Video: Ridiculous Kyrie Irving three-pointer

Just sit back and imagine being able to do what Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving does here:

Shaun Livingston suspended for hitting Dirk Nowitzki in groin

Shaun Livingston suspended for hitting Dirk Nowitzki in groin

Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has been suspended one game without pay for hitting Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki in the groin, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 1:28 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 123-110 victory over the Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

Livingston will serve his suspension tonight when the Warriors visit the San Antonio Spurs.

The New York Post reports: “No one plays post defense and does that in normal post defense,” Cuban said after Livingston, a former Net, essentially reached between the big German’s legs and upper-cutted, resulting in a flagrant foul. “That’s not normal post defense. It was obvious.”

To view the play, click on this link.

Steve Kerr sets NBA record for most victories by a first-year head coach

steve kerr

Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr has established a new NBA record for most victories by a first-year head coach in league history, notching his 63rd win of the season with tonight’s 123-110 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas. The previous record for wins by a first-year NBA head coach was 62, a mark shared by Paul Westphal (Phoenix, 1992-93) and Tom Thibodeau (Chicago, 2010-11). Kerr’s winning percentage (.829) also ranks as the highest among head coaches in their first full season at the helm, topping Red Auerbach’s debut season with the Washington Capitols (.817) in 1946-47. With tonight’s win, which improved Golden State’s record to 63-13, the Warriors will have home court advantage throughout the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

Kerr, who was hired as the 25th head coach in Warriors franchise history on May 19, 2014, has led the Warriors to franchise records of 63 wins and 28 road wins, guiding the team to its first Pacific Division championship since 1975-76. He was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in both January and March, becoming the first coach in Warriors history to earn the monthly honor twice in a single season. Golden State, which set a new franchise record with a 16-game win streak from Nov. 13-Dec. 14, has won its last 12 games, posting multiple double-digit win streaks in the same season for the first time in franchise history.

With 63 wins, the Warriors have seen a 12-game improvement over last season’s 51 victories, which is tied for the second-largest win total increase of any 50-win team in NBA history. Golden State leads the league in points per game (109.9), assists (27.4), field goal percentage (.477), three-point percentage (.397) and point differential (+10.7).

Rodney Hood set to return after concussion

Rodney Hood set to return after concussion

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard/forward Rodney Hood, who was diagnosed with a concussion after receiving an elbow to the head during the third quarter of the Jazz’s March 30 victory at Minnesota:

Over the last several days under the care of the Utah Jazz medical staff and official healthcare partner University of Utah Health Care, Hood has participated in each step of the NBA-mandated Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol as part of the league’s Concussion Policy. This process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming basketball activities. During each step of the process Hood has remained symptom-free, including after his workouts earlier today. As a result, the Jazz medical staff has cleared Hood to play in tonight’s game at Phoenix.

Hawks sign Austin Daye to multi-year contract

Hawks sign Austin Daye to multi-year contract

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Austin Daye to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. He signed consecutive 10-day contracts with the Hawks on March 15 and March 25.

Daye has appeared in five games with the Hawks, and also played in 26 contests earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs.

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday that All-Star guard Paul George would be available to play Sunday when the Pacers host the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6:00 p.m.).

George has missed the entire season after breaking his right leg during an intra-squad exhibition game at Las Vegas last August while practicing with Team USA as it prepared for the World Cup of basketball competition.

“The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process,” said George, a two-time NBA All-Star and the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2012-13. “I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers’ family for their support and encouragement. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m aware I’m still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength.”

“We’re happy to have Paul back in uniform, and this is just another step in his rehabilitation from the injury,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has worked hard to get to this point and still has work to do, but it’s a positive step toward what we hope will be a full recovery at some point. His minutes will be limited in games he plays as we evaluate his progress moving forward.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Dwight Buycks to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Buycks’ previous NBA experience came with the Toronto Raptors in 2013-14, where he averaged 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 10.4 minutes per game over 14 contests. After being waived by the Raptors in July, the 6’3’’ guard signed with Valencia of the Spanish ACB League before joining Tianjin Ronggang of the Chinese Basketball Association. At the conclusion of the CBA season, the 26-year-old was acquired by the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League on March 4, and in 10 games (all starts) with the Blue, averaged 18.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals in 34.4 minutes per game before receiving his GATORADE Call-Up from the Lakers.

The Milwaukee, WI native’s D-League experience also includes eight games with the Bakersfield Jam in 2013-14, and 28 games for the Tulsa 66ers in the 2011-12 season. Buycks went undrafted in 2011 after playing two seasons (2009-2011) at Marquette following two seasons at Indian Hills Community College, and his professional stops also include time spent in Belgium (2012) and France (2012-13 season).

The Lakers roster now stands at 16 players after being granted a hardship waiver exception from the NBA.

Jordan Clarkson having very good season for Lakers

The 20-54 Lakers aren’t on the basketball map this season, but at least one bright spot exists: the play of guard Jordan Clarkson. He’s worth keeping around. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting:

Clarkson’s ranks third among rookies this season in points per game (10.9), eighth in shooting percentage (44.7%) and fifth in assists (3.1). Yet, those numbers do not fully capture Clarkson’s effectiveness considering he spent 20 of the Lakers’ first 43 games on the bench playing only garbage time. Based on his 31 starts, Clarkson actually ranks second in scoring behind Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins (16.3 points) and second in assists behind Orlando’s Elfrid Payton (6.3 assists).

In the his last five games, Clarkson has averaged 21.6 points, 5 rebounds and six assists. Both Scott and Clarkson attributed that uptick to various factors. They credited to how Clarkson has learned to temper his speed, which Scott said first started at 150 miles per hour and clocked against New Orleans at 75 miles per hour. Clarkson credited the increased floor spacing with Ryan Kelly assuming the stretch four position. Both touted how Clarkson has no fear in making the big play. Both gushed about how little time it takes for Clarkson to learn from a mistake.

A look at Bradley Beal three-point shooting

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, who through Wednesday’s games is averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 33.3 minutes per game this season:

A look at Bradley Beal three-point shooting

Beal sinks 41.4 of his 3-point attempts, ranking 11th in the NBA. His four attempts per game slot much lower.

Of the top 21 qualified 3-point shooting percentage leaders, 11 average at least 12 points per game. Of those 11, only Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton’s takes fewer 3’s per game than Beal. Kyle Korver, J.J Redick, Danny Green and Kevin Durant average six per game. Klay Thompson tries seven, one less than Warriors teammate Stephen Curry.

Overall, 46 players launch more 3-pointers per game than Beal, including James Harden and LeBron James.

Danny Ainge happy with Celtics playoff push

To make the playoffs or not? If a team has a chance to go far in the postseason, of course they should want in. But if they’re going to be lucky to even be there, and will quickly be sent home, and will receive a lower draft pick as a result? Tough to say what’s better for an organization. Because money is made on home attendance for a couple playoff games. But money also gets made from drafting a better player who helps the team win more and draw more fans and attention. Have fun analyzing all that. Anyway, here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge admitted Thursday that he sees value in his team getting a taste of postseason experience and would be disappointed for his players and coaches if the Celtics were to come up short in their quest for a postseason berth.

Ainge, who as overseer of the team’s rebuild must balance a desire for optimum draft position with the benefits of his current players getting big-game experience, has been leery at times of simply sneaking into the playoffs in a lowly Eastern Conference. But with his team playing far more inspired ball in recent months, the possibility of an extended season seems to have grown on him.

“I probably would be [disappointed if the Celtics missed the postseason], just because our guys have worked really hard and our coaching staff. I know how much they’re focusing on getting into the playoffs,” Ainge said Thursday during his weekly call to Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub. “They’re working, they have goals, and I’d like for them to accomplish the goals that they’ve set. So, yeah, I’d be disappointed for them.”

Pistons happy with Grand Rapids Drive relationship

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the relationship between the Detroit Pistons and their D-League squad:

The Grand Rapids Drive won’t have a winning season on the court, but management of parent company Detroit Pistons are pleased with the first-year relationship with the NBA Development League team.

“This first year our primary goal was creating a structure that matches our structure,” said Dennis Mannion, president & CEO of Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons. “…We’re getting better at it. We have a monthly call in to go over things and with what Steve (Ybarra, the lead owner of the Drive) has learned it will help him so much in support and planning for next year.”

The Drive, after a promising start to the season, began to sag in January and, at 22-26 heading into Friday’s home finale against Erie, won’t make the playoffs. The season ends Saturday at Delaware.

Wayne Ellington done for season with shoulder injury

Wayne Ellington done for season with shoulder injury

Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington, who was injured in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at STAPLES Center, had an MRI exam today which confirmed a grade 1 shoulder separation. Ellington will miss the remainder of the season.

In 65 games (36 starts) this season, Ellington averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.5 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. The six year NBA veteran set single-game career marks in points (28), rebounds (10), assists (six), and field goals made (12) in 2014-15.

Nikola Pekovic needs surgery, season is over

nba blog

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced center Nikola Pekovic will undergo a debridement and repair of his right Achilles. The surgery will be performed on Wednesday, April 8 by Dr. Robert Anderson at Ortho Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pekovic will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. An update on his progress will be provided when appropriate.

Pekovic played in 31 games this season, averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. The five-year veteran holds career averages of 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Alex Len undergoes surgery for broken nose

Alex Len undergoes surgery for broken nose

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len today underwent successful surgery to repair his broken nose. He is expected to be sidelined at least a week and will be re-evaluated next week.

The surgery was performed in Phoenix by Dr. Ryan Rehl. Len sustained the injury during the Suns’ game at the Portland Trail Blazers on March 30.

The second-year center is averaging 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 22.0 minutes in 69 games (44 starts) with the Suns this season.

Kings sign Sim Bhullar to 10-day contract

Kings sign Sim Bhullar to 10-day contract

 Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has signed Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract

The Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has signed Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to be on an NBA team’s regular season roster.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team when he inked a contract with the Kings on August 15, 2014. The 7-foot-5, 360-pound center was a member of the Kings squad that captured the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League title in Las Vegas.

Bhullar played for the Kings D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns and averaged 10.3 points (.727 FG%, .600 FT%), 8.8 rebounds, 3.9 blocks and 25.8 minutes per game in 39 games, of which he started 17. He led the D-League in field goal percentage and blocks per game. Bhullar recorded 11 double-doubles this season and had a triple-double with 26 points (12-15 FG, 2-5 FT), 17 rebounds and 11 blocks on February 22 versus the L.A. Defenders.

On February 26, 2015, Bhullar became the first NBA D-League player to make a guest appearance on a late night talk show when he joined the “The Late Late Show” with guest host Kunal Nayyar of “The Big Bang Theory.”

In his two seasons at New Mexico State, the Aggies standout averaged 10.2 points (.633 FG%, .496 FT%), 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.9 blocks and 25.3 minutes per game in 65 career games. Bhullar was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP, helping the school reach the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014. As a freshman, he was named WAC Freshman of the Year after accruing averages of 10.1 points (.621 FG%, .465 FT%), 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 24.4 minutes per game for the Aggies. He set a single-season school record for most blocked shots with 85 and his .621 field goal percentage ranked fourth on the NMSU single-season list and first in the WAC in 2012-13.

David Blatt and Steve Kerr named NBA Coaches of Month for March, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Blatt led the Cavaliers to the best record in the East during March at 11-4 (.733). The Cavaliers averaged 107.0 points and surrendered just 97.9 points in March, en route to posting the best differential in the conference at +9.1 ppg. Cleveland went 5-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, where it has now won 16 consecutive games.

Kerr guided the Warriors to the NBA’s best record in March at 16-2 (.889). The Warriors averaged 108.4 points and surrendered just 96.3 points, which accounted for a +12.1 ppg differential, good for second in the West. Golden State closed the month with 10 consecutive wins, including six against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Lakers waive Steve Nash, sign Jabari Brown to multi-year contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Steve Nash and signed guard Jabari Brown to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, previously signed to 10-day contracts on March 10 and March 20, has appeared in 10 games for the Lakers, averaging 9.4 points on 50.0% (32-64) shooting, including 45.8% (11-24) from three-point range, in addition to 1.7 assists, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 24.5 minutes per game.

Monday, Brown had the best performance of his NBA career, scoring a career-high 22 points on 7-10 shooting (3-4 from beyond-the-arc), playing 34 minutes in an overtime victory at Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the Lakers, Brown was a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he led the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

Glen Davis fined for kicking seat cushion

Glen Davis fined for kicking a seat cushion into the stands

Glen Davis fined for kicking seat cushion

Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis has been fined $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 4:16 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 119-106 win over the Boston Celtics on March 29 at TD Garden.

To view the play, click on this link.

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard/forward Rodney Hood:

Hood has been diagnosed by the Jazz medical staff with a concussion, after receiving an elbow to the head during the third quarter of last night’s 104-84 victory at Minnesota.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Hood will now begin the NBA-mandated Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol. This process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming basketball activities. There is no predetermined timetable to complete the protocol, as each case is unique and recovery times for players may vary.

As a result, Hood will be listed as OUT for Wednesday’s game vs. Denver and his status moving forward is day-to-day. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant underwent bone graft surgery today for the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley with Thunder medical personnel present at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Durant will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to full basketball activities in the next four to six months.

The reigning NBA Kia Most Valuable Player appeared in 27 games (all starts) during the 2014-15 campaign, averaging 25.4 points on 51.0 percent shooting from the floor (238-of-467), 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.

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