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Bucks , Grizzlies Brandon Jennings flirts with a triple-double in his return . NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies made his '18 season debut and played his first game in a Bucks uniform since Summary and statistics for the NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat. Blazers flirt with NBA history by scoring league-high against 76ers PUBLISHED: December 15, at am | UPDATED: April 28, at am.
They blew a five-point fourth quarter lead. They blew multiple chances to win it in regulation and they blew a chance to win it in overtime. The Cavaliers knew it too.
They knew that with a barely hour turnaround since closing out the Pacers on Sunday, with LeBron James cramping up down the stretch of that game and unable to get on the floor for practice or shootaround, they were in tough in Game 1 against Toronto.
We got some great looks. We had a lot shots point-blank at the rim that were in and out. We had two great looks from three. We could name countless things. They could start with making shots. They were 8-of in the fourth quarter and overtime and 1-of-8 from three in the guts of the game. The Cavaliers never held a lead in regulation and trailed by 14 in the second quarter and by 13 with 5: But they were able to reel the Raptors in after their offence died a withering death after the Cavs went to a bigger lineup to counter Jonas Valanciunaswho was clubbing them when they went small with Kevin Love at centre.
For most of three quarters the Raptors won that matchup — the Lithuanian big man had 21 points and 21 rebounds — but misfired down the stretch as he shot just 1-of-7 in the fourth quarter, failing to convert several bunnies and short shots in the lane.
But even with that the Raptors seemed poised to survive. They were up four with 1: And James hardly seemed poised to play the hero. Green didn't have a Jeremy Lin sized impact — who else could — but he proved to be a solid pro-level contributor for the New Jersey Nets and he was responsible for the No1 non-Blake Griffin Dunk of the Year. So, if the Pacers' luck turns and they start suffering a lot more injuries, there's a feelgood story to follow.
A feelgood story with dunks. Okay, there are other questions to ask about the Chicago Bullsbut that's the key one, isn't it? The other key questions are: When he returns this season if he returns this season what will the Bulls be playing for? Will he be anything approximating the Derrick Rose of old?
2013 NBA draft
Will he ever be as good as he was before he tore his ACL? For most of the season, Rose will be the post-structuralist critic's dream, the presence notable for its absence. You know, like Charlie in Charlie's Angels.
Except with really cool shoes. So, assuming that Rose is out for most of the season, and won't fully be himself when he does return, head coach Tom Thibodeau will have an opportunity to live up to his budding reputation as a basketball genius. Luckily, the Bulls are gifted with a few pretty great players, most notably Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Now, now it's a team whose championship hopes are resting on Rose's uncertain legs.
NBA draft - Wikipedia
Ellis will be a lock to bring a bit of Warriors basketball to the Bucks: Ellis joins Brandon Jennings as the core of the Bucks, which is a fairly underwhelming duo by any standard. This is probably why the folks at the indispensable basketball blog " Ball Don't Lie " have noted that the Bucks are getting just one nationally televised game this season.
That's the kind of television schedule that a. This prediction, to say the least, seems rather unlikely to come to pass without some sort of loophole involving either time travel or the multiple-worlds theory of the universe. The Heat won it all a few months ago, the Cavaliers are still years away from the postseason.
The Cavaliers are again all about one player — this time around it's sophomore guard Kyrie Irving who isn't LeBron but did almost single-handedly revive Cleveland's interest in hoops last season. Kyrie Irving, absolutely the best basketball player to have a Mister Mister song named after himwas an absolute beast last year and if he's able to make a second-year jump the Cavs could be at least a spoiler in the East.
The Cavs got some help for Irving, drafting Dion Waiters to be his wingman. Waiters was drafted too high, probably, but the Cavs obviously think that Irving and Waiters will work together well. They won't work well enough to make the Comic Sans Guarantee look any less ridiculous, but well enough to get them knocking on the doors of respectability.
Well Okay, big man Greg Monroe's development should be fun to watch, not to mention watching Andre Drummond who fell to No8 in the draft play his rookie year. Of course, there's the concert that the Pistons have not committed themselves to playing Drummond significant minutes and would rather play also-rans and never-will-be's instead.
The other thing that Detroit has is that, well There's no way to spin this one, folks: This season, Detroit will just be bad. Southeast 1 Miami Heat So, did the Heat do anything interesting last year?
The strangest thing happened to the Heat on their way to their first post-Decision championship: LeBron James's "inability to come through in the clutch" was dissected to the point where former haters were rooting for him to finally win a ring, just to quiet the Skip Baylesses of the world.
Dwyane Wade was clearly playing so injured that it seemed legitimate to speculate that years of playing the game hard were catching up with him for good.
Chris Bosh was trying to return, probably too early, from an abdominal injury and dealing with nonstop ridicule that painted him as an effeminate third wheel. Head coach Erik Spoelstra seemed to be just holding a clipboard until the inevitable return of Pat Riley, Mario Chalmers was a Saturday Night Live punchline and the bench was mostly bargain-basement scrubs and completely broken three-point shooters. Despite getting some key plays from some of their bench guys during the Finals, most notably when Mike Miller went three-pointer crazy in the season-clinching Game 5, Miami upgraded the bench by bringing in Boston's Ray Allen and New Orleans's Rashard Lewis.
Everybody knows their roles now, mainly because the last few months have established that this is very much LeBron James's team. He's pretty much the best basketball player in the known universe, a dominant force even in the fourth quarters of games and seems as unstoppable as Mike Tyson in the old Nintendo Punch Out game.
He is scary good right now, and so is his team. The question isn't whether or not the Heat are the Goliath of the Eastern Conference. No, the question is whether or not there are any Davids that could prevent them from reaching the Finals for the third straight year.
Don't bet on it. It says something about how finance-savvy modern sports fans are that a perennial playoff team could trade away its best and most high-profile player and that the fan response would be almost universal praise.
Or maybe the Joe Johnson contract was just so bad that it was impossible to defend. Beyond that addition by subtraction, and the wise acquisition of Lou Williams formerly of the 76ers as a cheap Johnson replacement, the best thing to happen for the Hawks is that they could get knock on wood a full season of a healthy Al Horford.
Horford returned to the lineup last postseason and immediately made an impact in their series against the Celtics.
The big-man duo of Horford and Josh Smith will make the Hawks a dangerous team during the regular season. That's the regular season though — could this Atlanta Hawks team get deep in the playoffs? The one thing not in their favor is that they're a pro sports team in Atlanta — just ask Bobby Cox or Matt Ryan how difficult that is in that city.
No wonder they exiled first-round elimination magnet Tracy McGrady to China. There's enough bad juju working against them.
Okay, SI made them share time with Baltimore, but still. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III got injured, the Washington Nationals suffered a 9th-inning collapse in the fifth game of the National League Division Series and, most notably for our purposes, Washington Wizards guard John Wall suffered a knee injury that ensured he wouldn't be returning until November.
Many recent Wizards moves have just been about dumping the malcontent and the mistake-prone Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee, Nick Youngin the hopes of building around the developing Wall. Washington's initial dilemma was figuring out what kind of team can you build around Wall, but that concern has morphed into whether or not Wall is the kind of player you can build around.
In any case, Wall's absence gives the Wizards no choice but to play players like Nene, Trevor Ariza and third-round draft pick Bradley Beal and see what else they have. Who knows, maybe some currently unknown player will step up like Jeremy Lin did last year and make fans almost dread Wall's return to the lineup.
It's far more likely, however, that Washington fans will do everything short of sacrificing small animals in a desperate attempt to hasten his return.
In a desperate attempt to keep their star player, his bags already packed, the Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and even made overtures to hire Shaquille O'Neal as GM.
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These last-minute gestures failed to sway Basketball Hamlet, so the Magic sent him to the Lakers in a trade that also involved the Nuggets and the 76ers.
What was the haul of goodies that the Magic got for trading away the best center in the league? What does that mean for Orlando? Every other team received proven commodities; the Magic got the basketball talent equivalent of "what's behind door No3". They traded their unhappy franchise player, the center who made their team relevant again, for a handful of Somewhere Shaq is laughing, and by somewhere I mean "inexplicably on television still".
So, chances are that this season has to be a little bit better. Well, the Bobcats did get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second pick and they did pick up a veteran free agent in the offseason.
NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat | posavski-obzor.info
Since I don't know what Ben Gordon will provide, I'll say what teams say whenever they pick up older players for no reason. Gordon will provide "veteran leadership". Listen, the Bobcats won't have the worst season in basketball history again.
Maybe they will catch a break and won't even be the worst team in the league.
Philadelphia seems like the team most likely to jump past them. Keep in mind I could have picked the Celtics, the Pacers, the Hawks or a revived, Derrick Rose-led Bulls team here and it would have made no difference. The Heat are going to win the Eastern Conference. Western Conference Northwest 1 Oklahoma City Thunder Their last few games they played didn't turn out as they planned, but the former Seattle Supersonics had their best year ever.
They could be even better this year. Plus, Serge Ibaka played for Spain and hey, with Dwight Howard in the Western Conference, Kendrick Perkins is now actually useful, considering his history of neutralizing the most dominant center in the game. Oh yes, this does mean a return of Nick Collison, Undercover Baller.
My draft summary of the Thunder's offseason discussed whether or not the Thunder could be a potential new dynasty if they managed to keep hold of James Harden. The Thunder, as any major Trail Blazers fan would tell you, have done well with their draft picks in the past, and considering that Harden was likely to get paid more than he was worth although not in comparison with, say, a Kendrick Perkins the payroll flexibility may help them in the long run.
Still, it's curious considering that this was a team that was just in the NBA Finals. It could be argued that, for this season at least, the Lakers were a bigger beneficiary of this trade than any of the teams involved 2 Denver Nuggets The Dwight Howard Trade made the Lakers the favorites to win the West, but it also helped out a team that could be standing in their way.
It didn't get as much press, but Andre Iguodala might have more impact on his new team than Howard on his. He's not a Proven Center, that near-mythical beast, like Howard or Andrew Bynum, but Iguodala is a great all-around player, someone who managed to be an underrated Olympic champion.
He's the exact right guy to lead a Nuggets team that many experts think is just behind the Thunder and the Lakers in the West. Even without Iguodala, the Human Lowlight Reel had an incredible postseason run where he almost single-handedly brought down the Lakers.
If the Nuggets can get the most out of the talented seven-footer, meaning less saluting and fewer bone-headed plays, then they might have the core of an amazing team here, even a team that could reach the finals, with a little luck.
You can look it up on the internet, although I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to check Snopes first. The Jazz were the last team to get in the playoffs and the first team to get bounced. That result seems believable; the Jazz repeating those results this season also seems believable. What else is going on for this team? Well, Al Jefferson is an interesting player to watch — he's better than you think he is and he will be a solid rotation player on a major franchise sooner rather than later.
It should be another decent season, but keep in mind that "another decent season" is the ceiling for this franchise as currently constituted. Maybe they could try to increase their future playoff chances, or at least public visibility, by finally dumping the Jazz monicker and getting a more appropriate name.
Love is expected to be gone for six to eight weeks after he broke his hand doing knuckle pushups. No seriously, that's how he broke it. This wouldn't be such bad news if Minnesota's second best-player, Ricky Rubio, and his reality-bending passing abilitywasn't out with an ACL injury for good portion of the season.
Together, they would have made the Timberwolves a serious playoff threat, especially with an improved supporting cast that includes a suddenly unretired Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko. Now, they're just another mediocre Western Conference team. Maybe not all is lost in Minnesota after all what with the Don't expect Portland to make a huge jump this year, which seems set to be a water treading one of mere existence. There is maybe a sign or two that the franchise is about to change: Now that the Trail Blazers are officially without Oden, as well as the un-retired Brandon Roy, they can try to find a new identity, theoretically with LaMarcus Aldrirdge at its core.
Unfortunately, searching for a new identity makes a really great s independent movie — not a thrilling basketball season. Pacific 1 Los Angeles Lakers The Lakers decided to stand pat this offseason, confident that their roster as currently assembled was good enough to challenge for a title. Then they remembered that they were the Lakers and made trades for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash while somehow managing to keep Pau Gasol.
It felt like the Lakers won the Western Conference in the offseason. That's not where championships are won, however.
The problem with the Lakers is that they have the kind of team that could collapse at any time. Kobe Bryant, as you may have heard, can be a bit of a ballhog and he's not getting any younger: Second-year head coach Mike Brown's control of the team is also in question. Kobe is basically in charge of the offense; Brown sometimes seems like merely the defensive coordinator.
Brown had trouble dealing with the young Andrew Bynum last year, a detail that seems minor now but could be a prelude to trouble with the mercurial Howard. Nash should help team chemistry, that's what the Formerly Floppy Haired Canadian does, but his influence will be lessened if his bad back sidelines him.
NBA 2012-2013 season preview
In what may be the most troubling news for team chemistry, Metta World Peace still exists. Dwight Howard is a free agent after the end of this season, which means next year there's a chance that we might go through all of this again with Basketball Hamlet.
If there's one surefire motivation, beyond winning a ring of course, for these Lakers to find their chemistry and find it fast, it's to ensure that Howard doesn't have any reason to pull his "to be a Laker or not to be a Laker" stunt.
If the Lakers do all get along, and Howard plays the role of good soldier, they are going to be a very, very difficult team to defeat. This collection of All-Stars is unlikely to last very long, this is as "win now" a team as you could possibly build, but no one in purple and gold will care if they can grab another ring this year.
Their biggest enemy may be themselves. Also entering the fold? Lamar Odom-Kardashianback in Hollywood, the only city where he's ever really played to his ability level, after a disastrous Texan exile.
Just like last year, it's going to be all about Lob Citynow that point guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin have played a lockout-shortened season's worth of games together, the floor show might just get even more fun to watch. Paul-to-Griffin for the dunk is maybe the most fun combo play by two athletes since Tom Brady to Randy Moss for the touchdown.
Assuming you're not on the opposite end of it. There are two major issues with the Clippers.