Boston Celtics boss Danny Ainge: ‘Making the playoffs is not a goal. I need to explain that a little bit’Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie12 mins ago
There have been plenty of surprises in the Eastern Conference through the first six weeks of the 2013-14 NBA season, but you wouldn't characterize very many of them as "pleasant." Amid near-daily news of New York chaos and expanding Chicago injury reports, though, there has been one heartwarming ray of sunshine — the Boston Celtics, who entered the season with a freshman head coach, an injured All-Star, hardly any players you've ever heard of and an expectation of being just about the worst NBA team money could buy. Instead, they find themselves sitting atop the Atlantic Division after 24 games.Fri, Dec 134:30 PM PSTNew York at BostonPreview Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
By now, over a year into their working partnership together, you’d think that Pau Gasol and Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni would have pat answers on the ready when any member of the media asks them why Gasol has struggled so much since D’Antoni took over. That they would give each other faint praise from afar, chalk up the ongoing issues as just part of the learning process, make some reference to Gasol’s lingering injuries and the hectic NBA schedule, and try to pour some baking soda on that potential oil fire.
Both player and coach didn’t exactly hurl a gas can at the situation on Thursday, but they did leave anyone reading Bill Plaschke’s discussion with the two in the Los Angeles Times wondering if this relationship will ever improve, and if the Lakers are best served attempting to find trade suitors for the big man.Fri, Dec 135:00 PM PSTLA Lakers at Oklahoma CityPreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Thursday's matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers — and, by extension, the game-within-the-game duel between forever-tethered Class of '05 point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul — didn't start out so hot for D-Will. Not only did CP3 score eight points during the game's opening quarter to Williams' one as the visiting Clippers jumped out to an early lead, but he did so while eliciting oohs and ahhs from Williams' own home crowd:
While that particular drop to the deck wasn't really all that big a deal — Williams stepped on teammate Brook Lopez's foot to precipitate his fall (though D-Will did joke after the game, correctly, that he'd still probably wind up on lowlight reels anyway) — the gap between the two guards' early-game performance sparked a pretty common question from many viewers:
Hey, remember when "Chris Paul or Deron Williams?" was a thing?
— Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) December 13, 2013
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday that point guard Steve Blake has been "diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow," and is "expected to be out a minimum of six weeks," dealing a major blow to a Lakers team already struggling with backcourt injuries and working to reintegrate recently returned shooting guard Kobe Bryant.
While there's some discrepancy in reports of when exactly Blake sustained his injury — the team statement says that it happened "in the second half of the Lakers vs. [the Sacramento Kings] game on November 24," but Blake himself said Thursday it took place "on the road against [the Washington Wizards," according to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin — we've known that Blake's not 100 percent for nearly two weeks now. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported on Dec. 2 that the point guard had been dealing with a hyperextended right elbow.
LeBron, Durant lead 1st round of 2014 All-Star Game vote; Kobe leads West guards despite 2 games playedDan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The NBA released the first returns in fan voting for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, with LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder leading the pack as the top vote-getters to represent their respective conferences in New Orleans.
James, the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP, leads all vote-getters with 609,336 votes. Durant, the three-time NBA scoring champion (and if you go by overall points scored rather than points per game, he's been the game's top scorer four years straight) and its current leading scorer, is second with 607,407 votes.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
We told you back in September that the Nikes worn by Michael Jordan during his legendary "Flu Game" — Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals, in which an applesauce-fueled Jordan fought off a 103-degree fever en route to 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a game-clinching 3-pointer to push his Chicago Bulls past the Utah Jazz — were about to hit the auction block. Well, the bidding concluded early Thursday morning, and former Jazz ball boy Preston Truman — the applesauce-provider and post-game recipient of the autographed kicks, which he kept under lock and key all these years — finds himself quite a bit better-heeled this Thursday afternoon as a result.Fri, Dec 135:30 PM PSTChicago at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Maybe you don't think the Utah Jazz welcoming Marvin Williams back to the lineup after he'd missed four games with right foot inflammation is quite as big a story as the Los Angeles Lakers activating Kobe Bryant after nearly eight months on the shelf due to a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Allow the crew at Jazz Game Night to change your mind with a brief video presentation:Fri, Dec 136:00 PM PSTUtah at DenverPreview Game
Zach Randolph gives lucky young fan the shirt off his back during Grizzlies’ loss to Thunder (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
There wasn't much for Memphis Grizzlies fans to cheer for on Wednesday night. They watched the hometown team get smoked like brisket by the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-100, behind a huge night from Russell Westbrook (27 points on 12 shots, nine assists, six rebounds, two steals in 27 1/2 minutes). They knew the boys in white and blue were just about powerless to stop it, thanks to injuries keeping the likes of Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, Quincy Pondexter and Ed Davis out of the lineup. All that OKC talent and all those missing Memphis pieces combined for what Marv Albert might call "extensive gar- bajj time" and the Grizzlies dipping back below .500.Fri, Dec 135:00 PM PSTMemphis at New OrleansPreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Here's the thing about Stephen Curry: Even when you've spent three quarters shadowing him with a variety of on-ball defenders and showing him multiple schematic looks, enticing him to set up comparatively low-risk post-ups to David Lee or feed misfiring teammates like Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes (a combined 7 for 26 through 36 minutes), and flustering him into eight turnovers in the process, you've still got to put him far enough in your rear-view mirror that one shot, taken at the game's most pivotal moment, won't matter. Because Stephen Curry will hit that shot, if you give him the opportunity to do so.
The Dallas Mavericks, for all the fine work they did on Wednesday, gave him that opportunity, and it burned them.
Kyrie Irving loses Pablo Prigioni on the crossover-and-3, drops 37 + 11 in Cavs’ win over Knicks (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
A great many New York Knicks fans (this one included) have spent at least some time over the past two seasons pleading with head coach Mike Woodson to give more playing time to Pablo Prigioni. The backup point guard is arguably the lone unselfish/pass-first player on the Knicks' roster and, when he has seen the floor, has seemed the team's sole tether to the two point guards/Carmelo Anthony at power forward/space the floor, share the ball and bomb 3-pointers identity that propelled the Knicks to 54 wins and the second round of the playoffs last season, but has been in very short supply through New York's miserable start to the 2013-14 campaign.