Marc J. Spears

  • NBA Power Rankings: There's a new No. 1

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    1. Houston Rockets (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 3): The Rockets get a slight nod for the top spot over Memphis because they are actually undefeated when Dwight Howard plays.

    2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 9-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Grizzlies host the Rockets on Monday in a big early-season showdown.

    3. Golden State Warriors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 1): After having assist-to-turnover woes, Stephen Curry has averaged 24.5 points, 12 assists and two turnovers the past two games.

    4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 8-2; last week’s rank: 4): Is Toronto becoming a hoops town? While the Maple Leafs were losing 6-2 at Buffalo, Canadian fans there chanted, “Let's go Raptors!”

    5. Washington Wizards (Record: 7-2; last week’s rank: 8): Wizards guard Bradley Beal is slated to practice Monday, six weeks after fracturing his left wrist. A return vs. the Cavs on Friday?

    6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 7-3; last week’s rank: 6): Lost in all the Derrick Rose drama is an All-Star-caliber start from newcomer Pau Gasol, who is averaging 18 points and 10.6 rebounds.

    More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Big dreams: Kevin Garnett interested in buying Timberwolves

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett doesn't want to be an NBA general manager or coach when his playing days are over. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ all-time leading scorer has his eye on an even higher position with his former NBA franchise.

    Garnett told Yahoo Sports he wants to one day own the Timberwolves.

    "I want to buy the Timberwolves. Put a group together and perhaps some day try to buy the team. That's what I want," Garnett said after a 107-99 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

    The Timberwolves drafted Garnett with the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft. The 15-time All-Star played for the Timberwolves for 12 seasons before being traded to Boston, where he led the Celtics to a championship in 2008. Garnett pushed Minnesota to eight consecutive playoff appearances, and the franchise has not been to the postseason since his departure.

    Nets general manager Billy King said he wouldn’t be surprised if Garnett were to buy the Timberwolves.

    "He would be one of the best owners in the NBA because he understands what the players need and he understands what it takes to be successful in the NBA,” King told Yahoo Sports.

  • Top 10 college prospects for 2015 NBA draft

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    College freshmen have dominated the top of the NBA draft in recent years, and that trend is expected to continue in 2015. Led by Duke center Jahlil Okafor, most of the top draft prospects from the college ranks are true freshmen again, several NBA scouts told Yahoo Sports.

    At least one scout, however, says this freshman class is more sizzle than substance. Touted freshmen like Kansas' Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander, and Arizona's Stanley Johnson are struggling to adapt to the college game in practices, the scout said.

    "It's a weak freshman class in terms of skill and basketball talent," the NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "They don't have the ability to make other players better. It's all about them. They're ball dominant."

    With the college basketball season starting, here's a look at the top-10 draft prospects from the college ranks with a scout's opinion on each player.

    1. Jahlil Okafor, 6-11, 272 pounds, Duke, Fr., C: "He has a body ready for the NBA, nimble feet and good hands. He needs to improve on his conditioning and not playing down to the competition."

  • 76ers recall rookie Drew Gordon from D-League

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    The Philadelphia 76ers recalled rookie forward Drew Gordon on Monday from the Delaware 87ers, the franchise’s NBA Development League affiliate, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    The Sixers cut the 6-foot-9 Gordon, 24, on Oct. 25 after he played in six preseason games, highlighted by a 16-point, six-rebound performance against Orlando.

    Gordon, undrafted out of New Mexico, has played professionally in Serbia, Italy, and Turkey since 2012.

    The San Jose, Calif., native is the older brother of Orlando Magic rookie forward Aaron Gordon.

    More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • NBA Power Rankings: Warriors remain on top

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 5-1; last week’s rank: 1): The Warriors are winning sloppily, averaging 22.5 turnovers per game with just one contest with less than 20.

    2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 2): The Grizzlies have allowed less than 95 points per game in six straight contests. The streak should continue against the Lakers on Tuesday.

    3. Houston Rockets (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 3): Ex-NBA big man Josh Powell is committed to his new player development coaching job with the Rockets and has turned down job offers to play overseas.

    4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 6-1; last week’s rank: 11): Dwane Casey needs three wins to pass Lenny Wilkens (113) and become No. 2 on Toronto’s coaching wins list. Sam Mitchell is first with 156.

    5. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 4-2; last week’s rank: 7) While forward Blake Griffin’s jumper has improved, he has yet to reach double figures in rebounds and had one board Wednesday against the Warriors.

    6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 5-2; last week’s rank: 6): Injuries are still haunting Derrick Rose, who is questionable for Monday’s game against Detroit and has missed the past two contests.

    More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Ben Uzoh hopes for NBA return after mysterious ailment nearly derailed career

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    Ben Uzoh kept his secret away from the New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors because he didn't want anyone to think he was crazy. He just kept shooting jumpers, passing the ball and dribbling even though his right arm continued to lose feeling.

    "I didn't know if I had diabetes," Uzoh told Yahoo Sports. "I didn't know if my heart was about to whatever. Why is my arm going numb? There are so many signs related to when you're hurt or arm goes numb. All these things were taking away from my ability to be myself.

    "You can call it frustration, you can call it fear, you can call it whatever. I was so in the dark. I was hurting not only the team but myself."

    Sports-related activities are among the common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome. While surgery is sometimes recommended – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett had thoracic outlet surgery in July 2013 – Bennett suggested specific stretching exercises, medicine and acupuncture to treat Uzoh.

    Before hearing about the injury, Hetzel expected Uzoh to be the missing piece to help Canton make a push for a D-League championship.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Source: Pacers expected to sign guard A.J. Price

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    The injury-riddled Indiana Pacers are expected to sign free agent point guard A.J. Price today, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    Price appeared in six preseason games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 7.2 points and 1.5 assists in 13.3 minutes per game before being waived on Nov. 1. The 6-foot-2, 181-pound guard was on his way to Boston on Thursday to join the Pacers, the source said.

    The Pacers have five players out because of injuries, including guards George Hill (knee), C.J. Watson (foot) and Rodney Stuckey (foot). Indiana has applied for the hardship exception, which allows a team to add new players if it has four roster players out with injuries for at least two weeks.

    Price began his NBA career in Indiana, playing there from 2009-12 before spending the next two seasons with the Wizards and Timberwolves, respectively. The sixth-year NBA veteran has averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists in his NBA career.

  • Doc Rivers can’t contain his frustration after Clippers’ poor performance

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers spent about 10 minutes Wednesday night venting to his coaching staff outside the visitors’ locker room after his team's 121-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

    Rivers then spent the next 10-15 minutes in the locker room, where his players discussed the rout.

    Once Rivers finally met with the media, he released his frustration while admitting he had little to communicate to his team after the disheartening performance.

    “I didn’t say much,” Rivers said. “I just let them blow smoke up each other’s [expletives] because that’s all they did in my opinion. But I let them just talk it out. But I think if you’re going to talk, you got to be real. I am not a fan of group meetings unless they are real group meetings.

    “I said something is going to happen [Wednesday night], and it’s going to be good or bad for us. We are going to find out exactly what we need to find out. And what we found out is [the Warriors] are way better than us right now.

    “If this was a playoff series, we’d lose in four games. It would be a destruction.”

    Rivers was particularly annoyed by his team’s effort and defense.

    More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • NBA Power Rankings: It's golden (State) at the top

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 3-0; last week’s rank: 2): The Warriors are 3-0 for the first time in 20 years, and Klay Thompson is playing like an All-Star. The rival Clippers are up next.

    2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 3-0; last week’s rank: 6): The Grizzlies are 3-0 for the first time in franchise history and have held opponents to less than 90 points the past two games.

    3. Houston Rockets (Record: 3-0; last week’s rank: 7): The Rockets have not allowed opponents to score more than 93 points and have outscored their opponents by a combined 43 points.

    4. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 1-1; last week’s rank: 1): The reigning NBA champions will be tested this week against the Hawks, Rockets and Pelicans.

    5. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 1-1; last week’s rank: 3): LeBron James and the Cavaliers embark on their first West Coast road trip with games at Portland, Utah and Denver.

    6. Chicago Bulls (Record: 2-1; last week’s rank: 5): Good news for Chicago as oft-injured point guard Derrick Rose expects to return from his ankle injury on Tuesday against the Magic.

    28. Detroit Pistons (Record: 0-3; last week’s rank: 22): The talented Pistons continue to disappoint with new coach Stan Van Gundy.

  • Kobe Bryant: I don't even think about leaving the Lakers

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – With the Los Angeles Lakers still searching for their first victory of the season, Kobe Bryant's quest for a sixth NBA championship has never appeared more difficult. Bryant, however, isn't ready to start issuing trade demands.

    "I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career," Bryant told Yahoo Sports. "But that's not what I do. I'm extremely loyal to the Lakers.

    "I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times. It's my responsibility to get us to be the best that we can be. It's important that we approach that on a day-to-day basis."

    The Lakers' 0-4 start is their worst since they also went 0-4 to begin the 1957-58 season, back when the franchise was in Minneapolis. Their upcoming schedule also won't afford them any easy opportunities with games against the Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies.

    "I do have a lot of comfort in the fact that I didn't try to take a lot of shortcuts and because of that my body feels great."

    More NBA coverage: