Ball Don't Lie
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
After suffering through a dismal 27-55 season that ranked as the worst since the move from Minneapolis made them the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol is now a man with options. This was the final season of the three-year, $57 million extension he signed in the winter of 2009, and after the nearly-34-year-old pivot showed he can still get it done on the offensive end this season, averaging just under 17.5 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists and two combined blocks/steals in 31 1/2 minutes per game, Gasol figures to have some suitors in free agency this summer ... and after 6 1/2 seasons in purple and gold, Pau seems increasingly prepared for the prospect of plying his trade elsewhere next season.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
The NBA announced the winner of its annual Most Improved Player Award on Wednesday, with Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic taking home the honors after posting career-best scoring and shooting-percentage numbers en route to leading a Suns team that nearly everybody expected to lose big while rebuilding to a stunning 48-win season that came in the brutal Western Conference. Dragic won in a landslide, receiving more than half of the first-place votes cast by the 126 sportswriters and broadcasters who voted and netting twice as many total points as second-place finisher Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers. While the nature of MIP includes nearly endless quibbles over an individual's definition of "improvement," leading to a wide variety of potential choices for the award, Dragic's win was both richly deserved and, given the comfortable margin of his victory, largely without controversy.Thu, Apr 247:30 PM PDTLA Clippers at Golden StatePreview Game
Joakim Noah is suing his former shoemaker, claiming they failed to pay him and contributed to his foot injuriesKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
Tennis legend Yannick Noah, somewhat famously, outfitted himself in Le Coq Sportif footwear during his celebrated career. This is why it made complete and total sense his adoring son, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, would sign the first endorsement deal with the iconic French brand upon entering the NBA in 2007. For years, Noah loped up and down the court in the (relative to the NBA) obscure line of unique shoes, developing into an All-Star and beloved Chicago sports icon along the way.
Noah’s career was sent into a tizzy in 2012-13, though, when a painful case of plantar fasciitis derailed his season. Though many rightfully criticized Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for overworking the big man (who had suffered from the foot ailment before) for 40 minutes again during the first half of the season, Noah found culprit in another source. He blamed the shoes, and he’s also blaming Le Coq Sportif for allegedly not paying him what he was supposed to be handed as part of his six-year, $6 million deal.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Red94. As the Houston Rockets look to even up their best-of-seven series with the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 on Wednesday, Richard Li has a suggestion: run, run, run, and go deep, and force one of the shallowest competitors in this postseason to match up with you or get gassed and then gashed.LivePortland59 - 57HoustonFollow Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie6 hrs ago
If the Coach of the Year award is so tough to vote for because there are so many deserving candidates, the Most Improved Player award is equally as vexing because the criteria for the award is debatable at best and vague at worst. The hardware usually goes to a performer who jumps from pretty good to great in the span of a season, but not before writers and fans debate endlessly about who should be included in the consideration for the process.
Are second-year players expected to improve, allowed to be in the mix? What about a player who makes the jump from lousy to serviceable – certainly no marquee name, but still making a bigger jump than someone who rounds into an All-Star. What about MVP-level players like Kevin Durant; should they be penalized for starting off at too high a stratum?
Phil Jackson quiets rumors of a rift with James Dolan by talking up Steve Kerr, Carmelo Anthony's contractKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
Much like a college basketball team getting its first loss out of the way before the NCAA tournament hits, perhaps it is best New York Knicks owner James Dolan and president Phil Jackson had their first disagreement about something as relatively benign as the firing of unnamed staff this month. Just a chance to reiterate just who is who in this relationship, before it comes time to start arguing about coaches, general managers, players or disclosures with the media.
That’s the report from Frank Isola at the New York Daily News, who revealed Dolan got in the way of Jackson firing several members of the Knicks staff, citing loyalty as the reason. What role this staff did or will play with the Knicks wasn’t listed, but we do know Jackson and Dolan have already just about signed off on the fact that, no, Phil really isn’t completely in charge here.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
After trailing by 10 points with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and by six with just under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Washington Wizards came back to beat the Chicago Bulls, 101-99, in overtime to finish off an impressive road sweep at United Center. Randy Wittman's crew will head back to the nation's capital brimming with confidence and holding a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Bulls will travel east knowing that if they don't figure out a way to scratch out some more points against the Wizards' defense, they might not be long for the postseason.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie21 hrs ago
CHICAGO – Once again, it appears as if the rest of the NBA has caught up to the postseason version of the Chicago Bulls, those noted regular-season thrashers. And the Washington Wizards appear to have turned a corner that could put them in the second round for just the third time since Ronald Reagan’s first term in the town they play in.
The Wizards will return to that home with a 2-0 series lead over Chicago, following their gritty 101-99 overtime win on Tuesday evening. The Wizards erased a 10-point deficit to force overtime and once again encourage Chicago into moving away from its offensive bread and butter – a decidedly modest bread and butter, to be sure, but one that helped the Bulls secure the first-round home-court advantage they relinquished during Sunday’s Game 1.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
An awful lot went wrong for the Indiana Pacers in their disappointing Game 1 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, but the most significant damage done by Mike Budenholzer's eighth-seeded birds came during the third quarter. That must have been especially dispiriting for Indiana — after all, as I wrote earlier Tuesday, third-quarter dominance had been a Pacers trademark all season, but during the first game of their quest for an NBA championship, they found themselves being blown off the floor by a 38-44 team en route to giving away the home-court advantage that they'd spent the entire season — or, at least, the first few months of it — fighting so hard to secure.Thu, Apr 244:00 PM PDTIndiana at AtlantaPreview Game
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
A decent number of NBA teams enter the regular season with little expectation of winning enough games to qualify for the postseason, but few have ever done so quite as brazenly as the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers came into this season with a roster that many thought could challenge for the worst record of all-time, cast away several veterans before the trade deadline, engaged in a record-tying 26-game losing streak, and generally looked like a squad with no designs on a winning season. If a basketball fan or analyst took issue with teams tanking over the past few months, it's a safe bet that the Sixers were mentioned.