Category Archives: NBA

Imminent Kevin Love Addition Makes Cleveland Cavs Instant Title Contenders

NBA: CBS Sports Zach Harper on the pending Kevin Love- Andrew Wiggins trade and what it means for new look Cleveland:

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With the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreeing to a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the acquisition of Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a first round pick thrusts Cleveland toward the top of the title hunt. When LeBron James signed back with the Cavaliers, there was talk about growing together and hopefully getting to a championship level. That patience will be thrown out the window with bringing Love to the roster for the No. 1 pick in a loaded 2014 draft class.

The Cavs are bringing in arguably the best power forward in the league and a guy many consider to be a top 10 player. He’s never made it to the playoffs in his years with the Timberwolves, but he’s really only had one roster actually good enough to make that playoff push. In 2013-14, his team failed in late-game situations and trailed off down the stretch once they were all but mathematically eliminated from the 8-seed in the West. It was the only real opportunity the Wolves had of making the playoffs under Love because it was the first time he had a decent amount of talent surrounding him in a deep conference.

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Team USA: Paul George’s Knee Fracture During USA Basketball Sidelines Pacers Star And Stuns Entire NBA Community

Pacers star Paul George breaks his right leg during Team USA scrimmage; will miss all of ’14-15 NBA season rehabbing injury while USA Basketball and his Pacers are now forced to regroup:

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Via NBA.com

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George on Saturday underwent successful surgery on his broken right leg and is expected to remain in the hospital for about three days. The 6-foot-9 George had an operation at Sunrise Hospital to repair the open tibia-fibula fracture, USA Basketball said in a statement early Saturday morning. Dr. David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and USA Basketball team physician Riley Williams, were present for the surgery, the release said.

George suffered the gruesome right leg injury late in the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage Friday night. He leaped to contest a fast-break layup by James Harden with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter and his leg smashed against the bottom of the backboard stanchion and crumpled. Trainers immediately ran onto the floor and after roughly 10 minutes of stoppage, George was taken out of the arena on a stretcher. With players looking visibly upset, coach Mike Krzyzewski then announced to the crowd that the scrimmage would not be finished out of respect to George and his family. Read the rest of this entry

Plenty Of Story-Lines & League Business During Las Vegas NBA Summer League

ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz on the behind the scenes chatter among NBA Executives convening at NBA’s Las Vegas Sumer League:

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LAS VEGAS — Summer league is the closest thing the NBA has to an industry conclave, and industry conclaves tend to be more about the chatter than the official events. Even though the league unfurled its most anticipated draft class in years this past week, the insiders who populate the VIP sections of the Thomas & Mack Center and its little brother, Cox Pavilion, were consumed with the same stories that propelled the news cycle for fans.

Some of that can be attributed to a free agency period that bled into the summer-league schedule, or that LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland nine hours before Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker squared off in their NBA debuts, or that none of the touted rookies really dazzled.

“Ask me in five years,” says one NBA head coach about the rookie crop.

Whatever the case, this year’s rookie class didn’t wow the league’s decision-makers. Read the rest of this entry

LeBron Returns Home To Cleveland; Leaves Miami Heat To Re-Join Cavs

NBA: LeBron James makes it official; releases a personal letter explaining why he’s returning back home to play for Cleveland:

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LeBron releases announcement letter via Sports Illustrated

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

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Teams With Superstar Max Players Like LeBron Face Obstacles Under New CBA

Grantland’s Zach Lowe on the complexities the Miami Heat face in keeping their expensive Big 3 under new financial landscape:

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In a time of hushed meetings and amorphous potential offers, the Rockets have transformed a thought exercise into a real thing by presenting Chris Bosh a concrete choice: take a pay cut to stay in Miami, or earn your full maximum salary over a four-year deal in Houston.

It’s not quite the ideal test case for a new collective bargaining agreement designed with perhaps one eye on engineering “competitive balance” by making it harder for teams to retain superstar clusters. Adam Silver trumpeted that catchphrase every chance he got during the 2011 lockout, but the league’s primary goal during that torturous offseason was to transfer cash from players to owners.

Silver is sincere in his desire for greater parity, and the easiest path to achieving it is to prevent in-their-prime superstars from teaming up. The new CBA attempted to do that by installing a super-harsh luxury tax. Spend a lot on players, and you’re going to face a crippling tax penalty that gets more severe as you add payroll. Superstars are expensive to sign and even more expensive to keep; the tax was crafted to make the “keeping” part prohibitive.

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NBA Draft Recap: Team By Team Picks, Grades, Trades and Top Storylines

Wiggins goes No.1 to Cavs, Jabari No.2 to Bucks, Embiid No.3 to Sixers; NBA Draft grades after a busy and entertaining NBA Draft:

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Via Yahoo Sports:

Readers will notice a fair amount of very good grades in our take on the 2014 NBA draft. This is because the league’s front offices are getting smarter, scouting is becoming more advanced and this is one of the deeper drafts in NBA history. It’s early, but we think these marks were earned.

Onto the grades …

Atlanta Hawks

The haul: Adreian Payne, Walter Tavares, Lamar Patterson

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has yet to put together a championship contender in Atlanta, but he’s done well to secure low-cost talent while avoiding some (or, all, really) of the financial mistakes made by his predecessors. The loss of Al Horford to injury in 2013-14 turned Atlanta’s season on its ear, and while Payne is nowhere near the sort of contributor the former All-Star is, his ability to spread the floor while playing competently on the other end will fit in with a team that likes to do its damage from the perimeter. Finding a go-to backup and spot starter at No. 15 was good news. Read the rest of this entry

San Antonio Spurs Win 5th NBA Title Routing The Miami Heat In 5 Games

NBA Finals: Tim Duncan’s Spurs avenge last seasons NBA Finals loss to Miami by defeating the Heat to win another NBA Title:

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Via NY Times:

SAN ANTONIO — The arena rumbled. It was only the first half on Sunday night, but there was already a growing sense of inevitability with each passing possession. Having withstood the best that LeBron James could offer, the Spurs were closing in on another championship.

Tim Duncan backed down an opponent before throwing in a baby hook. Manu Ginobili raced end to end for an emphatic dunk that nearly blew the top off AT&T Center. And James, the Miami Heat’s resident superstar and the best player on the planet, was rendered powerless by the Spurs’ slow march to history.

With their 104-87 win in Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals, the Spurs celebrated their fifth championship in 16 seasons as black-and-silver confetti fell from the rafters. San Antonio turned the series into a coronation by winning four of five games, including the last three, with the bonus of snuffing Miami’s well-publicized quest for a third straight title in the process.

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NBA Finals Preview: The San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat Rematch

CBS Sports NBA with a NBA Finals preview as the defending champion Miami Heat face the veteran Spurs once again:

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With the San Antonio Spurs winning the Western Conference Finals in six games a day after the Miami Heat wrapped up the East in six, we’re about to get a rematch of one of the greatest NBA Finals we’ve ever seen just one year after it happened. The Spurs are making back-to-back NBA Finals appearances for the first time in franchise history, and the Heat are looking to complete a three-peat for the first time since the 2000-02 Lakers.

What do we have in store for this 2013 Finals sequel? Let’s take a quick look ahead to what the series will look like:

Season series: The Heat and Spurs split the season series 1-1. Read the rest of this entry

NBA: Regular Season Rest Has DWade Healthy In Quest For Miami Heat 3-Peat

USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt on Miami’s smart strategy resting D-Wade during the season and keeping him fresh for another title run: 

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MIAMI — Dwyane Wade was being Dwyane Wade, catching a pass from LeBron James, Euro-stepping to the basket right past the Indiana Pacers’ Evan Turner and launching a bank shot high off the glass and over the stretched-out left arm of seven-footer Roy Hibbert for two points.

Driving to the basket, posting up, making jump shots and guarding Indiana’s Paul George — this is what the Miami Heat are getting from their 10-time All Star against the Pacers. These are all things that weren’t possible last season because of a knee injury.

With Wade healthy, the complexion of the 2014 NBA playoffs has changed. His performance — obviously combined with the brilliant play of James — is why the Heat don’t look so ready to relinquish the title.

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NBA Draft Is June 26th, Cleveland Cavs Land No.1 Overall Pick Again; NBA Pre-Draft Combine Highlights From Chicago

Video highlights of some of the notable NBA Draft Prospects who participated at the recent NBA Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago:

2014 NBA Draft Lottery Top 10 Picks: 1) Cavs, 2) Bucks, 3) Sixers, 4) Magic, 5) Jazz, 6) Celtics, 7) Lakers, 8) Kings, 9) Hornets, 10) Sixers

Combine video courtesy of the NBA