Category Archives: NBA

2014 NBA Playoffs Officially Set; 1st Round (Best of 7) Series Match-Ups

CBS ‘Eye On Basketball’ takes a closer look at the 1st round playoff match-ups as the NBA Playoffs begin this weekend: 

nbaplayoffs

Western Conference:

San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (8)

Analysis: Just for old time’s sake, we’re getting a good old-fashioned Tim Duncan-Dirk Nowitzki duel in the playoffs. The Spurs are 4-2 in playoff series against the Mavericks in the Dirk-Duncan era with the Spurs winning the most recent series in 2010. We’re getting two of the best perimeter attack teams in the NBA, who execute with incredible precision.

The biggest key to this series will end up being how the Mavericks’ big men play. Dallas has trouble on the boards and they’re a pretty bad defensive unit in most creations they have with their lineups. Can anybody step up to right the interior ship for Dallas or will Duncan and Tiago Splitter have their way inside and in the series?

Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

Analysis: After the Grizzlies announced their presence with authority on the playoff scene in 2011, they were outlasted by the Thunder in the second round of the playoffs in a pretty epic series. Last season, we got a rematch but this one was sans Russell Westbrook, which allowed the Grizzlies to take advantage of focusing on Kevin Durant defensively and making the rest of the team beat them.

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New Team President Phil Jackson Hired To Return The Knicks To Contenders

Legendary Coach Phil Jackson returns to the NBA to join the Knicks as new team president in charge of basketball operations:

Via The NY Times: The Knicks introduced Phil Jackson as their new president at a news conference Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden, where he pledged to be fully committed to the organization and to the tenets of team basketball. He also said that the team had been hindered by a “lack of solidarity” in recent seasons and that he would work to build better relationships.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to do something that I love,” said Jackson, who won 11 N.B.A. championships as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, “and that’s be with a basketball team and hopefully create a team that loves each other and plays with each other.”

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Sixers Officially Retire Allen Iverson’s Jersey in Philadelphia Ceremony

Allen Iverson’s No.3 jersey officially retired by 76ers, remembered as one of Philly’s legendary athletes: 

PHILADELPHIA (Via the Associated Press) — Allen Iverson cupped his hand to his left ear and asked to hear his favorite tune one more time.

With that command, 20,000 roaring Philadelphia 76ers fans gave AI the standing ovation he earned by stamping himself as one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

Iverson, emotional as he thanked former teammates and friends, had his No. 3 retired at halftime of Saturday’s game against Washington.

High above the Wells Fargo Center court, Iverson’s banner slipped between Maurice Cheeks’ No. 10 and Charles Barkley’s No. 34.

“They all wanted me to talk about how much y’all loved me,” Iverson said, “but trust me, the feeling was mutual.”

Iverson officially retired in October after last playing in 2010. He won four scoring titles for the Sixers and was the 2001 MVP when he led them to the NBA Finals. He never won a championship, the lone omission in a career that is destined for the Hall of Fame.

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NBA: Kyrie Irving Wins Game MVP and Leads East All-Stars To Comeback Win In High Scoring All-Star Game

Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony lead the East All-Stars over the West in the highest scoring NBA All-Star game in history: 

Via Sports Illustrated:  Kyrie Irving took home MVP honors after leading the East to a come-from-behind 163-155 victory during a record-setting NBA All-Star Game at the Smoothie King Center on Sunday. The East’s victory snapped the West’s three-game winning streak.

The Cavaliers’ third-year point guard tallied a team-high 31 points and a game-high 14 assists to help the East make up an 18-point second-half deficit. Irving, 21, scored 24 points in the second half and 15 in the fourth quarter in his second career All-Star appearance and his first career All-Star start.

“There’s so many MVPs out there on that floor and to be named MVP among all those great stars is truly an honor,” Irving said. “It’s a blessing. I’m glad I get to bring it back to Cleveland.”

Irving, the 2011 No. 1 overall pick, becomes the second-youngest All-Star Game MVP in history, joining Heat forward LeBron James as the only players to win the award at age 21.  Read the rest of this entry

NBA: Lakers Kobe Bryant Injured Again, Out With Left Knee Fracture

ESPN Los Angeles on the latest news that Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant is Out again with left knee fracture:

Kobe Bryant is expected to miss six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday.

Bryant suffered the injury Tuesday night during the visiting Lakers’ 96-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. An MRI exam Thursday revealed that Bryant played for a half against the Grizzlies with the break.

The news is an undeniable blow to the Lakers, who in late November signed Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension before the 35-year-old had made it back onto the court from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered last April.

“It’s too bad,” coach Mike D’Antoni said at the team’s practice Thursday. Read the rest of this entry

Bulls Derrick Rose Tears Meniscus in Right Knee, Another Surgery Required

Chicago Bulls star PG Derrick Rose injures his other knee vs Blazers, out again indefinitely after right meniscus tear: 

Via CBS Eye on Basketball:

The news for Derrick Rose isn’t completely devastating but it’s also not good. When he went down with a right knee injury in the third quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night, it was immediately feared that he had torn his right ACL and would be done for the year. While the injury isn’t quite that serious, the team announced on Saturday that he has a meniscus tear in his right knee and will require surgery.

He’s out indefinitely.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose sustained an injury to his right knee against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Subsequent examinations and an MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee, which will require surgery. Rose is out indefinitely, and will not accompany the team on the rest of its current road trip.

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Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker All Shine On Big Chicago Stage

USA Today’s Sam Amick on the buzz surrounding the elite level future NBA talent at the Champions Classic in Chicago:

The traffic between Philadelphia and nearby Trenton, N.J., was heavier than normal on Feb. 10, 2002, with a parade of NBA scouts, coaches, and executives clogging I-95 because they all had somewhere special to be.

Seventeen-year-old LeBron James of St. Vincent-St. Mary was facing off against fellow high school phenom Carmelo Anthony of Oak Hill Academy, and the hordes of talent evaluators who were already in town for the All-Star game gleefully made the 35-mile trek to see these young stars who already seemed destined for greatness. It was, as one executive who was on hand that day described it, “a day where you felt the earth move.”

It moved again on Tuesday night, when three of the top contenders for No. 1 pick in the celebrated 2014 NBA draft took part in the Champions Classic in Chicago that likely will be remembered in the same vein as the James-Anthony faceoff by the estimated 80 NBA types who were on hand. Power forward Julius Randle of No. 1 Kentucky set the bar extremely high in the opener (27 points and 13 rebounds), showcasing his power style in a 78-74 loss to No. 2 Michigan State.

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Team USA Basketball Convenes In Las Vegas For Select Training Camp

USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt on USA Basketball’s new talent pool of young, emerging players hoping to join 2016 Olympic Team:

LAS VEGAS — USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo’s plan to infuse the men’s national team with new talent moves forward this week.

Forwards Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets and guards Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and 2012-13 rookie of the year Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers are among the 29 players, including two college players, invited to Team USA’s four-day camp, which begins Monday and concludes Thursday with a scrimmage.

The camp is the first step toward preparations for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly the world championships) in Spain and, beyond that, a very early look at candidates for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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Winners & Losers: Recapping a Very Unpredictable, Exciting NBA Draft

Via Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward:

Winners:

Canadian basketball. Any time history is made, that’s a good place to start. When the Cavaliers shocked the basketball world by drafting UNLV forward Anthony Bennett, our neighbors to the north registered their first No. 1 pick. Canada’s program has been on the rise for a number of years, highlighted by the first-round selections of Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph in 2011. Joining Bennett in the lottery was Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk, who was born in Toronto and raised in Kamloops.

This growing youth movement could well pay off in full if Andrew Wiggins, arguably the best wing prospect since Kevin Durant, is selected first in the 2014 draft, as expected. Imagine if someone had told you as recently as 2010 that Canadians would go No. 1 back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. Kaboom — mind blown.

The only disappointment for Canada? Texas’ Myck Kabongo, a high school teammate of Thompson’s, went undrafted.

Anthony Bennett. There will be plenty of time for the pressure and expectations to sink in and the doubters to crow at full volume. In this moment, it surely must be an amazing feeling to have shocked the world.

“I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” Bennett admitted.

It’s not yet clear how he will function in the same frontcourt as Thompson or if the roster will get a freshening up now that Mike Brown is back in the saddle. Before worrying about those questions, Bennett need only concern himself with savoring the most pleasant of surprises before getting himself 100 percent healthy.

Kings fans. It’s hard to imagine a greater joy than the one Sacramento’s diehards felt when the Kings were saved from relocation, seemingly at the last possible moment. Getting a top-three talent and a possible future All-Star in Ben McLemore at No. 7 should rank right up there, too.

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Finals MVP LeBron Delivers Miami’s 2nd Title In 3 Years; Beating Spurs In Gm 7

NBA Finals: LeBron and DWade combine for 60 points in Game 7, proving too much for a Spurs team who collapsed during Game 6:

Via (AP):  Victory in Game 7 brought more than another crown for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. It validated the team and its leader, forever cementing their place among the NBA’s greats.

For the vanquished San Antonio Spurs, it simply compounded the misery of a championship that got away.

James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.

Capping their best season in franchise history – and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it – the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA’s first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.

“I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason,” said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. “I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.”

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