the Thunder amassed a 338-207 (.620) record, tallied four 50-plus win seasons (including 60 wins in 2012-13), made three appearances in the Western Conference Finals (2011, 2012, 2014), and advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals.

“Scott’s approach to the game, track record for player development and ability to communicate with his players made him the clear-cut choice to guide our team as we continue to rise as contenders in the Eastern Conference,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and Wizards Majority Owner Ted Leonsis. “His accomplishments as a coach are matched only by his sterling reputation around the league and we’re confident that our fans and players alike will embrace and support him as he leads the way.”

Brooks was named the 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding OKC to a 50-32 record in his first full season as head coach and leading the team to a 27-win improvement (tied for the eighth-largest in NBA history). He also was twice named as head coach for the Western Conference All-Star Team (2012 and 2014). Brooks was originally promoted to head coach of the Thunder on April 15, 2009, after being named interim head coach on Nov. 22, 2008.

Steve Kerr wins 2015-2016 NBA Coach of Year

Steve Kerr wins 2015-2016 NBA Coach of Year award

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose team won a league-record 73 games, has won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year. He is the Warriors’ first winner since coach Don Nelson in the 1991-92 season.

Kerr, in his second season as Warriors head coach, got 64 first-place votes and 381 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts, who guided his team to the playoffs with four new starters, finished second with 37 first-place votes and 335 total points. Three-time winner Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was third with 10 first-place votes and 166 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Under Kerr and assistant coach Luke Walton, who served as interim head coach until Kerr returned from back-surgery complications in January, the Warriors (73-9) posted the best regular-season record in league history, eclipsing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10). The defending NBA champions opened the season 24-0, the best start in league history, which pushed their overall regular-season winning streak to 28 games, the second longest of all time.

The Warriors set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 victories to finish last season), and went 39-2 at Oracle Arena for the second season in a row. Golden State also became the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row or losing to the same team twice.

The Raptors and Pacers are tied 2-2 in their first round NBA playoff series. Raptors guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan haven’t been at their best, to put it lightly. Looking at this as Glass Half Full, things can only get better — right? We’ll see. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting:

Kyle Lowry can tell you to the third decimal what he is shooting in the playoffs.

And even if he’s not happy about that particular number he is not at liberty to grouse about it or let it affect him.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not upset at how I’m playing,” Lowry said. “But I’ve got to be positive. At the end of the day my teammates bank on me to be positive and lead these guys, and that’s what I’m going to do no matter how I’m shooting the ball, I’ve got to make sure my teammates are positive and confident.”

And on that front he has been for the most part successful.

DeRozan and Lowry both know they need to shoot the ball better but getting frustrated over it is not something either will allow himself.

“No, not at all. I’m not frustrated,” DeRozan said Sunday following practice.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on the Pistons, who were eliminated yesterday by the Cavs in the first round of the 206 NBA playoffs:

Cold-blooded threes by Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were monumental in the Cavaliers sweeping the Pistons with the 100-98 victory Sunday night at the Palace.

For the series, Cleveland made 57 threes for the series, a little more than 14 per game.

Irving’s triples were of the spectacular variety.

His final one, with 43.2 seconds left and the shot clock running down, gave the Cavaliers a 100-96 cushion.

As the buzzer sounded, Irving waved good-bye to the Pistons crowd as he finished with 31 points and averaged 27.5 points per game for the series.

“For our team it doesn’t matter who is the leading scorer,” said LeBron James, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds Sunday. “The fact that he was in a great groove throughout this whole series. … We rode his coattail, we rode Kev’s (Kevin Love).

The Pistons were eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs Sunday, losing in a 4-0 series sweep to the Cavaliers. Here’s the Detroit Free Press on the future of the squad, which if all goes according to plan will revolve heavily around big center Andre Drummond:

Andre Drummond will likely get max deal from Pistons

Pistons owner Tom Gores stood in the middle of the locker room, talking about the future, about his desire to extend Andre Drummond and give him a max deal, despite the obvious free-throw issue, despite the fact that caused Drummond to be on the bench at the end of a must-win game.

Gores said he has no hesitation to give Drummond the money. None at all. He wants Drummond back for the long haul; there’s no question in his mind.

“I think he’s a great player,” Gores said. “He deserves it, without a doubt. He’ll figure it out.”

Gores was recapping the season, talking about the addition of Tobias Harris.

“The good news is, the bet they made on Tobias worked,” Gores said. “He’s a good man.”

As he spoke, Stanley Johnson walked by.

“How about that guy?” Gores said, shaking hands with Johnson, the 19-year-old rookie forward, who seemed to grow up in these playoffs.

Basketball blog