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All-Decade Team: Some names to watch in 2020s

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Picking the best players of the past decade can be a delightful process, a walk down memory lane that highlights the best of the NBA’s best from the most recently completed era. We took care of that for you earlier this week with NBA.com's All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Data and established success provide the context needed to make a strong case when you're looking back. But you can't rely on those conventions when trying to decide what, and perhaps more appropriately, who, comes next. Questions linger for the big stars of the 2010s who would normally transition into the next decade with similar status. How will Kevin Durant look when he comes back from a season lost to an Achilles injury? What will Klay Thompson’s game look like post-ACL injury? There’s no saying how the summer’s superstar free agent and trade shuffle will impact career trajectories for older stars like Durant (going from Golden State to Brooklyn) and Russell Westbrook (going from Oklahoma City to Houston). Young stars just entering the league (or still finding their way) are bound to emerge in the coming years. On the other hand, established veterans will see the inevitable fading of their star status. That uncertain future for so many is part of what makes today’s exercise so much fun. We are peering into our crystal ball and projecting the future, identifying the stars who, a decade from now, might find their names on the best-of-the best list for the 2020s. * * * * = players who made a 2010s All-Decade Team Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks * "The Greek Freak" finished off the 2010s with his first Kia MVP and should be poised to compete for more this decade. He’s only scratched the surface of his immense potential and should be in the thick of the race for best player of the decade. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors * One half of the sweetest shooting backcourts in NBA history, Curry and his fellow Splash Brother, Thompson, could make the next All-Decade Team, too. That would require them to prove they’re still playing championship-level basketball in the Bay Area post-Durant. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers * Davis is finally positioned to chase championships and will do so as he enters the physical prime of his career. With Davis and LeBron James leading the way, the Lakers begin the next decade poised for a return to legitimate contender status. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks The reigning Kia Rookie of the Year gave us all a preview of what’s to come. Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are the foundational players expected to fuel the Mavericks the way Dirk Nowitzki did the past two decades. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers If Embiid stays healthy, he’s good enough to challenge for the unofficial title of best player of the 2020s. His availability is the most critical component for a Sixers organization that believes it is on the cusp of championship contention. Paul George, LA Clippers * George has fully bounced back from his devastating leg injury in 2014, earning a place among the NBA’s elite by finishing third in the Kia MVP voting to close out the 2010s. The only thing left on his to-do-list is to make the championship dreams of Clippers fans a reality. James Harden, Houston Rockets * Finding a new groove alongside Westbrook will determine the Rockets’ championship fate and perhaps Harden’s legacy. Harden’s Hall of Fame status is secured. He just needs a title to complete his trophy case.   LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers * Could he win a Kia MVP in three different decades? LeBron has broken the mold in just about every way imaginable to this point of his career, so it would be foolish to doubt him. He’s also got a chance to add to his title haul in the next decade as well. As for Father Time … what does that matter? Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets After winning a title as the supporting star in LeBron’s homecoming story in Cleveland, Irving hopes to revisit that magic in Brooklyn once Durant is healthy again. While Irving has some repair to do to his reputation after his final season in Boston, his talent remains undeniable. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets Some would argue that Jokic (and not Embiid) finished the decade as the NBA’s best big man. The Nuggets are banking on it, as they’ve built their operation around the triple-double versatility of the 24-year-old All-Star known as “The Joker.” Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers * Leonard load managed his way to a title in Toronto but has already declared himself ready to play without limitations as he attempts to bring a championship parade to his hometown. He’s at the height of his powers right now and, with good health, will be for the foreseeable future. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Lillard was noticeably absent from the 2010s All-Decade Team, but he shouldn’t have to worry about that happening in the 2020s. The face and soul of the franchise in Portland, Lillard knows that the next step for he and CJ McCollum is a Finals berth. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz If the addition of veteran Mike Conley has the impact Utah’s braintrust expects, Mitchell is primed to rise any ranking of the West’s (and NBA’s) top players. Don’t be surprised if he snags a scoring title (or two) in the next decade. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics With Kyrie Irving gone, Tatum and the Celtics can get back to the performances he provided during the 2018 playoffs as a rookie. The Celtics have refused to trade Tatum for a reason. He’s got the array of skills that a team values in a wing scorer. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Any pre-Draft trepidation about Young was overturned after his strong finish to his rookie season. A splendid passer with Splash Bros.-type range, Young will grow and mature physically into the leader of a franchise revival in Atlanta. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

James Harden nears Philippine return

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino hoops fans will get a glimpse of another NBA superstar with James Harden returning to the Philippines on Tuesday, June 25, for Adidas Philippines' Free to Harden event.  On the day of his arrival, the Houston Rockets guard will immediately buckle down to work as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

NBA superstar James Harden returns to Manila in June

Manila, Philippines — This June 26, James Harden will return to Manila for adidas Philippines' Free To Harden event where Filipino fans will get to know the Houston Rockets guard better. It will be Harden’s third time to the Philippines, after coming to the country for the NBA twice in 2013. Fans will get to see Harden at the Free To Harden Freestyle Hub at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, where they’ll get to relive Harden’s iconic moments and celebrate his greatest milestones with the reigning NBA MVP himself. Harden will be sporting his latest signature shoe— the Harden Vol. 3— which is like its namesake in making big statements with its style and can be purchased for P7500 in adidas stores. “We’re excited to bring back James Harden to Manila— this time for adidas— in this great opportunity for him to meet and get to know his Filipino fans better,” said Jen Dacasin, adidas Philippines Brand Communications and Sports Marketing Manager. Fans of the NBA superstar can be part of Free To Harden Freestyle Hub by getting a P5,000 single receipt purchase in participating adidas stores from June 16-25, 2019*. View the full mechanics and list of participating stores by clicking here. For more news and updates about James Harden’s Manila visit, follow adidas Philippines on Facebook and Instagram. *Per DTI-FTEB Permit No. 9998 Series of 2019.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2019

Tony Allen has season-high 22 as Grizzlies down Rockets

em>By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press /em> HOUSTON (AP) -- Tony Allen scored a season-high 22 points, Mike Conley added 17 and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied from a 15-point, third-quarter deficit for a 110-105 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Memphis led by two late in the fourth quarter before scoring the next five points, capped by a three-pointer by Troy Daniels, to make it 110-103 with 26 seconds left. A dunk by James Harden came next, but Houston missed two shots after that to allow the Grizzlies to hold on for their fourth straight victory. Harden had 27 points and nine assists for the Rockets, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this season. Memphis was up by one in the fourth when Conley tossed a ball from about halfcourt as he fell into the front row of seats to Allen for a dunk. Conley hit a three-pointer a few seconds later to push the lead to 101-95 with about five minutes left. The Grizzlies scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, with five from Zach Randolph, to go on top for the first time in the second half, 92-85. Houston got going after that, scoring the next seven points to tie it with about eight minutes left. The Rockets led by 15 after an alley-oop dunk by Montrezl Harrell with about nine minutes left third quarter. The Grizzlies then used a 9-1 run to cut the lead to 71-64 with about three minutes later. Houston hadn't scored a basket in almost four minutes when Harrell made a jumper with about five minutes left. Consecutive three-pointers by Eric Gordon helped leave Houston ahead 79-68. It didn't take long for Memphis to start another run as Gasol hit a 3-pointer after that to start a 15-5 spurt that got the Grizzlies within 84-83 with about a minute left in the third. Daniels had two three’s in that stretch and Randolph added one. Sam Dekker made a free throw for Houston near the end of the quarter to leave Houston ahead 85-83 entering the fourth. Houston made just 2-of-14 three-pointers in the third quarter and shot just 25 percent overall in the period, while the Grizzlies made 5-of-10 three’s and shot 65 percent to close the gap. Houston led 64-51 at halftime. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em> Allen fouled out with 3:35 remaining. Randolph finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Daniels scored 13 points. em> strong>Rockets: /strong> /em> Gordon returned after missing two games with a toe injury and had 13 points. Harrell scored 10 points for his ninth double-digit scoring game in the last 13. Coach Mike D'Antoni received a technical foul early in the second quarter. Houston has scored 100 points or more in 28 straight games. strong>NO LOVE /strong> Memphis forward Chandler Parsons did not get a warm welcome in his return to Houston, getting booed loudly every time he touched the ball. Parsons was drafted by the Rockets in 2011 and played three seasons in Houston before leaving for Dallas. He spent two seasons there before joining the Grizzlies this season. He finished with five points, two rebounds and two steals. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em> Host Chicago on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). em> strong>Rockets: /strong> /em> Visit Brooklyn on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Cavaliers' James and Warriors' Curry lead in second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead their respective conferences in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. Fan voting continues to surge as more than 21 million votes have been cast, a 142% increase from the same time period last year.  Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 (Feb. 20, PHL time) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. All current NBA players and a panel of basketball media will account for 25 percent each, with each participant completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences. Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Monday, Jan. 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET (Tuesday, Jan. 17, 12:59pm, PHL time), and starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 19 (Jan. 20, PHL time) during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.com. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, will be announced the following week on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time).   In the second fan returns, James totaled 1,066,147 votes to maintain the top spot among all players and increase his lead in the East frontcourt over the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (963,110).  Cleveland’s Kevin Love (473,328) edges the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (457,300) by 16,028 votes for third place in the East frontcourt.  Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (971,362) and the Chicago Bulls’ Dwyane Wade (514,866) continue to set the pace among East guards, while the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (453,538) remains in third place. In the West, Curry (990,390) has pulled ahead of teammate Kevin Durant (987,479) as the conference’s leading vote-getter.  Curry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (961,685) remain the front-runners at guard, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (899,024).  Durant, Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (823,376) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (630,766) continue to lead the frontcourt, with the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (567,201) in fourth place. See below for the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. strong>NBA ALL-STAR VOTING 2017 PRESENTED BY VERIZON /strong> em> strong>Eastern Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. LeBron James (CLE) 1,066,147 br /> 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 963,110 br /> 3. Kevin Love (CLE) 473,328 br /> 4. Joel Embiid (PHI) 457,300 br /> 5. Jimmy Butler (CHI) 400,448 br /> 6. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 327,716 br /> 7. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 324,106 br /> 8. Paul George (IND) 249,484 br /> 9. Jabari Parker (MIL) 120,022 br /> 10. Tristan Thompson (CLE) 114,759 em> strong>Eastern Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Kyrie Irving (CLE) 971,362 br /> 2. Dwyane Wade (CHI) 514,866 br /> 3. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 453,538 br /> 4. Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 401,671 br /> 5. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 256,668 br /> 6. Derrick Rose (NY) 223,804 br /> 7. John Wall (WAS) 173,148 br /> 8. Jeremy Lin (BKN) 109,088 br /> 9. Kemba Walker (CHA) 105,637 br /> 10. Avery Bradley (BOS) 64,157 em> strong>Western Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. Kevin Durant (GS) 987,479 br /> 2. Zaza Pachulia (GS) 823,376 br /> 3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 630,766 br /> 4. Anthony Davis (NO) 567,201 br /> 5. Draymond Green (GS) 464,319 br /> 6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 379,225 br /> 7. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 223,979 br /> 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 192,784 br /> 9. Blake Griffin (LAC) 172,393 br /> 10. Marc Gasol (MEM) 172,146 em> strong>Western Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Stephen Curry (GS) 990,390 br /> 2. James Harden (HOU) 961,685 br /> 3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 899,024 br /> 4. Klay Thompson (GS) 555,430 br /> 5. Chris Paul (LAC) 379,076 br /> 6. Damian Lillard (POR) 208,171 br /> 7. Eric Gordon (HOU) 191,407 br /> 8. Andre Iguodala (GS) 130,224 br /> 9. Manu Ginobili (SA) 122,333 br /> 10. Zach LaVine (MIN) 94,867 After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score will be calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters.  Fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score. * * * strong>How Fans Can Vote /strong> NBA fans may submit one full ballot each day through NBA.com, the NBA App (available on Android and iOS), Twitter, Facebook and Google Search, as well as via Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblogs in China. All current NBA players are available for selection.  em> strong>NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: /strong> /em> Fill out one full ballot per day (once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.   br />   br /> em> strong>NBA App:  /strong> /em>Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. br />   br /> em> strong>Twitter:  /strong> /em>Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE.  Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the NBA All-Star voting period.  br />   br /> em> strong>Facebook:  /strong> /em>Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account, or comment on another’s Facebook post.   Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period. br />   br /> em> strong>Google Search: /strong> /em> Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” (ex: NBA Vote Celtics) and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players.  Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Cavs, Warriors stars lead first fan returns of ASG voting

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are the top two vote-getters overall, while Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors lead all Western Conference players in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. The first week of fan voting for the 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 (Feb. 20, PHL time) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, produced close races in both conferences and generated 138% more votes cast (11,174,153) than during the same time period last year (4,693,433). James, a 12-time All-Star, received 595,288 votes to earn the top spot among all players. Joining James at the top of the Eastern Conference frontcourt are the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (500,663) and Cleveland’s Kevin Love (250,347), with rookie Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (221,984) next on the list. Irving (543,030) and 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls (278,052) lead the East guards, followed by the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (253,340). Durant, who owns the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.6 ppg), paces all West players with 541,209 votes. He is followed in the West frontcourt by Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (439,675) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (341,240), who edges the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (318,144).  Curry (523,597) narrowly tops a tight race among West guards, with the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (519,446) edging two-time reigning All-Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (501,652) for second place. For the first time ever, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the starters for the NBA All-Star Game. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.  Player and media voting will begin next week, with each participant completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences.  After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score will be calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters. Fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score. See below for the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. strong>NBA ALL-STAR VOTING 2017 PRESENTED BY VERIZON /strong> em> strong>Eastern Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. LeBron James (CLE) 595,288 br /> 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 500,663 br /> 3. Kevin Love (CLE) 250,347 br /> 4. Joel Embiid (PHI) 221,984 br /> 5. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 189,817 br /> 6. Jimmy Butler (CHI) 189,066 br /> 7. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 184,166 br /> 8. Paul George (IND) 138,332 br /> 9. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 72,628 br /> 10. Jabari Parker (MIL) 64,141 em> strong>Eastern Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Kyrie Irving (CLE) 543,030 br /> 2. Dwyane Wade (CHI) 278,052 br /> 3. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 253,340 br /> 4. Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 193,297 br /> 5. Derrick Rose (NY) 129,924 br /> 6. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 128,940 br /> 7. John Wall (WAS) 87,360 br /> 8. Jeremy Lin (BKN) 59,562 br /> 9. Kemba Walker (CHA) 52,122 br /> 10. Avery Bradley (BOS) 32,822 em> strong>Western Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. Kevin Durant (GS) 541,209 br /> 2. Zaza Pachulia (GS) 439,675 br /> 3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 341,240 br /> 4. Anthony Davis (NO) 318,144 br /> 5. Draymond Green (GS) 236,315 br /> 6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 202,317 br /> 7. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 125,278 br /> 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 101,724 br /> 9. Blake Griffin (LAC) 100,524 br /> 10. Marc Gasol (MEM) 97,370 em> strong>Western Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Stephen Curry (GS) 523,597 br /> 2. James Harden (HOU) 519,446 br /> 3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 501,652 br /> 4. Klay Thompson (GS) 293,054 br /> 5. Chris Paul (LAC) 173,830 br /> 6. Damian Lillard (POR) 117,857 br /> 7. Eric Gordon (HOU) 76,609 br /> 8. Manu Ginobili (SA) 65,832 br /> 9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 64,247 br /> 10. Zach LaVine (MIN) 53,642 * * * strong>How Fans Can Vote /strong> NBA fans may submit one full ballot each day through NBA.com, the NBA App (available on Android and iOS), Twitter, Facebook and Google Search, as well as via Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblogs in China. All current NBA players are available for selection.  em> strong>NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: /strong> /em> Fill out one full ballot per day (once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.   br />   br /> em> strong>NBA App: /strong> /em>Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. br />   br /> em> strong>Twitter: /strong> /em>Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE.  Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the NBA All-Star voting period.  br />   br /> em> strong>Facebook: /strong> /em>Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account, or comment on another’s Facebook post.   Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period. br />   br /> em> strong>Google Search: /strong> /em> Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” (ex: NBA Vote Celtics) and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players.  Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period. The next fan voting update will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 12 (Jan. 13, PHL time).  Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Monday, Jan. 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET (Jan. 17, 12:59 a.m., PHL time). Starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 19 (Jan. 20, PHL time) during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.com, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT’s doubleheader showcasing the Washington Wizards at the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the LA Clippers. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, will be announced the following week on Thursday, Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time).  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Rookie Survey: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant early favorites to shine in 2019-20

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com Last season was the first time in 34 years (since 1984-85) that the top five picks of the previous Draft went on to be the five players who comprised the All-Rookie First Team. One year later, the teams that had those top five picks should feel pretty good about their decisions. Time will tell about the five teams that had the top five picks in this year's Draft. But it's clear that fellow rookies approve of the guys selected in the top two. In this year's NBA.com Rookie Survey, 62 percent of responders picked the New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson or the Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant to win the Kia Rookie of the Year award. Williamson made Rookie Survey history with how many votes he got in the "Most athletic" question, while Morant was a clear favorite for "Best playmaker." The two top picks received the most total votes on the survey, but it was No. 7 pick Coby White (of the Chicago Bulls) and No. 33 pick Carsen Edwards (Boston Celtics) who each received votes on a survey-high five questions. In total, 38 different rookies received votes on at least one of the seven questions about their class, a deep one if these guys got it right. For the 11th time in the last 13 years, NBA.com sat down with the rookie class at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot. In addition to the seven questions about their fellow rookies, this year's group (of 42) answered a few about the current player they most admire and what they're expecting as they make the jump to the NBA. * * * NOTE: Players were asked not to vote for themselves, college teammates or NBA teammates. (Some still did, and those votes were discounted.) * * * Who will be the 2019-20 Kia Rookie of the Year? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 35% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 27% 3. R.J. Barrett, New York -- 5%     Cam Reddish, Atlanta -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans; Goga Bitadze, Indiana; Brandon Clarke, Memphis; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Kyle Guy, Sacramento; Rui Hachimura, Washington; Romeo Langford, Boston; Coby White, Chicago; Grant Williams, Boston Last year: DeAndre Ayton and Collin Sexton -- 18% Worth noting: Williamson feels like a strong pick, but in the previous 10 years of the survey, the top vote-getter has gone on to win the Kia Rookie of the Year award just once. That was in 2007 (the first year of the survey), when Kevin Durant received 54 percent of the vote. Williamson is the first player in the last five years to receive at least one third of the vote, and he might have had more if some of his fellow rookies (those that voted for the six guys selected outside the Lottery) had studied their history. Of the 67 Rookie of the Year winners (that weren't territorial picks in the 1950s and early '60s), 61 (or 91 percent) were selected in the top 10 of the Draft, and 52 (or 78 percent) were selected in the top five. Which rookie will have the best career? 1. Cam Reddish, Atlanta -- 19% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 16% 3. De'Andre Hunter, Atlanta -- 11% 4. R.J. Barrett, New York -- 5%     Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans -- 5%     Coby White, Chicago -- 5%     Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans; Jarrett Culver, Minnesota; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Rui Hachimura, Washington; Keldon Johnson, San Antonio; Mfiondu Kabengele, LA Clippers; Romeo Langford, Boston; Cody Martin, Charlotte; Eric Paschall, Golden State; Tremont Waters, Boston; Dylan Windler, Cleveland Last year: Wendell Carter Jr. -- 13% Worth noting: This is the sixth straight year that a Duke player has earned (or tied for) the most votes on this question, with Reddish joining Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017) and Carter. The seven players who received multiple votes were all selected in the top 10, though there were another eight votes for players selected outside the Lottery. Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft? 1. Bol Bol (44), Denver -- 19%     Kevin Porter Jr. (30), Cleveland -- 19% 3. Carsen Edwards (33), Boston -- 5%     Nassir Little (25), Portland -- 5%     Isaiah Roby (45), Dallas -- 5%     Coby White (7), Chicago -- 5%     Grant Williams (22), Boston -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17), New Orleans; Brandon Clarke (21), Memphis; Jaxson Hayes (8), New Orleans; Talen Horton-Tucker (46), L.A. Lakers; Keldon Johnson (29), San Antonio; Mfiondu Kabengele (27), LA Clippers; Romeo Langford (14), Boston; Jordan Poole (28), Golden State; Cam Reddish (10), Atlanta; Luka Samanic (19), San Antonio; Admiral Schofield (42), Washington; Quinndary Weatherspoon (49), San Antonio; Dylan Windler (26), Cleveland Last year: Keita Bates-Diop -- 13% Worth noting: As it often does, this question got the biggest range of answers, including each of the last six picks of the first round. But Bol and Porter, two of the six players from the Pac-12 Conference, clearly stood out among the group. Draymond Green is the only one of the previous 16 players to earn (or tie for) the most votes on this question (which was worded "Which rookie is being most overlooked" through 2014) that has ever been an All-Star, though Donovan Mitchell is certainly a potential All-Star in the years to come. Which rookie is the most athletic? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 87% 2. Brandon Clarke, Memphis -- 8% Others receiving votes: Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans; Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Last year: Zhaire Smith -- 24% Worth noting: The 87 percent that Williamson earned here is the greatest percentage of the vote that any player has earned on any question in the history of the Rookie Survey, surpassing the 79 percent that Stephen Curry got for "Best Shooter" in 2009. That's good company. Which rookie is the best shooter? 1. Tyler Herro, Miami -- 33% 2. Kyle Guy, Sacramento -- 29% 3. Cameron Johnson, Phoenix -- 13% 4. Ty Jerome, Phoenix -- 8% 5. Jordan Poole, Golden State -- 4% Others receiving votes: Ignas Brazdeikis, New York; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Zion Williamson, New Orleans; Dylan Windler, Cleveland Last year: Trae Young -- 47% Worth noting: Guy made twice as many 3-pointers (120 at a 43-percent clip) for Virginia last season than Herro did in his one season for Kentucky (60 at 36 percent). Johnson (47 percent) shot better than both of them and the Suns could benefit from having two of the top four players here. Phoenix ranked 29th or 30th in effective field goal percentage from outside the paint in each of the last three seasons. Which rookie is the best defender? 1. Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia -- 37% 2. De'Andre Hunter, Atlanta -- 29% 3. Brandon Clarke, Memphis -- 8%     Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans -- 8%     Nassir Little, Portland -- 8% Others receiving votes: Bol Bol, Denver; Jarrett Culver, Minnesota; Bruno Fernando, Atlanta; Coby White, Chicago Last year: Jevon Carter -- 29% Worth noting: This is the only question for which Thybulle received any votes, but he received the greatest percentage of the vote on this question since Victor Oladipo (63% in 2013). While Thybulle is joining a team with a handful of guys that have already proven to be impact defenders, Hunter's defense is more critical to the success of the Hawks, who ranked 28th on that end of the floor last season. Which rookie is the best playmaker? 1. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 40% 2. Darius Garland, Cleveland -- 15% 3. Ty Jerome, Phoenix -- 10%     Coby White, Chicago -- 10% 5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans -- 8% 6. Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland -- 6%     Tremont Waters, Boston -- 6% Others receiving votes: Carsen Edwards, Boston; Kyle Guy, Sacramento Last year: Trae Young -- 35% Worth noting: Morant led the nation in assists by a pretty wide margin. In Memphis, the latest winner on this question is replacing the first; Mike Conley received 45 percent of the vote for best playmaker in the initial, 2007 survey. The Grizzlies would surely love to see Morant stick around as long as Conley did. Winning this category as a Laker -- as Lonzo Ball and D'Angelo Russell both once did -- apparently means that you're going to be traded less than two years after doing so. What will be the biggest adjustment for you, playing in the NBA? 1. Speed or pace of the game -- 40% 2. Physicality (athleticism, size and strength of opponents) -- 21%     Schedule/Length of season -- 21% 4. Lifestyle/Time management -- 12% Also receiving votes: Longer 3-point distance, Playing NBA defense Last year: Speed or pace of the game -- 31% Worth noting: According to the great Ken Pomeroy, the average pace in NCAA Division I was just 69.0 possessions per 40 minutes last season. When adjusted for a 48-minute game (82.8), that would be almost 18 possessions per 48 slower than the average NBA pace (100.7 per 48). So yeah, speed of the game should be an adjustment. What is the most important skill you need to develop? 1. Shooting -- 32% 2. Ball-handling -- 16% 3. Passing -- 9% 4. Strength -- 7% 5. Decision-making -- 5%     Defense -- 5%     Everything -- 5%     Money management -- 5% Also receiving votes: Leadership, Mindset, Patience, Playmaking, Playing off the ball, Post skills, Time management Last year: Ball-handling and shooting -- 19% Worth noting: Self-improvement is both a physical and mental thing. There are five votes in here for the mental aspects of improvement (even more if you consider "passing" and/or "defense" to be more of a mindset than anything else), and a few more for managing things (time and money) off the court. Who is your favorite player in the league? 1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 38% 2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn -- 20% 3. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 8%     Damian Lillard, Portland -- 8% 5. Devin Booker, Phoenix -- 5%     James Harden, Houston -- 5% Others receiving votes: Jamal Crawford; Kevin Garnett; Paul George, LA Clippers; C.J. McCollum, Portland; Steve Nash; Pascal Siakam, Toronto; Russell Westbrook, Houston Last year: LeBron James -- 29% Worth noting: In the 10-year history of this question, only three players have been the top vote-getter. James, named the top guy for the fourth time, separates himself from Durant (3) and Kobe Bryant (3). Interestingly, Bryant wasn't one of the two retired guys -- Garnett and Nash, this time -- to get votes. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2019

Rookie Survey: Film study revealing much to this year s class

By John Schuhmann. NBA.com The incoming rookie class may be done with college, but study time is never over. Preparing for the NBA is about more than just the work on the floor and in the weight room. At the annual Rookie Photo Shoot in early August, NBA.com asked several rookies about watching film, whether their coaches [or trainers] want them focusing on certain players or certain aspects of the NBA game. A lot of names came up more than once, but the young guys aren't just watching current stars. In fact, you may be surprised by some of the vets that they're studying. Here's what the rookies had to say ... * * * Zion Williamson | New Orleans Pelicans | No. 1 overall pick "They just want me to be myself and play ... [Watches his own film] to see what kind of mistakes I made, where I could have made a better read." R.J. Barrett | New York Knicks | No. 3 overall pick "I like to watch LeBron [James], James Harden and Michael Jordan, because Michael Jordan is just the greatest, and I love the way that LeBron and James Harden play. They can score and pass." De'Andre Hunter | Atlanta Hawks | No. 4 overall pick "One of my coaches told me to watch Kawhi Leonard and focus on how he beats his defender and how he finishes at the rim ... He's really strong with the ball. He doesn't do a lot of moves to get past his defender. He just does what he needs to do and once he gets to the rim, there's no games either. It's a dunk or a strong finish." Darius Garland | Cleveland Cavaliers | No. 5 overall pick Have the coaches asked?: "Not yet." Who do you like to watch?: "D'Angelo Russell, Kyrie [Irving], [Dame] Lillard ... Just to see how they play pick-and-rolls, their reads ... Coming off the pick-and-roll coming toward the middle, you always have the back-side corner, because they always sink in to help the roller ... Opposite corner's always open, especially if you're going downhill like Russell Westbrook." Jarrett Culver | Minnesota Timberwolves | No. 6 overall pick "They talked about Scottie Pippen, players like that ... He can bring the ball up, he defends well ... Versatile for sure ... I go back and watch the games. I'm a big Jordan fan, so I watch Scottie Pippen all the time." Coby White | Chicago Bulls | No. 7 overall pick "They want me studying a little bit of everybody, a little bit of Dame... The way he moves without the ball whenever C.J. [McCollum] has it ... We watch Chris Paul pick-and-rolls, little things." Cam Reddish | Atlanta Hawks | No. 10 overall pick "Not anybody specific, but they want me watching film, definitely ... Players at my position ... So I watch Kevin Huerter, because he was at my position last year ... Just catching up on the [Hawks'] plays." P.J. Washington | Charlotte Hornets | No. 12 overall pick "I'm looking at guys like Draymond Green. I feel like me and him have similar body types, similar games as well. He's been really successful, so that's one of the guys that the coaches want me to embody ... Both [offense and defense] ... The way he pushes the break, gets everything set up at his position is crazy. He pushes the ball and gets everybody involved." Tyler Herro | Miami Heat | No. 13 overall pick "They want me watching Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick, guys that run off screens ... Just the footwork they have, how they run at one level coming off a screen, how quick they get off their shot, and really just how they move without the ball." Romeo Langford | Boston Celtics | No. 14 overall pick "Paul George and Devin Booker ... How they use their bodies to create contact and create shots." Nickeil Alexander-Walker | New Orleans Pelicans | No. 17 overall pick "We watch a lot of Wes Matthews, mainly for defensive purposes, how he guards ball screens ... The valuable things like guarding the ball Wes does really well ... Being a great teammate, things that you can't really teach he wants us to look at." On guarding screens: "It's positioning, knowing who you're going up against, knowing the scouting report, knowing the plays and when the play might happen, and what's going to happen after a pass is made, after a cut is made, stuff like that." Goga Bitadze | Indiana Pacers | No. 18 overall pick "I watch the bigs like Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, most of the European bigs and try to get something ... Playmaking, reading situations and making plays." Matisse Thybulle | Philadelphia 76ers | No. 20 overall pick "My trainers will tell me to watch [Andre] Iguodala on defense and Manu Ginobili off the ball on offense." Brandon Clarke | Memphis Grizzlies | No. 21 overall pick [The coaches haven't asked] "as of right now ... I like to watch some old players, just to see the moves that they used, guys like Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion, Michael Jordan, all of those dudes ... [Watching Garnett] I'm watching his heart, really, how hard he's playing, how much fun he's having, stuff that I would like to mimic." Grant Williams | Boston Celtics | No. 22 overall pick "I love watching guys like Draymond and Kawhi Leonard, how they play on both ends of the court, whether it's Draymond's passing and versatility on the offensive end, and Kawhi playing the mid-range." Ty Jerome | Phoenix Suns | No. 24 overall pick "I asked [about film] and there response was just to be my best self, as far as being focused on really trying to improve my game and master our offense and our principles." "So he sent me clips of Philly [where Suns coach Monty Williams was an assistant last season] ... I'll probably be playing a lot on the ball ... It's about how they move, the different reads off it, and where you can be." Nassir Little | Portland Trail Blazers | No. 25 overall pick "They haven't asked me that yet, but it's probably going to come up soon ... I watch Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, guys like that ... I'm looking at where they get to, where they get their shots off, their different spots." Admiral Schofield | Washington Wizards | No. 42 overall pick "P.J. Tucker, Tony Allen, Shane Battier, Stanley Johnson, Marcus Smart, Kawhi Leonard ... Just how they're able to switch on different guys, be physical, play smart and not foul ... Just their motor on defense, and what they do on the offensive end as well, keeping it simple, especially my first couple of years." John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2019

Lots of questions, few answers as Team USA opens training camp

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Men's Senior National Team tipped off training camp on Monday. This was the start of a six-week process that they hope ends with the gold medal game of the FIBA World Cup in Beijing on Sept. 15. This week includes four days of practice, followed by an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Before we get into the next six weeks, let's review how we got to Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) with a much different pool of players than national team managing director Jerry Colangelo originally anticipated. The originals - Last year, there were 35 players named to the 2018-20 USA roster for a 2018 minicamp, this year's World Cup and next year's Olympics. - Of those 35, only 14 were on the 20-man training camp roster for the World Cup when it was announced on June 10. - Between June 10 and the start of camp on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), nine of those 14 backed out. - The five remaining are Harrison Barnes, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Myles Turner and Kemba Walker. The additions - As part of the 20-player training camp announcement on June 10, six players were added to the 14 from the original 35-player list. - Since then, one of those six - Paul Millsap - backed out. - Six more players were added on July 25. - In the 10 days since then, two of those six - Montrezl Harrell and Julius Randle - backed out. - Last week, Bam Adebayo was added to the roster. - Before camp opened, De'Aaron Fox and Joe Harris were (sort of) promoted from the Select Team to the Senior Team. The absences Going back to who's not here: There are 33 players - 30 from the 2018-20 roster and three that signed up and backed out this year - who have decided not to play. That's almost three full rosters of American players, and it doesn't include any guys that were offered a spot, but declined before being named to the roster. J.J. Redick is a player that reportedly declined an invite. They can't all be lumped into one group of guys who just don't want to make the six-week commitment. Some have family business to tend to. But one reason cited by multiple players who have backed out is preparing for next season. And in that regard, the World Cup schedule, along with the travel, is not ideal. The gold medal game is Sept. 15. So players will be returning from China (on a flight of 15 hours or so) on Sept. 16. The start of NBA training camps has been pushed back one week this year, but national team players will have less than two weeks between their return and the opening of camps. Players on the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors will have even less than that, along with a trip back to Asia for early-October exhibition games in Japan or China. Colangelo also cited the fact that the World Cup and Olympics are in back-to-back years (with an NBA season in between), instead of two years apart like they were in the past. And while this year's World Cup is toward the end of the summer, next year's Olympics start July 25, with training camp probably opening not long after The NBA Finals. (If it were the same six-week period from the start of camp to the gold medal game as it is this year, next year's camp would actually open on June 29). 17 players for 12 spots Fox and Harris aren't on the official Senior Team roster, but Colangelo said Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) that they have a chance of making the final 12-man roster for the World Cup. So that makes 17 players for 12 spots. By position, they are: PG: De'Aaron Fox, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker SG: Joe Harris, Donovan Mitchell, Marcus Smart SF: Jaylen Brown, Kyle Kuzma, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum PF: Harrison Barnes, P.J. Tucker, Thaddeus Young C: Bam Adebayo, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, Myles Turner There's obviously some flexibility in there. Two point guards could play together, Mitchell could play some point guard, and all of the small forwards could play some at the four. Lowry, who had surgery on his left thumb just a few weeks ago, isn't participating in camp this week. He's hoping to be cleared to practice when the team reconvenes in Los Angeles from Aug. 13-16 for three more days of practice and an exhibition game against Spain. But right now, it's not guaranteed that he'll be able to play. With or without him, it's still a very talented group. "Thank goodness we're blessed with the depth of talent we have in this country," Colangelo said. "You find guys that want to play and you go with them." Cutting down the list from 17 to 12 won't be easy. Point guard, where Lowry has the experience (see below) and Walker is the star, may be the only position where there's a clear hierarchy. At each of the other positions, different players bring different skill sets, but it's not clear that Player A is better than Player B, who is better than Player C. The World Cup doesn't require final rosters until the day before the tournament starts (it's earlier for the Olympics), so the final decisions don't have to be made before the team flies from L.A. to Australia for three more exhibition games. "We're flexible," Colangelo said. "If we have a tough decision to make, we'll bring an extra guy or two with us." The experience Of the 17 players in camp, only three have played for the United States in an international competition on the senior level. Plumlee was on the 2014 World Cup team, and both Lowry and Barnes were on the 2016 Olympic team. And neither Plumlee (11th on the '14 team in total minutes) nor Barnes (last on the '16 team in total minutes) played integral roles. The 2010 World Cup team was similarly inexperienced - Chauncey Billups and Tyson Chandler played on the 2007 FIBA Americas team - but had four future MVPs: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. The talent That 2010 team had seven players who had been selected in the top five in the NBA Draft. Since 1992, there have been 15 U.S. National Teams comprised of NBA players. And those 15 teams have had an average of seven top-five picks on them, with *no fewer than four. * The two teams with only four top-five picks: The 2002 team that finished sixth at the World Championship and the 2016 Olympic team that won gold in Rio. This 17-man group includes only three top-five picks: Brown (No. 3 in 2016), Fox (No. 5 in 2017) and Tatum (No. 3 pick in 2017). And it would be a surprise if Fox makes the final roster. Since 1992, the only one of those 15 U.S. teams that didn't have a No. 1 pick on it was the 2000 Olympic team, which had nine players who were selected second (4), third (1), or fifth (4). This 17-man roster includes just one player who has made an all-NBA team in the last three years. That's Walker, who was a Third Team selection this year. The opportunity With the ball in his hands Walker could be the star of this team. And he sees the roster attrition as an opportunity. "I think a lot of us are happy those guys pulled out," Walker said Monday. "This is our chance, our chance to get on the big stage and showcase our talent. It's a chance for us to do something new. It'll be a new-look team. Everybody's kind of doubting us, but I think we're hungry." When he was asked why he remained committed, Walker's explanation was pretty simple. "I love basketball," he said. "I love to play. What better opportunity can you have than to play for your country? This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of us." A monstrous sacrifice Lopez has nominated himself as the player that has made the biggest sacrifice to be in Vegas, because if he wasn't, he'd be in the Scottish Highlands with the rest of his family. "I could be looking for Nessy!" Lopez said. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2019

WATCH: Westbrook to sacrifice for Rockets in Harden reunion

    MANILA, Philippines – For the sake of winning, a little sacrifice would not hurt. Russell Westbrook said he will be able to work things out with James Harden as they seek to lead the Houston Rockets to an NBA championship.  Basketball fans and pundits have been skeptical of the pairing of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 27th, 2019

James Harden withdraws from 2019 FIBA World Cup

NBA.com staff report All-Star James Harden wants to focus on the Rockets late this summer and fall, specifically on adapting to playing with new teammates such as Russell Westbrook. According to a report by Jonathan Feigen in The Houston Chronicle on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Harden has informed Team USA coach Gregg Popovich that he is withdrawing from the team that will represent the U.S. in the FIBA World Cup in China. Speaking at an event on Friday to donate shoes and other sporting goods to children from the Greater Houston Police Activities League, Harden said he wanted to spend the remainder of the offseason to focus on preparing for the retooled Rockets. Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon are both scheduled to participate in practices in Las Vegas Aug. 5 to 9. Harden has previously played for the 2012 USA Basketball Olympic team and 2014 World Cup team. Harden joins Anthony Davis as the second top player to withdraw from Team USA in the past week. Team USA still has All-Star guards Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker and Bradley Beal among those who remain committed. The FIBA World Cup is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China, and doesn't leave much lead time for players to start NBA training camps......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2019

Rockets make Westbrook trade official

Houston Rockets press release HOUSTON – Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey today announced that the team has acquired guard Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Chris Paul, two protected first round picks, and other draft considerations. Westbrook (6-3, 200) was originally the fourth overall pick by Oklahoma City in the 2008 NBA Draft. In 821 career games with 804 starts, he has averaged 23.0 points, 8.4 assists, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.76 steals. In addition to being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2016-17, Westbrook is an eight-time All-Star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, eight-time All-NBA selection (First Team twice, Second Team five times, Third Team once), and he won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in 2012.  He has led the league in assists in each of the past two seasons and is a two-time scoring champion. Over the past five seasons, Westbrook joins James Harden and LeBron James as the only players to have averaged at least 25.0 points, 8.0 assists, and 6.0 rebounds. Harden and Westbrook were teammates with the Thunder during Harden’s first three seasons from 2009-10 through 2011-12.  They last played together during the 2012 NBA Finals. Harden and Westbrook have both finished in the top-10 for MVP voting in each of the past five seasons, with both placing in the top-five in the same season three times over that span......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019

Westbrook eternally grateful to OKC, Harden vows fun

  WASHINGTON, USA – Russell Westbrook declared Friday, July 12 (Saturday, July 13, Philippine time), he would be "eternally grateful" to Oklahoma City Thunder supporters while his new NBA Houston Rockets teammate James Harden predicted "a lot of fun" next season. The comments served to confirm Thursday reports that former NBA Most Valuable ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 13th, 2019

End of an era: Westbrook exits Oklahoma City

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS – Just when you thought it was safe to step out from under a doorway, another seismic tremble rumbled through the NBA Las Vegas Summer League Thursday evening (Friday, PHL time). Earthquake again? Nope, just more Thunder. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Oklahoma City and general manager Sam Presti were back at it, this time reportedly sending former Kia MVP Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for guard Chris Paul, first-round draft picks in 2024 and 2026, and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025. Six days earlier, OKC had stunned the pro hoops world by trading All-Star wing Paul George to the LA Clippers, serving up the co-star that coveted free agent Kawhi Leonard wanted as a condition of signing with Staples Center’s other NBA team. That deal yielded for the Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, along with five first-round picks and swap rights on two more. The biggest difference in moving Westbrook was that this one was anticipated. George had gone to Presti quietly after conspiring with Leonard, requesting the trade in a way that enabled the OKC GM to work behind the scenes. Presti had leverage on the Clippers, since he in essence was delivering both two-way stars – George and Leonard, who otherwise might have re-signed with Toronto – simultaneously. The deal Thursday (Friday, PHL time) paired Presti with Rockets counterpart Daryl Morey. Given their trade-happy track records, it wasn’t surprising that, if an NBA fan listened closely, he or she might have heard the sound of gods bowling. George’s departure and OKC’s subsequent trade of forward Jerami Grant to Denver made it clear which direction the Thunder were heading. Getting ousted from the playoffs’ first round for three consecutive years made the team’s $146 million payroll (and the luxury taxes it triggered) untenable. “People [within the league] knew they were going to do something pretty profound,” one GM told NBA.com earlier this week. “What they got for George was more than a king’s ransom. And if they end up trading Russell for all the tea in China, it will be the same deal again, right?” There were other suitors, most notably Miami, fueling speculation that Presti might not be done. How about Chris Paul to the Heat for expiring contracts, a prospect or two and more draft assets? As it is, the Thunder already have lassoed or retained an outrageous 15 first-round picks over the next six years. That sets up Oklahoma City ridiculously well, on paper, for the medium- and long-term. Short-term? Meh. A crew of Paul (if he stays), Gallinari, Gilgeous-Alexander, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams and Terrance Ferguson seems undermanned in the wild, wild West. But Presti has amassed enough picks that Thunder fans won’t have to worry about their favorite team tanking -- they can just root against the Clippers, the Heat and the Rockets in hopes of desirable draft positions. Westbrook deserves credit for spending the first 11 years of his career in an unglamorous, small-revenue market (though $168 million in NBA earnings had something to do with it too). He had two MVPs (Kevin Durant and James Harden) and one MVP candidate (George last season) leave via trade or free agency before he did. Now he has a chance, re-teamed with Harden in Houston, to step into the void opened by Golden State’s anticipated decline in 2019-20 (Durant’s departure from the Bay has something to do with that). The Rockets and Morey have to be on the clock, their extended window as championship contenders not likely to stay propped open for long. Westbrook and Harden, a tandem of past MVPs, should have most of their statistical and usage itches scratched by now. Each badly needs a ring on his resume. Paul, meanwhile, might find himself hooking up with Jimmy Butler with the Heat, a pairing that makes more sense than Butler-Westbrook at least in terms of basketball compatibility. Presti’s performance over the past 10 days or so has been “breathtaking,” according to the rival GM. But with so many folks in and outside OKC so eager to spin the Thunder’s picks and prospects forward, a nagging question remains: What should we make of their past? In Presti’s 12 seasons, beginning with the franchise still in Seattle in 2007-08, his team has won 50 games or more six times (counting the 47-19 equivalent in lockout-shortened 2011-2012). Over the Thunder’s first 10 seasons in Oklahoma, only the San Antonio Spurs won more often. The Thunder have reached the postseason nine times, winning 14 series. They lost the Finals in five games to Miami in 2012, and got bounced three times from the conference finals, once from the West semifinals and four times from the first round. There were injuries and close calls, sure, but those are a part of it for everyone. Drafting, Presti strung together Durant (No. 2 overall in 2007), Westbrook (No. 4, ’08) and Harden (No. 3, '09). His record deeper into the first round has been predictably mixed: Reggie Jackson (No. 24, ’11) and Adams (No. 12, ’13) on one side of the ledger, fellows such as Perry Jones (No. 28, ’12), Mitch McGary (No. 21, ’14) and Cameron Payne (No. 14, ’15) on the other. The Thunder’s two most notable trades prior to this summer involved Harden going out and George coming in. When they sent out Harden -- the league’s reigning Kia Sixth Man of the Year award winner in 2012 -- it was an anticipatory financial move that for a time kept them out of luxury tax trouble ... as well as the Finals. When Presti traded for George in 2017, the players he gave up, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, had a better first season in Indiana than George in OKC. But as with Westbrook, Presti got George to sign a *cough* long-term extension, and the former Pacer finished third in MVP balloting this spring. So bottom line, which is it: Should the Thunder’s extended run as a contender in the West be applauded? Or should they be considered underachievers, considering the three MVPs they had – Durant in 2014, Westbrook in 2017 and Harden (with Houston) in 2018 – as well as George? OKC got a total of 25 seasons from those four players, 23 of them in tandem or as a trio. Only Durant as a rookie and Westbrook in 2016-17 worked as a solo act, star-wise. Those two plus George made a total of 17 All-Star appearances while playing for the Thunder, and in seven of the past nine seasons, OKC sent two to the February gala. That’s a lot of firepower for a fairly limited payoff (the lone Finals trip). So as excited as the Thunder and their fans might be for what’s headed their way, they’re right to feel melancholy over what’s done and now gone. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

Russell Westbrook to join James Harden in Houston, report says

LAS VEGAS — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, a shake up of top point guards and a move that reunites Westbrook with James Harden. The Thunder also are getting first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, plus the […] The post Russell Westbrook to join James Harden in Houston, report says appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 6

Check out the best players from Day 3 of the 2019 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! * * * Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers Good luck finding faults in the performance Trent Jr. put on the Houston Rockets that was a case study in efficient Summer League play on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He scored 31 points (in 25 minutes), going 10-for-12 overall and a sizzling 7-for-8 on three-pointers. He was also perfect at the line (6-for-6) while playing solid defense, rebounding well (six boards) and setting the overall tone in Portland's win. Ignas Brazdeikis, New York Knicks In perhaps the best game of the day, a Knicks rookie took the spotlight. No, it wasn't No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett, but his teammate Brazdeikis who made New York fans rejoice. Although the Knicks lost, Brazdeikis had 30 points -- including a clutch three-pointer that sent the game to overtime -- as well as eight rebounds and two assists. Coby White, Chicago Bulls Chicago's top pick in the 2019 Draft continues to keep it rolling at Summer League. After a 17-point debut on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a blowout win, White was solid for the Bulls again. He notched 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, but it wasn't all perfect. White had seven turnovers to spoil an otherwise solid night. Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat Robinson did his work in the rebounding department and the rest of his game flowed from there. The second-year big man pulled in 10 rebounds -- all on the defensive glass -- and then added 20 points on offense as the Heat blew past the Jazz. Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs One of the last picks in the first round of the 2019 Draft, Johnson was efficient and solid in Sunday's win against the Hornets. Johnson had 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting and nailed all seven of his free throws, too. He and fellow first-round pick Luka Samanic (16 points) showed youthful promise and savvy in helping San Antonio to a win. Terence Davis, Denver Nuggets Davis was red hot against the Orlando Magic, shooting 8-for-13 overall as part of a night in which he was red-hot from deep (5-for-7 on three-pointers). He also added five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. The day got even better for Davis as he reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Raptors. Omari Spellman, Atlanta Hawks The Minnesota Timberwolves rolled the Hawks, but Spellman showed some nice all-around aspects to his game. He had a solid scoring night (16 points, 7-for-12 shooting), put in work on the boards (eight rebounds) and came up with three big blocks in the loss, showing some improved defensive mobility......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

Spurs draft picks strong in 106-96 win over Hornets

By Steve Reed, Associated Press The San Antonio Spurs' draft picks are stepping up in the NBA Summer League. Second-round picks Keldon Johnson and Quinndary Weatherspoon each scored 19 points and first-rounder Luka Samanic added 16 to lead the Spurs to a 106-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Ben Moore scored 17 points and had eight rebounds for the Spurs (1-1), who shot 51 percent from the field. The Spurs had three picks in the top 49 in the NBA draft and will be counting on them in what is expected to be a highly competitive Western Conference. Samanic, the 19th overall pick, was 5-of-10 from the field with two three-pointers and had four rebounds for Spurs Summer League coach Becky Hammon. The Hornets, who are playing without their first-round pick PJ Washington due to a foot injury, got 23 points and seven rebounds from Miles Bridges, who competed in last year's dunk contest. Cody Martin, the team's second-round pick, had 15 points while Dwayne Bacon and Josh Perkins each added 14 for the Hornets (1-1). WARRIORS 80, RAPTORS 71 Jacob Evans scored 24 points and Jordan Poole added 21, and the Warriors held off the Raptors in a matchup of two franchises that reached the NBA Finals last month. The Warriors (1-1) shot 44 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Raptors were led by 21 points and 13 rebounds from Chris Boucher. Jordan Lloyd added 11 points for Toronto (0-1). NETS 74, CROATIA 58 Rodions Kurucs and Dzanan Musa each scored 15 points as the Nets (1-1) pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Team Croatia. The Nets won despite shooting 5-of-22 from three-point range. Croatia (0-2) was led by 12 points from Roko Badzim and 11 each from Zeljko and Marjan Vukovic. TIMBERWOLVES 90, HAWKS 66 The Timberwolves spoiled DeAndre Hunter's Summer League debut, cruising past Atlanta. Josh Okogie led Minnesota with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Keita Bates-Diop added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Minnesota won despite shooting just 37 percent from the field. Omari Spellman led the Hawks with 16 points and eight rebounds. Hunter, the No. 4 pick in the draft out of Virginia, was limited to six points in 20 minutes on 2-of-8 shooting. NUGGETS 84, MAGIC 79 Terence Davis was 8-of-13 from the field with five three-pointers and finished with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Nuggets (1-0) past the Magic. Brandon Goodwin had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Vlatko Cancar added 12 points. Behind Davis, Denver made 11 three's. Orlando was led by Erik McCree's 17 points. DaQuan Jeffries and Amile Jefferson each had 13 for Orlando (0-1). CAVALIERS 82, BULLS 75 Naz Mitrou-Long scored 21 points and had eight assists to help the Cavs edge the Bulls. JaCorey Williams and Dean Wade each added 11 points for Cleveland (1-1). Mychal Mulder had 18 points and Coby White 15 for the Bull (1-1)s. White, the seventh overall pick in the draft, also had six rebounds, five assists and a steal but committed seven turnovers. HEAT 93, JAZZ 81 Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points and Duncan Robinson added 20 to lead the Heat. Robinson also had 10 rebounds and Nunn had eight assists. Tyler Herro, the 13th overall pick had 16 points for Miami (2-0). Willie Reed had 14 points and George King and second-round pick Miye added 11 points apiece for the Jazz (1-1). SUNS 105, KNICKS 100 (OT) James Palmer Jr. scored 23 points, Jared Harper and Rayvonte Rice added 19 apiece and the Suns beat R.J. Barrett and the Knicks in the first overtime game in the Summer League. Rice hit the go-ahead three-pointer early in the two-minute extra session and Rice and Harper each hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds. Rice hit five three-pointers and Palmer four for the Suns (1-0). Ignas Brazdeikis, a second-round pick acquired in a trade, scored 30 points for the Knicks (0-2), going 11-of-19 from the field with three triples, tying the game with a deep shot with 24 seconds left in regulation. Mitchell Robinson added 17 points. Barrett, the third overall pick, had eight points on 3-of-15 shooting along with eight turnovers but he also grabbed 10 rebounds. TRAIL BLAZERS 97, ROCKETS 87 Gary Trent Jr scored 31 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 7-of-8 three-pointers, and the Trail Blazers topped the Rockets. With Anfernee Simons adding 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from distance, the Blazers (1-1) went 14-of-26 behind the arc. Isaiah Hartenstein led the Rockets (0-2) with 22 points and Chris Clemons had 19. GRIZZLIES 87, CLIPPERS 75 Brandon Clark, the 21st overall pick, made a flashy debut in the Summer League with two big dunks in the first three minutes and scored 17 points to lift the Grizzlies over the Clipper. Clark was 7-of-11 shooting and had four rebounds and two blocks. Grayson Allen also scored 17 points for the Grizzlies (2-0). Mfiondu Kabengele scored 19 points for the Clippers (1-1) and Terance Mann had 12 rebounds. Memphis went 9-of-33 from three-point range and shot 32% overall......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

Foul lane: Harden apologizes for China traffic violation

SHANGHAI, China – Houston Rockets star James Harden is used to flying past defenders in the NBA, but he was swiftly blocked by a traffic officer in China as he rode a scooter in Shanghai. Harden apologized after causing a social media storm following his weekend ride on one of China's ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2019

Rockets eye Butler deal with Sixers

  NEW YORK, USA – NBA scoring champion James Harden and playmaker Chris Paul would have Philadelphia star Jimmy Butler as a new teammate if the Houston Rockets get their way, ESPN reported Wednesday, June 26. Unnamed league sources told the US-based telecaster that the Rockets want Butler to push the 76ers ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

WATCH: James Harden maintains urgency as title hunt continues

    MANILA, Philippines – Seven seasons into his Houston Rockets career, James Harden is still searching for that elusive championship. Not even a historic 36 points per game season was enough to lift the 2018 Most Valuable Player past the now-fallen Golden State Warriors dynasty in the wild ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019