Ball Don't Lie
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant needed 7 1/2 arduous months to return from an Achilles tear, seemingly making it back in time to save a Lakers team that was left to battle the elements without injured guard Steve Nash and with Pau Gasol hobbling and inconsistent. The Lakers, faced with a tough road schedule, have dropped four of six with Bryant in the lineup, and they’re likely to be dropping quite a few more from now until February.
Bryant complained of left knee stiffness after an awkward move sent him tumbling during Tuesday’s Laker win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Two days later, we know the final diagnosis: Kobe will be out six weeks with a left knee injury in a move that could doom the Lakers’ postseason hopes.
The team revealed the details of the injury on Thursday afternoon:
Injury Update: Kobe Bryant has a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. He is expected to miss 6 weeks.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 19, 2013
Kanye West rants about Chicago forcing Michael Jordan to play for the Wizards, is also very wrong (Video)Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Kanye West performed at Chicago’s United Center on Wednesday night, working in his former hometown of Chicago and in the same building where Michael Jordan won three of his six NBA championship rings.
Following his retirement in 1999, Jordan went on to become part-owner of the Washington Wizards in 2000, along with taking on player personnel decision-making duties, and a player for the team from 2001-03. Following a disastrous stint as both player and ostensible general manager (the title technically had to be stripped from Jordan, along with minority ownership, when he suited up), Jordan went on to become the GM and eventually the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006 and then 2010. The results during his seven-year term, despite a surprisingly mediocre start to the 2013-14 season, have not been good.
Kanye West, in a NSFW and auto-tuned rant from Wednesday, decided to fall back on the easy conceit that Chicago Bulls ownership somehow made it so Michael Jordan “had” to play for the Wizards. Despite things being much more nuanced and deeper and not stupidly simple than that hook. Here’s a clip from the show:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
The NBA-styled drama surrounding Omer Asik’s current employment won’t go away any time soon, there are still exactly two months left until the league’s trade deadline, with the transaction-happy NBA draft and 2014 offseason to follow after that. What is clear for now is that the Rockets, unhappy with the proposed deals reportedly offered to the team in the wake of Asik’s off-record trade demand, have pulled Omer off the table for now. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey reportedly decided on a Dec. 19 personal trade deadline in any transaction for Asik, as it would allow either his front office or the team that traded for the big center to potentially trade Asik again on trade deadline day after a two-month wait, as per NBA bylaws.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie6 hrs ago
Mario Chalmers had a rough outing on Wednesday night, lined up against the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers. His Miami Heat eventually won the contest, but Chalmers struggled all night with his shooting (1 of 5 from the field) and decision-making (two turnovers in under 19 minutes, but also some dodgy passes that led to eventual Heat turnovers later in the possession). And he especially struggled with his defense.
After one miscommunication left Pacer star swingman Paul George wide open for a 3-pointer that George swished, LeBron James was seen snarling on the court as the Heat made their way to the offensive end. Chalmers response? He turned the ball over on the next possession.
During the next timeout, and apparently after Chalmers said something in defense of his defense, James lashed out at the Heat point guard. Watch:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has not enjoyed his last two trips to Miami. The Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner had to walk out of American Airlines Arena last June after the Heat ended the Indiana Pacers’ season in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, and Wednesday night’s loss to the Heat saw Hibbert having to sit on the bench for over half the game with foul trouble, eventually working a step slow down the stretch because of all the rust developed during that long stretch on the pine. Miami scored 50 points in the paint, the most the top-ranked Indiana defense has given up all year, as the Heat came back from down 15 to take the win.
Still, on his way out of the Heat’s home facility, Hibbert managed to get one Roy Hibbert-esque exercise in. If he couldn’t act as a dominant defender or low post scorer (two very Roy Hibbert-esque exercises) the least he could do was something funny on the way out:
A Roy Hibbert-esque exercise indeed, as he tweeted afterward:
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
This is just all so very perfectly the 2013-14 New York Knicks.
With just under 20 seconds remaining in overtime — the Knicks led by four with less than 90 seconds left in regulation, but you know what, whatever — and the lowly Knicks holding a two-point lead over the even-more-lowly Milwaukee Bucks, Carmelo Anthony isolated on the wing (naturally) and hoisted a late-shot-clock jumper over the outstretched arms of Bucks defenders Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight. The jumper missed, giving the Bucks a brief glimmer of hope of getting a chance to tie the game. But Knicks center Tyson Chandler — making his return Wednesday after 20 games on the shelf with a fractured right fibula — grabbed the offensive rebound of Anthony's miss and tossed it back out beyond the 3-point arc to the first blue jersey he saw.
That blue jersey belonged to Andrea Bargnani.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
Kemba Walker's late failures Wednesday night nearly sent the Charlotte Bobcats and Toronto Raptors to a second overtime. On the last play of the period, though, he ensured that wouldn't be necessary.
With 11 seconds left in the extra period and the Bobcats up 102-101, Walker — an 80.2 percent shooter from the line coming into the game — missed two foul shots with the Raptors looking to extend the game. However, after DeMar DeRozan split two free throws following a Gerald Henderson foul on the subsequent possession, Walker had a chance to atone for his error. With 1.0 seconds on the clock, an Al Jefferson screen allowed Walker to get to the left corner, where he took an inbounds pass from Josh McRoberts and rose for an 18-footer at the buzzer. It hit nothing but net, giving the Bobcats a 104-102 victory.Fri, Dec 204:30 PM PSTCharlotte at DetroitPreview Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
Paul George may be the Indiana Pacers’ MVP candidate, but time and time again it has been proven that Pacer center Roy Hibbert is the team’s literal most valuable player. This was more than evident last week, when Hibbert was the dominant go-to force on both ends in Indiana’s comeback win over the Miami Heat, and it was certainly evident in Miami tonight. Hibbert was hampered by foul trouble all night, leading to diminished returns from Indiana as the defending champs came back from 15 points to win by a 97-94 score.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
Ever since he first became a well known draft prospect, Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio has been a favorite of his basketball fans due to his flair for the dramatic. Seemingly every week, Rubio pulls out a fantastic highlight-ready play seemingly from thin air. He's special to watch.
On Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, Rubio turned fellow European Nicolas Batum into his latest victim. Roughly halfway into the first quarter, Rubio (also a very good defender) stole Batum's pass and started the fastbreak. Met by Batum a few feet later, Rubio nutmegged the Blazers wing with a simple, nonchalant bounce pass to spring Kevin Martin for a dunk. Although the pass happened so far from the basket, Rubio was credited with an assist for creating the basket.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie23 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: Squeeze the Orange. Kevin Love's outlet passing has received its fair share of praise lately, but as Adrien Kaeslin sees it — and demonstrates — it's a notable advancement as a passer out of both the high and low post that has made the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward one of the game's most versatile and dangerous offensive players through the first quarter of the season.