Rockets coach Kevin McHale lauds Joakim Noah, and not Dwight Howard, for Defensive Player of the Year honorsKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie16 hrs ago
There’s an ancient stock in trade in professional sports that often sees glib head coaches triumphing the merits of an opposing player as a way to light a fire under the saddle of their own team, or showcased star. With Derrick Rose out for the season and Luol Deng traded to Cleveland, Joakim Noah has emerged as Chicago’s requisite star, and Dwight Howard is unquestionably the Houston Rockets’ MVP and franchise player in spite of James Harden’s looming presence.
Howard hasn’t exactly disappointed the Rockets this season with his play, he’s not working at the peak levels that we saw from a few years ago in Orlando, but he has improved significantly from his injury and attitude-hindered lone year in Los Angeles. The Rockets are one of the NBA’s hottest teams, ramping up significantly on both ends of the ball over the last month, currently working with the fourth seed in the cutthroat Western Conference. And on both ends of the ball, Dwight Howard (averaging 18.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game) is the biggest reason why. Again, no matter how many lovely 40-point nights James Harden wants to toss around.
- Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
It’s quite possible that the Los Angeles Clippers don’t need J.J. Redick to help push the team over the top to contend for a championship. The team’s offense has been absolutely brilliant throughout the 2013-14 season under the leadership of first year head coach Doc Rivers and emergence of Blake Griffin. The squad was able to weather the absence of Chris Paul earlier in the season, and with a currently-injured Jamal Crawford eventually coming back into the fold, things seem to be looking up on that particular end of Los Angeles’ court.
Of course, Redick’s numbers were through the roof in the 30 games he has played with the Clippers so far, which is why the team wouldn’t mind bringing the sharpshooter back into the fold. A bulging disc, diagnosed in early February, may get in the way of that. From the Orange County Register:
The Clippers are nearing a decision on J.J. Redick’s future this season.Fri, Mar 146:00 PM PDTLA Clippers at UtahPreview Game
- Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
A day after the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Kobe Bryant would miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season with his left leg fracture, sparking off a mass airing of front office grievances from the Laker legend, the team’s beleaguered coach has announced that Steve Nash will also miss the rest of this woeful campaign. Laker head man Mike D’Antoni told the media on Thursday that Nash, who won two NBA Most Valuable Player awards under D’Antoni’s watch in Phoenix, will sit out the remainder of the season while dealing with leg, back, and nerve woes.Fri, Mar 145:30 PM PDTLA Lakers at San AntonioPreview Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie21 hrs ago
If you want to pile on the Portland Trail Blazers, to call them out as a defense-less band of prissy jump shooters, now is the time. The team has lost four straight games for the first time all season, with the latest coming in a borderline-embarrassing nationally televised turn against the West-leading San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. It’s safe to assume that the team will not have home court advantage in the first round of next month’s opening round of the playoffs, as the fifth-seeded squad is currently two and a half games behind the ascending Houston Rockets for the fourth spot, and injuries to both LaMarcus Aldridge (back) and Mo Williams (hip) could linger well into spring.Fri, Mar 145:00 PM PDTPortland at New OrleansPreview Game
Anonymous sources are predicting doom for embattled Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, as Kobe Bryant vents about managementBall Don't Lie1 day ago
After weeks of hedging, the Los Angeles Lakers made things official on Wednesday afternoon: Kobe Bryant will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season due to the lingering effects from his left tibial fracture. This leaves the injury-ravaged Lakers to finish off the course that has been well in hand since both Bryant and guard Steve Nash went down earlier this season – spiraling toward the bottom of the Western Conference for just the second time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.
- Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Phil Jackson, dating back years, has never had a problem lording over someone’s current coaching job. He wasn’t exactly thought to be a surefire replacement for Doug Collins in Chicago during the late 1980s, but towards the end of Collins’ tenure with the Bulls the ex-Chicago coach was notoriously distrustful of the lead assistant in Jackson that he didn’t even hire. Jackson then dealt with former Bulls general manager infamously courting then-Iowa State coach Tim Floyd while Jackson was still on the Bulls bench, which was followed up by Krause and the Bulls embarrassingly hiring Floyd to a nonsense front office position in the summer of 1998, while publicly begging Phil Jackson to come back as coach in a transparent and pathetic public relations move.
Former 76ers president Pat Croce recalls mediating a foul-mouthed spat between Allen Iverson and Larry BrownBall Don't Lie1 day ago
Former Philadelphia 76ers President Pat Croce is a known self-promoter and provocateur, so we debated as to whether or not to pass along this anecdote, but even if it’s only full of half-truths his interview with Jared Zwerling at Bleacher Report is worth sharing.
Croce, who basically ran the Sixers from 1996 to 2001 before moving on from the team, worked through both the pain and pleasure of having to act as the voice of reason in the ever-embroilin’ Allen Iverson and Larry Brown era. Brown was hired by Croce to coach the Sixers in 1997 after Iverson basically walked all over former head man Johnny Davis in his rookie season, and though the two butted heads incessantly until Brown walked away in 2003, the team did make the playoffs in all but one of their years spent together, ascending to the NBA Finals in 2001.Fri, Mar 144:00 PM PDTIndiana at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
When Kobe Bryant was diagnosed with a fractured left leg in mid-December, he was originally pegged to be out for six weeks of playing time. He’s actually missed twice as many weeks, and mostly as a result of this his Los Angeles Lakers have dived deep into the Western Conference’s basement, losing 29 of 39 games since the announcement and working with a record that has them on pace to earn both the West’s worst record in 2013-14 and a top-five pick in this June’s NBA draft.
This is part of the reason why many Laker fans wouldn’t mind if their favorite player sat out for the rest of the season, because with injuries decimating Lakers both famous and fringe, Bryant’s return would only serve to potentially alter those top lottery hopes, and possibly set the 35-year-old’s recovery process back.
No worries, nervous Laker fans. It appears as if Bryant is no closer to a comeback from this fracture than he was back in December. From the Los Angeles Daily News:
- Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
New York Knicks fans aren’t just working their way through another miserable season. The team has been working its way through a miserable near-decade-and-a-half, dating back to (take your choice) when the team decided to deal Patrick Ewing for several players in a desperate attempt to stay relevant during the late summer of 2000, when it decided to force Dave Checketts out of power in the early summer of 2001, or when an exasperated Jeff Van Gundy quit on his team in late autumn of 2001.
Whatever the starting point, the franchise has been miserable in the years since, in spite of owner James Dolan throwing hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars at players, coaches (seven, not counting the series of times Herb Williams has been trotted out to lead the squad on an interim basis), and general managers (six, counting Checketts but not counting Isiah Thomas’ various post-dismissal texts to Dolan encouraging more genius moves) along the way.
- Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
Back in January, during a luncheon prior to a ceremony honoring Jerry Sloan’s work with the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone’s daughter Kylee Malone was kind enough to share a photo of Malone and longtime Jazz teammate John Stockton proudly showing off their George W. Bush Administration-era flip phones:
They both have the flip phones... pic.twitter.com/DZ7yPe36RU
In attendance for a tough Jazz loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, Malone spoke with FOX Sports South sideline reporter Andre Aldridge, and defended his use of the technology:
You heard that right.
“This is a masterpiece.”
“Kind of like bell bottoms.”