Trial 44 Minute Game Tested, Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets

After much speculation on how the shortened game time would effect the game it was finally put to a test yesterday. In Boston, they wanted to see how much the 44 Minute game time would effect not only the playing time of each player but the amount of points scored in games. Players who benefit the most out of the 11 minute quarters are your run of the mill big power forwards, such as Jared Sullinger. He described his playing experience as a shocker considering the fact that he went to sit out with 5 and half minutes compared to the usual 7 minutes when he is taken out in a regular 12 minute quarter. In his outing against the Nets, Jared scored 21 points and added 19 rebounds. Then, you have players who are used to playing almost a full length game (when healthy) such as Deron Williams. In an interview, on the court, he stated that he didn’t really see the difference, he just kept doing his job of facilitating the ball. “It’s really hard to tell a minute a quarter (and) 4 minutes a g…

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Poll: Best NBA destination

Vote for your favorite NBA city now through noon on Nov. 17.

      
 

 

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Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert Wears Hat with a Clock on It

New York Knicks wing Iman Shumpert doesn’t wear this hat during games because the only time that matters is game time.

After Monday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Shumpert was in the locker room wearing this hat with a clock on it. You can see another picture of the hat below.

I wonder if the ticking gives him a headache. 

[Twitter]

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Oklahoma City Thunder season preview: Roster analysis

As October draws to a close, we are just eight days away from tip off to yet another NBA season. With the disappointment of last season’s finish behind them, the Oklahoma City Thunder are focused on winning a championship once again. This time, however, they will have to start their quest without reigning league MVP Kevin Durant for the first two months of the season. The four-time scoring champ had successful surgery on a Jones fracture in his right foot that will keep him out for roughly six to eight weeks. Without Durant, the rest of the players on the roster will have to step up and help lead the Thunder to a fast start, which may require some adjustments on the fly from head coach Scott Brooks.
With Durant in the fold, the Thunder project as one of the strongest teams in the league. Without him, Russell Westbrook is the unquestioned leader, but the question remains if anyone else can shoulder the immense scoring load that Durant leaves behind when he is on the sidelines.
With a full and healthy roster,

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Anthony Davis Injury: Updates on Pelicans Star’s Wrist and Return

The New Orleans Pelicans have a big problem to deal with, literally and figuratively. Star center Anthony Davis left the team’s 88-84 preseason win over the Washington Wizards due to a sprained wrist.

The Pelicans’ Twitter account provided the news:

John Reid of NOLA.com confirmed Davis’ status for the remainder of the night:

The Pelicans have been an ascending franchise for the past two years. They totaled 21 wins in the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, got the No. 1 pick in the draft following that campaign and took Davis. He led the franchise to 27 wins as a rookie and helped boost that number to 34 last season. 

Injuries, unfortunately, are nothing new for Davis. He missed 33 games in his two campaigns with the Pelicans due to an assortment of ailments. All that time out of the lineup has kept the 6’10″ star from reaching the heights his raw talent suggests he can. 

Davis also gave the Pelicans an injury scare in their first preseason game against Miami on Oct. 4. According to Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com, the 21-year-old jammed the index finger on his left hand but was available to return:

It’s scary for the rest of the NBA to think that Davis can get better, because he improved in every category last year. His points per game increased from 13.5 to 20.8, blocks went from 1.8 to 2.8 and rebounds went from 8.2 to 10.0. 

Davis has been going virtually nonstop all year. He went from the NBA season to playing for Team USA during the FIBA World Cup, but he told Nakia Hogan of The Times-Picayune that he wasn’t feeling any fatigue coming into training camp:

I’m 21-years-old. If I’m getting tired right now then we got a problem. I love playing the game of basketball. Being over there (in Spain for the World Cup) kind of kept me in shape. Coach Monty (Williams) was over there and kept me working on my game and what I needed to work on this season.

I think they are going to do a great job of making sure I manage my body well, whether it’s season, preseason or training camp. But as far as right now, I’m ready to go.

There’s a chance the Pelicans can be a sleeper playoff contender in the Western Conference, but health is the big question. They were decimated by injuries to key players, including Davis, last year. If they are without their best player for any length of time, we will be talking about what might have been. 

This also brings up the questions about Davis’ durability. Despite his insistence that there was no fatigue, the Pelicans tried to manage him in the preseason to make sure he was ready to go full-bore at the start of the regular season.

It’s certainly not time to give up on the young stud, but concerns about his ability to stay on the court are legitimate. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter.

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Highlight: Wizards’ Nene spins and dunks over Pelicans’ Omer Asik

Washington Wizards forward Nene took it back to his younger days, as he posted up New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik then spun off him to throw down a thunderous dunk. The Wizards have been carefully easing Nene through the preseason, given his injury history and the fact he played for his native Brazil during the FIBA World Basketball Championships. When healthy, there is no denying Nene can produce moments like this. Asik got a whiff of what the Chicago Bulls saw in last season’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. [Vine] The post Highlight: Wizards’ Nene spins and dunks over Pelicans’ Omer Asik appeared first on KCM SPORTS.

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Stiviano suit against Shelly Sterling dismissed (Yahoo Sports)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit by Donald Sterling’s mistress against the estranged wife of the former Los Angeles Clippers owner.

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Julius Randle’s Development Should Be Priority No. 1 for Los Angeles Lakers

Julius Randle is the only thing standing between the Los Angeles Lakers and a lost season.

The Lakers are going to make noise this year, but that’ll mainly be because they’re surrounded by more microphones than most NBA teams. The sound will signify little in terms of on-court relevance, though.

You don’t have to agree that L.A. might be the worst team in the league by season’s end, but you must concede that the playoffs feel like a long shot.

This is a stopgap period between eras. Kobe Bryant playing out two more years, short-time vets filling out the roster and Byron Scott running the show with an alarmingly old-school style ill-suited for whatever future the organization has—all signs of the holding pattern.

Because the Lakers are stuck in neutral for the time being, the only thing that should matter is the development of young players who might still be around two years from now, when they shift into drive.

That’s a short list. Randle is the only one on it.

Perplexing then, isn’t it, that Carlos Boozer is on the roster. At 6’9″ and 250 pounds, Randle is suited only for the power forward spot at this stage in his career. He’s not quick or athletic enough to guard wings, and until he flashes a reliable jumper, he must play to his strengths as an interior scorer on offense.

Yet Boozer has started ahead of Randle in every Lakers preseason game, logging 116 minutes to Randle’s 95 through five contests. This is difficult to comprehend.

Regularly pilloried for his defensive failures, Boozer is doing a heck of a job denying Randle the ball.

It takes time—years, really—to develop a prospect. So focusing on the first exhibition season of Randle’s career is shortsighted. But you’d think that if the Lakers were as focused as they should be on grooming him, Randle would be collecting as many minutes as possible in games with no consequences.

Because Randle needs reps.

A flawed but promising player, the 19-year-old Randle should be getting ample time (now, and during the season) to add to his game. Broadly speaking, he doesn’t fit the current power forward model because he can’t shoot from range and does not impact the paint on defense.

Proof: Randle made just three triples in his one season at Kentucky and averaged less than one block per contest. As his game stands now, he’s a little like Kenneth Faried with a better handle and a lower-RPM motor.

That’s not to say he can’t get better in those key areas; it’d be foolish to discount the potential for development in any 19-year-old project. It is to say, however, that Randle needs a chance to make those improvements.

He has to play.

Key figures in the Lakers organization seem aware of Randle’s importance.

Bryant has taken on a larger mentoring role than he has in the past, though the Mamba’s not-so-nurturing track record didn’t set a very high bar. He seems interested in Randle’s growth, though he expresses it in his own special way:

Scott has been rough on the rookie, though it’s an old truism that coaches are hardest on the players they believe they can push furthest:

Besides, the Lakers head coach has offered praise when warranted as well:

And Randle seems to be handling the scrutiny nicely. Either that, or he knows enough to go with the program—pressure-packed as it may be:

The Lakers must hope that attention and the tough-love treatment don’t backfire. It’s going to take years before L.A. knows what it has in Randle. And it’s hard to know whether the Lakers’ unique situation will hasten or hinder his development.

On the one hand, there’s usually value in the ample playing time and consequence-free environment of a lottery-bound team. On the other, it’s not always ideal for a prospect to form his NBA habits and identity in a losing culture.

Say what you will about the Lakers, but they have not outwardly embraced the tank.

That refusal/inability to rebuild conventionally (thanks mostly to Bryant’s contract extension) means there will be distractions aplenty this year. Scott is catching nonstop heat for antiquated offensive ideas:

And Bryant will continue to have his every word, gesture and field-goal attempt picked apart by the media.

In that sense, the Lakers will learn one thing about Randle right away: whether he can focus amid chaos.

The overall aim should be to find out much more about Randle—beyond how he responds to Kobe’s tutelage. Because, harsh as it sounds, Bryant isn’t relevant to the Lakers’ future.

Randle is.

Even though much of the criticism aimed at Bryant, Scott and the rest of the Lakers of late has been fair, it’s missed the mark. Whether pertaining to overall team construction, offensive strategies, contracts hampering progress or anything else, we’ve all been zinging L.A. from the wrong angle.

One question should color the way the Lakers view any criticism: How does it affect Randle?

The Lakers are (perhaps detrimentally) obsessed with their past, and they seem reluctant to accept the realities of the present.

They’d better do everything possible to develop the one guy on the squad who’ll be a part of their future.

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Should Tristan Thompson be suspended?

On Friday Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers took a lot of heat after kissing sideline reporter, Allie Clifton. The power forward scored 17 points with 11 rebounds in their loss against the Dallas Mavericks (102-108). Unfortunately, based on his behavior he could be fined or facing suspension. According to ESPN, following Friday night’s game Thompson was interviewed by Clifton. During the he called the reporter Tina and then winked at her. When the interview was over he leaned over and kissed Clifton on the side of her head. In response to Clifton’s inappropriate behavior Clifton handled it professionally and brushed it off. While some feel the kiss is being blown out of proportion others feel he should be suspended or fined. Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports described Thompson’s actions as sexual harassment. He feels you should not kiss anyone without their consent, especially when they are on the job!         The post Should Tristan Thompson Be Suspended? appeared first on Bask…

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9 biggest additions (other than LeBron)

LeBron James is the big name, but who else will make impacts on new teams this year?

      
 

 

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