March 23, 2017, 10:09 pm
Hopefully all of our readers had the opportunity to multi-task last night while catching some NBA action and some future NBA studs battling it out in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Luckily, my Kansas Jayhawks live to fight another day after blowing another team. They face the Oregon Ducks next on Saturday.
Only a five-game slate last night, but plenty of notable stat lines to go around.
Suns (98) @ Nets (126)
The Suns current backcourt is logging some heavy minutes these days. Devin Booker played 40 minutes and led with 28 points (9-for-26 FG), two rebounds, three 3-pointers and three steals. Tyler Ulis played 45 minutes tonight with 10 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and two steals to his name. Marquesse Chriss continues to be very valuable and logged a double-double of 23 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, three 3-pointers and one block tonight. Alex Len was reliable for once with 11 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 19 points, six rebounds, one 3-pointer and one block. Jeremy Lin added 13 points, five assists and three rebounds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson only played 15 minutes, but contributed five points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Trevor Booker (14 points), Quincy Acy (12 points), Justin Hamilton (10 points), Isaiah Whitehead (11 points), Archie Goodwin (12 points) and K.J. McDaniels (16 points) all came off the bench to contribute solid efforts and get the win.
Raptors (101) @ Heat (84)
DeMar DeRozan put the team on his back tonight with 40 points (14-for-25 FG, 12-for-13 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one steal. He has been a monster with Kyle Lowry sidelined and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Serge Ibaka was suspended for this game after throwing a punch at Robin Lopez the other night. P.J. Tucker started in his place and posted nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes played. No other Raptors starter eclipsed the 30 minute mark and it was actually Delon Wright (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals) and Norman Powell (14 points, three rebounds, one steal and one block) off the bench that made the difference.
Hassan Whiteside double-doubled with 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Goran Dragic was ok with 13 points (5-for-18 FG), seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Josh Richardson added 12 points, three assists and two blocks. Rodney McGruder posted 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and one block. James Johnson played 31 bench minutes and filled the stat sheet with 10 points (3-for-14 FG), four rebounds, three assists, two steals, four blocks and one 3-pointer.
Clippers (95) @ Mavs (97)
The Clippers barely got edged on the road with a double-double (14 points, 18 rebounds) from Deandre Jordan. Chris Paul was less than his normal self with 15 points, six rebound, six assists and three steals. Blake Griffin contributed 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Austin Rivers added 13 points, two rebounds, two 3-pointers and one assist off the bench.
Seth Curry led the way for the Mavs with 23 points, four assists, three 3-pointers and three rebounds. Harrison Barnes added 21 points, two rebounds, two steals and one 3-pointer. Dirk Nowitzki logged 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Grizzlies (90) @ Spurs (97)
LaMarcus Aldridge did the heavy lifting tonight with 23 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, one 3-pointer and one assist. Kawhi Leonard added 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal. Tony Parker logged 30 minutes and added 13 points, seven assists, three rebounds and one 3-pointer. Patty Mills chipped in 15 points, five assists, three 3-pointers, one steal and one block.
Mike Conley tried to carry the load for the Grizzlies with 22 points, six assists, two rebounds and one 3-pointer. Marc Gasol double-doubled with 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and one block. Not much else from the Grizzlies supporting players and that’s probably why they lost.
Knicks (95) @ Blazers (110)
No Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose tonight, which meant plenty of Kristaps Porzingis on display. He posted 18 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks. Willie Hernangomez got back in starting lineup, but only logged 21 minutes for 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Courtney Lee played 41 minutes with 16 points, four assists, one steal and one rebound.
For the Blazers, Damian Lillard continued his elite play with 30 points, five assists, four rebounds, four 3-pointers and two steals. He has been a top player since the All Star break and that is likely to continue with the Blazers chasing a playoff spot. C.J. McCollum added 20 points, four rebounds, two 3-pointers and one assist. Jusuf Nurkic double-doubled with 16 pints, 10 rebounds and three assists. Noah Vonleh contributed for once with four points, 12 rebounds, one steal and one block.
June 3, 2020, 9:23 pmEnes KanterC, Boston Celtics
Sean Deveney reported that "multiple agents say not all players are on board with an NBA return".
One agent said, "Most of the guys are excited, fired up, they want to get back out there. Those are 95 percent of the conversations I have had". There are players that feel the money is not worth putting themselves and their families at risk. Enes Kanter weighed in on the topic, saying "there are some other team's players out there, that they don't want to play. They're like, 'It's just a game. I'm not going to risk my life". It is likely that the high-profile players will still play, but it looks like some role players may not be willing to take the risk to join their team when the NBA season resumes.
June 3, 2020, 4:39 pmDerrick RosePG, Detroit Pistons
The Pistons announced that they plan to reopen team facilities on Thursday, allowing voluntary individual workouts while following all the social-distancing guidelines.
Although the Pistons' season is likely over as they are not one of the 22 teams that will continue to play if the Board of Governors vote to ratify the plan on Thursday, this will allow players to stay in shape for the 2020-21 season which is expected to start in December.
Source: James Edwards III
June 3, 2020, 11:41 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards will be the six non-playoff teams resuming action when the NBA restarts.
This makes complete sense, as they're the only non-playoff teams that can sniff the postseason. Woj backs up an earlier Shams Charania report about a potential play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each Conference as well. If the ninth seed trails the eighth seed by more than four games when the league's truncated regular season wraps up, the eighth seed makes the playoffs. If the deficit is under four games, however, the two teams will compete in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 3, 2020, 11:36 amLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the NBA will have an eight-game regular season for the purposes of playoff seeding upon its return while Shams Charania reports that there will be a play-in tournament for the eighth seed.
This applies to the NBA coming back with 22 teams, as the league's bottom eight are well out of playoff contention and bringing them to Orlando would only negatively affect the league's pursuit for player safety. As for the play-in tournament, Charania describes it as such: "If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth." Expect another announcement about the league's format in the coming days.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 2, 2020, 10:02 pmCorey BrewerSF, Sacramento Kings
Corey Brewer, a veteran of eight different NBA teams, is still hoping to sign another contract before he calls it a career.
Brewer, 34, seems to think he has enough in the tank for one final stint in the NBA. “We had some talks with a few teams, but nothing really happened. My agent is still working on it, so we’ll see,” Brewer said. “I feel like I can still help a team and I feel like I have a few good years left. But you never know, man." Brewer has not suited up for an NBA team this season and, with a waning jump shot and increased age, his chances of securing another pact in the NBA are pretty unlikely.
June 2, 2020, 9:47 pmDeMarcus CousinsC, Los Angeles Lakers
Kings broadcaster Grant Napear stepped down from his position with the Kings on Tuesday after he said 'All Lives Matter..Every Single One!' when asked about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement during a Twitter interaction with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
This is the first domino to fall in American professional sports in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, even if it's a relatively insignificant one. Napear said of himself and the interaction, "I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was. I had no idea that when I said 'All Lives Matter' that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across," he said. "I’m in pain. I’m 60 years old and I still have a lot to learn." The Kings will evidently have to find a new play-by-play man for their radio broadcasts to accompany Doug Christie when games resume.
June 2, 2020, 8:45 pmJohn WallPG, Washington Wizards
John Wall, who has long been rumored to have absolutely zero chance of returning to the court even if the current season is resumed, said in a conference call last week that he feels "110 percent."
Wall and the Wizards both maintain that he will not return to action this season, regardless of the outcome of the vote on Thursday by the NBA Board of Governors. This is good news, obviously, for the team as they set their sights on next season. As of late, trade rumors have been swirling around the franchise's two top assets: Wall and All Star guard Bradley Beal. Moving forward, there is a high possibility that the Wizards will decide between the two, as Beal's contract will expire after next season. Which player will the Wizards keep? Who will they trade, or will they trade them both? They are hoping to have some time to evaluate how the pair plays in tandem early next season, as Wall has missed significant time with a torn left Achilles he suffered during the 2018-19 season. But it may be too late to negotiate an extension with Beal at that point, so they will have to play their cards with extreme care.
Source: The Athletic
June 2, 2020, 8:27 pmBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
Wes Unseld, a Hall of Famer and Washington Bullets legend, passed away on Tuesday due to complications with pneumonia and other illnesses. He was 74 years old.
An outstanding rebounder, Unseld is also one of only two players to ever be awarded Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season in 1968-69. He guided the Bullets to the NBA Finals four times, winning once in 1978, a series where Unseld took home MVP honors. Hornets' GM and former teammate Mitch Kupchak said of Unseld, “As a teammate, he was tough, dependable and competitive to no end.” Unseld was a fearless competitor and highly respected across the league during his 13 seasons with the Bullets franchise. Former Knicks center and fellow Hall of Famer Willis Reed recently recalled their battles against one another, "He was most consciously a rebounder — he could shoot, but he didn’t emphasize that part of his game — and felt that if he did his job right, by getting the defensive rebound and making the quick outlet pass, they would score quickly.” Unseld was undoubtedly a pioneer for the game of basketball and means a great deal to the city of Washington D.C.
Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter
June 2, 2020, 7:58 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
ESPN's Adrian Wojanrowski is reporting that Adam Silver and the NBA Board of Governors, who are planning to vote Thursday on how to continue the season, would like the NBA Finals to conclude no later than October 12.
With July 31 being the widely-reported restart date and the league tentatively planning to start 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 season by Christmas Day of this year, it would make sense to crown a league champion as early as possible. The meeting with the NBA Board of Governors on Thursday will (finally) bring some clarity to the rest of the NBA season, as they will hold a vote to decide how to proceed. NBA fans have been waiting since the middle of March for some resolutions. This week will provide them.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 2, 2020, 12:28 pmStephen CurryPG, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors opened their practice facility on Monday, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Slater adds that five players showed up for voluntary workouts. It's the first time that Golden State's gym has been open in over two months, and there are only three teams who have yet to get players back into team facilities. While it must be nice for the players to get back to some kind of business, the Warriors are not expected to be playing any more games this season given their league-worst record and the likelihood that the NBA trims the fat rather than ask every team to play out the season.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter