Southwest Mississippi Basketball Player Throws Down 360, Between-the-Legs Dunk

Please find a way to get Southwest Mississippi Community College’s C.J. Polite in this year’s NCAA dunk contest. The Bears forward can throw down nasty dunks, as this video shows.

During his team’s “Midnight Madness” event, Polite completed a 360, between-the-legs dunk that sent the gym into a frenzy. 

To see more of Polite’s dunks, check out his YouTube page.

[YouTube, h/t College Basketball Talk]

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WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

NBA fans didn’t have to wait long during the 2014-15 season to witness a spectacular dunk. Miami Heat forward James Ennis showed the world there’s still a James that can dunk in South Beach, even with LeBron having departed for Cleveland in the offseason. Ennis received a pass on the wing and took off from just inside the three-point arc in the second half of Wednesday night’s game, and was determined to get to the hoop. Washington Wizards forward Rasual Butler stepped in front of him in an attempt to draw a charge…

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7-footer Marshall Plumlee throws down insane dunks at Duke basketball’s ‘Countdown 2 Craziness’

College basketball is almost here.

      
 

 

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7-footer Marshall Plumlee throws down insane dunks

College basketball is almost here.

      
 

 

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Breaking Down Houston Rockets’ Point Guard Position for 2014-15 Season

In the Rockets starting lineup, point guard certainly isn’t the strongest spot, but Houston does have some good depth at the position.

Last season, Patrick Beverley took over the starting job and has firmly solidified that role. The Rockets traded away Jeremy Lin this offseason, but they brought in Ish Smith to back Beverley up and also have their lone draft pick from two summers ago, Isaiah Canaan.

Clearly, James Harden and Dwight Howard are the stars of this team. Trevor Ariza at small forward is also a key contributor. Nevertheless, point guard play for the Rockets this year will still be a big factor in determining how well the team can play.

Let’s quickly look back on the point guard play for Houston last year and then preview how the position will fare in 2014-15.

 

Last Season (2013-14)

Coach Kevin McHale’s first big decision of the 2013-14 season was to start Beverley over Lin. The defensive-minded guard paired up more effectively alongside Harden in the backcourt.

Beverley had a good season last year, despite missing a good chunk of games with a knee injury. His hustle on defense earned him second-team All-NBA defensive honors, and he was also a leader who brought mental toughness in the locker room.

Lin also had a productive season. Coming off the bench, he averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. He was effective at creating offense in the second unit for Houston and often times played down the stretch in close games.

Lastly, the Rockets had Aaron Brooks as a third-stringer before he was traded to the Denver Nuggets at the deadline. Before his departure, Brooks had the highest three-point percentage on the team, and he earned some quality minutes while Lin and Beverley dealt with injuries.

It was a solid campaign during the regular season for the Rocket point guards, but unfortunately, they did not carry that success into the playoffs. Beverley was still hurt and could not contain the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard. Lin had a spectacular Game 5, an elimination game for the Rockets, but he committed some costly mistakes in big moments that Houston just could not afford.

Overall Grade: B-

 

This Season (2014-15)

Lin may be gone, but Beverley is still the starter, and he has been able to nurse his knee back to health over the offseason. Canaan is coming off a great summer in Las Vegas, and Smith was very serviceable last season in Phoenix.

 

Patrick Beverley

Beverley is the obvious starter for the Rockets at the point. He’s a top-tier defender among guards in the NBA and fits nicely next to Harden in the Rockets’ system.

Last year, Bev averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He was a defensive nightmare for opposing guards, which landed him a spot on the All-NBA defensive second team. He’s got an excellent chance of doing the same this upcoming season.

Beverley’s offense isn’t anything special, but he is a good partner in the backcourt with Harden. The Beard likes to do the majority of the ball-handling anyway, so Bev can play off the ball. He doesn’t get many assists, but that’s as a result of the system, which usually features Harden facilitating the offense.

His best contribution on the offensive end is his three-point shooting. He shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc last year, but this season, Beverley should be able to improve. In the preseason, he connected on 45 percent of his shots from deep, a much better clip.

As long as he stays healthy, it should be another solid season for Bev. If he can keep up the three-point percentage and tenacious defense, then the Rockets will certainly end up getting their money’s worth.

 

Isaiah Canaan

After spending the majority of his time in the D-League last season, Canaan is poised to get some NBA minutes in 2014-15. His successful stint in Rio Grande got a lot of attention, and now that Lin is gone, Canaan could potentially be the primary backup.

In limited minutes, Canaan averaged 10.4 points per game in the preseason. Unlike Beverley, Canaan is a score-first guard. He will be counted on to provide some bench scoring like Lin did last season. He can attack the basket successfully like Lin but also is a much better three-point shooter. During the preseason, he shot 50 percent from behind the arc.

Interestingly, for much of the preseason, Canaan did not get the majority of the backup minutes. Instead, Ish Smith played with the second unit; Canaan didn’t check in until late in the games. However, as a result, Canaan has played in some tight games down the stretch, and he has led the Rockets to a handful of wins in crunch time. As it turns out, Canaan has been spectacular in the fourth quarter all preseason long with several clutch plays.

Last year, McHale liked to play Lin down the stretch of several games. This season, Canaan could be a legitimate option late in games. He has the scoring ability and the clutch factor to make an impact.

 

Ish Smith

Throughout the preseason, Smith has gotten slightly more minutes than Canaan. McHale was probably leaning toward Smith to be his backup, but based on Canaan’s preseason performance, we’ll have to wait before a final decision is made. McHale will continue to experiment with the rotation even during the beginning of the regular season.

Smith’s game is a lot more like Beverley’s. He is a defensive-minded guard with tremendous speed and great awareness. He can facilitate the offense better than Bev but is hardly a scoring threat. He is a capable passer but has no discernible jump shot.

Smith and Canaan will fight for minutes behind Beverley. They serve different purposes, so they should each see ample opportunities in varying situations.

 

Final Thoughts

Beverley is undoubtedly the starter at point guard for the Rockets. His forceful defending and improved three-point shooting will play a pivotal role in the Rockets’ success this season.

Canaan and Smith could easily switch off as the backup point guard depending on the matchups against certain teams. Canaan can ignite the offense, while Smith can maintain Bev‘s defensive hustle. They both are pretty much locks to get on the plane to L.A. as part of the final roster.

Point guard is not the Rockets’ biggest strength, but they have three good options on the depth chart.

Grade Prediction: B

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WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

Once upon a time, Josh Childress was one of basketball’s budding stars. After a underwhelming… Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

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NBA Draft Lottery Reform Proposal Reportedly Voted Down, Format to Stay the Same

Changing the NBA draft lottery may ultimately be inevitable, but the league has reportedly decided against reform for the 2014-15 season.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Board of Governors voted down the proposal to change the lottery at its meeting Wednesday:

Grantland’s Zach Lowe initially reported in July that the NBA would look into lottery reform to prevent teams from tanking to get better draft picks.

Lowe also tweeted about some of the tweaks included in the proposal that came before the Board of Governors:

Per Wojnarowski, one owner revealed that the league would continue to explore potential lottery changes even though this particular proposal was rejected:

While many seemed open to changing the lottery, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported in July that the Philadelphia 76ers were vehemently against any alterations.

Even so, the vote was still expected to pass with Lowe even suggesting the the Sixers would be the only opponent:

As it turns out, many of the league’s owners weren’t yet ready to make such a sweeping change. With that said, others were very much looking forward to a new system, as evidenced by this tweet courtesy of Wojnarowski (language NSFW):

There is no question that the current lottery system is better for lowly, struggling teams since the organizations with the worst records have a significantly better shot at top picks.

Despite that, Wojnarowski reports that the voting didn’t necessarily jibe with public perception about which franchises would support a new system:

Lottery reform will continue to be a hot-button issue moving forward. Although those who voted against the new proposal likely have different reasons, the fact that the league tried to push changes through so quickly may have been a major sticking point.

Perhaps organizations will be more supportive of a subsequent proposal with more time to consider its implications, but there is no question that lottery reform talk is far from over.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA. This post appeared first on Holdout Sports. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Isaiah Thomas stares down Floyd Mayweather after forcing overtime (Video)

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA.
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Derrick Rose Beats Cavaliers Defenders Down Court for and-1

It’s been a while since Derrick Rose has felt good enough on his knees to just run through defenders.

During Monday night’s preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rose drove through two opposing players to get an and-1 call.

The Chicago Bulls star probably got away with a travel, but fans will be glad to see him running the fast break with such aggressiveness.

Rose wasn’t done there, however, spinning Kyrie Irving around then finishing at the rim.

[Vine]

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