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Jazz Fan

Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz past Grizzlies posted by Jazz Fan

After losing to Eastern Conference foes Chicago and Cleveland over the weekend, Memphis showed signs of fatigue in not being able to counter Utah's youth, allowing the Jazz to beat the Grizzlies 97-91 on Monday night.

Alec Burks scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward added 21 to lead the Jazz, who withstood a late push by hitting eight of 10 free throws down the stretch for their third win in the last four.

Derrick Favors finished with 15 points, while Enes Kanter added 13 points and nine rebounds. Rudy Gobert had a career-best 16 rebounds as the Jazz dominated the boards 49-34.

"I think our offensive game started with our defense," Hayward said. "We have a goal of not letting teams score over 24 points per quarter, and we won on three of four quarters."

Utah connected on 9 of 19 from outside the arc to create a buffer from Memphis. Another factor, beyond the rebounding margin, was the Jazz converting 20 of 27 free throws, while Memphis went to the line only nine times in the game, making eight.

Utah led through much of the second half until Gasol connected with 5:32 left for a 77-75 Memphis lead. Burks answered with a 3-pointer, and Utah never let go of the lead the final 5 minutes in rebounding from a 104-86 loss Saturday at Charlotte.

"It was big for our confidence to be able to come back and get a road win here in Memphis after a poor performance in Charlotte," Jazz guard Trey Burke said.

The Jazz pushed the lead to six points in the third quarter, and managed to keep the Grizzlies at bay through most of the period as Hayward had nine points and Kanter added seven.

Continue reading "Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz ..."

Magic Fan

Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short posted by Magic Fan

Midway through Friday’s second quarter, the Magic were in possession of a feel-good 10-point lead on the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers, confetti inexplicably starting falling from the rafters.

It was a case of premature celebration considering LeBron James’ propensity for taking games over late and the Magic’s struggles in the clutch in recent weeks.

Orlando started strong and matched the Cavs blow for blow most of the night only to see James come alive in the fourth quarter as the Magic went cold at the wrong time. James ended up with 29 points – one more than the Magic over the final 12 minutes of the game – to lead Cleveland to a 98-89 victory that wrecked Orlando’s hopes of capturing a signature win.

``You just watch the film on the game and you will see two different teams. One from the first three quarters and one from the last quarter, especially the last five minutes of the game,’’ frustrated forward Tobias Harris said.

``A big part of this league is at the end of the game having the ability to put the basketball in someone’s hands and that person makes a play,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``How many possessions at the end of the game was the ball in LeBron’s hands? He made the plays for himself and for his teammates.

``We’re still growing and understand where we want the ball and in whose hands,’’ Vaughn continued. ``And we’re still learning how to finish once the ball is in that person’s hands.’’

Continue reading "Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short"

Heat Fan

Miami fans should applaud LeBron, and he should return the favor posted by Heat Fan

Four Finals appearances in four years? Two championships? I'd say James delivered on his promise when he the Heat in 2010.

When he left Cleveland, he was the game's biggest individual talent who hadn't won anything. He needed validation; needed to begin his ring count before it was too late.

His four years in Miami built leadership qualities and maturity that were lacking before. And his time in the South Florida sun removed the stigma of being the best player in the world who hadn't won a championship. When it was all over, the experience had given him the confidence to return home and try to build something new.

As he returns to face his buddy, Dwyane Wade, on Thursday, here's a question: Is it possible that James' four years in Miami will wind up being the apex of his career? That he'll never have another run like that again?

It's more than possible. Only three teams have been to the Finals four consecutive times -- the Lakers and Celtics in the '80s and the Heat of James, Wade and Bosh. The odds that James could accomplish that feat a second time with another team? Pretty slim.

Even slimmer when you consider how much the NBA landscape has changed since James formed his Big Three in 2010. That was the last hurrah under the old collective bargaining agreement, and the deal struck after the 2011 lockout has fundamentally changed how teams are being built.

This is not to say that the Big Three model can't or won't work one more time for James in Cleveland. But with the landscape changing all around him, it's a reminder of how special his four years in Miami really were.

Continue reading "Miami fans should applaud LeBron, ..."

Houston Rockets

Corey Brewer to Rockets. posted by Houston Rockets

The Minnesota Timberwolves' wing is a little less crowded after Friday, as they've agreed to trade swingman Corey Brewer to the Houston Rockets.

Brewer, 28, is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game on 41.8 percent shooting. One of Minnesota's first players off the bench in most contests, a Brewer trade nonetheless became inevitable.

The former Florida star isn't a superstar by any stretch, but he's a smart player who knows what he is at this point in his career. Most of Brewer's best shots come in transition and semi-transition, where he's an expert at using the open floor to get to the rim. A subpar shooter from beyond the arc in his career, Brewer has almost abandoned the three-point shot entirely this season.

Minnesota's willingness to move him despite a fine start is an indicator head coach and team president Flip Saunders has come around to a full-scale rebuild. The Wolves' trade of Kevin Love to Cleveland this offseason started the project, but it seemed like Saunders was taking half-measures by signing veterans in free agency and trading for Thaddeus Young.

But a 5-19 start leaves the Timberwolves with little excuse not to see what they have in their young talent.

Getting Brewer is about the best Houston could hope to do given its salary situation. Brewer is by no means a lockdown defender, but he's a high-energy guy who consistently fights his way to a couple turnovers per game.

Offensively, he is more of a noticeable minus, where his penchant for leaking out for transition buckets can sometimes lead to some questionable decision-making. That, of course, is also an issue defensively when the opposing team gets the offensive board.

Continue reading "Corey Brewer to Rockets."

Cavaliers Fan

Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love sits fourth quarter posted by Cavaliers Fan

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, Kevin Love scored 22 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter and the Cavs beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 Friday without Kyrie Irving.

Irving was a late scratch with his bothersome left knee. Coach David Blatt thought he would be able to play, but Irving tested the knee prior to the game and determined he couldn’t go.

The Cavs’ defense was terrible throughout the first half when the Magic shot 60 percent, but the effort improved in the second half to win after trailing by 10 in the third quarter.

Love scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers then was relatively quiet the rest of the night. That has been a recurring trend with the third member of the Cavs’ Big Three.

Love played the entire third quarter, shot 1-for-6 and struggled at times defensively. He started the fourth quarter on the bench and didn’t return to the game.

James put the game away in the final minute. With the Cavas already leading92-89, James blew past Tobias Harris for a basket and foul. He made the free throw to extend the lead to six with 40 seconds left.

Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds as the new starting center and Dion Waiters scored 17 points off the bench for the Cavs, who rebounded from Thursday’s disappointing loss at Miami.

The Cavs have been playing hurt lately. James’ left knee has been bothering him, Irving aggravated his knee in Thursday’s loss at Miami and Anderson Varejao has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles.

Continue reading "Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without ..."


Cavaliers Fan

Cleveland Cavaliers Preseason Report 2014 posted by Cavaliers Fan

Unfortunately, missing on the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers were quite difficult to figure out, from the start. The team had accumulated lottery picks for three seasons, which made them bring back Mike Brown, and they were confident in succeeding in the Eastern playoffs. Since the East lacked talent and depth, the Cavaliers had an easy task before them, but they missed it by eight games, finishing the season with 33-49. The team lacked consistency, and every time, it kept taking steps forwards and backwards by winning and losing several games in a row.

Before Luol Deng was traded in January, the Cavaliers seemed to have a good defense, but their offense was horrible and ranked 28th. However, acquisition of Spencer Hawes helped the offense considerably, and their rank jumped to 14th. The team had many requirements and objectives to fulfill for the offseason. They needed LeBron to come back and a new coach would have been ideal. Even though the Cavaliers had young talent like Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller, and Tristan Thompson, they needed somebody anchoring the rotation. Anderson Varejao had the capacity but had missed many games in the last four seasons.

Cavaliers had the number one draft pick three times in four years, and their choice came down to Jabari Parker from Duke and Andrew Wiggins from Kansas. The team decided to take Wiggins, who was a potential all-rounder, and would pair ideally with Irving. Cavaliers also picked Joe Harris who was a good shooter in the wings. Dwight Powell was also taken in, on a trade for Alonzo Gee.

Cleveland Cavaliers had the number one pick and they selected a possible future star. They also hired an excellent coach who can adapt to almost any roster and situation. Cavaliers might still have other big moves up their sleeve, which might include trading Wiggins for Kevin Love.

Continue reading "Cleveland Cavaliers Preseason Report 2014"


Omari Prince

NBA Draft Recap posted by Omari Prince

This is a 3 part blog that I'll talk about regarding the 2011 NBA Draft

Last Thursday the annual NBA Draft took place in New Jersey and to nobody's surprise, the Cleveland Cavaliers took Kyrie Irving with the first pick. Coach Byron Scott played poker with the media but finally reveled his has when they drafted the former one & done freshmen from Duke. Why Irving was chosen first even though he only played eight games all year is simple: much like the quarterback in football, point guard is the most important position in basketball and they're an extension of the coach on the floor. Had Irving been healthy during the season, Duke easily defeats Arizona and most likely would have advanced to the Final 4 this past March. 

Derrick Rose and John Wall were the previous point guards selected first overall and are the leaders on their team. With the departure of LeBron James last summer, Kyrie Irving realizes he's no Lebron but he has to put the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers on his back. That's the cost of being drafted 1st overall. The verdict is still out if his turf toe injury is completely healed but when healthy, Irving has lighting speed, low turnover ratio, and extremely athletic. With this new team, he should not have any problem taking over the leadership (this team lost 26 consecutive games) since he hails from a winning high school & college program. Most scout are comparing him to Chris Paul but I see a more athletic Kevin Johnson in Irving. Remember KJ was a scoring PG who also dished 10 assist per game. 

Continue reading "NBA Draft Recap"


Randolph Charlotin

Refreshed Bench posted by Randolph Charlotin

Focus on the last names:

 

Jeff GREEN.

 

Troy MURPHY.

 

They were meant to be Celtics.

 

If Danny Ainge stopped his trade deadline dealings at the two-for-two swap that sent C Kendrick Perkins and G Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Green and Nenad Kristic, then fan dread over Boston’s chances in the playoffs would be understandable.

 

But Trader Dan was far from done. Often with Ainge, he makes a deal with complementary moves in mind. The two trades that followed Perkins’ departure cleared room for productive veteran players on the bench and improved versatility.

 

Celtic fans have a tough time accepting change from a winning formula. Perkins was the anchor in the middle of the defense, an intimidator that protected the paint from intruders. The Celtics hung their hat on being a physical defense-first team and was the cornerstone.

 

Health permitting, Boston could had claimed their NBA-record 18th championship. But health hasn’t been on the Celtics’ side this season. Already down are the two O’Neals (Jermaine and Shaquille) and G/F Marquis Daniels. Ainge decided not to wait and hope for modern medicine.

 Upon arrival Kristic was in the starting lineup and Green came off the bench. Regardless of their performance (they helped the Celtics win against the Los Angeles Clippers), they were available to play, which is something Perkins and Daniels can’t do right now. Perkins is expected to miss his first two to three weeks while Daniels might not play another game this season.

Continue reading "Refreshed Bench"


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Dice-man rolls 7, C's just roll. posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

No walks.

 Matsuzaka, the pitcher who up until now had presumably preffered to pitch from the stretch, put no runners on base. He pounded the strike zone. He gave up only one run in the 6th. He pitched like the Dice-man that was advertised in '07. If he can do that consistently, the Sox will have the pitching staff that folks expected coming into this season.

Meanwhile, the Celtics essentially played by themselves in Cleveland. Lebron was all but absent from this game. 0-4 in the first half. Staring off into the crowd during team time-outs. Appearing winded on the court. Removing his "protective arm sleeve" and still throwing up LeBrick after LeBrick.

 Now, the rest of the Cavalier team was not doing much to help its MVP star. Delonte West was a non-factor. Mo Williams is a former All-star and he wasn't hitting shots. Shaq had 20 points, and almost took out Glenn Davis when he landed on Shaq's foot after coming down from a jump shot.

 Meanwhile, the big 3 scored 64 of the C's 120 points. Pierce finally warmed up and ended 3 assists shy of a triple double. Garnett hit key shots to stop a Cav's run. Ray Allen was just deadly from beyond the arc. Rondo didn't have a huge game, but he didn't have to. Indeed, he sat longer in this game than he did the entire rest of the series.

 So now that series comes back to Boston. The good news is that the C's are 31-1 when up 3-2 in a seven game series. The bad news is that one loss came just last year against the Orlando Magic. Of course, Garnett was out for that series, and Rondo did not have the experience he does now. Look for the Celtics to come out strong. And for you lucky fans who will be in the Garden Thursday night. You better be cheering and yelling as loudly as I will be at my television set.

Continue reading "Dice-man rolls 7, C's just roll."


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF for Boston Sports. posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Red Sox vs. Yankees. Celtics vs. Cavaliers in game 3 of a 1-1 series. Bruins vs. Flyers in possible series sweep.

There are so many story lines for this Friday night in Boston Sports.

Red Sox: You just swept the Angels. The Angels have problems of their own, being staked to a 4-0 lead after the ist inning thanks to the Dice-man's proclivity to gamble on his pitches. I understand that the Japanese strike-zone is different than MLB...but Dice-dude, you've been here 3 years now. I know you can speak English. You have to at least understand it, or else what exactly is V-mart and his own heavy accent conveying to you when he goes to chat on the mound after you walk 3 straight? What does John Farrell say while the umpire walks all the way out to the mound to break the conversation up. That's always a great way to get on the Ump's good side. Throw a ton of balls, and then make the Ump actually walk the 60'6" to the pitchers mound. In any event, the Sox offense again came up huge. The Angels certainly helped, but at this point we'll take whatever help we can get. On a 4 game win-streak, Bring on the Yankees!

Celtics: You have the momentum. Keep it. Don't come out flat. Don't wait for the crowd to get you going. Get the crowd going and you'll get yourselves further into the play-offs. The Cav's think they have the experience and the talent to finally get Lebron a ring. If Lebron is at 80%, and the rest of his team can't pick up any of that other 20%, do they really deserve to advance? Celtic basketball is better than Cavalier basketball. Enough said.

Continue reading "The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF ..."

Cleveland Cavaliers News

View All Cleveland Cavaliers News


Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause andreassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring optimism about the NBA dealing with new billions (Ball Don't Lie

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck brings sunshine through the cloud cover provided last week by the words of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts : "While more money might create more reasons to fight, the opposite could also be true: It might convince everyone not to mess with a good thing. And there are an increasing number of voices on both sides who believe the latter axiom just might win the day." ( NBA.com's David Aldridge struck an optimistic tone, too, noting that both "sides will likely continue talking in August, in private, and talking is always better than not talking.") PF : Houston Chronicle . Brian Smith talks to former star point guard, addict, coach and recovery guru John Lucas, who has "been contacted" by the Houston Rockets to work with Ty Lawson, whom the Denver Nuggets traded to Houston shortly after being arrested for his second DUI in six months. (That's one element of the outcome that many observers, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger , hoped would result from Lawson's move to Houston.) SF : RealGM . Smart stuff from Jonathan Tjarks on the Rockets' nice problem to have —a super deep squad chock full of players in their primes —and how it still could be a problem: "This season, for the first time in the Harden era, everyone on the roster is going to have to sacrifice." SG : The Triangle . Zach Lowe on the Orlando Magic's $64 million bet on Tobias Harris, and the challenge of evaluating "good stats on a bad team" players. PG : PistonPowered . Mike Davidson wonders what exactly it'll take for Reggie Jackson's brand new five-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons to start looking like the "bargain" that head coach Stan Van Gundy predicts it will wind up being. 6th : Silver Screen and Roll . Drew Garrison goes to the videotape to take a look at what D'Angelo Russell did well and poorly in his Las Vegas Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. 7th : The New York Times . Michael Powell discusses NBA corporate welfare not from the perspective of the Milwaukee Bucks' ongoing arena deal saga , but rather from the vantage point of the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. 8th : The Oregonian . Mike Richman reports that despite a drastic offseason overhaul that's been marked by a major increase in youth and athleticism (and a significant decrease in experience), Terry Stotts doesn't plan to alter the way his Portland Trail Blazers approach things on the defensive end. 9th : The Triangle . Jason Concepcion on the different ways in which international front-office executives, scouts and coaches evaluate players during Summer League. 10th : SportsNet and The Toronto Star . Michael Grange and Doug Smith on Anthony Bennett, the much-derided former No. 1 overall draft pick who's yet to live up to his lofty draft position with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, showing out for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and finally looking like he's having fun playing basketball again. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring optimism about the NBA dealing with new billions (Ball Don't Lie

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck brings sunshine through the cloud cover provided last week by the words of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts : "While more money might create more reasons to fight, the opposite could also be true: It might convince everyone not to mess with a good thing. And there are an increasing number of voices on both sides who believe the latter axiom just might win the day." ( NBA.com's David Aldridge struck an optimistic tone, too, noting that both "sides will likely continue talking in August, in private, and talking is always better than not talking.") PF : Houston Chronicle . Brian Smith talks to former star point guard, addict, coach and recovery guru John Lucas, who has "been contacted" by the Houston Rockets to work with Ty Lawson, whom the Denver Nuggets traded to Houston shortly after being arrested for his second DUI in six months. (That's one element of the outcome that many observers, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger , hoped would result from Lawson's move to Houston.) SF : RealGM . Smart stuff from Jonathan Tjarks on the Rockets' nice problem to have —a super deep squad chock full of players in their primes —and how it still could be a problem: "This season, for the first time in the Harden era, everyone on the roster is going to have to sacrifice." SG : The Triangle . Zach Lowe on the Orlando Magic's $64 million bet on Tobias Harris, and the challenge of evaluating "good stats on a bad team" players. PG : PistonPowered . Mike Davidson wonders what exactly it'll take for Reggie Jackson's brand new five-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons to start looking like the "bargain" that head coach Stan Van Gundy predicts it will wind up being. 6th : Silver Screen and Roll . Drew Garrison goes to the videotape to take a look at what D'Angelo Russell did well and poorly in his Las Vegas Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. 7th : The New York Times . Michael Powell discusses NBA corporate welfare not from the perspective of the Milwaukee Bucks' ongoing arena deal saga , but rather from the vantage point of the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. 8th : The Oregonian . Mike Richman reports that despite a drastic offseason overhaul that's been marked by a major increase in youth and athleticism (and a significant decrease in experience), Terry Stotts doesn't plan to alter the way his Portland Trail Blazers approach things on the defensive end. 9th : The Triangle . Jason Concepcion on the different ways in which international front-office executives, scouts and coaches evaluate players during Summer League. 10th : SportsNet and The Toronto Star . Michael Grange and Doug Smith on Anthony Bennett, the much-derided former No. 1 overall draft pick who's yet to live up to his lofty draft position with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, showing out for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and finally looking like he's having fun playing basketball again. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited upfor a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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