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2016-17 NBA Regular Season  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 05:32 am
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lobo316



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Stout Denver Nuggets point guard Jameer Nelson hasn't lasted 13 years in the NBA because of a traditional basketball body. Yet he's not afraid to point out that younger teammate Nikola Jokic isn't the world's most elite athlete either.

"Jokic an athlete? He's a good player," Nelson said, according to BSN Denver's T.J. McBride. "I'm old and fat and I can jump higher than Jokic ... off one foot."

Nelson's good-humored shade is no shock. The 21-year-old Jokic certainly isn't the best-conditioned center in the NBA, but that doesn't mean he's just a lumbering big. His passing skills have been compared to past greats like Vlade Divac, and he currently ranks fourth among regular NBA centers in assist percentage, per NBA stats.

Jokic looking like Pistol Pete. (I typed the comment before the announcer said it lol #GreatMinds) #Nuggets pic.twitter.com/BFtENR8vFp

— Bell Bibs DeVoe (@MBibs) December 16, 2016
Nuggets coach Mike Malone has praised Jokic's facilitator skills while admitting concern with his conditioning - which indirectly leads to foul trouble.

"When people get tired, they make mental mistakes," Malone told reporters on Sunday. "(Jokic is) such an integral part of who we want to be, that he has to be more disciplined."

Malone reiterated that the center's playmaking abilities stem from his younger days as an overweight pointman. "He will tell you, he used to be a fat point guard," he said.

Sounds a bit like Nelson.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 07:23 pm
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lobo316



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The new NBA All-Star voting process is cutting the fans' power in half (50 percent) and spreading it out to include both the league's players (25 percent) and select members of the media (25 percent)

While Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is appreciative of the talent themselves finally having a say in who gets slotted into the starting lineups, he doesn't feel the changes are perfect, preferring the media were left out of the decision-making altogether.

"It is what it is, honestly," Irving said following Monday's practice, according to Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor. "I guess they're trying to fix the deserving factor maybe. Leaving it up to the players, that's good as well. Leaving it up to the fans, that's good as well. But the other 25 percent I think they need to throw out."

The problem with having the media involved is that a bias towards the players they cover on a regular basis could play a large part in who they vote for. Then again, that same level of bias will probably be shown by the players, and will definitely be there from the fans.

"They just do. They just do," Irving said of the media playing favorites. "Everyone is going to be biased anyway, so it's cool."

Irving failed to crack the roster for the first time in his career last season, with his absence for the first 24 games due to injury greatly hindering his standing at the time.

Voting gets underway on Christmas Day, with the starters being revealed on Jan. 19. The All-Star Game itself takes place on Feb. 19 in New Orleans.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 07:24 pm
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lobo316



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The Detroit Pistons called a player-led meeting after Saturday's loss to the Indiana Pacers - their third defeat in four games. It apparently didn't help.

On Monday night, the Pistons went out and were promptly destroyed 113-82 by the Chicago Bulls - a team that had been in a slump of its own. Naturally, Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy wasn't in the mood for cliches afterward.

Pistons LIVE Postgame - 12.19.16 - Stan Van Gundy pic.twitter.com/O3zqo2b19K

— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) December 20, 2016
"Team meeting my ass," the coach told reporters. "That stuff means nothing. It's what you do on the court."

That wasn't much on Monday for the Pistons. Detroit shot 41 percent as a team, including a putrid 13 percent from deep. Their leading scorer was reserve forward Jon Leuer with 16 points, and point guard Reggie Jackson continued to struggle since his return from injury, dishing out only three assists.

Defense remains a major issue, too. The Pistons have given up an average of 113 points in their last three contests.

"On Friday night we were the No. 2 defensive team in the league," Van Gundy said. "And now we have three games where we can't stop anybody."

He's correct. Through the season's first 27 games, the Pistons had a defensive rating of 100.4, good for second in the NBA. In the three games since Friday, they've given up 123.7 points per 100 possessions.

"It was a disgusting performance," Van Gundy added. "By me included."

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 07:27 pm
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lobo316



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Houston Rockets center Clint Capela has a broken fibula and is expected to miss approximately six weeks, FOX 26's Mark Berman reported Monday.

Capela left Saturday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves after banging knees with Karl-Anthony Towns. He underwent the MRI on Monday.

The 22-year-old Swiss native has been more than solid for Houston in his first year as a regular starter, averaging just under 12 points and eight rebounds on 64 percent shooting from the floor. As the replacement for Dwight Howard, he is also the team's leading shot blocker.

Capela - through his interior presence and catching lobs from James Harden - has been a key part of the Rockets' offensive attack, one that ranks fifth in the NBA in points per possession, per Basketball-Reference. Houston was in third place in the Western Conference going into Monday's games.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 07:30 pm
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lobo316



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Labor contracts, like life, are apparently subject to rules.

Among the prohibited activities listed in the new NBA collective bargaining agreement is the use of hoverboards, jetskis, fireworks, and firearms, according to Basketball Insiders' Eric Pincus.

Teams banning players from risky off-court activities for insurance purposes is nothing new, but including it in the language of the new agreement means the rules would apply to all players in the NBA.

J.R. Smith began popularizing hover devices around the league in 2015, but the Cleveland Cavaliers banned them from the arena soon after. In the NFL, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul severely disfigured his right hand as the result of a 2015 Fourth of July fireworks accident.


The most noteworthy reported changes in the new CBA - from a financial perspective - are the designated veteran player provision, and the so-called "over-36" rule. Lesser items include things such as free League Pass for players, according to CBAFAQ's Larry Coon.

The league and the National Basketball Players' Association agreed to terms on a new CBA last week. It is expected to be ratified by both sides by Jan. 13.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 02:01 am
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lobo316



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The National Basketball Association and National Basketball Players Association project the league's salary cap to hit $120 million with a $143-million tax threshold in 2020, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

The cap is currently at $94.14 million, which will rise to $103 million next year.

This influx of cash stems from the league's expensive national television deals, which boosted the cap by over $24 million from last season.

Both the NBA and players union reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on Dec. 14, with the deal lasting seven years.


The players' share of basketball-related income is expected to continue to be somewhere between 49 and 51 percent.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 07:00 pm
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lobo316



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Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins could not be contained on Tuesday night, collecting a season-high 55 points in the team's 126-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Cousins' size and skill proved too much for the Blazers to handle as he consistently overpowered weaker Portland defenders throughout the contest.

The two-time All-Star is now just the third active player with multiple 55-plus-point games in his career, joining LeBron James (three) and Kyrie Irving (two).

The big man's night was almost cut short with under a minute remaining in the contest after his second technical foul of the evening was shockingly rescinded.

Cousins joins Klay Thompson, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis as the only players to net at least 50 in a game this season.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 07:02 pm
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lobo316



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PEAK BOOGIE: DeMarcus Cousins scores 54th point, spits mouthguard, gets ejected, sprints to locker room, gets un-ejected! (full sequence) pic.twitter.com/kNQ7TRQCOs

— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 21, 2016
This was one of the most bizarre sequences in NBA history.

DeMarcus Cousins celebrated effusively after putting his Sacramento Kings up two with only 35 seconds left in the fourth. As part of that celebration, Cousins appeared to spit his mouthpiece at the opposing bench.

Having seen this unfold right before his eyes, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts pointed out the infraction to the refs who promptly slapped Cousins with his second technical foul of the night.

A bewildered Cousins then ripped off his headband before storming off into the tunnels of the Golden 1 Center without even shooting the subsequent free throw from his and-1.

Curiously, the officials convened to discuss the play and decided to reverse the ejection. That allowed Cousins to return for his free throw, which he promptly drained for his 55th point of the night. On the ensuing defensive stand, Cousins got the block on Damian Lillard which effectively sealed the win.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 21st, 2016 07:04 pm
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lobo316



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The Memphis Grizzlies had no answer for Isaiah Thomas on Tuesday.

The 5-foot-9 point guard put together a masterful offensive performance, erupting for a career-high 44 points on just 16 field-goal attempts in the Boston Celtics' 112-109 overtime victory.

"I’m a killer; I’m a killer," Thomas told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England following the contest. "My team needed me to score."

While his defensive play leaves a lot to be desired, Thomas' contributions on the other end of the floor has a played a large part in his team's ninth-rated offense this season. The 27-year-old leads the team in a number of statistical categories, including points and assists per game and usage rate.

Thomas has been on fire following a four-game absence earlier this month, leading the Celtics to three consecutive victories to push them to third in a crowded Eastern Conference.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 12:43 am
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lobo316



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The Cleveland Cavaliers' worst fears concerning J.R. Smith's injured right thumb have become a reality.

The eccentric 31-year-old shooting guard will need to undergo surgery, the team announced Wednesday.

He's considered out indefinitely.

Smith hurt his thumb during Tuesday's narrow 114-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. X-rays taken after the game were inconclusive, with further tests Wednesday revealing the extent of the damage.

The 2016-17 campaign has been rough for the 13-year veteran. He's barely converting one-third of his shot attempts at just 33.7 percent, and his player efficiency rating has plummeted to a measly eight.

His absence should lead to more minutes for the likes of Iman Shumpert and DeAndre Liggins, with Mike Dunleavy perhaps getting extended run off the bench after being mostly an afterthought for the past month.

Should Smith miss a substantial number of games, the Cavaliers will be required to lean even more heavily on their big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The roster depth simply isn't there, with a second unit producing just 28.6 points per game (27th in NBA). With the team's fifth-leading scorer out of the equation, head coach Tyronn Lue has his work cut out for him in juggling playing time so as to avoid running his stars into the ground.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 12:45 am
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lobo316



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Even the strongest, top-tier teams in the NBA are prone to putting up a lousy performance from time to time - it's just the way the cookie crumbles.

In the case of the middle-of-the-pack Chicago Bulls (14-13), they put up a giant stinker against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 16, getting blown out on their home floor 95-69. To top it all off, Bulls fans at the United Center openly booed their team's play in what was their worst defeat of the season to date.

All guard Dwyane Wade wants for Christmas is for those fans to remember that the campaign runs 82 games, and piling on the team when things look bleak perhaps isn't the most appropriate way to handle things.

"I'm an honest guy. I was very disappointed our fans booed us," Wade told reporters on Wednesday, according to CSN Chicago's Vincent Goodwill. "We're trying to figure it out. We win home games against Cleveland, San Antonio. And then we get our butts kicked against Milwaukee. I don't think we deserved to get booed.

"We're out here trying. I'd like to see more patience and support from everybody. Like I said at the beginning of the year, we're not winning a championship today. We're not winning a championship tomorrow. We got stages and levels to get to where we want to get to. And everyone gotta understand that."

Chicago did manage to bounce back on Monday by beating the Detroit Pistons by 31, with Wade scoring 13 points and dishing out five assists in 22 minutes of action.

The team will look to string together back-to-back wins on the final night of their three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 07:12 pm
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lobo316



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For the second time in as many games, Russell Westbrook exceeded 40 points, finishing with 42 in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 121-110 victory Wednesday.

The five-time All-Star also chipped in 10 rebounds, seven assists, and a steal, flirting with a triple-double for the umpteenth time this season.

Unlike the previous contest, he was able to deliver in the clutch, hitting a dagger three late in the fourth to put the Thunder up double digits.

With his backcourt mate out with a wrist injury, Westbrook has elevated his offensive game to a new level, averaging 33 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists in the six games Victor Oladipo has sat.
He joins Anthony Davis as just the second player this season to notch back-to-back 40-point performances.

Last edited on Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 07:13 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 07:14 pm
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lobo316



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Two of the greatest players from the past decade could soon join the 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class.

Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace headline the list of first-time nominees for this year's class along with 14-year NBA veteran Muggsy Bogues.

McGrady accumulated more than 18,000 points and 5,000 rebounds over his 15-year career, spending time with the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, and Atlanta Hawks. The seven-time All-Star won back-to-back scoring titles with Orlando, asserting himself as one of NBA's most feared offensive players.

While far from a threat on the offensive end, Wallace is largely considered one of the greatest defensive forces of his generation. The longtime Detroit Pistons big man took home four Defensive Player of the Year honors, averaging 9.6 rebounds and two blocks over 1088 career games.

Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway, and Chris Webber lead the list of holdovers.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 09:43 pm
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krazykid18
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damn why did George Karl go at Melo like that

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 Posted: Fri Dec 23rd, 2016 06:15 am
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lobo316



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The grass has most definitely been cut.

Kenyon Martin became the latest player to refute claims from former head coach George Karl in his upcoming book. In an excerpt released Wednesday, Karl wrote specifically of Martin and Carmelo Anthony.

"Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: All that money and no father to show them how to act like a man," he wrote.

Martin responded Thursday with a furious Twitter tirade:

The Nerve of an AWFUL AND COWARD ASS COACH. More to come

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
I didn't have a father going up. We all know that. What's George Karl excuse for being a terrible person

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
Everyone that's played for that awful person and coach can't stand the ground he walks on

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
Having a lot of wins doesn't make you a good coach. He was blessed with great talent

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
Since we were so bad as players. Tell him to forfeit those Denver wins

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
George Karl is selfish,unhappy,missable,,cowardly person. No wonder he's be fired every place he has coached

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
The book he is writing is full of lies and deceit. By far the worst coach that ever played for

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
Talking bout Melo didn't like defense. Hell he never coached defense. How does that work

— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016
In addition to pot shots levied at Martin and Anthony, Karl also took J.R. Smith to task for supposedly having a "huge sense of entitlement" among other unsavory claims.

Smith, too, responded on Twitter - as did former teammate Reggie Evans:

Still trying to be relevant. Sad just sad.

— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 22, 2016
Karl has a penchant for wearing out his welcome and drawing the ire of players. The most recent example played out in Sacramento, where the 65-year-old got on the wrong side of DeMarcus Cousins.

The discontent among former players runs so deep there's even a code - that of being a snake in the grass - specifically cited whenever Karl's name arises for the wrong reasons.

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