Category Archives: NBA
Cleveland Cavs fire coach David Blatt midseason and name Tyronn Lue new head coach in effort to change team culture:
Via the Associated Press:
CLEVELAND (AP) — David Blatt’s second NBA season seemed to be going better than his first. Now, it’s over.
Blatt was fired Friday by the title-chasing Cavaliers, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. Blatt, who led the team to the NBA Finals last season, will be replaced by top assistant Tyronn Lue, according to the person, who spoke to on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet announced the move.
Lue is to make his debut Saturday night when the Cavs host the Chicago Bulls.
Cavs general manager David Griffin was expected to speak with reporters at a news conference Friday evening at the team’s training facility in Independence, Ohio.
Blatt’s firing came one day after the coach was defensive before and after the Cavs beat the Los Angeles Clippers. Blatt had been bothered by criticism that his team — led by superstar LeBron James — received after a 34-point loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors earlier this week.
NBA: The Defending Champion Warriors remain unbeaten setting a new NBA record with the most wins to start the new season:
Via NBA dot com’s Scott Howard Cooper:
Will it be 34 wins in a row, in any stretch of the schedule?
Seventy wins in all in 2015-16, maybe even 73 for the full-season record?
Or this NBA stuff has become too easy and the Warriors will search for outside challenges? Stephen Curry will break 18 at Pebble Beach. The San Francisco 49ers will name Luke Walton coach — interim coach — and win the Super Bowl. Suddenly, nothing seems impossible.
They play without coach Steve Kerr nearly the first quarter of the season and minus center Andrew Bogut for six games, and wins pile up in historic ways. They fall behind the Clippers by 23 points on the road and not only rally to win late, but then play a good team — the Bulls — on the second night of the back-to-back in Oakland and win that too.
The Warriors let the possibility of the best start ever in the NBA build for several days … and then quickly end the suspense Tuesday night, letting the Los Angeles Lakers hang around Oracle Arena to watch the show. Read the rest of this entry
SLAM Magazine Issue 191 profiles the hard work and fast rise of Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler: “I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind”
Via SLAM’s Christopher Cason:
Confidence in one’s self is essentially the biggest asset a successful athlete can have.
And that power of self-belief is the exact reason that by the time you’re reading this, the ink of Jimmy Butler’s signature will be dry and affixed to a new (5 year $95M) max contract.
From an early age, the Tomball, TX, native learned to trust and rely on himself due in large part to spending some of his teenage years without a place to call home. Those experiences from those tough times, along with a Texas-sized work ethic, became pillars of his character. Those pillars are why it wasn’t that difficult for him to turn down an estimated four-year, $44 million offer from the Chicago Bulls prior to the beginning of the regular season.
Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins leads White Team to victory in Team USA’s training camp tuneup in advance of 2016 Olympics:
Via The Associated Press:
LAS VEGAS — There was no LeBron James or Stephen Curry.
Nor were there any signs of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant or James Harden.
Most important, there weren’t any injuries.
The U.S. men’s basketball team ended its minicamp with an exhibition that felt like a light-hearted pickup game, a much smoother ending than last summer, when Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George broke his leg after crashing into a backboard stanchion.
Sacramento Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the White team to a 134-128 victory over the Blue team.
“I feel so good about these four days. … I thought our guys really responded tonight (with) a lot of effort (and) enthusiasm, they had fun,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “They all want to be a part of USA Basketball. Read the rest of this entry
2015 NBA Draft: Yahoo Sports recaps the NBA Draft’s 1st round, offering team grades for each player selected from No. 1-30:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns (PF/C, Kentucky, Fr., 19, 7-0, 248): The Towns vs. Okafor debate faded recently as NBA personnel fell in love with the versatile ex-Kentucky big man. Towns shined in the paint for the Wildcats, protecting the rim with his ability to alter shots at one end and bullying big men for low-post baskets at the other. He will never be as brilliant a back-to-the-basket scorer as Okafor, but he runs the floor well, moves more fluidly defending the perimeter and is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers. Marc J. Spears’ grade: A+
2. Los Angeles Lakers – D’Angelo Russell PG/SG, Ohio State, Fr., 19, 6-5, 193): Once considered a tick or two below some of the elite players in his class, Russell ascended draft boards this winter thanks to a brilliant freshman season. He has the quickness and vision to run the point in the NBA yet also possesses the shooting ability and scoring instincts to thrive off ball too. By going with Russell instead of Jahlil Okafor, the Lakers keep alive the possibility of adding a free-agent big man this summer in a year when a handful of frontcourt standouts will be available. Marc J. Spears’ grade: A
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver on the 2015 Golden State Warriors; From Best Record All Season To NBA World Champs:
CLEVELAND—A season in which everything always seemed to fall perfectly into place ended in perfectly charmed fashion, with the proper button being pushed at the right time and every shot falling once the championship was in reach.
The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105–97 in Game 6 on Tuesday to claim their first title since 1975, following up a franchise-best 67-15 regular season with a spectacular 16-5 jaunt through the playoffs. Lacking in Finals experience before it entered the series, and facing the daunting task of slowing LeBron James, Golden State was nevertheless well-prepared for this series, having faced multiple superstars earlier in the playoffs, having won matchups by playing both fast and slow, and having climbed out of a 2-1 hole against the Grizzlies in the second round.
Those experiences, coupled with Golden State’s talent-laden, healthy and unselfish roster, fueled the Warriors. Golden State coach Steve Kerr expertly drew on the lessons he learned along the way. In defending James, as in dealing with Anthony Davis and especially James Harden, Kerr used multiple defenders and regularly changed his help coverage before sticking with Andre Iguodala once the veteran wing proved he could consistently make James work hard for his numbers. Read the rest of this entry
A look at the top NBA Finals storylines & matchups including this season’s MVP Steph Curry facing former MVP LeBron James:
Via NBA dot com:
LeBron James satisfied ? Never. Not with four more wins needed to finish the story properly. Same goes for Stephen Curry.
Grinding your way to The Finals, for the fifth straight year for LeBron and for the firs time ever for Curry, is just another step on the path to bigger things … a place in history and the chance to bring a parade to streets that have either never seen one or at least haven’t seen one in decades. The goal for LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers has always been to crown his homecoming with a Larry O’Brien Trophy. Curry and the Warriors laid out their plans in training camp, a Larry O’Brien Trophy or bust.
So it’s fitting that the four-time MVP and the reigning KIA MVP would square off for supremacy after traveling two very different paths to get here. The Warriors looked like a lock for months, running roughshod over the league nearly all season, while the Cavaliers had to survive an early season transition period, with so many new faces in the mix, before emerging in the playoffs as the true beasts of the Eastern Conference.
NBA Playoffs: Dwight Howard, James Harden Lead The Houston Rockets Past Dallas Mavs In Playoffs Opening Round
Dwight Howard and James Harden dominate 1st round series vs Mavs as Houston becomes a sleeper in Western Conference:
Via ESPN. com
HOUSTON — The owner wearing the cool sunglasses slowly got up from his courtside seat as the standing ovation began.
Leslie Alexander, who owns the Houston Rockets, shook hands with some people sitting next to him as if he’s been here before.
Well, he has. It’s just that this Rockets version of the big three as a group hadn’t escaped the first round until Tuesday night.
The Rockets eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in five games with a 103-94 victory on Tuesday, earning a berth in the second round for just the second time since 1997.
The Rockets’ big three of Kevin McHale, the coach, James Harden, the MVP candidate, and Dwight Howard, the star center, advanced after being knocked out in the first round in each of the past two seasons. Howard has been around since the 2013-14 season. Read the rest of this entry
NBA All-Star rosters set as Bulls Jimmy Butler, Kings DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors Klay Thompson notable 1st time All-Stars:
Official NBA Release:
NEW YORK — Three members of the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks — Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague — headline the list of 14 players selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA announced Thursday. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors earned his first All-Star selection, joining teammate and starter Stephen Curry to give the Western Conference-leading Warriors two All-Stars for the first time since Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway in 1993.
The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game will be seen by fans in 215 countries and territories and will be heard in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.
The Hawks’ trio is joined in the East by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving. Read the rest of this entry