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Spurs Fan

Spurs picture coming into focus or is it? posted by Spurs Fan

The San Antonio Spurs have always been more than the sum of their parts, but some parts seem to be proving more essential than others.

Reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard's 9.75-inch-long hands are one of those parts.

Unfortunately, he tore a ligament in his right paw during a Dec. 9 loss to the Utah Jazz, dealing the franchise a significant blow amid what's almost certainly its most difficult month of competition.

In turn, San Antonio has lost six of its last eight games without Leonard and six of its last seven overall. 

At the moment, there's no timetable for the fourth-year pro's return. Nor has there been any news that could be construed as particularly good.

Leonard is averaging 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 32.2 minutes per contest—all on pace to be career highs. He's also looking for his offense more assertively, attempting 12.3 field goals and 4.1 free throws per game.

Having played 29.1 minutes and taken 9.8 shots per contest a season ago, the additional playing time and touches have had a lot to do with that evolution.

Leonard is the player who seems to tip the scale in making this Spurs squad the best in the organization's history. Even with past players such as Mario Elie, Sean Elliott, Robert Horry and Stephen Jackson, the Spurs have never had a player like Leonard on any of their championship rosters. Leonard turned the Big Three into a Fab Four. It makes them the one Spurs squad that could beat the other championship squads in franchise history if they were to mythically play each other in the Finals. Kawhi 

Continue reading "Spurs picture coming into focus or is it?"

Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers comeback in Oklahoma City 115-111 in OT posted by Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers came out on top in a wild point guard match-up against Russell Westbrook 115-111 in overtime in Oklahoma City.

The Blazers comeback would not have been were it not for a boneheaded series of plays from Westbrook. Westbrook was the biggest reason the Thunder were winning but a useless personal foul in the backcourt coupled with a technical allowed the Blazers to cut the lead to seven with no time coming off the clock.

Then Lillard came down and hit a deep three off a screen. In the blink of an eye the lead went from 10 to four.

Aldridge and Lillard combined for 32 of Portland’s final 42 points.


Another key to Portland’s success late was head coach Terry Stotts decided to match the Thunder’s 3-guard line-up with Steve Blake and bring in more athleticism in Dorell Wright. Wright didn’t play since his crucial role in Friday’s 3OT win against the Spurs.

Wright didn’t have the 3-point barrage he had against San Antonio but grabbed some crucial rebounds and had a nice tip in in overtime to give the Blazers breathing room.

The Blazers capped off an incredibly successful trip with wins against the Spurs, Pelicans and Thunder without Robin Lopez and getting two of those without Nicolas Batum. The Blazers are nearing the end of a grueling December which had 10 of 16 games on the road.

The Blazers are succeeding when schedules and injury continue seem to say they shouldn’t.

And with 7 of the next 10 days off, the Blazers have earned a considerable amount of rest. They are banged up and sick and certainly need it. Although Lillard and Matthews have played every night, you could tell with the amount of miscommunications the Blazers had tonight they were running out of gas.

Continue reading "Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers ..."

Thunder Fan

Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's cruise past Hornets posted by Thunder Fan

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was worried his team would be tired after a tough win in San Antonio a night earlier.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 98-75 victory over Charlotte on Friday night, snapping the Hornets' season-high four-game win streak.

"We talk about playing a defensive brand every night and in back-to-back games to come back with a defensive effort for 48 minutes," Brooks said. "I'm really proud of our effort. I thought that set the tone. We locked in defensively and throughout the game it was solid."

Charlotte scored the game's first basket then the Thunder reeled off nine straight points to take a lead they never relinquished in winning for the second straight day.

Westbrook scored 13 points in the first quarter, and Oklahoma City opened a 59-40 halftime lead.

"It was good that we didn't come out flat and came out with some energy," Westbrook said. "We were hungry."

Brian Roberts came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 17 points, 11 in the final period.

Al Jefferson, averaging 19.1 per game, didn't get his first basket until there were four minutes left in the first half and finished with just four points.

The Thunder played their fifth straight game without MVP Kevin Durant, who has a sprained ankle.

Westbrook, coming off of a 34-point effort in Thursday's win at San Antonio, started the game shooting 7 of 9. He finished with his 11th straight game of 25 points or more.

"They're so good defensively, in the first quarter we just had a tough time making shots and everything was contested," said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. "They are just so long and so big. That's why their defense has been good all year."

Continue reading "Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's ..."


Spurs Fan

2014 San Antonio Spurs Preseason Report posted by Spurs Fan

San Antonio Spurs performance was almost perfect, which earned them the 2013-14 season, championship title. The players performed as expected, and there was not a single contract, which could be considered bad. The Spurs ended the season with an impressive 62-20 record.

For the 2014-15 season, San Antonio Spurs have second best chance of winning the title again. The Spurs have met Miami Heat in the finals two times in a row, which makes Miami the favorite this season; however, changes in the team could keep shifting the odds between them. San Antonio Spurs have an excellent system in place for a long time, and Gregg Popovich could again lead the team to victory. The three star players, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan are no doubt getting older, but Popovich has managed their time excellently up to now, and he continues to do so this season as well.

Kawhi Leonard, who is a star and MVP of the last series, has been retained for $3million for the next season. Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, and Paddy Mills are all key players, and are re-signed by the Spurs, and Greg Popovich, the coach, obviously had his contract extended. San Antonio Spurs are focusing completely on this season and considering legacies as well. Tim Duncan who was a rookie in 1999 anchored the team's first championship. He has five rings up to now, and he will be concentrating on getting his sixth, even though he is aging. For Duncan, a sixth title would make him all-time great, and he will not want to miss this opportunity.

Coach Popovich, and international stars, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will also be aiming for the same thing of being listed as the all-time greats, and hence will be working hard towards their sixth win. Quite a bit is riding for these players this season, and hence we can expect the best from them.

Continue reading "2014 San Antonio Spurs Preseason Report"


Brad Hurt

Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain posted by Brad Hurt

An MRI on Marc Gasol's left knee, which he injured in the first half of the Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, revealed a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).  The injury, similar to one suffered two years ago by Zach Randolph, will keep Gasol out of action indefinitely but will not require surgery.  Kosta Koufos will start in his place.  This is a huge blow for the team, both in terms of production and morale.  The injury has been called "non-contact", although there could have been some contact as it occurred while the Spurs' Danny Green posted up against Gasol and backed into him.  Even so, it's still a freakish, unfortunate injury.Continue reading "Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain"

Brad Hurt

Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain posted by Brad Hurt

The Grizzlies had reason to be proud as they returned home Friday to face the perennially tough San Antonio Spurs.  They had just finished the most successful West Coast road trip in a decade.  Now they would have the FedEx Forum crowd behind them to urge them to victory.  Unfortunately, the Spurs would have none of that, playing the role of the rude houseguests with a 102-86 victory.

Potentially far worse for the home team, however, is the fact that center Marc Gasol left the game after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee early in the second quarter and did not return.  The team is calling it a sprain, and Gasol will undergo an MRI today.  Losing Gasol for any extended period of time would be a crushing blow to the team.  He is currently averaging 16 points and more than 7 rebounds per game, teaming up with Zach Randolph to form an imposing post duo.  Randolph has been putting up monster numbers in his own right, but losing Gasol would undoubtedly change the way teams choose to defend Randolph, enabling more double-and-triple teams.  The Grizzlies currently have the 23rd-ranked offensive output in the league, averaging 94.1 points per game.  Ideally, they would like to see that number increase as they work toward a return to the playoffs come April.  Gasol is also a great veteran leader for the team, and intangibles are difficult to replace.  So let's hope the sprain isn't too severe and Gasol can return to action soon.

Continue reading "Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain"


Paul Hansborough III

Change needs to come! posted by Paul Hansborough III

I love the Spurs but, Duncan needs to retire, Parker needs to develop a jumpshot in the worst way, Rj needs to go somewhere else he couldn t buy a bucket against Memphis, we need to get a bonified athletic shooting forward and shooting guard in the draft or via free agency. Another center would help because again Duncan is on his last leg!Continue reading "Change needs to come!"


nbaball

Parker has no desire to transfer to other NBA teams posted by nbaball

The starting pointguard of the San Antonio Spurs has categorically denied persistent report that he had the desire to transfer to other National Basketball Association (NBA) teams.
Tony Parker told the media that there is no truth to the report since his heart belongs to the Spurs and he wants to stay with the team for many years to come.
Parker said he had a house in San Antonio and had no intention at the moment to move to other NBA teams other than the Spurs.
He revealed that he has confidence that a suitable agreement will be reached between him and the Spurs so that he will remain with the team for many years to come.
To show his desire to remain with the Spurs, Parker has decided to skip the World's Basketball Championship slated on August 28 to September 12 in Istambul, Turkey.
The superstar pointguard said he decided to forego his chance to play for France in the global basketball event to help the Spurs in the next NBA season by keeping himself from injury.
The 27-year-old pointguard had been a vital factor for the success of the Spurs the past 10 years wherein he won championship with the ball club.
Parker is very significant for the Spurs management since he do not only orchestrate plays but also contribute and offense and defense as well.
The Spurs was earlier defeated by the red-hot Phoenix Suns 4-0 in their best of seven NBA second round playoff match-up.
The French pointguard and the rest of the Spurs roster tried their very best to inflict defeat to the Suns but their effort were futile as the Suns proved hotter in the end.
Continue reading "Parker has no desire to transfer ..."


john howard

Big Week for the Thunder posted by john howard

Losing to Indiana last night was tough.  If they had one last night, they would be tied for the 5th seed with Phoenix and 2 games ahead of 7th in front of San Antonio.  But, that didn't happen.  All is not lost, it just makes this week more difficult.  Tonight they are at home against the Spurs.  They have a one game lead over them.  A loss tonight would put the Thunder in 7th.  A win would keep them in 6th and put 2 games between them and San Antonio and more breathing room going into the last 14 games.

The Thunder play the Spurs, the Lakers, Houston, and Portland. Going 2-2 would be fine.  That would keep them in the playoffs and still have a shot at a good seed. Anything above that would be great. Anything below that would put them in danger of falling to the 8th seed.  It all starts tonight with San Antonio. 

Houston may be the biggest game of the week.  Right now, they are the first team not in the playoffs. They can win 50 games if they run the table.  That makes the Thunder's magic number 9, since they have 42 wins. So, winning that game would reduce the magic number by 2. 

Portland is a game and a half behind OKC.  Sweeping the Spurs and the Trailblazers would distance OKC from the bottom to seeds and keep them in the hunt for the 5th seed.  With the 5th seed, they would likely face Utah, the team they have had the most success with of those in the top 4.

As a sidenote, Russell Westbrook played limited minutes with a stomach virus last night.  Eric Maynor did good, as usual, in his absence.  But, they are going to need everyone at full throttle this week.

Continue reading "Big Week for the Thunder"


Paul Stengel

New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds posted by Paul Stengel

CLAAAANG!!!  Another errant Knicks shot glances off the rim.  The New York Knickerbockers have mastered the art of losing for the past 10 years.  The only silver lining after this season is the possibility of signing two big name, “max contract” players.  The Knicks traded away their upcoming draft pick (along with Jared Jeffries and others) to Houston,  to free up more money for these players.  Nothing is guaranteed, the Knicks aren’t necessarily getting anyone for their trouble. 

 

The losing that the Knicks have been doing is a relatively new experience for their head coach, Mike D’Antoni.  D’Antoni came over from Phoenix, where he had an outstanding winning percentage, playoff appearances every year, and usually a late-season meeting with the San Antonio Spurs that ultimately would decide who would come out of the west.  Before he coached Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion to 60 wins a year.  Now he leads Al Harrington and a band of inexperienced, below average knicks to likely two 30 win seasons. 

 

The Knicks have been on a downward spiral since they decided to trade away their franchise player of the 90’s Patrick Ewing.  They have been compiling bad contracts ever since, and it wasn’t until Donnie Walsh became the active general manager that their attitude toward free agents began to change.  Starting with the trades of Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph, Walsh has managed to free up more and more salary cap space, and with it, the possibility of greater things in the future. 

Continue reading "New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds"

San Antonio Spurs News

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Hammon excited to have jersey retired by San Antonio Stars (The Associated Press)

Becky Hammon is having a pretty good week. The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach was honored by the WNBA as one of its 20 greatest players Tuesday and will have her jersey retired by the Stars on Saturday. ''It's going to be an emotional day, an accumulation of so many hours of work,'' Hammon said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


NBA-List of NBA champions (Reuters)

June 19 - List of National Basketball Association champions: 2016 - Cleveland Cavaliers def. Golden State Warriors 4-3 2015 - Golden State Warriors def. Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2 2014 - San Antonio Spurs def. Miami Heat 4-1 2013 - Miami Heat def. San Antonio Spurs 4-3 2012 - Miami Heat def. Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 2011 - Dallas Mavericks def. Miami Heat 4-2 2010 - Los Angeles Lakers def. Boston Celtic 4-3 2009 - Los Angeles Lakers def. Orlando Magic 4-1 2008 - Boston Celtics def. Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 2007 - San Antonio Spurs def. Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 2006 - Miami Heat def. ... [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

NBA-List of NBA Finals MVP winners (Reuters)

June 19 - List of NBA Finals Most Valuable Player winners: 2016 - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers 2015 - Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors 2014 - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs 2013 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2012 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2011 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 2010 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2009 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2008 - Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics 2007 - Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs 2006 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 2005 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2004 - Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons 2003 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2002 - ... [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

List of NBA Finals MVP winners (Reuters)

List of NBA Finals Most Valuable Player winners: 2016 - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers 2015 - Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors 2014 - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs 2013 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2012 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2011 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 2010 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2009 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2008 - Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics 2007 - Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs 2006 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 2005 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2004 - Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons 2003 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2002 - Shaquille O'Neal, ... [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Richard Jefferson says he's retiring after Cavaliers win NBA title (Ball Don't Lie)

After helping propel the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA title , and earning the first championship of his own 15-year career, veteran forward Richard Jefferson announced —in the winning locker room, mid-champagne showers and all —that he's decided to retire from the NBA. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] WTF Richard Jefferson JUST ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT on Snapchat ? 😂😭😭pic.twitter.com/QFFJlefOlR —Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) June 20, 2016 Richard Jefferson says he's retiring. "Hell of a way to go out." —Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 20, 2016 Jefferson retirement announcement came out of the blue during interview while he was drinking Moët. I confirmed "for real, you're done?" —Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 20, 2016 A very, very, happy Richard Jefferson just told me in Cavs room he's retiring. "I'm done. I'm done." And then -- "I need a cigar" —Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) June 20, 2016 Jefferson elaborated a bit —with a brief tongue-in-cheek tangent about a potential future as an erotic essayist —in a locker-room interview with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton: Richard Jefferson announces his retirement to @FSOAllieOop on @cavs Live postgame STREAM: https://t.co/PVOvJghtO4 https://t.co/k3Rr2ki9g0 —FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 20, 2016 Jefferson, who turns 36 on Tuesday, will hang 'em up after playing a larger role than many expected in these NBA Finals, averaging 5.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 24 minutes per game. He gave Cleveland a spark when stepping in for a concussion-sidelined Kevin Love in a Game 3 start, and acted as a key role-playing cog in the Cavalier small-ball lineup —Tristan Thompson at center, LeBron James at power forward, Jefferson at the three alongside J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt —that dominated the Golden State Warriors, outscoring them by 36 points in 66 total minutes to tilt the series. "I knew I only could control what I could control," Jefferson said when asked during an NBA TV interview how he approached his role when getting tapped to take Love's place. "I'm not a guy that they're going to call plays for, I'm not a guy that they're going to run anything for. So I was just like, 'Richard, just rebound the ball like crazy. Rebound the ball, run the floor, play defense, get on the floor for any loose ball.' [...] That's what I can control, and then try to get shots and try to do some extra things." There was a time when such a circumscribed role would've been out of place for Jefferson, a 6-foot-7 prototype small forward out of Arizona drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 13th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft and flipped to the New Jersey Nets on draft night. As a rookie, he was a key reserve on the Jason Kidd-led Nets squad that won the Eastern Conference before getting swept out of the Finals by the dominant Shaq-and-Kobe Los Angeles Lakers. By Year 2, he was in the starting lineup for a team that took an excellent Tim Duncan-fronted San Antonio Spurs to six games; by Year 3, he was Kidd's primary finisher, leading the Nets in scoring while showing advancing chops as a rebounder and playmaker. Those Nets teams never got over the top, though, and after seven good-to-very-good years, the Nets shipped Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. That trade began Jefferson's move from near-star to the ranks of NBA journeymen; he'd be traded three more times in the next four years, suiting up for the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors and the Utah Jazz. Despite Jefferson continuing to perform, produce and bring professionalism to the teams he played for, he kept finding himself on the move, often owing less to his own abilities than to front offices' desire to shed his high price tag. (He signed a $78 million deal with the Nets in 2004, and a four-year deal worth nearly $39 million to stay with the Spurs in 2010.) After coming up short of a title in his early years, and spending most of his prime being shipped around the league, Jefferson decided he was going to spend the latter stage of his career doing what felt right to him: taking whatever chances he had to pursue a championship : "I want to play for a championship team. I want to win a championship. I've come that close. People think just the NBA, but I'll take it back a little further for you. I lost in the [NCAA] national championship game. Then I went to the Olympics and lost to a quality Argentina team and won a bronze medal. Then I lost in two NBA finals. I want to win." [...] "If I get an opportunity to play for a championship team, I'm going to go hunting for that. I have no loyalty. I'm not one of those guys that played for the same team for 15 years like a Reggie Miller who has to decide whether or not he's going to do that. No. I'm a gun for hire." After a respectable season as a starting swingman for the early-stage-rebuild 2013-14 Jazz, Jefferson inked a one-year deal to link up with the Dallas Mavericks, thinking that playing for Rick Carlisle alongside Dirk Nowitzki might get him back into the postseason and potentially in the mix for a ring. His late-career reorientation into a corner-3-shooting, defense-first wing helped him carve out a significant role on a Mavs club that won 50 games, but bowed out in the opening round of the postseason to James Harden's Houston Rockets. Jefferson had agreed to a deal to return to Dallas, but backed off on it —reportedly with Mark Cuban's blessing —after lining up a gig with LeBron's Cavs. Hooking up with the King worked out better than he could have dreamed. "I owe my entire basketball career to him," Jefferson told reporters after Cleveland's Game 7 win on Sunday. "I’ll give you a little walk down right now. I lost the national championship game to Duke, then I lost two straight NBA Finals, then my third year we lost to [the] Detroit [Pistons] after being up 3-2 and they won the championship, then I lost to [the] Miami [Heat] and they won the championship, then to top it off I went to the Olympics and we were the worst team of all time. My whole career has been so, so close. Then I had a stretch of six to seven years where you become a little bit of a journeyman. "To be able to get on a team and walk in with a guy that says he’s going to be able to carry you and bring me here, I owe everything, every shot, every play, everything I’ve ever done to that man." Jefferson will walk away having played more than 36,000 combined regular- and postseason NBA minutes, with career regular-season averages of 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. He proved during the playoffs, and especially during these Finals, that he's still got enough left in the tank to help a contender in limited minutes ... but man, as exit opportunities go, how do you beat this? "My teammates keep trying to talk me out of it," he said during his NBA TV interview. "And I'm just like, 'Guys, this has been the most stressful month of my life, I don't know.'" We don't know about all that —judging by the man's Snapchat , it seems like RJ's enjoyed himself quite a bit throughout the Cavs' run to the championship —but after doing everything he could to put himself in the best position possible to win the title that had eluded him throughout his career, and finally succeeding, no one can blame Jefferson, who has already clocked an estimated $110 million in career NBA earnings, for decided to go out on top. "Over the course of my career, I've made tons of mistakes," he said during his NBA TV interview. "I think we all look back on our careers and you're like, 'I should have handled this situation differently, I should have approached this one differently.' But the last three, four years, I've just locked in. Like, hey, I don't know how much more I have, so I'm going to make sure I'm in the best shape I [can be], and you know, whatever happens, whether they play me or not, I'm going to show up to the gym and work. "But this is all held together with duct tape and Super Glue," he added with a smile. "And when this is all done, it's done." 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 Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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