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2016-17 NBA Regular Season  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mon Dec 5th, 2016 11:06 pm
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lobo316



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Rajon Rondo was handed a one-game suspension by the Chicago Bulls on Monday for conduct detrimental to the team.

He shared a "heated exchange" with a Bulls assistant during their loss to the Dallas Mavericks, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Rondo reportedly later apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions.

Rondo will serve his suspension Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The notoriously tough-minded veteran is experiencing an up-and-down first season with the Bulls, as reflected by his performance over the weekend. He posted a triple-double in Friday's win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, then recorded two points and two assists in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks the following night.

Rondo holds averages of 8.2 points. 6.7 rebounds, and 7.2 assists on the season while posting an abysmal true shooting percentage of 43.6.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2016 02:16 am
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Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks were named Players of the Week on Monday for their respective conferences.

These two also won both Player of the Week awards in February 2015.

Westbrook led OKC to a perfect 3-0 week while continuing his torrid triple-double pace by reaching that benchmark in every outing. He posted 30 points, 16 rebounds, and 12.3 assists on the week - numbers not too far off his seasonal averages.

Antetokounmpo similarly led the Bucks to a 3-0 mark while stuffing the boxscore. The Greek Freak averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists to go along with 3.7 steals per game. He also set career highs in points (34) and blocks (five).

Other nominees for the honor included: Isaiah Thomas, Sean Kilpatrick, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris, Kevin Durant, Troy Daniels, Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Serge Ibaka, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, and Gordon Hayward.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2016 02:17 am
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DeMar DeRozan began this NBA season en fuego, and while he's cooled a bit since, he's still smoldering about the perceived lack of respect he got from various media outlets' preseason player rankings.

"I think it's B.S." DeRozan told ESPN's Brian Windhorst. "I'm willing to line up against anyone in the league, and it will be toe-to-toe until the end. I believe I've proved that."

The eighth-year swingman's consternation mostly comes from Sports Illustrated placing him 46th in its annual list of NBA player rankings. Additionally, The Washington Post ranked him 45th, ESPN 30th, and theScore 28th.

"Whoever came up with that is stupid in my opinion," DeRozan said in September, coining the hashtag #proveem. "I guarantee you a lot of the players that are ranked ahead of me know that they're no better than me."

Despite some off-nights lately - especially against the Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers - DeRozan is averaging career highs in points (27.9), rebounds (5.3), assists (4.3), true shooting percentage (56.3), and PER (25.6).

The two-time All-Star is well-known for his offseason and practice work ethic, much of it modeled on that of his idol Kobe Bryant. He admitted to ESPN that being slighted after such commitment hurts.

"You put in so much work, it's almost sickening," he said. "I watch everything, I read everything. I've always been a guy who wants to prove somebody wrong.

"I wouldn't rub it in anyone's face, but that's my gratification. I've seen so many guys' work ethic, and I know it doesn't come close to what I'm putting myself through. When you see those rankings, it makes you want to go out and prove it."

The major knock on DeRozan is, for all his improvements since he entered the NBA, he's failed to add a consistent 3-point shot - something almost unheard of at the two-guard spot in today's game.

Given his Kobe-esque style, however, he doesn't seem to be too concerned about it.

"When I get to be Kyle (Lowry)'s age I can shoot threes," DeRozan joked. "When I'm 33, maybe I can be the next Kyle Korver."

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2016 02:22 am
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Toney Douglas under the NBA's hardship rule.

The Grizzlies announced the move Monday, a week after Mike Conley broke several bones in the vertebrae of his lower back. Conley will not have surgery but is expected to miss at least six weeks.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Douglas has started 65 of his career 370 games during a seven-year career with the New York Knicks, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Miami, and New Orleans. He played 10 of his 15 postseason games in Miami with Memphis coach David Fizdale.

Douglas was the 29th pick overall by the Lakers in 2009 out of Florida State.

Conley joined Chandler Parsons, James Ennis, and Brandan Wright on the Grizzlies' lengthy injury list.

Memphis plays at New Orleans on Monday night.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2016 05:33 am
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ATLANTA - The slumping Atlanta Hawks have benched guard Kyle Korver.

Coach Mike Budenholzer announced before Monday night's game against Oklahoma City that Thabo Sefolosha will take Korver's place in the starting lineup. The move was not unexpected with the Hawks having lost nine of 10 games, including the last six in a row, to fall under to 10-11.

Atlanta hasn't even been competitive in several of its losses, dropping the last two to Detroit and Toronto by an average of 40 points.

Korver is averaging just 8.5 points per game and has struggled to get open looks at the basket. He is averaging only seven shots a game, by far the fewest of any starter.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 12:21 am
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Count New York Knicks center Joakim Noah among the NBAers who likely won't be patronizing Donald Trump-branded hotels in the future.

Upon being informed that, in a show of opposition to the president-elect, LeBron James and several other Cleveland Cavaliers would not stay at the Trump SoHo hotel when they visit the Knicks this week, Noah backed the protest. He told reporters he would "probably not" stay at Trump hotels either, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Noah has long been a vocal advocate for enhancing gun restrictions, which is just one reason he likely opposes Trump and the Republican Party. This is what he tweeted on election night:

How!!!!!

— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) November 9, 2016
"I think it's just a comfort level, you know," Noah said Tuesday. "Stick to your principles. Whoever you are. Trump is our president. But that doesn't mean we have to stay at his hotel."

The Cavs' protest followed the lead of the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Memphis Grizzlies, all of whom reportedly instituted organizational mandates to avoid staying at Trump-branded hotels on road trips this season.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 12:23 am
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Nobody is safe from Draymond Green's scissor kicks.

Continuing a trend he set during the playoffs, Green punted two players in consecutive games last week, claiming the head of James Harden and the hand of Marquese Chriss.

Lauren Miles hoped her husband C.J. Miles' groin would be spared from Green's carnage on Monday.

just prayin Draymond doesn't kick my husband in the nuts. we wanna have kids one day.

— LSM (@iamlaurenmiles) December 6, 2016
Fortunately for the Miles family, Green's legs came nowhere near the family jewels. But the Indiana Pacers weren't so lucky - they collectively got kicked in the teeth courtesy of a 60-point explosion by Klay Thompson.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 12:24 am
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In a sea of monotony, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich stands out as a unique thinker in the coaching ranks.

Not only does Popovich coach his teams to 50-plus wins each season, he drills players to become conscious and caring global citizens who can make a positive impact beyond the hardwood.

Popovich even admitted during a conference at Sam Houston High School that winning the title is secondary.

"Win the championship? I don’t know, but it’s not a priority in my life," Popovich espoused, as detailed by Dave Zirin of The Nation. "I’d be much happier if I knew that my players were going to make society better, who had good families and who took care of the people around them. I’d get more satisfaction out of that than a title.

"I would love to win another championship, and we’ll work our butts off to try and do that. But we have to want more than success in our jobs. That’s why we’re here."

There would be blowback for any other coach if they were to proclaim that championships wasn't the end goal. But with five rings to fill a fist, Popovich has nothing left to prove on the hardwood but he can make a difference in players' lives.

There are so many things more important than sports, and while that's the industry Popovich works and excels in, his priorities are clear. That he operates in this way, while also being transparent about it, is both refreshing and admirable.

"We’re here so you’ll understand that you can overcome obstacles by being prepared and if you educate the hell out of yourself. If you become respectful, disciplined people in this world, you can fight anything. If you join with each other and you believe in yourself and each other, that’s what matters. That’s what we want to relay to you all: that we believe that about you or we wouldn’t be here."

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 05:59 am
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While it was unquestionably the right move for his team's long-term health, Steve Kerr still received plenty of flak for sitting Klay Thompson during the shooting guard's 60-point explosion on Monday.

Well aware of the criticism, the Golden State Warriors bench boss chose to poke fun at the situation Tuesday, joking that he was the only reason Klay failed to reach 80 points.

"They said (former North Carolina coach) Dean Smith was the only guy who could hold MJ under 20," Kerr told Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm the only guy who can hold Klay under 80."

Thompson looked unstoppable versus the Indiana Pacers, going a staggering 21-of-33 from the field in just 29 minutes of action. His 60 points were a record for any player who's logged less than 30 minutes in the shot clock era.

Given how quickly he reached 60, it's entirely possible Klay could've scored 20 more points in the fourth to reach 80 - a feat only accomplished by two players in NBA history (Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant).

Although Thompson likely would've preferred to stay in, he most certainly realizes the importance of rest after the Warriors' collapse during last year's Finals.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 06:00 am
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After generating a great degree of backlash for his infamous "posse" comment last month - referring to LeBron James' business associates - Phil Jackson has finally shared his thoughts on the controversial situation.

The Zen Master attempted to make amends in a Tuesday interview, admitting that while he doesn't understand the harm in using the term, he never should've criticized James in the first place.

"We are not supposed to discuss other teams' players in this position that I have here. So I violated one of the tenets," Jackson said on CBS Sports Network's "We Need To Talk."

The obvious thing is, the word (posse) itself carries connotation. And I just don’t understand that part of it, the word. So I guess word choice could be something I could regret. But talking about other teams' players, that’s out of the box."


Even though LeBron publicly stated that he won't be communicating with Jackson anytime soon, the New York Knicks president remains under the impression that things are fine between the two.

"It’s water under the bridge," Jackson said. "I don’t think there was anybody hurt or harmed in this situation. I think LeBron’s friend obviously had an issue with it. We just let it go. It’s not enough to talk about it."

LeBron's Cavaliers will face the Knicks on Wednesday in a game that will certainly mean a little more to the four-time MVP.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 08:41 pm
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John Wall is doing everything he can to carry the Washington Wizards, but he can't win games by himself.

The All-Star poured in a career-high 52 points Tuesday night, but it was all for naught as his club fell 124-116 to the Orlando Magic.

That's the most points scored this season by the Magic, whose 29th-ranked offense was averaging just 93.2 points entering the matchup in D.C.

Sure, Washington's defense was a problem. But the bigger issue, according to Wall - the only Wizard player to speak with the media postgame - was the overall lack of effort put forth by his teammates.

"Not even defensive effort, just playing hard," he said, as quoted by Chase Hughes of CSN.

"Our job is to wake up and just play hard. Before you made it to the NBA or got a college scholarship, you played hard every day to get to where you wanted to. To still be talking about playing hard, that's something that you should be able to do after just waking up. Everybody has a job and they have to go work hard.

"Our job is to come here and play hard and compete. That's the easiest thing that you should do without any contracts or any money, just come in and play basketball."

Related: Beal sums up Wizards' early struggles: 'No toughness, no swag'

Despite featuring a talented backcourt tandem in Wall and Bradley Beal with a decent supporting cast, the Wizards have disappointed so far in 2016-17. They're among the worst in the league at scoring, rebounding, and sharing the ball, and sit at 7-13.

There are several issues - including chemistry concerns - and Wall doesn't know how to solve them.

"If I had the answer we wouldn't be in this situation, to be honest," he admitted.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 08:42 pm
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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson believes Carmelo Anthony is playing the same role Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan did for his previous teams, but he thinks Anthony sometimes needs to dish the ball off faster.

"Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than ... we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense," Jackson told CBS Sports' "We Need To Talk" in a wide-ranging discussion that also covered his controversy with LeBron James and marijuana use.

"So (Anthony) has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop," Jackson added. "That is one of the things we work with. But he's adjusted."

Jackson was framing his answer to yet another question about whether Anthony fits into the triangle offense.

"He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played," Jackson said. "It's a perfect spot for him to be in that isolated position on the weak side, because it's an overload offense and there's a weak-side man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung."


It's worth pointing out that the Knicks have been running far less triangle sets under new coach Jeff Hornacek, due in part to the continued emergence of 7-foot-3 stretch big Kristaps Porzingis. By Hornacek's own admission according to ESPN's Ian Begley, the Knicks run the triangle "nowhere near 50 percent" of the time.

At this point, Jackson has become so synonymous with the venerable offense that he can't escape questions about it - even if his team isn't employing it that often. He did concede, however, that the system - like any other - is only as good as those using it.

"It's always a little bit of a pie-in-your-face type of thing to say that (the triangle offense) has been the reason for winning," Jackson said. "The reason for winning, obviously, is good players. And when good players want to play together and they join in a form or a format to play together, then really good things happen."

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2016 08:43 pm
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Derrick Rose left Tuesday's game against the Miami Heat after suffering back spasms, and didn't return.

The New York Knicks point guard exited midway through the third quarter with his team leading by a point. They fared just fine without him, pulling off the 114-103 victory in South Beach.

This isn't the first time Rose has dealt with back problems. His long and well-documented history of injuries included back spasms in 2012 as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

The 28-year-old signed with New York this past summer following his healthiest campaign in four years. He's suited up in every game so far this season for the Knicks, who've now won four games in a row and are tied for third in the East with a 12-9 record.

The former NBA MVP finished with 10 points, three assists, two steals, and two rebounds in 25 minutes.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 9th, 2016 05:10 am
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Former NBA commissioner David Stern took issue Tuesday with the longtime characterization of his actions in cancelling a 2011 trade that would have sent Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the would-be deal.

"I'm going to correct your language," Stern told a group at the Sports Business Radio Road Show, as transcribed by SI's Ben Golliver. "What 'cancellation'? The (Hornets) GM was not authorized to make that trade. And acting on behalf of our owners, we decided not to make it. I was an owner rep. There was nothing to void."

Related: 5 years later, the Chris Paul blockbuster trade that wasn't

The issue was complicated by the fact the NBA owned the financially troubled Hornets franchise at that time. Beyond the response to the trade from other owners that he'd receive as league commissioner, Stern also had to make a decision as an owner of the team.

"When you're the commissioner and you have two teams that are ticked off at you, as in the Lakers and Houston, the GMs without wanting to be attributed, spend their time trashing you, the wrong impression can be granted," Stern said. "It was one of the few times I decided to just go radio silent and let it play out, and I got killed."

The Paul episode - alongside his handling of the Seattle SuperSonics' move to become the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 - are two black marks on Stern's record late in his career.

His statement that Pelicans general manager Dell Demps was not authorized to trade Paul to the Lakers also contradicts what Demps said at the time -Demps indicated he was free to trade the point guard.

"There was never a trade," Stern stressed. "It was never approved by me as the owner rep."

Much of the criticism stemmed from the fact the league had put itself into such a position with the New Orleans franchise, although it was also known that several owners didn't want the Lakers stacked with a talent like Paul. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert - who had been jilted by LeBron James' departure the previous year - sent Stern an email the day of the trade urging him to veto it.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 9th, 2016 05:12 am
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The Memphis Grizzlies have signed general manager Chris Wallace, executive vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger, and executive vice president of player personnel Ed Stefanski to multi-year contract extensions, the team announced Thursday.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Wallace has served as the team's general manager since 2007, establishing a formidable core of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Chandler Parsons during his time in Memphis.

Memphis has experienced some of the franchise's best years under Wallace, making its first Western Conference finals in 2013, and currently owns the league's third-longest active postseason streak after reaching the playoffs in each of the last six seasons.

The Grizzlies hired Hollinger in 2012 after he spent eight years as an NBA columnist for ESPN, while Stefanski was brought over in 2014 after spending the previous two seasons with the Toronto Raptors.

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