Ball Don't Lie
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie43 mins ago
When I tuned into the early Wednesday matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, the same thing struck me that struck Portland Trail Blazers general manger Neil Olshey repeatedly last season: "Hey, J.J. Hickson looks pretty undersized at center, especially lining up across from Andrew Bynum. The Cavs should probably give Bynum the ball a lot." Clearly, Mike Brown and I share something more than ill-timed personal grooming habits, because Cleveland fed the 7-foot, 285-or-so-pound Bynum early and often against the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Hickson on Wednesday.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has treated Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov with a healthy sense of tact in the years since Mikhail just about swiped Cuban’s starring role as “The Owner Who Will Spend Anything to Win.” While it’s true that Cuban has spent quite a bit in nearly 12 years of Mavericks ownership in the pursuit of championship rings, he hasn’t gone completely batty with his payroll against his better instincts – witness his passing on re-signing Steve Nash as a free agent in 2004, a move that eventually backfired, but the sound basketball decision at the time.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
The Indiana Pacers don’t play the San Antonio Spurs until Saturday, which leaves the Spurs plenty of time to rest up following the travel and eventual postponement of their hoped-for game against Minnesota in Mexico City on Wednesday. That game was shuttered because of smoke caused from a misfiring generator, the sort of haze that co-incidentally made the Pacers flight from Salt Lake City to San Antonio dodgy enough that the airplane’s pilots thought it best to land a few hours outside of San Antonio.
In the overnight Texas fog, the Pacers boarded a bus to ride them the rest of the way to their hotel. What followed, through the tweets of Pacers director of media relations David Benner and radio play by play man Mark Boyle, was a bit of a trying journey. Here are some selected documents of the next few hours:
Fog in San Antonio forced Pacers to land in Houston. Busing to S.A. and bus with 8 of travel party breaks down. I miss 17 hours to Asia.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
When he was sidelined by a rib injury following a Nov. 26 loss to the Orlando Magic, Kyle Korver had made a 3-point shot in 88 consecutive games. When he returned to the lineup for the Atlanta Hawks' Wednesday night showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers after four games on the bench, he wasted no time in picking up where he left off:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie6 hrs ago
Way back in the fall of 2009, LeBron James seemed to be on top of the world. He had won his first MVP award months earlier, was set to own the NBA landscape as a free agent the next summer, and had put the Cleveland Cavaliers in position to win their first title. Things were so great, in fact, that he planned to take another step towards global icon status by starring in his first film, the working-title-sounding "Fantasy Basketball Camp." With Hollywood mega-producer Brian Grazer on board, the project looked like a slam dunk!
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant is very close to returning to the NBA. However, it looks like we'll have to wait a few more days to see one of the league's most important players back in action.
Kobe Bryant has ruled himself out for the Los Angeles Lakers' game at the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, the 18-year veteran told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.
But after two consecutive days of practices, Bryant did say he is moving into game-to-game territory when considering his long-awaited comeback from Achilles surgery. That means playing in the Lakers' home game against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday is still a possibility.
Minnesota and San Antonio’s game in Mexico City postponed due to generator malfunction, smoke in the arena (Photos)Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
Everyone seems to be fine, and the incident happened well before fans were allowed into the Mexico City Arena, but the scheduled pairing between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City was canceled after an electrical short to a generator powering one of the arena’s escalators.
As soon as smoke started billowing throughout the arena and its corridors away from the court, arena and NBA personnel immediately asked the players, team employees and scores of media to evacuate the building. By all accounts nobody appeared to be in danger, but the combination of the massive amounts of smoke and the high Mexico City altitude made this a dangerous “home” game for the Timberwolves and their San Antonio counterparts to play.
Via CJZero and NBA TV, here’s a shot of the arena around 9 p.m. ET, a half-hour before tip-off:
Here are some various pertinent tweets from Spurs and Wolves beat writers and broadcasters, detailing the (thankfully) orderly evacuation:
Wolves CEO chris wright says earliest arena could be readied is 1015 pm. Other option tomorrow nite, neither seems likely
Ex-NBA veteran Keon Clark sentenced to eight years in prison for gun charge, vows to turn life aroundEric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
In the grand scheme of things, big man Keon Clark had a moderately successful NBA career, playing six seasons with a PER of 15.4, or just above average. However, he's arguably become more notable for what he's done since he last played a game in 2004. In 2007, Clark earned headlines for stating that he never played a game sober, and things have only gotten worse since then.
On Wednesday, Clark was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, he is also taking responsibility for his actions and vowing to get his life on the right track. From the Associated Press:
Former NBA player Keon Clark, who has said he is trying to turn his life around, was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday in a plea agreement with prosecutors on weapons and driving under the influence charges.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie22 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: Cavs: The Blog. Robert Attenweiler asks big questions about franchise culture, team identity and locker-room atmosphere as they relate to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have disappointed in a variety of ways thus far this season, and Andrew Bynum, the free-agent acquisition who's been healthier than anyone expected but has still seemed burdened: "What happens when the player all of your other young guys seem to be looking to and, in ways, patterning themselves after is himself a young guy who happens to be going through some stuff?"
The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account wonders if the team can join the awful Eastern ConferenceKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
There are seven teams currently slated to head toward the lottery in the Western Conference, per usual, and five of those teams have records good enough to make the Eastern playoff bracket. The 12th-best record in the Western Conference – currently held by both the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers at 9-9 – is tied with the winning percentage of the team with the third-best record in the East. That would be your Washington Wizards. Tied. For third in the East.
The East is terrible this season, and though teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Pistons may eventually get their acts together, the drop-off between standout Indiana and Miami clubs and the rest of the dreck is significant. Worse, the eventual winner of the piss-poor Atlantic Division (the Boston Celtics hold that honor right now, at 8-12) will be rewarded with the ostensible fourth seed in the East this spring due to NBA bylaws.
That’s pretty awful. And it’s especially awful if you’re battling amongst the trees in Pacific Time out West, wondering how this is even fair in the slightest. The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account struck out first, indirectly looking to inspire a move: