Photo: Spencer Dinwiddie (Paul J. Bereswill)
Photo: Spencer Dinwiddie (Paul J. Bereswill)
Lakers star LeBron James goes up for a dunk in front of Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Trae Young Isn’t Wearing Down; He’s Getting Better Michael Cunningham | AJC.com
Nobody Seems To Have Answers Gary Washburn | Boston Globe
Celtics Notebook: Aron Baynes close to return Mark Murphy | Boston Herald
Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Westbrook Isn’t Having The Season You Think He Is Matt Moore | The Action Network
NBA’s Best 25 Players Under Age 25 Chris Herring/Bobby Marks/Kevin Pelton | ESPN
The Raptors Are The NBA’s Mystery Contender Paul Flannery | SB Nation
Harris Continues To Show Why He Is So Valuable Tom West | Liberty Ballers
Luka Doncic Is a Sore Loser He’s a Sensation Marc Stein | New York Times
David Frizdale explains what’s behind his relentless optimism Zach Braziller | New York Post
Joakim Noah’s Career Revival Chris Kern | Beale Street Bears
Drummond Is NBA’s Best Scorer In Restricted Area Since His Return Bryan Kalbrosky | Hoops Hype
Photo: From (The Athletic)
The people and places keeping the Black Fives Era alive Moke Hamilton | The Athletic
Warriors aim to gain momentum against Heat Jannelle Moore | Bball Index
Markkanen Is Still Beasting Vijay Vemu | Blog A Bull
Donovan Mitchell’s get to the line more frequently, and it has bumped his scoring average Andy Larsen | The Salt Lake Tribune
Rockets Slip by Hornets for third consecutive win Hunter Atkins | Houston Chronicle
The Wolves’ Wing Depth Pietro Caddeo | Bball Index
Newark Star-Ledger reports as the NBA season comes down the stretch, Madison Square Garden won’t be preparing for playoff basketball.
Instead, a look ahead to the NBA Draft lottery and 2019 NBA Draft will dominate conversation in New York and around a franchise that desperately needs luck (both in the draft and free agency) this coming summer.
If the Knicks do land the top choice, two Duke freshman could be there for the choosing: Athletic freak Zion Williamson and smooth forward R.J. Barrett.
Dime Magazine reports in the latest 2019 NBA mock draft from Tankathon, Williamson (despite a scary knee injury in the recent Duke vs. North Carolina game) went No. 1 in simulations. Barrett, the less-heralded Blue Devil, went No. 2.
While the Duke Blue Devils got relatively good news when the diagnosis on Zion Williamson’s knee injury came in, the superstar freshman reportedly won’t be able to take the floor the next time the team suits up.
Williamson was ruled day-to-day with a knee sprain that he suffered in the opening minute of Duke’s loss to North Carolina, and according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the injury is expected to hold him out for this weekend’s showdown with Syracuse.
Marcus Smart would enjoy basketball a lot more if modern NBA players hooped the way it was done in the ’60s and ’70s. Smart says the League today is too “cute” and lacks the type of physical play he thrives on. The 24-year-old Celtics fan favorite re-upped in Boston on a four-year, $52 million extension last summer. Continue Reading By MARCEL MUTONI
The Minnesota Timberwolves may be without Karl-Anthony Towns in their first game back from the All-Star break on Friday, as the big man was involved in a car accident the day prior. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio
Photo: Cyrus Saatsaz | Wikimedia Commons
The New York Rangers held their 25th anniversary celebration for their legendary 1993-1994 championship team. When the 1993 season started, the Rangers were an organization and fan base that was experiencing a 54-year Stanley Cup drought stretching back to 1940.
When analyzing how this team was built, it’s clear that it was based around a few things. Among them was young talent in goaltender Mike Richter, drafted in 1985 by the Rangers, as well as defenseman Brian Leetch, selected ninth overall by the team in the 1986 draft.
However, the biggest acquisition was Mark Messier, when he was traded to the Rangers from the Edmonton Oilers in 1991. Before this, Messier was a five-time Stanley Cup champion in Edmonton and a league MVP, as he was a key player along with Wayne Gretzky. Even when Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, two years later, Messier captained the last of those championship teams. Continue Reading By Sean McCarthy-Coyle
The NBA loves itself some J. Cole. The seven-time Grammy-nominated rapper frequently mixes in basketball references to his songs, whether about his own playing days as a teenager in North Carolina or name-dropping some of the game’s biggest stars. Asked on Friday who was his favorite rapper during a takeover his team’s Twitter account, Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard answered simply and succinctly. Continue Reading By
Photo: GETTY IMAGE
You’d think someone like Shaquille O’Neal would be content with being one of the most dominant basketball players of all time, but if you’ve ever felt the urge to buy car insurance because he told you to, you know he’s a man of many talents.
In the early 90s, Shaq burst onto the scene in a big way and immediately established himself as a force to be reckoned with—but I’m not talking about his performance on the court.
In 1993, the world was treated to Shaq Diesel, a rap album filled with some surprisingly hot tracks that actually managed to land on the charts. Continue Reading By
Photo: USA Today
Finally, we’ve arrived. The stretch run of the 2018-19 NBA season is here, and with it come the games that will define the campaign and change the landscape of the upcoming postseason.
The final 20-plus games of the year are going to be thrilling to watch unfold, as teams will be fighting and jockeying for position, with some hoping to earn a spot that will allow them to host a playoff series or two, and others just hoping to qualify for the playoffs, period.
Obviously, some organizations lucked out in having the toughest part of their schedule early in the year, when they were as close to full health as possible. Others, however, have the misfortune of facing a buzzsaw to close the season, one that could knock them out of postseason contention altogether. Continue Reading By Frank Urbina
Photo: Basketball Insider
The day after the trade deadline passed, LeBron James had some interesting things to say about the arms race that was going down between the Eastern Conference titans.
“They know they ain’t gotta go through Cleveland anymore,” James said. “Everybody in the East thinks they can get to the Finals because they ain’t gotta go through me.”
It’s notable that the Lakers are currently toeing the line between making the playoffs and playing the lottery odds. That does, however, beg the question: What if LeBron stayed in Cleveland?
Now if that had happened, then a lot of things would probably be different for the Cavaliers right now. There’s no telling if they would have kept the pick the Nets owed them, or if they would be playing Kyle Korver, George Hill, and J.R. Smith right now.
It would have added another intriguing wrinkle to what has been the tightest formerly-five-currently-four-man race going on at the top of the Eastern Conference in quite some time. Whether you agree that Cleveland would still be the frontrunner in the East with James, there doesn’t really appear to be a clear-cut favorite to represent the East anymore. Plenty of fans and analysts would give their takes on who stands out among the pack, but there’s no consensus pick. Continue Reading By
Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Taurean Prince finished the 2017-18 season with an offensive fury. In his last 17 games during that campaign, he averaged 19.9 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor and 39.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. A massive leap from his previous statistics, there were plenty of questions as to what to make of it. It was certainly a small sample size. Also, there were not a ton of good offensive players on the roster with whom he would need to compete to earn scoring opportunities. However, many observers took some optimism about the future of the then second-year wing. “Would Prince enter the 2018-19 season as the team’s best player?” was a frequently debated question as the roster was reformed over the offseason. Continue Reading By
Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
I never looked that happy walking up to one of these when I owned it. Worst effing car I ever had. I’d gotten it second- (or third- or eighth-) hand. It had a few… idiosyncracies. Like:
The Rockets will sign former first-round pick Terrence Jones and rookie guard Chris Chiozza to 10-day contracts to bring them up to the required roster size of 14 players, a person with knowledge of the agreements said on Thursday. Both had been playing in the G League and will be assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Houston Chronicle
After being injured in his last game before participating in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, Rodions Kurucs sat for Thursday’s 113-99 loss to the Trail Blazers. Considering the Nets are 24-17 when Kurucs plays and a gaudy 18-11 when he starts, but now are just 6-13 when he doesn’t get on the court, his absence was conspicuous — and more than a little curious. NY Post
Portland’s Enes Kanter, who had been persona non grata at the Garden and stuck on the Knicks’ bench, had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and nine boards in his Blazers debut. “The last time I got a win, I think it was almost two months. Winning feels good again,” said Kanter, who was used in just three of his last dozen games for the Knicks and hadn’t won since Jan. 4. “I’m just happy to go out there again, going out there and playing with my teammates. I’m trying to make everyone better.” NY Post
For the first time in his life tonight, DeRozan will play a road game in Toronto. He still isn’t quite sure how to feel about that. “At some point, I know it’s going to hit me,” DeRozan said Thursday night during a free-wheeling 25-minute, standing-room only news conference at the Spurs’ hotel. So much has happened since July 18, when DeRozan was traded to the Spurs in a summertime blockbuster that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Great White North. Express News
With Clint Capela back in the starting lineup after missing 15 games following thumb surgery, the Rockets went from not having enough centers to not having enough playing time for the centers they have. That allowed them to experiment with a lineup they had not used this season, with Kenneth Faried playing at power forward where the Rockets had been looking at options for a backup for P.J. Tucker. Houston Chronicle
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis spent more than 10 minutes of his All-Star Game media day news conference Saturday being remarkably candid about his decision to request a trade away from New Orleans and about the destinations he would like to eventually wind up in. Continue Reading By Tim Bontemps
With Michael Jordan hosting All-Star Weekend as the only former player to serve as the principal owner of an NBA team, LeBron James said that while team ownership is a goal for when he is finished playing, it’s not his singular focus.
“It’s not that it’s intoxicating to me, and I don’t think about it on a day-to day basis,” James said when asked about NBA ownership at Saturday’s All-Star media availability session. Continue Reading By Dave McMenamin
Photo: Clutch Points
Philadelphia 76ers star big man Joel Embiid says the Sixers have a talented roster and a good chance at winning the championship this season. The Sixers enter the All-Star break at 37-21, good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Continue Reading By Ashish Mathur
An alarm sounds at 7:30 a.m., and Deandre Ayton—all 7’1” and 250 pounds of him—lumbers out of bed. Approximately 20 minutes later, the rookie center arrives at the Phoenix Suns’ practice facility. By 10 a.m., he’s eaten breakfast and downed a bottle of his favorite Rockin’ Protein drink ahead of a treatment session. Around 11 a.m., he lifts weights before watching film with teammates at noon. By 12:30 p.m., Ayton and the Suns hit the court for practice. Continue Reading By KAELEN JONES
Photo: NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES
Kyle O’Quinn went from having limited scholarship offers to becoming a star at Norfolk State. One of only two HBCU alums on an NBA roster, his unconventional road to the league is anomaly. Continue Reading By JOSIAH TURNER
Photo: sporting news
Toronto fans need no reminder. The playoffs have been a bit of a sore subject for them.
The Raptors have earned a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs in each of the last five seasons, yet they have failed to reach the NBA Finals. A LeBron James-led Cleveland team ended their runs the past three postseasons, including an embarrassing 4-0 sweep with Toronto as the No. 1 seed in the East. The Raptors were stuck in perpetual purgatory. Continue Reading By Thomas Schlarp
Photo: sporting news
Before Wednesday night, Zach Collins was a mostly anonymous second-year center for the Trail Blazers. After Wednesday, he’s the archenemy of the champion Warriors and a Twitter star.
Photo: (AFP Photo/Glyn KIRK )
A new professional basketball league is coming to Africa. On Saturday at NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) are teaming up to launch what will be called the Basketball Africa League (BAL); a 12-franchise league that is set to begin play in January of 2020. Continue Reading By Michael Kaskey-Blomain
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)
Considering the NBA’s global popularity and penchant for staying ahead of the curve, Saturday’s announcement that the league is officially expanding outside of North America comes as no surprise. Continue Reading By Jay Connor
Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
For a moment imagine that the Dallas Chaparrals had never made the trip down I-35 to the Alamo City. Perhaps they would have floundered around the ABA a few more seasons until the NBA incorporated the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets, and Virginia Squires.
It’s quite possible San Antonio would not have gotten a major franchise in any sport. Who would San Antonians root for? Continue Reading By
The 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday saw Team USA defeat Team World 161-144 in a game was about as half-assed defensively as one would expect with that scoreline. But despite this crop of young NBA talent getting some of the best looks they’ve gotten all season, it didn’t prevent some of the worst misses from standing out amongst the highlight dunks—especially down the stretch. Continue Reading By Gabe Fernandez
Before Adam Silver could deliver his annual state of the NBA address at All-Star Weekend, Charles Barkley beat the commissioner to the punch.
The outspoken TNT commentator and Hall of Famer didn’t mince words in a blistering critique of the league’s lack of competitive balance, slamming agents for their role in steering players to Superteams and even predicting future labor strife. Continue Reading By Ben Golliver
No one would have been able to argue, with a straight face, that the cast of characters shooting around during warmups for the 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night was a who’s who of household names.
During a red-carpet arrival event a few hours earlier, in fact, members of the media could be observed discreetly gesturing at the various smartly dressed folks on the other side of the ropes while muttering the same question over and over to each other: “Hey, do you know who that is?” Continue Reading By THÉODEN JANES
More than bragging rights will be at stake when Stephen Curry and Seth Curry compete Saturday night in the 3-point shooting contest during the NBA’s All-Star Game weekend festivities. The brothers have wagered on the outcome. Continue Reading By Josh Peter
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave the world a peek at the future of jerseys during this week’s NBA All-Start Technology Summit, an event dedicated to illustrating how technology might advance the sport by 2038. Continue Reading By
FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes watches the action in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. The Volunteers don’t have a single top-100 recruit on their roster, yet they’re ranked No. 1 and have a school-record 17 straight victories for the longest active winning streak of any Division I team. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Tennessee has been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll the past three weeks, has one loss this season and owns Division I’s longest winning streak.
It wasn’t enough for the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee to give the Volunteers the top overall seed in its initial rankings. The committee revealed its preliminary rankings on Saturday and it was Duke, not the Vols, earning the No. 1 overall seed. Continue Reading By JOHN MARSHALL
In Duke’s last game against Virginia, coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad shot 2-of-14 on three-pointers and relied on its talent to beat the Cavaliers’ stifling defense. Instead of repeating that performance Saturday, the Blue Devils took a page out of UMBC’s “make every shot” playbook, shooting 57.8% and 13-for-21 on threes in an 81-71 win. Continue Reading By JOE WILKINSON
Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (15) and Marquette Golden Eagles guard Markus Howard (0) reach for a loose ball during the second half at Fiserv Forum. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports)
Saturday’s unveiling of the top 16 seeds by the NCAA tournament selection committee provided a glimpse into the future. But the day’s game slate also served as a reminder that there’s still plenty of basketball to be played in the next five weeks up until Selection Sunday.
In a battle between two forecasted No. 1 seeds, Duke once again out-dueled Virginia. The Blue Devils started the day as the top overall seed, per the committee’s assessment, and ended the day with an even stronger profile. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, only suffered their second loss of the season, but this one was a much more convincing loss and on their home court. Continue Reading By Scott Gleeson
Louisville Cardinals forward Dwayne Sutton (24) fights for a ball against Florida State Seminoles guard MJ Walker (23) during the first half at Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Photo: Melina Myers, USA TODAY Sports)
It’s always tough to win on the road in the ACC.
“That one was tough to swallow,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “Felt like for the better part of the game we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win.”
Louisville had won seven of its last eight games entering Saturday. The Cardinals fall to 4-2 on the road in ACC play.
The Cardinals let a 10-point second-half lead slip away and the Seminoles tied the game at 65 at the end of regulation.
FSU didn’t waste time in overtime.
The Seminoles scored the first eight points of the period to surge in front, 73-65. It was their first advantage since 23-22 in the first half. Continue Reading By Wayne McGahee III, Louisville Courier Journal
A slow first half from Quinndary Weatherspoon and the Bulldogs gave Kentucky enough momentum and margin for a 71-67 victory
The best second half of Mississippi State’s season wasn’t good enough to complete a comeback as Kentucky escaped Humphrey Coliseum with a 71-67 victory. The #5-ranked Wildcats left 20-3, a game out of the SEC lead at 9-1, and with a tenth-straight victory.
Ben Howland’s Bulldogs dropped to 16-7, 4-6 with the week’s second close call. If not in overtime as Wednesday’s setback to LSU, this was by another four-point margin. And maybe, more frustrating given the game’s contrasting periods. Down 40-25 at halftime and seemingly out the Bulldogs slashed that deficit to a point with plenty remaining time to complete the comeback.
They couldn’t. “If we come out the first half like we did the second half I feel we win the game,” guard Nick Weatherspoon said. His coach didn’t disagree about the key to winning…or avoiding defeat.
“It’s not digging a hole in the first half,” said Howland. “Go down 15 points to maybe the hottest team in the country, that put a very low probability. And I thought we gave ourselves a great chance.” Continue Reading By DAVID H. MURRAY
When LeBron James first left Cleveland in 2010 to take his talents to South Beach, he was bashed for it. Lost in the hoopla over whether it was wise to publicly break up with the region that made him was the fact that “The Decision” actually ended up raising millions for the Boys & Girls Club. Eight years … Read moreTHE BEST NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS
Something has been gnawing at me about Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. Both are practically perfect hitters, and in practically identical ways. It’s not just that they both hit the ball hard and far, but that they control the construction of each plate appearance: Los Angeles Angels center fielder Trout has a phenomenal batting eye — his chase rate is … Read moreMONDAY JULY 9, 2018 SPORTS REVIEW, TROUT, RAIDERS, LEBRON, COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, made his fortune with his mortgage company Quicken Loans and now runs all his companies under Rock Ventures. Phil Long/AP Dan Gilbert runs an empire. He makes many of his public appearances as the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, but he’s also the chairman and founder … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE SPORTS BUSINESS NEWS
Red Sox ace Chris Sale faces Jason Hammel on Friday in Kansas City. At the World Cup, France meets Uruguay and Brazil takes on Belgium in two quarterfinal matchups Though Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently reported that trade talks surrounding Manny Machado have “accelerated” this week, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that teams still aren’t offering … Read moreMICHAEL BARI SHOW FRIDAY JULY 6, 2018 SPORTS NEWS & NOTES
Dana Gauruder from Hoops Rumors writes the rich are about to get richer, as free agent center DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a contract with the Warriors, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’ll be a one-year, $5.3MM deal, with the Dubs using the taxpayer mid-level exception to add Cousins, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE FREE AGENT NEWS & NOTES