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Common threads: Warriors and Raptors

The Golden State Warriors are back in the Finals for a fifth straight year, but standing across from them is a new face: the Toronto Raptors, who are playing for the Larry O'Brien trophy for just the first time in franchise history. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Warriors versus Raptors isn't exactly a matchup that screams "historic rivalry." Golden State is 28-17 in the overall series against Toronto, with Canada's club winning both their encounters this season. Still, the two clubs do have some overlap - players having suited up for both teams, plus some on- and off-court history. Here are eight common threads between the two teams in the 2019 NBA Finals. 1. Patrick McCaw Patrick McCaw has made the NBA Finals in all three season of his NBA career, something not many players can say. The first two years, he was with the Warriors, but now, he's facing his old club as a Raptor. McCaw was a second round pick by the Warriors in 2016. The team's long-term hope was that he could possibly succeed Andre Iguodala as a versatile, defense-first swingman, but he opted not to re-sign with GSW this past offseason. Sitting out most of the latter part of 2018, he eventually inked a loaded offer sheet (he was a restricted free agent) with Finals rivals the Cleveland Cavaliers, which the Warriors did not match. The Cavaliers waived him after three appearances, but he eventually found his way to Toronto. McCaw has averaged 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists up north, but has only logged seven appearances, norming 5.1 minutes, in the postseason. With his ex-teammates decidedly miffed about his decision not to come back to the Bay, things could get interesting if he sees playing time in the Finals. SAY WHAT YOU WANT 3 STRAIGHT NBA FINALS APPEARANCES?! I CAN'T MAKE THIS UP ... MY FAITH GOT ME HERE, NOTHING BUT GOD!!! ???????? ZERO WORRIES ZERO DOUBTS ???? — Patrick McCaw (@PMcCaw0) May 26, 2019 2. Jeremy Lin We're a long way from the highs of Linsanity with the New York Knicks, but let's not forget that it was the Golden State Warriors that first had a roster spot for the Harvard product. After going undrafted in 2010, the Warriors snapped up Lin, fielding him as a backup behind Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. In his rookie season, Lin managed 9.8 minutes, 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in 29 games. Golden State opted not to keep Lin following the 2011 lockout, which paved the way for him to sign, first with the Houston Rockets, and then with the New York Knicks. We know what happened there, right? Recently though, Lin has struggled due to injuries. He started this season getting traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks then bought him out in February, which allowed the Raptors to sign him after he cleared waivers. He put up 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 23 regular season games for Toronto, but has played even less than McCaw in the Playoffs (7 games, 3.7 minutes, 1.3 points). 3. Alfonzo McKinnie 4. Chris Boucher Same story, different teams. Warriors swingman McKinnie and Raptors big Boucher began last season with the opposite ball club, though they actually spent more time with their respective G League affiliates. McKinnie, who went undrafted in 2015, bounced around playing as an import in Luxembourg and Mexico, before landing in the G League in 2016 with the Windy City Bulls. He signed a multi-year deal with the Raptors the next season, but got waived last July. McKinnie bounced back as a training camp invitee for Golden State, but with McCaw not signing, that opened up a roster spot for the journeyman. He's made the most of the opportunity since, averaging 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 72 regular season games, 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16 postseason games. Boucher got a two-way contract from the Warriors last season, but was waived this past offseason. He got another two-way contract from the Raptors shortly after, before having his deal converted to a standard contract back in February. Appearing in 28 regular season games, Boucher normed 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds. He really made his presence felt on Raptors 905, the G League affiliate of Toronto, getting named G League MVP and DPoY. He's been fielded in a pair of postseason games, amassing a total of 5 points and 1 rebound. 5. Stephen Curry The first time Stephen Curry shot hoops in Toronto was not as a Warrior, but as a kid. Curry's father Dell closed out his NBA career with three seasons in Toronto, and Steph and his brother Seth were a familiar presence in the arena, shooting hoops with their dad. The team's star back then, Vince Carter, even played 1-on-1 against him back in the day. In addition, Steph's wife Ayesha was born in Toronto and lived there until the age of 14. 6. Phil Handy He's far from a household name, but Phil Handy might be an x-factor in this series. The long-time player development guru was an assistant coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2013 to 2018, which includes those four straight Finals matchups against the Warriors. Handy's worked with names like Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James, before bringing his talents to aid Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam, among others. Ironically though, Handy's a California native, and lived in Oakland until the age of 11. 7. Kawhi Leonard The journey that saw Kawhi Leonard go from San Antonio Spur to Toronto Raptor began in a series against the Golden State Warriors. Back in the 2017 Western Conference Finals, Leonard's 26 points had the San Antonio Spurs up big against the Warriors, before he landed on then-Golden State center Zaza Pachulia's foot. That re-aggravated an ankle injury he suffered in the previous series against the Houston Rockets, and Kawhi subsequently missed the rest of the series. Leonard would play just nine more games for the Spurs, due to a right quadriceps injury. The extent though of said injury is something we'll probably never know. Some Spurs players believe Kawhi could have played had he wanted to, while Leonard himself opted to rehab on his own, away from the Spurs medical staff. Regardless of the origin of the animosity between the franchise and the player, the Spurs moved to trade Leonard to the Raptors this past offseason. Safe to say, it's a deal that's worked out swimmingly for Toronto. 8. Will they stay or will they go? Speaking of Kawhi, he's in a similar boat with the currently-injured Warriors star Kevin Durant. Both Leonard and Durant could become free agents this offseason, with both possessing player options. It's largely believed that should they opt out and test the market, they would be the two top options for teams seeking a superstar. Who knows? No matter what the outcome of the Finals is, there's a possibility that a team like the Clippers or the Knicks could put the two of them on the same squad come 2019-20. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 11

A look at top performers from Day 8 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 11 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Malik Newman, Cleveland Cavaliers The Cavaliers guard helped Cleveland end its 2019 Summer League on the right note. Newman scored 33 points on 64 percent shooting in the Cavs’ 98-96 overtime win over the Kings. A member of the Cavaliers’ G League team, Newman shot 4-for-6 from the perimeter as part of his outburst. Alize Johnson and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Indiana Pacers The Pacers wrapped up their summer contests with a victory thanks to the brilliant performances from Johnson and Akoon-Purcell. Johnson registered 25 points and 13 rebounds while Akoon-Purcell collected 24 points and 10 rebounds, leading Indiana to 86-75 win over LA. Jordan Caroline, Los Angeles Lakers An aggressive Caroline stole the show as the Lakers mounted a 25-point comeback to knock off the Warriors. He dropped 20 points on an efficient 7-for-8 shooting from the field to close out a solid Summer League campaign. Lindell Wigginton and Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors The Toronto tandem combined for 50 points on 70 percent shooting, leaving a lasting impression in Las Vegas. Wigginton dropped 26 points and Boucher, who finished Summer League as a top-five scorer, added 24 in the Raptors’ 108-102 loss to the 76ers. Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers Trent Jr. continued his impressive summer and powered the Blazers to a 99-84 triumph over the Bucks. The 20-year-old swingman scored a game-high 28 points and hauled in eight rebounds......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2019

Kevin Durant Officially Joins Nets

NBA All-Star forward Kevin Durant has officially joined the Brooklyn Nets on a four-year, USD141-million deal after three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. The perennial All-Star and two-time NBA champion, ranking third among active players with 22,940 points, has been NBA top scorer on four occasions, but last season suffered a calf injury and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJul 13th, 2019

Herro, Nunn help Heat reach 3-0 in Las Vegas Summer League

By The Associated Press After a couple easy wins to start the NBA Las Vegas Summer League, things finally got tougher for the Miami Heat. Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn made sure they got through it. Herro scored 25 points, Nunn added 19 and the Heat edged the Orlando Magic 96-92 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) to remain undefeated in Las Vegas. Miami joined Memphis, Detroit and Minnesota at 3-0, in good shape for seeding purposes when the 32 teams are trimmed to eight for the tournament. The Heat can thank their backcourt that has played so well on the campus of UNLV. There wasn't too much to do in the opener, when Miami led by 51 points in a 103-62 rout of China, when Herro and Nunn combined for 38 points. They put up 38 more against Utah, when Miami led by as much as 19 in an eventual 12-point victory. They were even better when Miami was finally tested against Orlando (1-2), which had a 12-point lead. But Herro, the No. 13 pick out of Kentucky, poured in 15 points in the second quarter before Nunn, who spent last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G League, finished it off with 11 in the fourth quarter. Amile Jefferson had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando. THUNDER 84, CROATIA 76 Kevin Hervey scored 13 points as Oklahoma City kept Croatia winless in its NBA Summer League debut. The Thunder improved to 2-1 by outscoring the Croatians 25-7 in the fourth quarter. Marjan Cakarun had 13 points for Croatia (0-3), which blew its chance for a first victory by going 2-for-8 with 10 turnovers in the fourth quarter. HAWKS 87, PACERS 67 Jordan Sibert scored 21 points on seven three-pointers to lead Atlanta in a matchup of teams which came into the game winless. Charles Brown added 18 points and Tahjere McCall added 15 for the Hawks (1-2). Alize Johnson had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers (0-3), who were 4 for 29 (14 percent) from three-point range. JAZZ 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 93 Tony Bradley and Tanner McGrew each scored 17 points for Utah (2-1). The Jazz overcame 35 points from Anfernee Simons, who was 6-for-7 from behind the arc and 13-for-18 overall. Gary Trent Jr. was 4-for-15 but finished with 12 points and eight rebounds for the defending champion Blazers (1-2). GRIZZLIES 79, SUNS 69 Tyler Harvey scored 19 points to lead Memphis in an ugly game in which both teams shot 35 percent. Keenan Evans added 15 points, while recently acquired Grayson Allen and Dusty Hannahs both had 13 for the Grizzlies (3-0). James Palmer Jr. scored 18 points for Phoenix (1-1). CELTICS 95, NUGGETS 82 Carsen Edwards made five three-pointers and scored 23 points for undefeated Boston (3-0). He had 15 points in the first half, leading the Celtics to a 42-35 lead. Grant Williams added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Brandon Goodwin led Denver (1-1) with 28 points and Jarred Vanderbilt had 12 points and 12 rebounds. RAPTORS 85, KNICKS 73 Chris Boucher had 23 points and seven rebounds to help Toronto (1-2) win its first game. Malcolm Miller added 19 points and eight rebounds. RJ Barrett had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead New York (0-3). Kevin Knox added 15 points and Mitchell Robinson had 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. ROCKETS 94, KINGS 92 Gary Clark and Chris Clemons combined for 44 points and 37 field-goal attempts in Houston's first win. Clark had 24 points and eight rebounds, and Clemons made six of the Rockets' 17 three-pointers. Clark gave Houston (1-2) a 92-90 lead on a scoop shot in the lane with 51.7 seconds left and after a Sacramento miss, Clemons made it a four-point lead with two free throws. Kyle Guy led Sacramento (2-1) with 16 points. CLIPPERS 90, WIZARDS 72 Jerome Robinson scored 17 points and Terance Mann had 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Clippers. Robinson made four three-pointers in the first half and scored 14 points as Los Angeles (2-1) built a 50-39 lead. Amir Coffey also finished with 15 points for the Clippers. Admiral Schofield paced Washington (1-2) with 16 points. Rui Hachimura, the No. 9 pick out of Gonzaga, did not play......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 7

A look at top performers from Day 4 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 7 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs The No. 2 scorer in Las Vegas kept it rolling on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Toronto Raptors. Walker IV poured in 32 points on 12-for-23 shooting and added six rebounds as well. After a torn meniscus in his right knee limited him to 17 games last season, Walker IV is out to show he's still the scoring guard he was when the Spurs drafted him No. 18 overall in 2018. Kevin Hervey, Oklahoma City Thunder The undrafted big man is trying to pave a path to OKC's camp this fall and may be well on his way. He did it all on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Sixers, logging a double-double (17 points, 17 rebounds) while showing solid court sense on defense. After an 11-point, 12-rebound Summer League debut on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) vs. Utah, Hervey has likely been the Thunder's best player so far in Las Vegas. Bruce Brown, Detroit Pistons Last season, Brown struggled with his shot (39.6%) and was a virtual non-factor as a three-point shooter (25.8%). One Summer League game does not a shooter make, but his improved shooting range and consistency were bright spots in Detroit's win vs. the Pacers. He shot a respectable 4-for-9 overall (and 1-for-2 on three-pointers) and remained particularly active as a defensive rebounder. Semaj Christon, Sacramento Kings In the California Classic, Christon was one of the better all-around performers for the Kings. He continued that trend on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Dallas Mavericks, excelling in a variety of ways (15 points, nine rebounds, eight assists). He has been out of the league for two seasons and is hoping to turn some heads with performances like these in Summer League. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards Washington's top pick in the 2019 draft was not flashy at all in a thrilling win vs. the Brooklyn Nets. What he was, though, was timely. Hachimura finished with 19 points and was active around the rim, finishing strong or shooting with confidence in those situations. Tacko Fall, Boston Celtics Players with a cult following are nothing new in Summer League, and Fall is the latest player to receive such honors. He lived up to the cheers and pregame adulation from a pro-Celtics crowd by scoring 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting off the bench (in just 11 minutes). His offense and ability to control the paint on defense helped energize Boston en route to its 89-72 blowout win. Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 Draft, had a short run in Summer League. But he got a lot of enjoyment out of watching Hayes play on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), celebrating as much as the crowd did after Hayes' vicious poster jam over the Bulls. That play highlighted a monster night for the rookie Hayes, who finished with 28 points (on 10-for-15 shooting), four rebounds and three blocks in the Pelicans' runaway victory. Qi Zhou, China The big man delivered off the bench in the final game of the night at Cox Pavilion, carving up the Hornets inside all game long. He had 17 points and nailed a trio of three-pointers while also collecting nine rebounds to power China to an upset of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors The No. 28 pick of the 2019 Draft, Poole has been a steady scorer for Golden State at Summer League. He kept that rolling on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), but showed better shot selection in getting his 23 points (on 7-for-15 shooting) in the Warriors' win against the Los Angeles Lakers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 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

Norvell Jr.’s late 3 lifts Lakers to big comeback victory

By David Brandt, Associated Press Zach Norvell Jr. made a three-pointer with four seconds remaining to lift the Los Angeles Lakers over the Sacramento Kings 99-97 on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), completing a comeback from 21 points down early in the fourth quarter. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Sacramento led 86-65 with less than eight minutes left, but the Lakers rallied with 34 points down the stretch to improve to 2-1 at the California Classic in Sacramento. The Lakers closed on a 12-1 run over the final 2:16. Zach Norvell closes out the California Classic with a #LakersWin pic.twitter.com/Ky6OmriWx8 — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 3, 2019 Jordan Howard led the Lakers with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. He scored 17 in the fourth quarter. Nick Perkins had 20 points, Devontae Cacok added 13 and Norvell scored 11. Sacramento (1-2) had five players score in double figures, led by Wenyen Gabriel with 16 points. Second-round pick Kyle Guy added 14, but shot just 5 of 17 from the field. Semaj Christon scored 13. Gabriel had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but missed a contested 25-footer. HEAT 73, WARRIORS 65 Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points, Tyler Herro added 20 and Miami rallied to beat Golden State in Sacramento. Golden State led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and had a 50-45 advantage after the third quarter. Miami pulled even by midway through the fourth quarter and Nunn’s step-back three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining sealed the win. It was the second straight good game for the 23-year-old Nunn, who led the Heat (3-0) with 27 points in the team’s comeback win over Sacramento on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Herro scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. This year’s 13th overall draft pick shot 7-of-21 from the field, including 2-of-11 from three-point range. Damian Jones had 15 points and seven rebounds for Golden State (0-3). GRIZZLIES 81, CAVALIERS 68 Keenan Evans scored 20 points, Yuta Watanabe added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Memphis beat Cleveland in Salt Lake City Summer League action. Memphis (2-1) pulled ahead late in the first quarter and never trailed again. The Grizzlies had a 47-29 rebounding edge. John Konchar added 11 points and eight rebounds. Naz Mitrou-Long led Cleveland (0-3) with 12 points and six rebounds. Jalen Hudson added 10 points. JAZZ 84, SPURS 81 Miye Oni scored 17 points, Jarrell Brantley added 16 and Utah never trailed in a victory over San Antonio in Salt Lake City. Oni, the 58th overall pick in this year’s draft out of Yale, shot 5 of 12, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Willie Reed added 14 points and 16 rebounds. Utah (2-1) jumped out to a 24-8 lead in the first quarter before hanging on. San Antonio had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but a 3-pointer by Lonnie Walker IV was off the mark. Walker had 19 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio (2-1). Drew Eubanks scored 15 and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 13......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2019

Alapag gets 1st NBA win as Kings beat Warriors in Summer League

MANILA, Philippines – Sacramento Kings Summer League assistant coach Jimmy Alapag got his first NBA win as the Kings escaped the Golden State Warriors at home, 81-77, on Tuesday, July 2. Former 5-star recruit Weylen Gabriel dropped 22 points and 12 rebounds, while ex-Oklahoma City Thunder guard Semaj Christon had 16 ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2019

Warriors owner: No other player will wear Durant s No. 35

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is showing his appreciation for Kevin Durant’s contributions to three successful seasons by promising that no other player will wear jersey No. 35 as long as Lacob is team chairman. Lacob released a statement Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) thanking Durant, the two-time NBA Finals MVP who helped the Warriors win back-to-back championships in 2017 and ’18 before his postseason was shortened by injury this year. Durant on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) announced he would be signing a contract to join the Brooklyn Nets. Statement from Warriors Co-Chairman & CEO Joe Lacob on Kevin Durant: pic.twitter.com/D2TPPZPuz1 — Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) July 1, 2019 He is expected to miss all of next season while he recovers from surgery for a ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered in Game 5 of the finals, which Golden State lost in six games to the Toronto Raptors. “Today, as he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all of his contributions, for being an integral part to one of the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall of Fame journey,” Lacob said. “As long as I am Co-Chairman of this team, no player will ever wear (No.) 35 for the Warriors again.” Golden State had hoped Durant would choose to stay for about $221 million over the next five seasons, but he chose to join the Nets and play alongside Kyrie Irving instead. On behalf of the franchise, Lacob applauded Durant for his efforts on and off the court representing the Warriors. “Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one of the best to ever play the game,” Lacob said. “He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here_two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, three trips to the Finals, unparalleled efficiency_and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court. His commitment to our community was evident each day, including last season when his philanthropic efforts earned him the NBA’s annual Community Assist Award.” Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it clear when the season ended everyone understood Durant had earned the chance to pursue every opportunity. “I know that we all want him back, and we think this is a great situation for him and vice versa,” Kerr said. “So, hopefully we get him back and keep this thing going with the understanding that he’s a free agent and we want what’s best for him, and he’s free to make any choice he wants. Hopefully he’s back, and we will all give him any advice, any counsel that he needs. And ultimately he’s going to make his own decision. He’s earned that.” On June 12 (June 13, PHL time), the 30-year-old Durant posted a photo on Instagram showing himself in a hospital bed and announced his surgery. He had returned two nights earlier from a nine-game absence with the calf injury. When he got injured again, a teary, emotional Warriors general manager Bob Myers asked anyone who was looking to place blame to do so on him — not on Durant, the medical staff or athletic trainers who worked so tirelessly to get him back......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2019

Steph Curry makes faithful moves through production company

By Jonathan Landrum Jr., Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Curry may be a sharpshooting three-time NBA champion, but he is quickly building a career away from the court to inspire the masses through his burgeoning production company. The Golden State Warriors superstar is strategically producing content that focuses on sports, family and faith through Unanimous Media, which he co-founded with Jeron Smith and Erick Peyton. The newly-formed production company already has several projects under its belt including a major studio film, network television show and a couple documentaries in just a year. Curry, 31, said he wants to “uplift people who need to be uplifted.” “We’ve been very selective about the things we want to bring to our audience,” he said. “In our first year, we really wanted to make people think, feel, laugh, cry and challenge them. When I’m out on the court, I’m all about inspiring people with my faith — win or lose. I try to do it with glory and with a smile on my face. We’re trying to take that same idea to our projects.” One of Curry’s latest projects features himself in his original docuseries “Stephen vs. The Game ” on Facebook Watch, a video-on-demand service. The six-episode series chronicles his journey through this past season, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Curry’s intense training regiment, family life and old videos from his youth basketball career. He and his wife, Ayesha, open up about their first date, and the reasoning behind his ritual of writing the partial Bible verse “I can do all things” on his basketball shoes since his days at Davidson College. The Currys have three children. The upcoming season finale will focus on the Warriors’ injury-riddled playoff run that ended in the back-to-back champs losing the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors this month. “The finish this season was one of the most vulnerable ones,” he said. “Everybody wants the storybook ending where you have all these challenges and bumps in the road, but you end up at the finish line holding up the trophy, but it doesn’t always work out like that. But I learned a lot along the way, and I hope others can learn from watching my walk too.” Smith said it’s all a part of Curry’s plan to impact the world in a positive manner through media. “Everything is definitely by design,” said Smith, a former Nike brand manager and White House deputy of digital strategy during the Obama administration. He is the CEO, and Peyton serves as CCO for the production company. “The first thing executives at Sony told us was that this is a tough business,” he said. “But what has helped us be successful is that everything we’re doing is rooted in purpose. That purpose gives us a point of view as you’re moving forward, as opposed to how a traditional media company would do it.” The docuseries is among a slew of projects from Curry’s Unanimous Media, which is a play off him becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history in 2016. Last year, Unanimous Media struck a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to produce television and film projects. The production company will have its production headquarters on the Sony backlot in Culver City, California. So far, Curry has received executive producer credits with actress Viola Davis for the new documentary “Emanuel,” which explored life after a tragic South Carolina church shooting in 2015, and the inspirational film “Breakthrough,” a modestly budget faith-based movie that opened third at the box office earning $11.1 million in the first week. “It was powerful movie, but it wasn’t just about the money it made,” Curry said. “It was about the people who text, DM and texted me to get their take on life and faith. Those moments are special.” Unanimous is also behind a mini-golf competition show on ABC called “Holey Moley,” which drew 4.87 million viewers after it premiered June 20. The company is working on a docuseries about a storied high school basketball program in New Jersey called “Benedict Men,” which is expected to release when the streaming platform Quibi launches next year, and a documentary “JUMP SHOT,” which tells the story of Kenny Sailors, who developed the modern day jump shot in basketball. Curry is a part of a movement of NBA players who are creating production companies including LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for his animated short “Dear Basketball.” The Warriors point guard said he was inspired to move into the TV and film production space after seeing their success, but he wants to pave his own way with his own message. “Everybody needs examples,” Curry said. “But I’m going to do this my way. They’re doing amazing stuff. This space is big enough for everybody to win. In terms of our projects, we are going to stay true to ourselves. It’s all about changing people’s lives. I never want to get away from inspiring people.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

PBA: NLEX shifts focus to Governors’ Cup after lost campaign

With the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup a lost cause pretty much, NLEX is moving on. The Road Warriors have brought back import Olu Ashaolu early in preparation of the 2019 Governors’ Cup. NLEX is letting go of Tony Mitchell in the process. Head coach Yeng Guiao hinted at the change over the weekend and has pushed through with the plan this week. Olu of course, was the team’s workhorse import last season that was unfortunately sidelined with an injury. “Halos wala na yung chances for the playoffs,” Guiao said after his NLEX crew dropped to 1-7 after a loss to defending champion Ginebra in Batangas. “So we look forward to the next conference. Si Olu Ashaolu is our import for the conference, we might bring him in early and start our preparations early,” he added. Aside from Ashaolu, the Road Warriors still have help on the way in Kiefer Ravena. The Phenom should make his official PBA return in NLEX’s first game of the Governors’ Cup later this year. “Nakita ko naman na hindi siya nagpabaya sa katawan niya,” Guiao said of Kiefer. “He's going to be probably a little out of shape or off timing but my guess is it will take a short time for him to recover from where he left off noong na-suspend siya. Madali siyang makakabalik sa dating laro niya,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019

Kiefer Ravena looking forward to Governor s Cup as he re-joins NLEX in practice

Just hours after his first practice back with the National Team, Kiefer Ravena also re-joined his mother team, the NLEX Road Warriors, for practice, Tuesday morning at the FCL Center in Katipunan.  The 25-year old Ravena, the number two overall draft pick in the 2017 PBA, had his stellar rookie campaign cut short after being handed a suspension by FIBA for failing a random drug test in 2018.  The suspension encompassed not only Ravena's international play, but also his professional play here at home.  Now, with just two months left before his suspension is up and three months to go before he can return to the court with NLEX, Ravena is treating his first practice back like it was his first ever practice with the team.  "I treated it as a normal practice, just like my first day last year," Ravena shared with the media during a post-practice scrum. "I want to make it routine as possible, to hasten the process, to get back to my rhythm, especially, ibang team ‘to eh, NLEX ‘to eh, so every time na nandito ako, yung priority ko is to really think about what’s happening now first, and then pag nasa Gilas, sa hapon, yun naman ng pino-proseso ko." Apart from being able to return to basketball activities, Ravena said that he can also finally watch games as well, and he will be in the house on Friday when his Road Warriors take on Rain or Shine this Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.  "It was a good practice, we have a game on Friday against Rain or Shine. I’m excited to watch, it’s been a while since I’ve watched a basketball game. I’ll be there to watch and support the team." More than just finally being able to run with his squad, Ravena said he just missed simply being around his NLEX family.  "Yung trabaho mismo, yung pupunta ka dito, yung pupunta ka talaga dito mismo to practice, talk to your teammates, do something that I love doing, which is play basketball, just being around my teammates, yun yung pinaka-namiss ko." With the Road Warriors sitting at the bottom of the standings with a 1-7 slate and just three games left in the ongoing 2019 PBA Governor's Cup, it's highly unlikely that NLEX makes a playoff push. As early as now however, Ravena and the team are already getting ready for the third conference, the Governor's Cup.  "Again, it’s more than three months until I get to play with them kasi sa September pa, we’re preparing early for the third conference, so hopefully, ngayon pa lang, good start na sa amin." By the time the Governor's Cup rolls in, Ravena hopes to have with him a fully healthy NLEX squad. Right now, the team has been ravaged by injuries, with their other key playmaker Kevin Alas being sidelined with another ACL injury and veterans in Larry Fonacier, JR Quinahan and RJ Jazul still working their way back.  Ravena is also excited to finally share the court with new faces in Jericho Cruz and Poy Erram. Import Olu Ashaolu is also back with the Road Warriors and is expected to debut on Friday as part of their preparation for the third conference.  "With Jericho coming it, healthy si Poy, healthy is JR, with Olu, me and Kevin, si Jazul, he’s healthy, si Larry pa nandiyan, I think we’re ready to take steps back," said Ravena. "Our goal is to really win it all in the third conference, but we have to take it a day at a time." With three months to go before he makes his long-awaited NLEX return, Ravena is making sure that the team gets into a groove before the start of the Governor's Cup. Being away from the team and not being able to contribute was a difficult experience, Ravena said. Now, he's happy to be able to help the team out, even if it's just in practice for now.  "Siyempre, medyo mahirap, kasi parang medyo helpless ka, nanonood ka lang sa TV, wala kang magawa para makatulong, kahit gustong-gusto mo maka-tulong." Soon enough, 'The Phenom' will be back on the floor, and that can only mean good things for the Road Warriors.  "Pero at the end of the day, tapos na ‘yon, ilang buwan na lang aantayin ko, at least ngayon, eto, makakatulong na ako sa practice. Ito na yung quote-unquote ambag ko sa kanila to make us better for the next three games." "Again, it’s more than three months until I get to play with them kasi sa September pa, we’re preparing early for the third conference, so hopefully, ngayon pa lang, good start na sa amin," he added. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2019

Kiefer Ravena’s return highlights Gilas’ ‘best practice so far’

The Philippine Men’s Senior National Basketball team continued their preparations for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China this August with another training session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. While the highlight of the scrimmage was the return of playmaker Kiefer Ravena, who has been serving an 18-month suspension handed down by FIBA back in 2018, another positive was the number of players who participated in the practice. A total of 13 players were present in practice, and National Team head coach Yeng Guiao was happy to see enough bodies to be able to hold a proper 5-on-5 run. “We had enough people to go 5-on-5, this is our first complete actually, it’s our best practice so far,” Guiao told the media during a post-practice scrum. National Team vets such as Paul Lee, RR Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, and Mark Barroca were on hand to participate in the drills and the 5-on-5 scrimmage, while Raymond Almazan was also in attendance but did not join the practice proper. Apart from Ravena, other new faces for this training camp included PBA rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, and Guiao was delighted to see them come out. “We’re very very appreciative of the guys who came in, si CJ atsaka si Robert, and of course, Kiefer,” the long-time mentor said. “For the first time, he’s able to practice and witness kayo, for the first time after more than one year and six months. Siguro part of the excitement why we had a really good practice today, we’re just excited to play with each other.” Guiao explained that Bolick and Perez, former NCAA stars, were invited because of their initiative to try their luck with the National Team pool. “Actually, in the case of Robert and CJ, sila yung nag-initiate na makapag-practice sila, that’s why we invited them, so nagparamdam sila na gusto nilang mag-try ng luck nila to be in the to be in the pool.” As for Ravena, Guiao was pleased to see that his NLEX playmaker was in tip-top shape, even after the time off. “Si Kiefer, nakakausap ko naman yun, so he’s really excited to be part of the National Team, at least pool, although sabi ko naman his chances of making it are really good,” Guiao stated. “You saw him in practice today, it’s just like he did not miss the last, or he was not suspended, for the last one and a half years. His sharpness is there, his stamina is there, he does not look like he’s heavy, that’s his natural body, so things are looking good at this point.” Guiao also expressed his appreciation for Stanley Pringle, who joined the practice. Pringle and the Gin Kings took on Guiao’s NLEX Road Warriors in Batangas the night before Gilas practice. “Si Stanley, again, he’s one of the guys that volunteered himself, just in case we need an extra body. Galing yan sa Batangas, kalaban namin kahapon, so he’s just offering his services just so we have people who can play roles in practices so mas maganda yung practice natin.” Being designated as a naturalized citizen by FIBA, The newly-acquired Ginebra Gin King is unlikely to crack the lineup with big man Andray Blatche expected to suit up for the National Team. Guiao is, however, looking to add Pringle to the training pool for their training camp in Spain this August. “I’m also thinking of bringing Stanley to Spain, if Ginebra is not playing in the Finals, kasi may dalawang team na maglalaro ng Finals, siguradong may member ng National Team, so when we go to Spain, we can only take the players of the ten teams that are not involved, so may mawawala talaga, so kailangan pag-isipan kung sino ang isasama.” The 2019 FIBA World Cup kicks off on August 31st in China, with the Philippines joining Angola, Italy, and Serbia in Group D. Guiao hopes to be able to release a final lineup by next month. “Pag-dating ni Blatche, I think July 8, siguro by July 15 mayroon nang final lineup.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

Stanley Pringle namayagpag sa unang laro sa GinKings

Manila, Philippines – Namayagpag sa unang laro si Stanley Pringle sa koponan ng Barangay Ginebra matapos magwagi ng Gin Kings laban sa NLEX Road Warriors sa ginanap na 2019 PBA Commissioners Cup, araw ng Linggo sa Batangas City Coliseum. Nag-ambag si Pringle ng 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists at 2 steals para makamit ang […] The post Stanley Pringle namayagpag sa unang laro sa GinKings appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2019

PBA: Kings down Road Warriors

Pringle, acquired in a four-player trade from NorthPort last Tuesday, finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals to help the Kings improve to 4-3 for fifth place. #PBA.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2019

PBA: Brownlee is the man as Ginebra dominates NLEX

BATANGAS CITY — Stanley Pringle just debuted for Ginebra but Justin Brownlee remains as the team’s brightest star. Ginebra’s super import balled out Sunday here, leading the Gin Kings to a convincing 100-85 win over NLEX in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Brownlee was on fire against the Road Warriors, dropping 37 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists for the defending champs as the barangay won back-to-back games in the mid-season joust. Ginebra moved to 4-3 with the win and it appears that the Gin Kings’ early conference struggles are behind them.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2019

Warriors niloko si Durant sa injury

HINDI na masaya si Kevin Durant sa poder ng Golden State Warriors.The post Warriors niloko si Durant sa injury appeared first on Abante News Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2019

LOOK: Per-team results of the 2019 NBA Draft

Check out the 2019 NBA Draft results, broken down by team: (Results include trades that have not yet been officially announced) EASTERN CONFERENCE ATLANTA HAWKS R1P4 De'Andre Hunter (from LA Lakers, via New Orleans Pelicans) R1P10 Cam Reddish (from Dallas Mavericks) R2P4 Bruno Fernando (from CHI via LAL, PHI) BOSTON CELTICS R1P14 Romeo Langford (from Sacramento Kings via Philadelphia 76ers) R1P22 Grant Williams R2P3 Carsen Edwards (from CLE via NYK, ORL, and PHI) R2P21 Tremont Waters CHICAGO BULLS R1P7 Coby White R2P8 Daniel Gafford (from MEM) CHARLOTTE HORNETS R1P12 PJ Washington Jr. R2P6 Cody Martin (from WAS via ATL, DEN and ORL) R2P22 Jalen McDaniels (from OKC) BROOKLYN NETS R2P1 Nicholas Claxton (from NYK via PHI) R2P26 Jaylen Hands (from POR via ORL, DET, and LAC) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS R1P5 Darius Garland R1P26 Dylan Windler (from Houston Rockets) R1P30 Kevin Porter Jr. (from Milwaukee Bucks, via Detroit Pistons) MIAMI HEAT R1P13 Tyler Herro R2P2 KZ Okpala (from PHO, via IND) NEW YORK KNICKS R1P3 RJ Barrett R2P17 Ignas Brazdeikis (from ORL via NYK and SAC) DETROIT PISTONS R1P15 Sekou Doumbouya R2P7 Deividas Sirvydis (from DAL) R2P27 Jordan Bone (from DEN via MIL, ATL, PHI) ORLANDO MAGIC R1P16 Chuma Okeke PHILADELPHIA 76ERS R1P20 Mattise Thybulle (from LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, via Boston Celtics) R2P24 Marial Shayok INDIANA PACERS R1P18 Goga Bitadze WASHINGTON WIZARDS R1P9 Rui Hatchimura R2P12 Admiral Schofield (from SAC via MIL, BKN and PHI) TORONTO RAPTORS R2P29 Dewan Hernandez MILWAUKEE BUCKS None WESTERN CONFERENCE DALLAS MAVERICKS R2P15 Isaiah Roby (from DET via OKC and BOS) DENVER NUGGETS R2P14 Bol Bol (from CHA via ATL and MIA) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS R1P28 Jordan Poole R2P9 Alen Smailagic (from NOP) R2P11 Eric Paschall (from LAL via IND, CLE and ATL) HOUSTON ROCKETS None MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES R1P6 Jarret Culver (via Phoenix Suns) R2P13 Jaylen Nowell (from MIA via CHA) LA CLIPPERS R1P27 Mfiondu Kabengele (from Denver Nuggets, via Brooklyn Nets) R2P18 Terrence Mann MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES R1P2 Ja Morant R1P21 Brandon Clarke (via Oklahoma City Thunder) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER R1P23 Darius Bazely LA LAKERS R2P16 Talen Horton-Tucker (from BKN via CHA, MEM, and ORL) NEW ORLEANS PELICANS R1P1 Zion Williamson R1P8 Jaxson Hayes (via Atlanta Hawks) R1P17 Nickel Alexander-Walker (from Brooklyn Nets via Atlanta Hawks) R2P5 Marcus Louzada Silva (from ATL) PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS R1P25 Nassir Little PHOENIX SUNS R1P11 Cameron Johnson (from Minnesota Timberwolves) R1P24 Ty Jerome (from Philadelphia 76ers via Boston Celtics) SAN ANTONIO SPURS R1P19 Luka Samanic R1P29 Keldon Johnson (from Toronto Raptors) R2P19 Quinndary Weatherspoon UTAH JAZZ R2P20 Jarrell Brantley (from IND) R2P23 Justin Wright-Foreman R2P28 Miye One (from GSW) SACRAMENTO KINGS R2P10 Justin James (from MIN via CLE and POR) R2P25 Kyle Guy (from HOU via NYK) R2P30 Vanja Marinkovic (from MIL).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2019

The ten most intriguing NBA free agents for 2019

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com We knew that the postseason would affect free agency. But the idea was that the success or failure of certain teams would affect what their free agents' thoughts about staying or leaving. Unfortunately, the last two games of The Finals brought devastating injuries to two of the three most coveted free agents on the market. Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the world, tore his Achilles in Game 5, just 12 minutes into his return from a calf injury. And Klay Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6. The two injuries will certainly have repercussions beyond the two players and the Golden State Warriors. Maybe they already have. With the Western Conference seemingly wide open next season, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly made a deal for Anthony Davis, sending a bevy of young players and future picks to New Orleans so they can team the 26-year-old star with 34-year-old LeBron James ... and maybe another star added in free agency. As always, the free agent market and the trade market are tied together. The pending Davis trade could affect the decisions of players and teams come July 1. And if teams miss out on the free agents they're seeking, they could always fill their cap space by making a trade. With all that in mind, the players listed below aren't necessarily the 10 best free agents (or potential free agents). They're the 10 (actually 12) most interesting in regard to where they're going and what kind of contract they get. For players to be on this list, there needs to be some intrigue regarding their (and/or their team's) decision this summer. That's why Thompson isn't included. 1. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto (Player option) Whether he leaves or not, trading for Leonard last summer was well worth it for the Raptors, who won their first championship, with Leonard averaging 30.5 points per game in the postseason. The Raptors' "load management" program (which limited Leonard to just 60 games in the regular season) clearly worked, and director of sports science Alex McKechnie should be seen as a major asset in the quest to keep Leonard in Toronto. There should be a "run-it-back" sentiment for the new champs, with Danny Green also a free agent and Marc Gasol holding a player option this summer. A short-term deal would make sense, unless Leonard is looking for long-term security, having missed almost all of the 2017-18 season with a leg injury. It's all up to Leonard, maybe the toughest player in the league to read. If he takes his two-way talent elsewhere, the Raptors may have to go in a new direction. Number to know: In the postseason, Leonard had a true shooting percentage of 69.1 percent, the highest mark for a player that averaged at least 30 points per game in the playoffs and won the championship. 2. Kevin Durant, Golden State (Player option) Durant's torn Achilles probably won't scare any team, including the Warriors, from paying him as much as possible. As deep and talented as this free agent class is, the top two guys on this list are in a class by themselves. Rumors have long had Durant ready to leave Golden State and even with his injury, he seems more likely than Thompson to find a new home. But an ESPN report had Thompson's father talking about "unfinished business" after overhearing a conversation between the two injured Warriors. Durant could always put free agency off for a year by exercising his player option and remaining on the Warriors' payroll through his rehab. Number to know: Durant was the first player in NBA history to average 30 points per game in at least 10 playoff games while shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line. 3. Kyrie Irving, Boston The disappointment of the Celtics' season, along with Irving's questionable leadership with a group that underachieved, has taken some of the shine off his star. Irving's injury history also must be taken into consideration. But talent is the most important thing in this league and Irving is one of its most talented players. He's still just 27-years-old and he can still get buckets when buckets are needed. A return to Boston appears far less likely than it did six months ago (especially with Davis being traded elsewhere) and there have been a lot of signals that Irving is bound for Brooklyn. Number to know: In the regular season, Irving had an effective field goal percentage of 56.1 percent with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, the second-best mark among player with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 4. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, Philadelphia The Sixers lost to the eventual NBA champions on a Game 7 buzzer-beater that bounced on the rim four times before falling through. They're right there. But their starting lineup, which outscored its opponents by more than 21 points per 100 possessions in 334 total minutes (regular season and playoffs), includes three free agents. In regard to future assets, the Sixers didn't give up as much for Butler as they did for Harris. And of course, Butler has more baggage in regard to accepting his role. But, with his defense and his ability to get his own shot, he's is the most important of the three. Harris struggled a bit in the conference semifinals against Toronto and is the least important of the Sixers' three free-agent starters; J.J. Redick's shooting was clearly more critical in the postseason. But Harris isn't easily replaceable and he appears to be the most likely to leave, with a lot of teams looking for versatile forwards. Number to know: In the regular season, Harris shot 41.3 percent on pull-up three-pointers, the second-best mark among 69 players who attempted at least 100. 5. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Walker has expressed some level of loyalty to the Hornets. But immediately after the Davis trade was agreed to, there was a report that Walker would be a "top target" of the Lakers with their cap space. Walker would be an ideal offensive complement to James and Davis, in that he can play off the ball (though he shot less than 35 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers last season) and take some of the playmaking burden off of James' shoulders. The Hornets, meanwhile, would likely have a tough time upgrading their roster around Walker, with Nicolas Batum, Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller all under contract next season for a total of $85 million. Number to know: Walker led the league with 126 field goal attempts with the score within five points in the last five minutes. That was 43 percent of the Hornets' total (295). His effective field goal percentage on those shots (49.6 percent) ranked 15th among 45 players with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 6. D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn (Restricted) A finalist for the Most Improved award, Russell took a big step forward this season, both in regard to his production and his maturity. He earned himself an All-Star appearance and helped the Nets reach the playoffs with a 14-win increase from last season. He's only 23-years-old and is one of the league's most flammable shooters. But because he doesn't get to the basket or the free throw line very often, Russell is neither all that efficient (his true shooting percentage of 53.3 percent ranked 66th among 94 guards with at least 500 field goal attempts) nor consistent, and he struggled (shooting 36 percent) in Brooklyn's first-round loss to Philadelphia. If the Nets are targeting another ball-handler in free agency (with Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie already under contract), they'll probably let Russell head elsewhere. Number to know: In the regular season, Russell ranked second with 11.4 pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game. He scored 0.89 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the 26th best mark among 44 players that averaged at least five ball-handler possessions. 7. DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney, Golden State Cousins hadn't made it back to 100 percent from his Achilles tear before he suffered a torn quad in his second career playoff game. He made it back for The Finals from that injury and showed flashes of his old self with 14 important points in the Warriors' Game 5 win and a big bucket in the final minute of Game 6. But he also struggled on both ends of the floor at times, and the Warriors were outscored with him on the floor in seven of his eight playoff games. Now he goes back on the free agent market with teams still not sure of what they're getting. Looney is an unrestricted free agent at 23-years-old, and he was the Warriors' most important center this season. The Western Conference champs have Looney's Bird rights, but they could also be spending a lot of money to retain Durant and Thompson (and possibly extend Draymond Green). Another team might have a larger role and more money for an improving young big. Number to know: In the regular season, the Warriors' lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Looney scored 121.5 points per 100 possessions and outscored opponents by 18.7 per 100. Those were the best marks for points scored and point differential per 100 possessions among 40 league-wide lineups that played at least 200 minutes together. 8. Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee (Restricted) The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the league through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. But, with four of their top eight players being free agents (or potential free agents) this summer, they have a lot of work to do if they want to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo surrounded by players who can get it done on both ends of the floor. Brogdon, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are the three key pieces. They're all due a pay raise and they all belong on this list. Brogdon is the restricted free agent, but he's also the youngest of the three (he'll be 27 in December) and the one that could be projected into a larger role on another team. Number to know: Brogdon shot 47.5 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, the third-best mark among 223 players who attempted at least 100. 9. Julius Randle, New Orleans (Player option) After five years in the league, Randle is still just 24-years-old. So he's not necessarily a bad fit for David Griffin's plans for the future in New Orleans. But the Pelicans might not be ready to commit the money Randle is seeking (should he opt out of the final year of his contract) after averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game. Defense remains an issue, but Randle has expanded his offensive skill set; he was a respectable 34.4 percent from three-point range this season, taking 18 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (up from six percent over his three previous full seasons). Number to know: Randle averaged 13.2 points in the paint per game, seventh most in the league, and he made more three-pointers (67) than all but one of the six players in front of him. 10. Ricky Rubio, Utah According to Rubio himself, he's not Utah's top priority in free agency. He remains a good defender and one of the league's best passers, but the Jazz need to get more potent offensively if they're going to take the next step. At 31.1 percent, Rubio ranked 153rd in three-point percentage among 163 players with at least 200 attempts. There could be as many as 10 teams (not including the Jazz) in need of a starting point guard this summer, and Rubio could have more value on a team more in need of a distributor. Number to know: The Jazz were 5.8 points per 100 possessions better offensively with both Rubio and Donovan Mitchell on the floor (scoring 110.4 per 100) than they were with Mitchell on the floor without Rubio (104.6). 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 NewsJun 17th, 2019

Injury-riddled Warriors vow: ‘We’ll be back’ atop NBA

OAKLAND, United States: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green vow the Golden State Warriors will remain championship contenders despite their NBA Finals loss to Toronto and major injuries to stars Klay…READ The post Injury-riddled Warriors vow: ‘We’ll be back’ atop NBA appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 15th, 2019