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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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 20th, 2019Related News

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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 8th, 2019Related News

Ben Simmons withdraws from Australia exhibition games

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — NBA star Ben Simmons has withdrawn from the Australia basketball team which will play exhibition matches against Canada and the United States at home next month. Simmons had already made himself unavailable for the FIBA World Cup starting Aug. 31 in China, choosing to prepare for the next NBA season after signing a US$170 million, five-year contract with the Philidelphia 76ers. In a statement Sunday Simmons said he still hopes to play for Australia at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Simmons said he made the decision to withdraw from Australia’s matches against Canada in Perth on Aug. 16 and 17 and the United States in Melbourne on Aug. 22 and 24 after speaking to Australia coach Andrej Lemanis. “After talking with coach Andrej, we both agreed it was better for me to not participate in this year’s 2019 World Cup and exhibition games,” he said. “With our focus being to win a medal at the 2020 Olympics, the Boomers’ preparation in the lead up to the world championships is of the utmost importance and me not playing allows the team to create the chemistry they need to compete at the highest level and qualify for the Olympics. “I want to thank Basketball Australia for their continued support and I’m committed and excited to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

Christmas putting quiet PBA debut behind as Ginebra awaits in playoffs

MANILA, Philippines – Rakeem Christmas admitted his PBA debut for Magnolia that ended in a lopsided loss to TNT was far from what he wanted for himself. The former NBA player, who played for the Indiana Pacers for two years, was limited to 8 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Player Movement: What teams have gained, lost this offseason

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com There's still a lot of work to be done before rosters are set for the 2019-20 season. Some teams (Charlotte, Utah) still have roster spots to fill. Other teams (Memphis, Washington) still have some roster trimming to do. There are about 25 two-way-contract slots that can be filled around the league. And it's certainly possible that players like Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala will be traded a second time before the end of the summer. But it's already been a season of change. At the start of training camp last September, 15 of the league's 30 teams rostered players who played at least 75 percent of the team's minutes in the previous season (2017-18). Right now -- midway through July -- only four teams are set to bring back players who played at least 75 percent of last season's minutes. Continuity Not every team has made big changes. The Denver Nuggets are set to return at least 12 of the 18 guys that played for them last season (the status of two-way, restricted free agent Brandon Goodwin is still in the air), along with Michael Porter Jr., who was with the team all season. The only players that have left the Nuggets -- Tyler Lydon, Trey Lyles and Isaiah Thomas -- played a total of eight minutes in the playoffs. Over the last three years, there has been a correlation between summer continuity and win increase the following season. But the correlation has been small. During that span, 33 teams have brought at least 75 percent of the previous season's minutes back, and only 15 of those 33 increased their win total. The highest individual return percentage of the stretch belonged to last season's Miami Heat, who brought back 97 percent of their minutes from 2017-18 ... and proceeded to win five fewer games. This summer, the two biggest winners in free agency -- the Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers -- rank 24th and 26th, respectively, by this measure (as of Wednesday morning). And while the Nuggets have a young core that can improve on its second-place finish in the West, the Orlando Magic are bringing back an ensemble that won just 42 games in the Eastern Conference, and the San Antonio Spurs have an older group that was ousted by Denver in the first round, albeit in seven games. Gained and lost math Going forward, we'll be talking about totals gained or lost this summer. These were accumulated by non-rookies for any team last season. For example, in calculating the minutes that Indiana lost (and Milwaukee gained) with Wesley Matthews' departure, we're using all 2,091 minutes that Matthews played for Dallas and Indiana last season. That way, it's a more realistic measure of total production coming in and going out. In that regard, most teams have lost more '18-19 minutes than they've gained. In total, there are more than 230 players who were on rosters (with two-way contracts included) at the end of the season and are either on a new team (via free agency or trades) or remain unsigned. More than half of those players (about 120) have been replaced by other non-rookies. About 70 more have been replaced by rookies (including those on two-way contracts). As an example, here's the roster math for the Golden State Warriors: - LOST 11 non-rookies off their end-of-season roster - GAINED six non-rookies - ADDED three rookies - STILL HAVE one main roster spot and one two-way spot they can fill Minutes gained and lost The Warriors are one of 22 teams that have lost a group of players who played more minutes last season than the group of players that they've added. There are a few teams that have added a lot more '18-19 minutes to their roster. That group is led by the New York Knicks, who have added almost 12,000 '18-19 minutes while seeing almost 9,000 minutes exit. The Knicks have lost four guys - Mario Hezonja, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh - who played at least 1,000 minutes. They added seven, and all seven started at least 28 games last season. Of course, how many of those seven are difference makers is up for debate, as is the idea of whether the Knicks should have used at least some of their cap space to take on bad contracts -- often spiced up with future picks -- from other teams. The Nets lost as many players (6) who played at least 1,000 minutes last season as they gained. But they added four of the 31 2,000-minute players to have changed teams this summer, most notably in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Utah (3) is the only other team with more than two additions that played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The eight guys that Brooklyn brought in started a total of 363 games in '18-19, while the nine guys they lost started just 179. That's the biggest increase, with New York (+100) and Utah (+84) also seeing differentials of more than 82 games. The Sacramento Kings lost two guys that played at least 1,000 minutes last season, and one of those guys -- Alec Burks -- played only 127 minutes for the Kings. They added four 1,000-minute players, including two - Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph -- that played more than 2,000 minutes last season. As noted above, the Nuggets lead the league in continuity, bringing back all 10 guys that played more than 1,120 minutes for them last season. But they've also added Jerami Grant, who played 2,612 minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though they've added more players (11, including four rookies) than they've lost (nine) and need to trim their roster between now and opening night, the Washington Wizards are set to see the biggest discrepancy in regard to '18-19 minutes. They've lost more than 11,000 (with Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green and Tomas Satoransky accounting for more than half of that total) and added less than 5,000. The group of players that the Wizards lost also started 208 more '18-19 games than the players added -- the biggest discrepancy in that regard. The Charlotte Hornets not only lost more than 1,000 '18-19 minutes in their Kemba Walker-Terry Rozier swap, they also lost three other guys - Jeremy Lamb, Shelvin Mack and Tony Parker - who played more than 1,000 minutes last season. There's a general consensus that the Indiana Pacers are in the "winners" category this summer, adding Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren. But they also lost five guys (four of their five playoff starters plus Cory Joseph) to have played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The only other teams who lost more than two 2,000-minute players were the the Clippers (3), Oklahoma City Thunder (3) and Wizards (3). Still available Most '18-19 minutes among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 2,607 - Iman Shumpert - 1,481 - Wayne Selden - 1,439 - Jeremy Lin - 1,436 - Shaquille Harrison - 1,430 In regard to minutes played last season, the top 18 available free agents are all perimeter players (unless you want to count Jonas Jerebko as an interior guy). Among available non-perimeter players, Dante Cunningham (928), Cheick Diallo (896) and Zaza Pachulia (878) are the guys who played the most minutes last season. It's all about shooting Putting the ball in the basket is the most important thing in the NBA, and every team is always on the hunt for more shooting. But in regard to '18-19 3-pointers, half of the league (15 teams) has lost more than it's gained. There are a few teams to have seen big increases, however. The Knicks added Reggie Bullock (148-for-393, 37.7 percent), Marcus Morris (146-for-389, 37.5 percent) and Wayne Ellington (138-for-372, 37.1 percent), though creating open shots for those guys might be an issue. None of the six players that the Kings have lost made more than 61 3-pointers last season. Ariza (145) is the big gain in that regard, but they also added Dewayne Dedmon, a big man who shot 38 percent on 217 attempts from beyond the arc. On the other end of the spectrum, it's the Hornets that lost the most 3s, with Walker having ranked fifth in the league in total makes. The Atlanta Hawks ranked fourth in the percentage of their shots that were 3-pointers, but traded Taurean Prince (39 percent on 315 attempts), lost Dedmon, haven't re-signed Vince Carter (39 percent on 316 attempts) and swapped Kent Bazemore (32 percent; 300 attempts) for Evan Turner (21 percent; 52 attempts). The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, haven't really replaced two of the four guys who made more than 100 threes for them last season. Still available Most '18-19 3-pointers among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 162-for-465 (34.8 percent) - Kyle Korver - 138-for-348 (39.7 percent) - Vince Carter - 123-for-316 (38.9 percent) - Iman Shumpert - 95-for-273 (34.8 percent) - Lance Stephenson - 73-for-197 (37.1 percent) J.R. Smith, waived by the Cavs on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), made 143 threes (shooting 37.5 percent) in 2017-18, but played just 11 games last season. More notes - Eastern Conference - The Boston Celtics are one of three teams (Atlanta and Washington are the others) with a discrepancy of at least 300 between the steals + blocks registered by the non-rookies they've lost (503) and those registered by the non-rookies they've added (194). Swapping Al Horford (145 steals + blocks in 1,973 minutes) for Enes Kanter (58 in 1,639 minutes) obviously hurts. - The Chicago Bulls have seen the second biggest increase in 3-point percentage between the non-rookies they've added (36.9 percent) and the non-rookies they've lost (30.3 percent). Tomas Satoransky (39.5 percent on 162 attempts) was the big add in that regard. - The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team that hasn't added a single player (via free agency or trade) that played last season, though they still have to add at least one player to their main roster. The only players they've added are the three guys they selected in the first round of the Draft and another rookie (Dean Wade) on a two-way contract. - The Detroit Pistons have had eight non-rookies leave (five have found new NBA teams, three haven't been re-signed) and have added only four. But the four they've added -- Tim Frazier, Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell -- started the same number of games (60) and played just 11 more minutes in '18-19 as the eight that have left. They did add more scoring, with the four new guys having registered 436 more points than the eight guys on their way out. - As noted above, the Miami Heat led the league in continuity last summer, bringing back 97 percent of their minutes from '17-18. This year, with the retirement of Dwyane Wade and trades that sent Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside out, they're in the middle of the pack. In regard to out vs. in (Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard), they've lost total production, but have improved in regard to shooting and free throw rate. Only Denver, Brooklyn and Dallas have seen bigger increases in true shooting percentage from the non-rookies they've lost to the non-rookies they've added. - With the departure of Malcolm Brogdon, the Milwaukee Bucks lost some playmaking. Only the Magic (who didn't lose anybody from their playoff rotation) saw a bigger drop in in assist-turnover ratio from the non-rookies they lost (2.47) to the non-rookies they've gained (1.33). Tony Snell (traded to Detroit) had the fifth lowest turnover ratio (4.9 per 100 possessions) among 299 players that averaged at least 15 minutes in 40 games or more last season. - The Orlando Magic rank second in continuity, one of two teams (Dallas is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. But they've added one rotation piece by signing Al-Farouq Aminu, who represents the biggest jump in '18-19 rebounds between the non-rookies a team has added (610) and those they've lost or remain unsigned (195). The Magic were already a good rebounding team, ranking 11th in total rebounding percentage and third in defensive rebounding percentage last season. - The Philadelphia 76ers have seen the biggest discrepancy in '18-19 games played between the players they've lost (478) and the players they've added (223), though most of those lost games came from guys who weren't in their playoff rotation. More notes - Western Conference - The Dallas Mavericks have seen the second-biggest jump in effective field goal percentage (lower than only that of Denver) between the players they added (54.4 percent) and the players they've lost (47.3 percent) this summer. Swapping Trey Burke (48.2 percent) for Seth Curry (57.7 percent) goes a long way in that regard. The Mavs are also one of two teams (Orlando is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. - It remains to be seen how well James Harden and Russell Westbrook fit together and how much the Westbrook-for-Chris Paul swap hurts the Houston Rockets' defense. But we can say for certain that the Rockets got better in the rebounding department. - After ranking 28th in rebounding percentage (and 29th in defensive rebounding percentage) last season, they swapped Paul (who grabbed 7.0 percent of available boards while he was on the floor) for Westbrook (14.1 percent - highest among guards) and also added Tyson Chandler, who had a higher rebounding percentage (15.4 percent) than Nene (10.5 percent). - Good news for the team that ranked 29th in 3-point percentage last season: The non-rookies the Los Angeles Lakers have lost attempted 75 more 3-pointers than those they've gained. But the non-rookies they've gained made 34 more 3s than those they've lost. Among players that attempted at least 200 3-pointers last season and changed teams this season, Danny Green (45.5 percent) ranked first in 3-point percentage, while Quinn Cook (40.5 percent) ranked seventh. - The Memphis Grizzlies had a pretty motley rotation after making multiple trades at the deadline in February. And now they've seen the biggest roster more than any other team this summer, with 11 non-rookies leaving and nine coming in. They currently have guys that played for the Hawks, Warriors, Wolves, Pelicans, Suns, Raptors, Jazz and Wizards last season. - The six non-rookies that the Minnesota Timberwolves have added -- Jordan Bell, Treveon Graham, Jake Layman, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Tyrone Wallance -- averaged just 6.3 points per game last season. That's the lowest mark for players added among the 29 teams that have added at least one non-rookie this summer. - In regard to vets, the New Orleans Pelicans have swapped interior players for perimeter players. The (five) non-rookies that they've added had 360 fewer '18-19 field goals, but 127 more 3-pointers than the (10) non-rookies that they've lost. Chicago is the other team with a loss in '18-19 field goals (-38) and a gain in '18-19 3-pointers (+47). - The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen the most '18-19 points walk out the door, with the six guys they've lost having scored 5,619 points last season. One thing they definitely gained in the Westbrook-Paul trade (if they keep Paul) was mid-range shooting. Paul has shot 48.9 percent from mid-range the last five seasons, the second best mark (behind only that of Kevin Durant) among 55 players with at least 1,000 mid-range attempts over that time. Westbrook (37.5 percent) ranks 52nd among the 55. - The 10 non-rookies that have left the Phoenix Suns (five that have found new NBA teams and five that haven't) racked up a cumulative plus-minus of minus-1,709 last season. None of the 10 had a positive plus-minus. The five non-rookies that they've added -- Aron Baynes, Jevon Carter, Frank Kaminsky, Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric -- had a cumulative plus-minus of plus-257. That's the league's biggest differential between players in vs. players out. - The Portland Trail Blazers improved their shooting by swapping Turner for Bazemore and Aminu (34.3 percent on 280 3-point attempts) for Anthony Tolliver (37.7 percent on 215), but are one of four teams - Brooklyn, Indiana and the Lakers are the others - that have lost six players who played at least 1,000 minutes in '18-19. They've added four. - As noted above, the San Antonio Spurs are near the top of the league in regard to continuity. But they've seen the biggest increase in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) between the non-rookies that they've gained (0.335) and the players they've lost (0.181). The pair of vets that they've added (having ranked 24th in free throw rate last season) includes DeMarre Carroll (0.421), who ranked eighth in free throw rate among non-bigs with at least 500 field goal attempts last season. - The Utah Jazz rank 13th in the percentage of '18-19 minutes they're set to bring back, but are one of five teams that have added at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes and lost at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes (when we include unsigned free agents). They parted ways with four of the eight guys that played at least 1,000 minutes for them last season, but all five of their additions - Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley Jr., Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay - played at least 1,400 minutes. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Report: Ben Simmons doubtful for FIBA World Cup

NBA.com staff report Ben Simmons, who teased a run with Australia at the FIBA World Cup, has become "doubtful" to play in the upcoming tournament, per a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! The move will clear Simmons to prep fully for his upcoming season with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are expected to be a leading contender in the East. Their run to the conference semifinals last season ended in a Game 7 defeat on Kawhi Leonard's four-bounce buzzer-beater, and Jimmy Butler was ultimately swapped for Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade that cleared space for the acquisition of erstwhile rival Al Horford. Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup this summer, his agent Rich Paul tells ESPN. Simmons is more likely now to spend his full offseason preparing only for the Sixers season -- free of national team responsibilities. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2019 In 2018-19, Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists as a 6-foot-10 point guard, earning his first All-Star appearance after a Kia Rookie of the Year-winning campaign. Yet his lacking outside shot -- 0-for-17 from three-point range across two seasons -- limited his playmaking ability during the playoffs, and improving there provides the obvious lane for an even more significant leap heading into Year Three......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 15th, 2019Related News

Ben Simmons doubtful for Aussie World Cup campaign

      LOS ANGELES, USA – Philadelphia 76ers ace Ben Simmons is set to skip Australia's World Cup campaign in favor of preseason preparations, ESPN reported on Saturday, July 13. The Melbourne-born star's agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN he was "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup, which tips off ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 14th, 2019Related News

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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 13th, 2019Related News

Hachimura leads Wizards past Hawks in Summer League

By The Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Rui Hachimura scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half to help the Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 76-74 on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) in the NBA Summer League. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Selected ninth overall last month, the former Gonzaga star was 9-of-12 from the field with two three-pointers, nine rebounds and two blocks. He scored 10 points in the third quarter as Washington took a 52-51 lead. Garrison Mathews added 11 points for Washington (2-2), and Isaac Bonga had 10. Charles Brown led Atlanta (1-3) with 16 points. Tahjere McCall scored all 12 of his points in the first half. De’Andre Hunter, the No. 4 overall pick, did not play for the second straight game. ROCKETS 87, JAZZ 78 Chris Clemons, the national scoring leader last season at Campbell, had 19 points in Houston’s victory over Utah. Clemons and Zach Thomas each scored 11 points in the first half as Houston build a 51-38 lead. Houston (2-2) led by as many as 20 points in the second half. Thomas finished with 12 points, and Gary Clark and Johnathan Williams each had 13. Tony Bradley had 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks for Utah (2-2), and Willie Reed added 13 points. The Jazz has 21 turnovers. CLIPPERS 83, KINGS 80. Amir Coffey had 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Los Angeles beat Sacramento. Coffey’s driving layup with 12.5 seconds left capped the scoring, with Milton Doyle missing a layup at the other end and the Clippers running out the clock. Mfiondu Kabengele added 15 points, David Michineau had 14, Kaiser Gates 11 and Jerome Robinson 10 for Los Angeles (3-1). The Clippers shot just 29% in the first half and trailed by 10 points. Wenyen Gabriel led Sacramento (2-2) with 18 points. Kyle Guy made a steal and beat the third-quarter buzzer with his only three-pointer of the game to give Sacramento a 63-62 lead. RAPTORS 94, PACERS 79 Dewan Hernandez scored 18 points, Richard Solomon had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Toronto kept Indiana winless. Malcolm Miller and Terence Davis each added 16 points for Toronto (2-2). The Raptors had a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter for an 83-71 lead. Aaron Holiday led Indiana (0-4) with 23 points, but was just 6-of-26 from the field. Brian Bowen II added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Alize Johnson had 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Indiana star Victor Oladipo sat courtside. THUNDER 92, TRAIL BLAZERS 87 Kevin Hervey had a four-point possession late in the fourth quarter and scored 20 points in Oklahoma City’s victory over Portland. Hamidou Diallo and Deonte Burton each had 14 points, and Luguentz Dort added 12 for Oklahoma City (3-1). Hervey had 13 points in the first half, beating the buzzer from the paint to give the Thunder a 48-36 lead. Gary Trent Jr. had 22 points and eight rebounds for Portland (1-3). He shot 8-of-24, going 2-of-14 from three-point range. Portland center Hassan Whiteside, who was traded from the Miami Heat earlier this month, was in attendance. CELTICS 113, GRIZZLIES 87 Grant Williams scored 21 points, Robert Williams had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Boston handed Memphis its first loss. Boston, Detroit and Minnesota are the only undefeated teams — with four wins apiece. Seven-foot-6 Tacko Fall added 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Celtics. They led by 17 points at the break. Dusty Hannahs led Memphis (3-1) with 15 points. Grayson Allen was ejected with 9:12 remaining in the fourth quarter after a flagrant foul on Grant Williams......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 12th, 2019Related News

Al Horford signs with 76ers as Tobias Harris rejoins

    NEW YORK, USA – Five-time NBA All-Star center Al Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers as forward Tobias Harris rejoined the team on Wednesday, July 10 (Thursday, July 11, Philippine time) to complete deals that were revealed last week. The moves give the 76ers a powerhouse frontline, adding former Boston star ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 11th, 2019Related News

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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2019Related News

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 8

A look at top performers from Day 5 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 8 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Tyler Herro, Miami Heat A variety of players have kept the Heat perfect in Las Vegas, and on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) it was Herro's turn to step into that role. His textbook shooting form was on target all game as he scored 25 points with a pair of three-pointers and added seven rebounds and five assists. While his three-point shooting has been inconsistent, Herro has found ways to score in Summer League. Alize Johnson, Indiana Pacers Atlanta ran away with the win, but Johnson was a bright spot in Indiana's blowout loss. He finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), marking his second consecutive such game in Summer League. The Pacers have to be pleased with the offensive development their 2018 second-round pick is showing. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers Another day in Las Vegas, another 30-point game for Portland. Simons was electric against the Jazz, scoring 35 points (13-for-18 overall, 6-for-7 on three-pointers) while also contributing in other areas. Like most rookies a season ago, Simons struggled on defense. But he came up with two steals and showed some improvement on that end. Tony Bradley, Utah Jazz The second-year center has been a steady performer for the Jazz all summer and continued that against Portland. He came up clutch late with a pair of free throws to seal the win as he finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The Jazz could use some frontcourt depth and Bradley could be making his case for more minutes this season. Brandon Goodwin, Denver Nuggets The second-year guard was perhaps the sole reason Denver was in the game against Boston. Goodwin's strategy of calling his own number paid off often as he scored 28 points in all manner of ways. He was particularly aggressive attacking the rim, nailing a couple of nice buckets in the paint over the Celtics' 7'7" fan favorite, Tacko Fall. Carsen Edwards, Boston Celtics Scoring was Edwards' forte as a star at Purdue and he showcased those abilities off the bench against the Nuggets. He dropped 23 points -- and shot 5-for-7 on three-pointers -- and dazzled with his ballhandling, too. With Celtics boss Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens both watching at Cox Pavilion, Edwards showed out in a big way in the win. Chris Boucher & Malcolm Miller, Toronto Raptors Toronto has to be happy how its two young prospects fared win against the New York Knicks. Both of them had identical shooting performances (7-for-14) and both scored in double figures (19 for Miller; 23 for Boucher). Setting an aggressive tone for the Raptors, they combined for 15 rebounds while Boucher added two blocks. Chris Clemons, Houston Rockets An undrafted rookie, Clemons showed off the shooting touch that made him a solid player in college. In fact, he shot better from three-point range (6-for-11) than he did overall (6-for-15) against the Sacramento Kings. Houston's love of shooters is well known, and Clemons' showing with coach Mike D'Antoni in the Cox Pavilion crowd should help his cause......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2019Related News

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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 9th, 2019Related News

After earthquake, NBA Summer League resumes

By The Associated Press Tony Bradley had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Utah Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 78-68 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as NBA Summer League play resumed in Las Vegas one day after an earthquake in the area forced two games to be shortened and another to be canceled. The NBA Summer League games are being played at two venues — the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion at UNLV. The NBA said a survey was completed by two separate independent structural engineers on Saturday, which determined the facilities were safe. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! The overhead scoreboard at the Thomas & Mack Center swayed during the quake, which caused major concern about safety. The floor in the Cox arena sustained minor damage that was repaired. Bradley was 9-of-14 to lead the Jazz to a win at the Cox Pavilion. Justin Wright-Foreman and Miye Oni each had 14 points for the Jazz (1-0). Oklahoma City (0-1) was led by 20 points from Hamidou Diallo and 11 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Hervey. PISTONS 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 73 Over at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Detroit Pistons (2-0) got 18 points from Svi Mykhailiuk and 17 points and 10 assists from Bruce Brown in a lopsided win over the Portland Trail Blazers (0-1). The Pistons made 15 3-pointers. Portland was led by 15 points by Anfernee Simons and 13 from Devin Robinson. Rookie first-round draft pick Nassir Little struggled, finishing with two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 22 minutes. BUCKS 89, HAWKS 83 Bonzie Colson had 18 points and Jock Landale chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds as the Bucks (1-1) held off the Hawks. Milwaukee held Atlanta to 34-percent shooting from the floor. Jordan Sibert led the Hawks with 22 points. He was 4-of-14 from the field but made all 10 free throw attempts. Tahjere McCall added 16 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta (0-1), who only played eight players. CELTICS 96, 76ERS 82 Carsen Edwards had a standout debut in Las Vegas, scoring 20 points on five three-pointers as the Celtics pulled away from the 76ers. Edwards, the 33rd overall pick in the draft from Purdue, finished 7-of-17 from the field and added three steals. Grant Williams finished with 12 points and six rebounds in his debut for the Celtics, while the team’s other first-round pick Romeo Langford sat out with a thumb injury. Rookie Matisse Thybulle led the 76ers (1-1) with 15 points on four 3-pointers, while Zhaire Smith and Marial Shayok each had 14. NOTES: Several players who are expected to play in Las Vegas couldn’t join their new teams because their rights were traded at the June 20 draft in deals that were unofficial until Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Among those was KZ Okpala of the Miami Heat, who joined his new franchise for the first time Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) and is expected to make his Summer League debut on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Okpala watched Miami’s first four summer games on television and says he’s “just trying to stay ready.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 7th, 2019Related News

Kawhi Leonard: 10 things to know

NBA.com staff report Kawhi Leonard has quickly risen from unheralded prospect to global superstar during his eight-year NBA career. With his highly anticipated free agent decision made, here are 10 things to know about the two-time Finals MVP. * * * Raised In California: Kawhi Anthony Leonard was born on June 29, 1991, in Los Angeles, California. He was the youngest of five children with four older sisters. During his freshman year of high school, his mother was out of town for work during his team's basketball tryouts so he missed the session. He played football instead that season and didn't start playing basketball at Canyon Springs High School until his sophomore year. Mr. Basketball: He played his next two seasons at Riverside King, where he went on to win California's Mr. Basketball during his senior year. After the tragic death of his father in 2008, he scored 17 points the next night and broke down in his mother's arms after the game. "Basketball is my life, and I wanted to go out there and take my mind off it," he said postgame. Aztec Legend: Kawhi took his talents to nearby San Diego State University for his collegiate career. He was dominant in college, especially on defense, as he led the Aztecs to back-to-back Mountain West Conference tournament championships. His team reached the Sweet 16 before being eliminated by eventual NCAA Tournament champion UConn during his sophomore season. After the tournament, Kawhi declared his intention to enter the 2011 NBA Draft. Draft Night Deal: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called the decision to trade for Kawhi on Draft night the "toughest" decision he had to make during his 20-plus seasons in San Antonio. The decision was difficult because the Spurs had to part ways with valued young guard George Hill in the deal with the Indiana Pacers. But the move paid off for San Antonio as Kawhi quickly adjusted to the NBA game and showed flashes of star potential. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting and earned a spot on the 2012 All-Rookie First Team. Mr. Economical: Despite his early success, Kawhi didn't let his first NBA paychecks steer him away from his frugal ways. During his first few seasons in the NBA, he continued to drive the same Chevy Malibu he drove in college. "It's paid off," he said in 2004. "I don't have a car note on it. It's good on gas. It's a good commuter car if you don't want to drive your luxury car." His friends and family eventually convinced him to buy a Porsche, which he would only drive on gamedays. Daily Grind: Kawhi quickly earned a reputation in San Antonio for his work ethic as he trained alongside legendary Spurs players Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Longtime Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland helped Kawhi perfect his shooting form by having him study the forms of Kobe Bryant and Richard Jefferson. Breakthrough Moment: The hard work paid off for Kawhi as he continued to blossom on the title-contending Spurs. After losing to the Miami Heat in seven games during the 2013 Finals, the Spurs returned to The Finals in 2014 and avenged their defeat with a 4-1 series win over Miami. Kawhi was key for San Antonio with averages of 17.8 points on 61.2 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks. At age 22, Kawhi became the third youngest player in NBA history to win Finals MVP and the youngest since Magic Johnson in 1980. Out Of The Spotlight: His rise to fame during the 2014 Finals didn't change his day-to-day mindset. According to Engelland in 2017, "He hasn’t been tricked by any of the NBA glamour or bright lights, big city. A lot of smart, great players have been. You get lost and forget the process, forget why you began to play. With him, it’s like, ‘What’d you do last night?’ ‘Watched a little TV. I was with friends. My mom cooked dinner.’ Those are very common nights for him.” Derailed By Injury: The two-time Defensive Player of the Year enjoyed a relatively injury-free start to his career with the Spurs. But everything changed when he re-aggravated an ankle injury during Game 1 of the 2017 West finals. The injury, and subsequent recovery, forced Kawhi to miss the remainder of the series and all but 9 games during 2017-18. After the season, Kawhi expressed his desire to be traded by the Spurs. He was dealt to the Toronto Raptors on July 18, 2018. Legendary Company: It was a storybook season for Kawhi and the Raptors as he led Toronto to their first NBA championship in franchise history. Kawhi was unstoppable throughout the playoffs with clutch play after play, including an instantly iconic series-winner in the East semifinals. He joined LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to win Finals MVP with two different teams......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 6th, 2019Related News

China, Croatia fall in NBA summer league debuts

By Steve Reed, Associated Press The Chinese and Croatian national teams both lost in their NBA Summer League debuts on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Both teams are competing with NBA teams in Las Vegas, marking the first time the league will feature two international teams. China previously played in the summer league in 2007. The Miami Heat had no troubles with China, jumping out to a 34-point halftime lead and cruising to a 103-62 victory behind 23 points from Tyler Herro and 20 points from Nick Mayo. Miami held China to 26.7 percent shooting in the first half, and outrebounded the Chinese 25-15 before intermission. Kendrick Nunn added 15 points and Duncan Robinson 14 for Miami (1-0). Zhelin Wang had 12 points and 14 rebounds for China (0-1), which shot just 23 percent from 3-point range. Detroit (1-0) got seven three-pointers and 26 points from Khyri Thomas and pulled away from Croatia in the fourth quarter for a 96-80 win. Svi Mykhailiuk from Ukraine added 17 points and five assists, and Todd Withers had 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting for the Pistons. Croatia (0-1) was outrebounded 37-26. 76ERS 107, BUCKS 106 The 76ers (1-0) jumped out to 17-point lead at halftime and held on to beat the Bucks behind 19 points from Marial Shayok and 16 from Jalen Jones. Christ Koumadje had 11 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks in 14 minutes, an encouraging start for the 76ers’ 7'4" rookie center from Florida State. The Bucks (0-1) got 25 points and 10 rebounds from Jock Landale, and Bonzie Colson chipped in with 22 points. Division II player of the year Daulton Hommes led the Bucks’ fourth-quarter comeback, as the former Point Loma star scored 18 points of 6-of-8 shooting off the bench. But two late turnovers by the Bucks sealed their fate. TIMBERWOLVES 85, CAVALIERS 75 Keita Bates-Diop scored 17 points and Kelan Murphy had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves (1-0). Josh Okogie added 14 points, making all 10 free throw attempts. Jarrett Culver, whose draft rights were acquired by Minnesota in a trade, isn’t allowed to join the team until after Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) when the trade is made official. Dylan Windler, one of three first-round 2019 draft picks for the Cavaliers (0-1) on the roster, was 6 of 13 from the floor and had 15 points and eight rebounds. Cleveland’s other two first-round picks, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., did not play while recovering from injuries. Naz Mitrou-Long had 14 points for Cleveland (0-1)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 6th, 2019Related News

Report: Neto joining 76ers for veteran s minimum

NBA.com staff report Point guard Raul Neto has agreed to sign with the 76ers for the veteran's minimum, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported. Free agent guard Raul Neto is signing a one-year, guaranteed veteran's minimum deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 4, 2019 Neto has averaged 4.8 points and 1.9 assists over four NBA seasons, all with the Jazz......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 4th, 2019Related News

Summer of 2020 takes on added importance for Bucks

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com As important as the 2019-20 season and postseason are to the Milwaukee Bucks, in proving to themselves and to the basketball world they can take that next step (Finals) or two (championship), they pale next to the significance of the summer of 2020. That’s when Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s newly minted Kia Most Valuable Player, can sign a “supermax” contract extension worth approximately $254 million over five years. Or not. And the “or not” might have gotten a nudge on the first day of 2019 free agency Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Bucks were in a tough situation as it was, with three free agents among the top five players from last season’s 60-22 team. Keeping all of them – wing Khris Middleton, center Brook Lopez and guard Malcolm Brogdon – was going to be a challenge, financially and realistically, given how much demand was outstripping supply in the marketplace (nearly $500 million in available cap space plus exceptions burning holes in 30 teams’ pockets). Milwaukee started scrambling in the days heading toward June 30 (July 1, PHL time) by moving or trying to move pieces such as Tony Snell, George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova for payroll and roster flexibility. Snell’s contract was traded to Detroit along with the No. 30 pick in the 2019 Draft, Hill was waived and Ilyasova essentially was sitting at the curb with a “Free” sign on him and his $7 million salary. It wasn’t enough. The free agent-palooza started well enough for the Bucks when reports leaked early that Lopez would be retained on a four-year, $52 million deal. Frankly, that’s a bargain -- $55 million over five years – if you add Lopez’s 2019-20 salary of $3.4 million, a ridiculously low rate for what wound up as a career-redefining season for the veteran big man. After taking a mere 0.5 percent of his 6,826 field goal attempts from 3-point range through his first eight seasons, Lopez let fly 65 percent of his shots from beyond the arc in his 11th. In hard numbers, that’s 31 attempts over eight years compared to 512 in 81 appearances for the Bucks. Factor in Lopez’s underrated defense and rim protection, and his free-spirit calm in the locker room, and he ranked arguably as the Bucks’ next most valuable player after Antetokounmpo. Soon thereafter, Milwaukee’s next move was reported: Middleton re-upping on an enormous five-year, $178 deal. The soft-spoken 6-foot-7 was named an East All-Star reserve en route to averaging 18.3 points and shifting even more of his offensive game to 3-point territory. But Middleton’s greatest leverage was being viewed as the Bucks’ No. 2 player overall and Antetokounmpo’s Scottie Pippen (relatively) for the past six seasons. And hey, his contract represents a $12 million discount from the $190 million “max” Middleton could have demanded. As it is, starting at an estimated $30.6 million salary, he’ll be getting about $5 million more than Antetokounmpo both this season and next. So two done and one … not done. Not done at all. Just when it appeared the Bucks would take care of their most pressing free-agency issues, the news came: Brogdon to Indiana on an $85 million deal over four seasons. In a sign-and-trade, which meant Milwaukee facilitated the restricted free agent’s departure, rather than match the Pacers’ offer and keep him. Brogdon’s value last season, to a team that got within two victories of The Finals, was evident analytically and by most eye tests. He became only the eighth shooter in NBA history to hit 50 percent of his shots overall, 40 percent of 3s and 90 percent of his free throws. He also showed an uncanny ability to take over for minutes at a time when the Bucks were desperate to generate offense. Brogdon’s threat as shooter enabled him to attack the rim at a high percentage, stopping opponents’ runs or sparking them for his side. Brogdon’s relationship with the Bucks seemed to get strained two years ago, when his reward for being named an unlikely Kia NBA Rookie of the Year was 20 bench appearances in the team’s first 37 games. Here Brogdon had won the award over the likes of Dario Saric, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray and Jaylen Brown (Joel Embiid only made 31 appearances in 2016-17), yet his role was unclear once Phoenix made Eric Bledsoe available and Milwaukee pounced. Bledsoe pre-empting his own free agency by signing a four-year, $70 million deal with the Bucks raised questions about Brogdon’s spot in their pecking order again. So too, it appears, did Milwaukee nailing down the East’s No. 1 seed, then going 7-1 in the first two playoff rounds while Brogdon nursed a plantar fascia foot injury from mid-March into May. All of a sudden Brogdon’s deal was looking like the one to blame for pushing Milwaukee’s payroll up, up, up into luxury-tax range. And so he was sacrificed to Indiana, an Eastern Conference rival, for a reported first-round draft pick and a couple second-rounders, protections and years still not known. Bucks GM Jon Horst made a nice save in pulling back Hill from the free-agent pool, to the tune of a three-year, $29 million deal. But losing Brogdon was a considerable step backward for a team determined to go forward. Shedding Snell and having Nikola Mirotic head off to the Euroleague to play in Barcelona doesn’t help. As for the draft picks from Indiana and the $12 million trade exception the Bucks might have gained in the trade, the former are out of sync with the team’s life cycle – namely, Antetokounmpo’s ambitions and contract status – and the latter only matters if it’s used smartly. Everything Milwaukee does – has done, actually, since those four staggered defeats against Toronto in the conference finals – has to be about giving Antetokounmpo reasons to stay. That means improving, that means winning, that means at least being in the building when the championship is decided next June. The clock is ticking. The social media vultures will be circling for "The Greek Freak" soon. There is only one way to fend them off, and a part of that now will be playing for the Pacers. Horst, 2019 NBA Executive of the Year, and Mike Budenholzer, NBA Coach of the Year, might need to repeat if they and their team are going to chase the trophies – the Larry and the Giannis – that matter most. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 2nd, 2019Related News

Horford, Richardson give 76ers new look

Horford signed on for four years, Tobias Harris agreed to a five-year contract, key reserve Mike Scott has a new deal and Josh Richardson is a solid consolation prize in the Butler deal......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJul 2nd, 2019Related News

76ers reportedly land O Quinn

NBA.com staff report Philadelphia is making another addition to its frontcourt. The 76ers are reportedly signing forward Kyle O'Quinn to a one-year, veteran minimum deal, per multiple reports. O'Quinn will be on a one year minimum deal. In other Sixers news, they have renounced the rights to Anzejs Pasceniks, as @sam_amick first reported. Pasceniks and his agent expressed interest in making move to NBA, which would have forced Sixers to tender contract. — Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 2, 2019 Kyle 0’Quinn’s one-year deal w/ the #Sixers will be for $2.1 million. — Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) July 2, 2019 Just 24 hours earlier Philadelphia reportedly reached an agreement with Al Horford, pairing the veteran forward with center Joel Embiid to create arguably the best big-man tandem in the league. O'Quinn played in 45 games last season for the Pacers, averaging 3.5 points and 2.6 rebounds......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 2nd, 2019Related News