Marc J. Spears

  • NBA Power Rankings: Top seeds facing balancing act

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 60-13; last week: 1): Two interesting statistics about Stephen Curry: He is third in the NBA in steals per game (2.1) and 42nd in minutes per game (32.8).

    2. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 48-27; last week: 2): The Cavaliers say it isn’t serious, but keep an eye on starting power forward Kevin Love, who reinjured his back in a narrow win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

    3. Houston Rockets (Record: 50-23; last week: 7): After splitting the season series, the Rockets and Grizzlies should go down to the wire battling for seeding and the Southwest Division title.

    4. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 49-25; last week: 5): L.A. decided not to re-sign Nate Robinson, who has a knee injury, for the remainder of the season after his second 10-day contract expired. Robinson is expected to be cleared to play by week’s end.

    5. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 47-26; last week: 6): The defending NBA champs are picking it up down the stretch as usual with a three-game winning streak and 13 victories in their last 16 games.

    7. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 47-25; last week: 8): Portland has won three straight, but is just 5-5 in its last 10 games.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Kevin Durant to have season-ending foot surgery

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will have season-ending foot surgery that is expected to sideline him for four to six months.

    The Thunder said several consultations with doctors revealed that the All-Star’s Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot is now showing signs of regression and the soreness in the foot is caused by continued inflammation of the cuboid bone. The surgery, which includes a bone graft procedure, is scheduled for next week in New York and will be the third since Durant originally injured the foot in October.

    Durant had returned to practice in recent weeks, but sat out a March 19 workout after soreness in the foot. The Thunder then announced the next day that Durant would be removed from all basketball activities.

    Durant averaged 25.4 points while playing 27 games this season. The 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player underwent the second surgical procedure Feb. 22 to replace a screw in the foot.

  • Sources: Rockets' Patrick Beverley could miss rest of season

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    The Houston Rockets could lose starting point guard Patrick Beverley to a wrist injury for the rest of the season, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Beverley suffered what the Rockets diagnosed as a left wrist sprain during the third quarter of Monday night's win against the Indiana Pacers. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder went to Houston on Tuesday to have his left wrist evaluated and was ruled out for Wednesday's road game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Sources said team doctors are expected to reveal Wednesday morning whether Beverley could postpone the surgery to the offseason without risking further ligament damage or needs a season-ending procedure now.

    Beverley is averaging 10.1 points and 3.4 assists this season while also being hampered by right elbow bursitis.

    Meanwhile, Rockets center Dwight Howard is expected to play on Wednesday for the first time since Jan. 23 after being sidelined with a knee injury.

  • Rick Barry: Warriors fans who booed Joe Lacob are 'fools'

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Outspoken Hall of Fame guard Rick Barry called a portion of Golden State Warriors fans "fools" and made other digs toward Stephen Curry, LeBron James' former teammates and the 1976 NBA champion Boston Celtics while he celebrated with his old championship team on Monday night.

    "All those fools that were booing during the Chris Mullin [jersey retirement] ceremony should be writing letters to [Warriors co-owner] Joe Lacob apologizing for what they did because it worked out pretty good," said Barry, who unsuccessfully tried to calm the crowd as it booed Lacob during Mullin's ceremony on March 18, 2012.

    Barry joined six of his former Golden State teammates and former coach Al Attles in celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1975 NBA championship team on Monday night. Those Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in four games in what Barry called "the greatest upset in NBA history." It is the Warriors' lone championship in the Bay Area.

    "But he really has become a great player. And if I had a vote for the Most Valuable Player, Steph is right there. He's been unbelievable."

    More NBA coverage:

  • NBA Power Rankings: An MVP candidate on the rise

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 56-13; last week: 1): The Warriors will celebrate their 1975 NBA championship on Monday against Washington while hoping for another title run.

    2. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 46-26; last week: 3): The Cavaliers have won seven of their past eight games and have solidified control of the East’s second playoff seed.

    3. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 53-17; last week: 2): Is it time to worry about the Hawks, who are 10-6 since the All-Star break, including blowout losses to Golden State and San Antonio?

    4. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 49-21; last week: 6) Just how good is Memphis? We’ll get an idea when it plays the Cavaliers, Warriors and Spurs over the next seven days.

    5. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 46-25; last week: 9): Don’t be surprised if the Clippers, winners of four straight, move up to third in the West soon. Houston and Portland are doing their part to help L.A.

    6. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 44-25; last week: 7): Fun fact. The Spurs passed the Lakers this season as the all-time winningest franchise in NBA history, winning at a 61.4 percent clip.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Kevin Durant shut down because of foot soreness with no timetable for return

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has been removed from all basketball activities because of soreness in his surgically repaired right foot and there is no timetable for his return.

    Thunder general manager Sam Presti made the announcement during a news conference Friday in which he added that “the timeline [for Durant's return] is inconsequential.” Durant has played in only 27 games this season after suffering a Jones fracture in his foot before the season and undergoing surgery Oct. 16. Durant had a second procedureto replace a screw in the foot Feb. 22, and it’s possible he has played his last game of the 2014-15 season. The 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player recently returned to practice, but sat out Thursday’s workout after soreness in the foot.

    “Unless he is able to be back on the floor without soreness, he won’t be back on the floor,” Presti said.

    More NBA coverage:

  • NBA Power Rankings: The run for No. 1

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 52-13; last week: 1): The Warriors and Hawks have been resting key players lately, which means they care more about rest than the top record.

    2. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 52-14; last week: 2): The Hawks play at Golden State on Wednesday night in a possible NBA Finals preview. The Hawks won the first meeting in Atlanta.

    3. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 43-25; last week: 4): Kyrie Irving may have replaced LeBron James as the Cavaliers’ top candidate for the NBA’s MVP award.

    4. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 44-20; last week: 5): Here comes Portland, winners of eight of its past 10 and three straight. The Blazers are making a run at the West’s second seed.

    5. Houston Rockets (Record: 44-22; last week: 3): Considering the Rockets are 18-16 without Dwight Howard (knee), James Harden’s MVP candidacy probably would be stronger if Howard were in the lineup.

    6. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 46-20; last week: 6) The West’s current second seed has lost six of 11. Poor 3-point shooting has played a big role in the recent skid.

  • NCAA tournament's top 10 NBA prospects

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    Play Tourney Pick'em | Fill out your bracket | Print it | Celebrity Challenge

    NBA scouts are projected to get a long look at all the prospects on undefeated Kentucky during the NCAA tournament. But the list of top NBA prospects playing in March Madness doesn't end with the Wildcats.

    "The guys projected at the top of the draft, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell, are really good," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "There are also a lot of good point guards in this class. Overall, it's a decent class and no one will turn down their pick when NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on the podium."

    Here's the top 10 NBA prospects to watch during the NCAA tournament.

    More NCAA tournament coverage:

  • From McDonald's All-American to McDonald's worker: How David Harrison lost his way after the NBA

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    Former Indiana Pacers center David Harrison, a little more than a decade removed from being a first-round pick in the NBA draft, has struggled to make a consistent living since his basketball career ended – to the point he said he took a job working at McDonald's two years ago.

    "I was embarrassed because of where I could be in life," Harrison told Yahoo Sports. "Everybody has to work and make a living somehow. I have two children. They don't care where I work. They just need to eat.

    "People were showing up trying to take my car. My house was in foreclosure. I didn't have any income. I just had everything going out. I have child support to one son. I have a really big family and I have to take care of them, even through I'm not playing in the NBA. I needed money."

    Harrison made $4.4 million before taxes during four seasons with Indiana and also played in China professionally for three seasons. He said almost all of that money is gone. Now 32 and without a college degree, Harrison said he's having a hard time finding a job.

    Harrison also couldn't forget the bus ride leaving Auburn Hills.

    More NBA coverage:

  • NBA Power Rankings: Race for No. 2 seeds is where action is

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 22 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 49-12; last week: 1): The 1976 Pacific Division champion Warriors set a franchise-record with 59 wins. This season’s team must win 11 of its final 21 to break that mark.

    2. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 49-13; last week: 2): Point guard Dennis Schroder has averaged 15.8 points and 8.0 assists in his past four games. Could he be better than All-Star teammate Jeff Teague?

    3. Houston Rockets (Record: 43-20; last week: 3): Houston received good news as injured center Dwight Howard (knee) has begun conditioning and doing some on-floor work.

    4. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 40-25; last week: 4): LeBron James returns to where he played his last game with Miami in the Finals, when Cleveland visits San Antonio on Thursday.

    5. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 41-20; last week: 6): After Wesley Matthews’ season-ending injury, Portland is fortunate to have an experienced replacement in Arron Afflalo.

    6. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 44-18; last week: 5) Forget about catching the Warriors. The Grizzlies need to be worried about losing the West’s second seed to Houston or Portland.

    More NBA coverage: