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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:






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

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LeBron James call Thompson's contract issue 'a distraction' (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

BDL 25: Will the 76ers even resemble a basketball team this season? (Ball Don't Lie)

The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it's time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players and people stand on the brink of 2015-16. Eight of the 20 players pictured on the Philadelphia 76ers’official roster page are actually wearing Sixers uniforms. Four are wearing their former team’s uniform, one guy is wearing a suit, and seven don’t even have a photo on file. That’s not exactly rare for most NBA teams, as they litter their roster with camp invitees who might not be long for this league. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see the same sort of setup midseason with this squad —totally new names, old photos …or no photos at all. The 76ers haven’t been photographable since general manager Sam Hinkie blew up the team on draft night, 2013. That night, he dealt Jrue Holiday, a former All-Star, for the sixth pick in that year’s draft and what was certain to be a solid lottery pick the next year. With that No. 6 pick, Philly selected a player in Nerlens Noel who had recently torn his ACL. At the time, it seemed like a knockout rebuilding move —you deal that star you don’t need and take a chance on someone who was considered the top talent in the draft, even after he tore his knee ligament. Tank the year, bring Noel back to get him up to NBA shape late in the season, and dive into the 2014 draft with two high picks. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] On top of that, Philly’s own pick, late lottery selection Michael Carter-Williams, even won Rookie of the Year. So, look at all these assets! Two picks this year, two great picks next year, cap space: there’s your core. Let’s do 2014-15 right. Still, Noel sat in 2013-14. Like, the whole year. And at the 2014 draft, the team not only traded down with the Orlando Magic to secure a prospect (Dario Saric) who might not come stateside until 2016 , they again drafted an injured big man in Joel Embiid with a similar skill set to Noel —who, again, had yet to play at this point. Embiid sat all of 2014-15, all of last season, and it is questionable, 17 months later, as to whether or not he will even be healthy enough to make his NBA debut 30 months after he was drafted . The Sixers then did nothing in free agency. The team traded Carter-Williams for a future first-rounder before the 2014-15 trade deadline. Then, after another terrible season and outfitted with the second overall pick, Philly chose yet another big man in Jahlil Okafor —he's the one wearing a suit in his picture —with the top overall selection. They also bought out and waived their highest-paid player —Javale McGee, traded and paid for in order to collect a middling first-round pick along the way —and, again, did nothing in free agency. Well …#Sixers Hinkie on offseason: 'We spent probably $3 million in free agency, primarily on point guards, and we took $18 million in trade.' —Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 30, 2015 So, once again, the load gets pushed back. Now, we look to the summer of 2016 for signs of anything resulting from what started in the summer of 2013, while Sixers fans stare down another nine months of misery until next year’s free-agency turn starts. And what will Philly have, entering that offseason? Noel, hopefully coming off of a much improved second season. Okafor, hopefully having proven that his low-post scoring game can translate to this level. Saric, as a rookie with a lot to learn about this pro game. Probably the Los Angeles Lakers’lottery pick, provided the Lakers don’t fall on even harder times in 2015-16. Their own high lottery pick, because they will most assuredly be awful this year. Probably the Miami Heat’s middling-at-best first-round pick. Probably the Oklahoma City Thunder’s middling-at-best first-round pick. Cap space! The team could also have a recovered Embiid, though it’s important to note what Hinkie said about his top 2014 pick during training camp : Joel Embiid was back in Philly today after attending yesterday’s practice. The injured center still has a cast on his right leg and can’t do much rehab at all because of it. “The things he can do, which are limited —nutrition, medication, sleep, staying off it, and all of that —that’s been really good,”Hinkie said. “Sleep.”He said “sleep.”So that’s five or maybe six (depending on how much rest Embiid gets this year) high-end prospects, plus two more picks, and some cap space, and that’s a good start, right? (After three years of this crap, it better be.) Really, the real question should be whether or not the Philadelphia 76ers will field an actual team in 2016-17, instead of this season. Because they most certainly will not in 2015-16. Noel and Okafor would seem to be a perfect pair, filling the bumps in one’s head with the bruises in another’s, but they still have quite a bit to work on. The lottery could be cruel, and Hinkie might not make it through the season without firing ahead and rolling over for more assets in coming years; the Sixers could get an unprotected first-round pick from the Sacramento Kings in 2019 and 10 second-round selections from various teams between 2016 and 2021. Hinkie has basically taken all the shouts that us basketball wonks had been screaming at teams during the 1990s and early aughts —DON’T EMBRACE MEDIOCRITY, DRAFT THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE AND FIGURE THE REST OUT LATER, DON’T TRUST A PLAYER PUTTING UP BAD STATS ON YOUR BASKETBALL TEAM, BOTTOM OUT AND START OVER —and taken it to a ridiculous extreme. It’s fascinating. Mostly because we’re not 76ers fans. Previously, on BDL 25: Kevin Durant is back to score at will and dominate headlines What the heck will the Dallas Mavericks even look like? Paul George tries to reclaim stardom and Indiana's contender status Will DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings even make it to January? Can the Golden State Warriors be that perfect again? Are the Cleveland Cavaliers going to price themselves into oblivion? The Grizzlies know exactly who they are, and that might be enough Kevin Garnett's last run Are the Knicks building something or just biding time before a blow-up? Paul Pierce, journeyman Russell Westbrook searches for an encore to an overwhelming season Can the Atlanta Hawks do *that* again? Kobe Bryant takes on what could be the last of his many battles The rise of Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz Just how *excellent* are these Miami Heat, anyhow? Is Dwight Howard still a superstar? The fun, probably still terrible, Timberwolves Will Kevin Love 'fit in' better in Year 2 in Cleveland? Is DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul's relationship built to last? Anthony Davis, nascent destroyer of worlds How, exactly, will LaMarcus Aldridge fit in with the Spurs? The rise of Brad Stevens and his starless Celtics The perpetually aching Chicago Bulls Greg Monroe’s arrival, Jabari Parker’s return, and the weird, wild Bucks - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Cavs' Thompson declines qualifying offer, still free agent (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Sefolosha returns to Hawks, hoping to move on after arrest (Yahoo Sports)

Thabo Sefolosha stood along the baseline, a basketball under his right arm as he watched a drill on the first day of training camp for the Atlanta Hawks. Sefolosha was a key contributor off the bench, a defensive stopper who helped the Hawks to a franchise-record 60 wins and the top seed in the East. Without him, Atlanta still managed to reach the conference final for the first time, but his absence on the perimeter became apparent as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers romped to a four-game sweep. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Cavs guard Shumpert needs wrist surgery, out 3 months (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

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