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2016-17 NBA Regular Season  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2016 06:21 pm
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lobo316
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The pain is real pic.twitter.com/xL97ifoSjS
— 3 Shades of Blue (@3Shadesofblue) December 15, 2016
This fan should probably call the NBA about a refund.
The Cleveland Cavaliers elected to rest all three of their stars for Wednesday's visit to the Memphis Grizzlies, which left the likes of James Jones starting in place of LeBron James.
That, obviously, is not what this fan paid $800 to see.
Hopefully, with the new collective bargaining agreement extending the regular season to reduce stress points in the schedule, there won't be as many cases of teams resting their stars on the road.






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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2016 06:22 pm
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lobo316
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MIAMI - Washington Wizards guard John Wall didn't even need to see the details of the tentative collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players before drawing his conclusion.

''It's a lot better than having a lockout,'' Wall said.

Such was the sentiment around much of the NBA on Wednesday night, when it was announced that the sides reached an agreement in principle on a new labor deal. All that remains before at least six more years of guaranteed NBA labor peace are ratification votes by owners and players, which are likely to be no more than formalities.

Basic details include increases in values of rookie-scale contracts and exceptions, with a 45 percent increase in minimum salaries across the board in the first year of the new agreement. The rookie deals will be proportionate to the salary cap, either rising or falling as that does. The average salary is expected to hit $8.5 million next season and rise to $10 million by 2020-21.

There's never been more money in basketball, and neither side wanted that disrupted. So on Wednesday, one day before the deadline for either side to opt out of the current deal, negotiations were wrapped up and the sort of strife that caused some seasons to be shortened in the past was avoided without drama or fanfare.

It was announced simply, in a short statement. And then 10 games went on as scheduled, just as they will now for years to come.

''The game is going great for both the owners and players,'' Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said. ''We talked about having a real partnership in the last labor negotiations. These are definitely signs that things are going in the right direction.''

Three people briefed on the terms said the proposed deal is for seven seasons, with an opt-out possible after six. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side released specific details.

If the deal is ratified, the season will start a week earlier, preseason games would be capped at six and one of the most dreaded elements of the schedule - the four-games-in-five-days stretches - may be eliminated. The deadline for opting out is now Jan. 13, with the NBA saying that's ''in order to give both sides enough time to review the terms of the agreement and vote to ratify.''

''I think all players wanted to shorten the preseason,'' Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said.

Most players who were in games on Wednesday didn't find out until afterward about the announcement from the NBA and National Basketball Players Association. Many were not surprised that an arrangement was reached, although some said they expected the sides might have to extend the opt-out deadline to continue working toward a deal.

That's not necessary now.

The last major hurdle was a group licensing agreement. Among the four major U.S. pro sports leagues, the NBA was the only one that controlled its players' marketing rights for sponsorships and media. Upon approval of this deal, that control will now shift to the players.

''Great for the league,'' Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ''You kind of felt it was going that way. Everyone is doing well. The league is doing well. That is just absolutely wonderful news.''

Even while the news was widely perceived as good, the deal isn't done.

There's been no vote, nothing's been signed, and that left some not wanting to celebrate quite yet. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich declined to comment on the proposed deal, and Spurs guard Danny Green kept his reaction on the cautious side.

''We're all hoping for the best,'' Green said, ''and I think a good outcome is coming.''

Both sides expressed optimism throughout this process, pointing to the league's skyrocketing revenue and salaries - thanks to a massive new television deal - and rising TV ratings. The last lockout lasted 161 days and shortened the 2011-12 season.

''It's good,'' Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook said. ''Better than last time.''

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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2016 06:24 pm
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lobo316
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The NBA and NBPA have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement to be signed Wednesday night, and the "one-and-done" rule relating to college players will remain intact, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

For those opposed to the rule, there's still a beacon of hope, as neither the league nor the players association is committed to keeping the rule intact for the CBA's duration.

The rule, which states teams can't draft players straight out of high school, has seen top young talent attend college, or play professionally in Europe, for one season before heading to the NBA draft.

While it ensures the best high schoolers play college basketball for at least one season, many critics have argued that freshman aren't really student-athletes, as most leave school immediately after the season ends.

It's placed an added importance on recruiting, which can directly lead to a one-year turnaround thanks to an influx of talent. Duke lost their opening round matchup to Mercer in the 2014 NCAA tournament, but rebounded the next season to win the championship led by three one-and-done freshman, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2016 01:20 am
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This should probably have it's own thread, but I just read on Yahoo sports that Craig Sager passed away today at 65.



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"Jack Brisco grabbed my testicles once but I told him "Brisco, you have exactly 15 minutes to get your hands off my balls"." -WongLee 7/22/2017
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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2016 04:05 am
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The long, drawn out saga involving Donatas Motiejunas and the Houston Rockets has come to an end, with the team officially renouncing his rights on Thursday and making the Lithuanian big man an unrestricted free agent.

After enjoying a career year in 2014-15, Motiejunas was hampered by a herniated disc last season that required surgery, and was eventually dealt to Detroit at the trade deadline, only for the Pistons to rescind the deal after Motiejunas failed a physical.

The 26-year-old became a restricted free agent this past summer after awkwardly finishing last season with the Rockets, and went unsigned until the Brooklyn Nets inked him to an offer sheet earlier this month. Houston then matched the Nets' offer, and renegotiated a reported four-year, $35-million extension with Motiejunas.

The 2011 20th overall pick was then expected to be in Mike D'Antoni's lineup on Dec. 10 against Dallas, but was held out pending more medical information, which was the last update on the situation before Thursday.

While there are obvious questions to be answered surrounding Motiejunas' health, he should still attract interest on the open market, especially without the looming possibility of the Rockets matching any offers for his services.

In four seasons with Houston, Motiejunas averaged 7.8 points and four rebounds on an effective field-goal percentage of 51.3 in 19 minutes per game. During the 2014-15 campaign - the only season in which he cracked the 70-game mark - Motiejunas averaged 12 points and 5.9 rebounds (mostly as a starter), and knocked down 36.8 percent of his 3-point attempts.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2016 04:05 am
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Stephen Curry, in his final year of a veritable bargain contract at $12.1-million this season, is expected to reap the biggest windfall from the new NBA collective bargaining agreement and its reported caveat that rewards veteran players.

Under the new terms, the Golden State Warriors could sign Curry to a five-year max contract worth an NBA-record $207 million, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein.

The designated veteran player provision would reportedly enable an elite group of stars to receive up to 35 percent of their team's salary cap. Should Curry opt to stay with the Warriors - viewed as highly likely - he would qualify, given his years of service and two MVP awards.

The new salary cap environment may not be all in favor of the Warriors, however. Kevin Durant is expected to opt out of his 1-and-1 contract after the season, and, because he only has one season of service the Warriors, he would not own his Bird Rights and any new contract Golden State signed him to would count against the cap.

As a result, Durant wouldn't qualify for a second veteran player provision either, and the Warriors' other stars - Draymond Green and Klay Thompson - are locked up on contracts through at least 2019.

While both Curry and Durant are expected by most observers to stay with the Warriors, the situation could make it tougher for the team to retain other free agents like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Ironically, it's believed that Durant's defection from the Oklahoma City Thunder was the impetus for the new provision, as non-marquee market owners continue to look for pot-sweeteners to keep superstars.

Curry signed his existing four-year, $44-million contract extension in the summer of 2013, before the Warriors became a true title contender and there were legitimate questions about his long-term durability.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2016 04:07 am
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Jerryd Bayless' debut season in Philadelphia is over before it even really began.

The veteran guard, who played only three games for the 76ers after signing a three-year contract with the team this past summer, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing left wrist surgery.

In a team statement, Sixers president and general manager Bryan Colangelo credited Bayless for "his committed and professional approach in making every effort to avoid this outcome."

Bayless missed the first 13 games of the season recovering from a torn ligament in his wrist, suited up for three straight games in late November, and was then sidelined again following a Nov. 25 loss in which he logged nearly 26 minutes of action.

In parts of nine seasons with Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Boston, Memphis, Toronto, New Orleans, and Portland, the 28-year-old is averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 21 minutes per game.

Bayless has two years and more than $17.5 million remaining on his contract after this season.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2016 04:08 am
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The Memphis Grizzlies could soon welcome back some players who've been out with injuries.

The team waived Toney Douglas on Thursday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Memphis signed the 30-year-old point guard last week under the league's hardship rule after starter Mike Conley suffered a vertebrae fracture that will sideline him for six weeks.

Waiving the veteran frees up space on the roster to accommodate the eventual return of three injured players, as Wojnarowski notes.

In addition to Conley, Chandler Parsons, James Ennis, and Brandan Wright have been recovering from various ailments. The former three could reportedly return as soon as Friday versus the Sacramento Kings.

Despite being decimated with injuries, the Grizz have managed to stay afloat. They have won seven of their last eight games and sit fifth in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Douglas suited up in six games for Memphis and averaged 5.8 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 18 minutes per outing.

He came up particularly clutch against the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring the last six points for the Grizzlies, including the game-winning free throws.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 18th, 2016 10:39 pm
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The Detroit Pistons didn't need to get steamrolled by 45 points to decide it was time for the nuclear option.

After losing 105-90 to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, marking their third double-digit loss to a sub-.500 opponent in their last four games, the Pistons held a player-led meeting, spearheaded by forward Marcus Morris.

"I did a lot of the talking," Morris said of the meeting, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. "I said at the end of the meeting that we have to make a decision. Everybody go home tonight and decide on what you want to do. Do you want to be a winning team or do you want to continue to get embarrassed? Are you going to play for the next man beside you or are you going to play for yourself?"

The Pistons' recent swoon includes an 18-point home loss to the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers, with only a win over the equally moribund Dallas Mavericks sparing them from a four-game losing streak.

The stretch has coincided with the return of starting point guard Reggie Jackson, and both Morris and head coach Stan Van Gundy suggested the team is struggling to reacclimate to Jackson. Van Gundy suggested it's hindering them at both ends of the floor.

"Our offensive frustration is affecting us at the defensive end and we're losing heart a little bit," he told reporters after the meeting, according to Ellis. "That's concerning. The offense has not been moving the way it should. The ball is not moving. I got to look at play calls and the whole thing.

"We went through stretches where Reggie made some plays in the third quarter and we were scoring, but again, what happens is, we're scoring, but we're trading baskets. Part of it is, we got guys upset they're not touching the ball and everything else so they're not as engaged in the game on the defensive end of the floor."

Morris didn't specifically mention Jackson, but loudly echoed the sentiment that more ball movement and selfless play will lead to better results both offensively and defensively.

"If you have a guy wide open, he has to get the ball," Morris said. "It builds guys' confidence. It makes the game funner. That's just how it is. Of course some dudes are going to get more shots than other dudes. That's how the game goes. Guys are not going to respond well when they don't get the ball when they're open. That's just basketball. That's just the right way. The Spurs, Golden State, Cleveland, the top-tier teams play the right way. You never win if you don't play the right way. That's just the bottom line."

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 Posted: Sun Dec 18th, 2016 10:40 pm
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Though they're currently clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers have yet to find their footing this season, and they were once again left to pick themselves up off the mat after being flattened by the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

In the locker room after the season-worst 45-point defeat, point guard Damian Lillard challenged his demoralized team to show some fight.

"Man, it's OK to turn the ball over, it's OK to make mistakes, but we have to play with some damn heart and compete out there," he told ESPN's Chris Haynes, reciting the dressing-down he'd given his teammates immediately after the game.

"This isn't about what the coaches are doing, this is on us. We have to take responsibility for what's going on. This s--- is ridiculous. We've got the talent; we've just got to put it together consistently."

After a feel-good season in which they short-circuited the rebuilding process and blew past every projection, and an offseason in which the front office poured a ton of money into mid-tier talent, the Blazers are struggling under the weight of their own expectations. Lillard's backcourt mate C.J. McCollum says that while the team hasn't yet resorted to a players-only meeting, that option is visible on the horizon.

"I think we're getting close to that point," McCollum told Haynes. "Dame talked to the guys today, but it's more about us as players. And the coaches, they're not playing. They're not responsible for losing by 40 or winning by 40. It's the players' job."

Swingman Allen Crabbe, who like McCollum received a huge raise in the offseason, agreed with his teammate's assessment.

"I feel like guys are speaking out more about how our play is unacceptable and how we have to step up more, so I mean a (players-only meeting) may come, may happen soon," Crabbe said. "It's going to come to a point where everybody is going to be fed up with it. We're pretty fed up with it now. I mean, it's frustrating going to games and just getting beat like this and not even giving ourselves a chance. We've got to figure it out."

Players-only meeting or not, Lillard is very much expecting things to turn around for him and his team at some point this season.

"I'm a soldier," he said. "I feel like if I die, I can come back to life and win."

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 03:33 am
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lobo316
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The Detroit Pistons didn't need to get steamrolled by 45 points to decide it was time for the nuclear option.

After losing 105-90 to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, marking their third double-digit loss to a sub-.500 opponent in their last four games, the Pistons held a player-led meeting, spearheaded by forward Marcus Morris.

"I did a lot of the talking," Morris said of the meeting, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. "I said at the end of the meeting that we have to make a decision. Everybody go home tonight and decide on what you want to do. Do you want to be a winning team or do you want to continue to get embarrassed? Are you going to play for the next man beside you or are you going to play for yourself?"

The Pistons' recent swoon includes an 18-point home loss to the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers, with only a win over the equally moribund Dallas Mavericks sparing them from a four-game losing streak.

The stretch has coincided with the return of starting point guard Reggie Jackson, and both Morris and head coach Stan Van Gundy suggested the team is struggling to reacclimate to Jackson. Van Gundy suggested it's hindering them at both ends of the floor.

"Our offensive frustration is affecting us at the defensive end and we're losing heart a little bit," he told reporters after the meeting, according to Ellis. "That's concerning. The offense has not been moving the way it should. The ball is not moving. I got to look at play calls and the whole thing.

"We went through stretches where Reggie made some plays in the third quarter and we were scoring, but again, what happens is, we're scoring, but we're trading baskets. Part of it is, we got guys upset they're not touching the ball and everything else so they're not as engaged in the game on the defensive end of the floor."

Morris didn't specifically mention Jackson, but loudly echoed the sentiment that more ball movement and selfless play will lead to better results both offensively and defensively.

"If you have a guy wide open, he has to get the ball," Morris said. "It builds guys' confidence. It makes the game funner. That's just how it is. Of course some dudes are going to get more shots than other dudes. That's how the game goes. Guys are not going to respond well when they don't get the ball when they're open. That's just basketball. That's just the right way. The Spurs, Golden State, Cleveland, the top-tier teams play the right way. You never win if you don't play the right way. That's just the bottom line."

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 09:37 pm
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Beginning with the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, the starters for both the Eastern and Western Conferences will not solely be determined by fan voting, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein.

Fans will account for 50 percent of the votes, while NBA players and the media will account for 25 percent each.

Unlike head coaches - who will maintain their power in selecting the reserves for each roster - players will reportedly have the opportunity to vote in their teammates as All-Stars, filling out one full ballot each.

The starting lineups will maintain its positionless format of having two backcourt and three frontcourt spots.

Voting will get underway at 11 a.m. ET on Christmas Day before the scheduled slate of games.

The annual exhibition game will take place on February 19, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2016 09:38 pm
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"Thank you, San Antonio. Thank you."

Tim Duncan expresses his gratitude to fans before his jersey is retired. https://t.co/C24fl0mc5M

— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 19, 2016
The San Antonio Spurs officially retired No. 21 in honor of Tim Duncan.

Following Sunday's win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the club celebrated the recently retired big man's legacy, which includes five championships, three Finals MVPs, and two league MVPs over the span of 19 years.

Former teammates Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, as well as head coach Gregg Popovich, were among those who spoke about the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer.

TD returned the favor by thanking them, management, his family, and fans before flexing his self-deprecating humor.

He also shared this video message:

"It gave me back more than I could have ever excepted." - Tim Duncan on the game he loves#ThankYouTD pic.twitter.com/a5KdHMslQd

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 19, 2016
To the surprise of no one, Duncan singled out the Spurs coach.

"Thank you coach Pop for being more than a coach," he said. "For being like a father to me, thank you."

The duo embraced and walked off together at the conclusion of the event.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 04:30 am
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Blake Griffin will undergo an arthroscopic procedure to remove "loose bodies" from his right knee on Tuesday and is expected to miss three-to-six weeks, the Los Angeles Clippers announced Monday.

News of the surgery broke late Sunday, not long after the power forward played 38 minutes in a 117-110 loss to the Washington Wizards. Griffin had only missed two games so far this season, after an assortment of maladies cost him 62 of a possible 164 contests over the previous two seasons.

Griffin's right knee has been bothering him for a few weeks, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. It is not the same knee Griffin injured in 2009, when he broke his left kneecap in a preseason game and was lost for his entire rookie campaign.

The team's stated timeline puts a return at anywhere between the middle and end of January. Griffin is the Clippers' leading scorer and second-leading rebounder at 21.2 points and 8.8 boards per game.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2016 04:31 am
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DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were named NBA Players of the Week (Dec. 12-18) for the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, the league announced Monday.

This is the second Player of the Week honor for DeRozan this season, and the third of his career. It's also Harden's second nod of the campaign.

The Raptors finished the week with a 3-1 record, including victories over the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and, most recently, the Orlando Magic in a 30-point blowout Sunday night. DeRozan was next to unstoppable on offense, lighting up teams to the tune of a league-best 31.5 points on sizzling 60.5 percent shooting. He also contributed averages of 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists while getting to the free-throw line nine times per game in 32.2 minutes.

Houston went a perfect 4-0, thanks in large part to Harden's near triple-double averages of 27 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. He did log two triple-doubles in wins over the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, giving him six on the season.

Other nominees for the award included: Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors), Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), as well as John Wall and Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards).

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