NBA rookie coach highlights and predictions

Every year there are new rookies in the league. But I am going to talk to you about the rookie head coaches. There seems to be a fair amount of them this season and they all enter into different team situations. So I thought it would be fun to explore what might happen to them this year. There are some good teams (Golden State and Cleveland), a bad one (Jazz) and one I am not sure about (Knicks). It is a promising year for some of these coaches and they could prove to their organizations why they should get to keep their jobs. Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors  The Warriors are almost a guaranteed playoff team even in the West. They have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala in the backcourt. Not to mention they got a real backup point guard in Shaun Livingston this offseason. However, their style of play will probably look a little different than it has in the last few years under Mark Jackson. Kerr is going to incorporate some triangle principles straight out of Phil Jac…

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NBA Media Day 2014: Live Updates, Photos, Highlights from Monday’s Events

After the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs were introduced to the media Friday, the NBA‘s other 25 franchises will kick off their preseasons Monday. 

Things get started at 10:30 a.m. ET with the Charlotte Hornets, followed by the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards at 11:00 a.m. ET.

A complete list of start times can be found here

Keep it locked on Bleacher Report throughout the day for highlights, photos and more from the festivities across the Association as training camps get underway. 

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Cavaliers Media Day 2014: Top Comments and Highlights

No other team in the NBA had as exciting summer as the Cleveland Cavaliers.

They landed the first pick in the draft. Then, LeBron James decided to come home to Ohio and sign with the team. They turned that first pick into exciting prospect Andrew Wiggins before promptly dealing him in a package to land superstar Kevin Love, which formed a new big three between James, Love and Kyrie Irving.

It was a whirlwind for sure, and on Friday several members of the organization and several more players tried to put into context the entire ordeal and the plans moving forward at the team’s Media Day.

New head coach David Blatt and general manager David Griffin were the first to take the stage, and it didn’t take Blatt long to get a laugh with the following quote, via Michael Lee of The Washington Post:

It’s hard to blame him there. After all, Blatt gets to lead a team with James, Love and Kyrie Irving. He spoke about working with James, per John Telich of Fox 8 News:

But he also spoke about the team being more than the big names that make it up, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

Griffin also spoke of putting the team together and the expectations going forward, per WKYC Sports on Twitter:

Finally, each touched on how much easier James has made their respective jobs, per McMenamin:

Speaking of James, he was the next to take the stage, looking trimmed down and a bit more business-like than excited or even happy. This was a James who seemed serious about the task at hand and one who knew that task was going to be tough. He said as much about being back with the Cavs and trying to win a championship, per Tom Withers of the Associated Press:

It seemed to be by design, and perhaps it was wise. With all of the hype this summer, James is smart enough to know that championships aren’t won on media day. That mentality was perhaps best summed up in the following tweet by Bill Reiter of Fox Sports:

And so a sterner James than we’ve perhaps seen in the past continued on, clearly taking his role as the team’s leader extremely seriously, per Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio:

He also spoke about what he was leaving behind, namely a friendship with Dwyane Wade, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

The one moment where James did crack a smile and appeared to brighten up was when speaking about his kids and their role in the decision: SportsCenter on Twitter has more:

Per Jackson, his kids asked about one player in particular:

Speaking of Irving, he took to the podium himself to speak about his new teammates. Here’s that moment, via the Cavaliers official Twitter account:

He also spoke about his role on the team and how he’ll be willing to do what is necessary to win out on the court, per WKYC Sports:

One thing is for certain—the folks in Cleveland are very, very excited to watch this team take the court, and they should be, as the expectation for the squad should be topping the Eastern Conference this season. With James, Love, Irving and company, such lofty goals are hardly unrealistic.

It’s a new day in Cleveland. Media Day was the first taste, but the real fun will begin once we see these guys finally performing on the court together. Whether they can live up to the hype or not will be one of the biggest storylines this season.

 

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NBA Media Day 2014: Live Updates, Photos, Highlights from Friday’s Events

NBA media days are finally upon us. 

And on Friday, clubs participating in the league’s slate of global preseason gamesthe Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings and reigning champion San Antonio Spurswill meet the media. 

Times are as follows: 

Brooklyn Nets: 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Cleveland Cavaliers: 12:15-3:30 p.m. ET

Miami Heat: TBA

Sacramento Kings: 5:00-8:00 p.m. ET

San Antonio Spurs: 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET

As the festivities tip off, keep it locked here on Bleacher Report throughout the day for the latest updates, highlights, photos and more as teams roll out new looks and revamped rosters. 

NBA TV will also cover media days live starting at 1 p.m. ET. 

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USA vs. Serbia: Live Score, Highlights for 2014 FIBA World Cup Championship Game

After two weeks of play, the field for the 2014 FIBA World Cup has been narrowed down to Serbia and Team USA for the title game Sunday in Madrid, Spain.

The Americans have coasted to this point, as they’re undefeated and the smallest margin of victory was 21 points against Turkey.

Serbia may be the toughest test yet, thanks in large part to Milos Teodosic.

The 6’5″ Serbian guard is averaging 14 points during the tournament, but he’s been especially dangerous lately, averaging 23.5 points in his team’s last two games.

U.S. guards Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry and James Harden have never been known for their defense, so reserve Klay Thompson could have a bigger role. The three-and-D specialist should have a better shot at slowing Teodosic down than any other American.

 

Tipoff3 p.m. ET

Coverage: ESPN2

 

Keys to the Game

Serbia will need a miracle, maybe even a few miracles, to upset the heavily favored Team USA. The Serbians will have to try to slow the pace way down, pack the paint, hope USA goes cold from the outside and get a huge game from Teodosic.

On the other end, the Americans have done their best work in this tournament during second halves, when their opponents wear down and fast-break opportunities are more readily available.

If they work the ball inside to their more athletic bigs, Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis, early, they could get to that point sooner.

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France vs. Lithuania: Live Score, Highlights for FIBA World Cup 3rd-Place Game

After losing to USA and Serbia in their respective semifinal matchups, France and Lithuania are set to do battle in the consolation game at the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Saturday.

Lithuania will likely look to pound the ball inside with big man Jonas Valanciunas, while France will attack from the perimeter with Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw.

 

Tipoff12 p.m. ET

Coverage: ESPN3.com

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Serbia vs. France: Live Score, Highlights for FIBA World Cup 2014 Semifinal

After stunning upsets in the quarterfinals against Brazil and Spain, Serbia and France are now set to take each other on in the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Serbia demolished Brazil Wednesday by a final score of 84-56, thanks in large part to a huge 23-point performance from Milos Teodosic.

Later that day, France pulled off the upset of the tourney, beating Spain 65-52 thanks to a stifling defensive effort led by reserve center Rudy Gobert, whose 13 rebounds were more than the combined total of Marc and Pau Gasol.

 

TipoffESPN2

Coverage: 4 p.m. ET

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FIBA World Cup 2014 Results: Tracking Semifinal Scores and Highlights

The favorites to win the gold medal, especially with Spain out of the picture, the United States kicked off the semifinals at the 2014 FIBA World Cup Thursday with a resounding win.

A trio of superstars led the way for Team USA in the 96-68 win over Lithuania, a team that now heads to the third-place game this weekend. Kyrie Irving‘s team will head into the final as a large favorite, as the team continues to perform more cohesively with each win.

The entertaining affair was just half of the semifinals action, though, as two shocking underdogs clash Friday when France meets Serbia to set the final in stone.

Let’s take a look at how the semifinals played out in Spain.

 

2014 FIBA World Cup Semifinal Results

Full updated tournament bracket can be viewed at FIBA.com.

 

United States 96, Lithuania 68

Mike Krzyzewski’s team stormed out to an early lead and never looked back Thursday behind a Big Three of its own.

Irving scored 18 points and was flanked by James Harden and Klay Thompson, who added 16 points apiece. The team as a whole seemed to have a renewed sense of focus, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field by night’s end.

The energy and focus from the United States was palpable begging from the tipoff, even though the two did not birth a great shooting start. Squarely the favorites to win the gold after shocking upsets on the other side of the bracket, Krzyzewski’s comments before the game made even more sense, per The Associated Press, via Fox Sports:

To the basketball people of the world, this is the event. Remember, the Olympics is every sport, so you’ve got a bunch of people who are excited about swimming, track, all the events, and you put them together and it creates this spectacle that basketball is a part of.

Basketball’s not a part of this event. Basketball is the event and there’s a big difference and we’ve learned that.

Thompson was the most notable player on the day for the United States, which jumped out to an early 21-16 advantage in the first frame and heated up in the second half. As the NBA‘s Twitter account noted early on, the Golden State Warriors star has upped his game as of late:

Throughout the first half, there were brief flirtations with upset vibes, as Team USA members such as Steph Curry got themselves into foul trouble, testing the depth of Krzyzewski’s bench.

It was Thompson who answered the call each and every time. His reliable sparks on 7-of-12 shooting kept the Lithuanian side at bay the entire night. As the AP’s Brian Mahoney muses, Thompson may have solidified himself as the team’s most important player moving forward:

Lithuania did not go down without a fight, though, and took full advantage of Team USA’s foul trouble by attempting 42 shots from the charity stripe, missing only 10. Still, that proved to be the main source of production the entire night.

Star big man Jonas Valanciunas wound up attempting just four field goals and finished with 15 points. Adas Juskevicius went 1-of-8 from the field with 12 points. The side’s best player turned out to be Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who shot 6-of-9 from the field with 15 points, nine boards and two blocks.

Thanks to a reduction in fouls, Team USA ended the game with a decisive third frame that saw Thompson and Co. score 33 points to Lithuania’s 14.

As Josh Newman of SNYNets.com notes, Krzyzewski will not see enough credit thrown his direction for slowly but surely taking the young, erratic clay that is this Team USA roster and molding it into a gold-medal favorite as it sliced its way through the bracket:

This particular team, sans some of the greats such as Kevin Durant, has grown dramatically under the watchful eye of the globe over the course of the tournament.

All that remains is for Krzyzewski to keep the young roster grounded. While his team dodged the bullet that was Spain, either one of Friday’s semifinals participants has the firepower to hang around if they do not come out and at least match Thursday’s energy.

 

France vs. Serbia Preview

Fans can be forgiven for writing off both France and Serbia as realistic participants by the time the semifinals rolled around. After all, France finished third and Serbia fourth in Group A with mediocre showings against the best the early stages had to offer.

France somehow found a way to take down the imposing Spain frontcourt of Pau and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in front of a hostile crowd, 65-52. The team has big man Rudy Gobert to thank for that, as his breakout performance with five points and 13 boards lifted the entire roster. Veteran Boris Diaw led the way with 15 points.

Then there was Serbia, which blew through its quarterfinal matchup with Brazil, 84-54. That sort of outcome makes sense when one realizes the team shot exactly 50 percent from the field, led by Milos Teodosic’s 23 points.

Dominance beneath the rim or supreme efficiency is sure to take center stage Friday. Team USA awaits in the final.

 

Note: Stats and info via ESPN and FIBA.com unless otherwise specified.

 

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FIBA World Cup 2014 Results: Scores, Updated Bracket and Day 10 Highlights

The second day of the quarterfinals at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball was tasked with living up to the expectations of an exciting start to the round, but the four teams in action Wednesday promised not to disappoint.

With a packed schedule that featured Serbia taking on Brazil and Spain squaring off against France, basketball fans have become enamored with this international tournament.    

While Team USA was not in action on Day 10, the Americans must be sure to study the tape because one of the teams playing Wednesday will be the group of players they take on in the finals. Team USA must beat Lithuania first, though.

Here are the Day 10 scores and highlights. The full updated tournament bracket can be viewed at FIBA.com.

*Scores via FIBA.com.

 

Day 10 Results and Highlights 

After watching Team USA and Lithuania advance to the semifinals on Tuesday, four more teams took to the courts in order to advance in the single-elimination format.

In the first game of the day, Serbia stunned Brazil by manhandling the team throughout the matchup, eventually winning 84-56.

Serbia was guided by the 23 points from Milos Teodosic and the 10 points from Miroslav Raduljica in the starting lineup, but the real story was the bench. Both Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nenad Krstic racked up double-digit points despite not starting.

Despite having more star power, Brazil was outplayed in almost every facet of the game. While Anderson Varejao scored 12 points and added nine rebounds, only Marquinhos Vieira managed to score double-digit points in support.

Combined, Brazil’s starting five only scored 36 points.

In the other quarterfinals matchup on Wednesday, Spain will take on France at 4 p.m. ET.

For the fans wondering when Team USA will be back in action, the Americans take on Lithuania on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. If the United States is victorious over a team it will be favorites to beat, it will advance to the finals.

With another day of entertaining quarterfinals action in the FIBA World Cup, all eyes have shifted to the semifinals and which two teams will square off with the championship on the line.

 

*Stats via FIBA.com.

 

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Serbia vs. Brazil: Live Score, Highlights for FIBA World Cup 2014 Quarterfinal

In the third quarterfinal matchup of the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, Serbia will take on Brazil in Madrid’s Palacio de los Deportes.

The two teams faced off in group play, with Brazil winning by a final score of 81-73. Marquinhos Vieira scored 21 points to lead Brazil. while Leandro Barbosa added 16.

 

Tipoff: 12 p.m. ET

Coverage: ESPN2 

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