Basketball Wiretap

Carlisle Believes Refs Have Not Controlled Physicality In Mavs-Rockets Series

Apr 25, 2015 12:57 PM

Rick Carlisle criticized the officiating after the Dallas Mavericks' loss in Game 3 to fall to a 3-0 deficit to the Houston Rockets.

“They’re a more physical team,” Carlisle said, “but this series has got to be played within the rules.

“My hope is that in Game 4 — the one play that’s kind of an image stuck in my mind, and I just looked at it six times on the film, is the first play of the fourth quarter. We’re scrambling like hell defensively, and Devin Harris is going to get the ball, and Dwight Howard throws him into our bench.”

Mark Cuban also appeared agitated about the officiating, with Adam Silver in attendance.

“That stuff’s got to stop,” Carlisle said. “The officials [have] got to get that stuff under control, because there’s too much physical stuff going on. Howard is throwing people all over the place. And that can’t happen in Game 4.”

Brad Townsend/Dallas Morning News

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Love: Cavs' Organization Has My Back

Apr 24, 2015 12:10 AM

Kevin Love has been playing better basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs and had 23 points and nine rebounds while shooting 6-for-10 on three-pointers in their Game 3 win over the Boston Celtics.

"He's been highly criticized this year, and for what, I don't know why," James said, before pausing, and smiling. "I know why. I know why. I know."

Love was traded to the Cavaliers in the offseason and he can become a free agent in the offseason.

"For a team that finally gets together and they have a big three, they have to find someone," James said. "When I was in Miami, Chris Bosh was that guy at one point...Kevin was the guy they tried to find and tear him down. One thing about him, he's always stayed positive. I've always believed in him." 

"People have focused my whole career on what I couldn't do rather than what I could," Love said. "I know my teammates and coaching staff have my back. The organization has my back. I'm sending love right back to them. I think tonight was one of those times my numbers was called to step up and hit a big shot."

 

The chemistry between the Cavaliers seems to be at a season-high.

"I don't get too involved in what everybody says," James said. "I know what type of player (Love) is, what type of competitor he is, and I know he relishes the opportunity to be a part of this franchise and the postseason. With everything said with the first eight months of the season, he's definitely used it as motivation. I think he's a big-time player, he's a cerebral basketball player, and in order to be the team we want to be long term, Kevin is going to be Kevin, which he was tonight."

Tom Westerholm/MassLive

Tags: Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Josh Smith Following 9-Assist 2nd Half: This Is Why I Came Here

Apr 22, 2015 11:26 AM

Josh Smith controlled the second half of the Houston Rockets' Game 2 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Smith had 13 points, six rebounds and nine assists in 20 minutes in the second half. Of those nine assists, six were on dunks and five were lobs to Dwight Howard. 

Toni Kukoc is the only other forward since 1985 to record nine or more assists as a reserve in a playoff game.

"This is why I came here," Smith told Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Seth Partnow/Washington Post

Tags: Josh Smith, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Draymond: Focus Is To Just Make Anthony Davis Take Tough Shots

Apr 21, 2015 10:51 AM

Draymond Green is one of the NBA's most versatile defenders, but Anthony Davis represents a special challenge for him in the Golden State Warriors' first round series against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“It’s tough–most guys I give up length to who I guard, most of them aren’t as quick as me, though," said Green. "He’s both. Special athlete, man. So it’s always tough because he’s the not the type that’s really trying to back me down; he’s going to face up every time.

“And he uses his speed to his advantage. But even if I cut him off, he’s so long, he’ll still try to shoot over the top.

“But that’s what you have to make him do, though. You have to to make him take tough shots with you in between him and the basket. When he’s getting dunks and lay-ups, he’s unstoppable. But if you can make him tough shots with you in between you and the basket, you’ve got a much better chance of stopping him.

“That was my focus the entire night, just trying to make him tough shots. If he hits them, he hits them.”

Green hopes to eventually wear down Davis each game.

”You’re making him take those tough shots, eventually he’ll wear down. Once he started to wear down, those tough shots don’t go in as easily. And that’s really what you want to do as a defender.

“It’s a 48-minute marathon. It’s not a 12-minute race. For 48 minutes you’ve got to continue to grind and grind and grind.

“At some point he’ll wear down and those tough shots won’t fall as consistently.”

Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Tags: Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Anthony Davis Hopes To Be In Conversation With Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson

Apr 20, 2015 2:09 PM

Anthony Davis said he wants to be mentioned with NBA greats such as Bill Russell.

"When you mention basketball or NBA and you talk about greatest players, I definitely want to be in that conversation," Davis said. "You mention Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, all those guys. I want to be in that conversation."

Davis scored 35 points in the New Orleans Pelicans' loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 on Saturday.

"I'm more focused on Golden State, what they're trying to do to stop us and what we're trying to do to stop them," Davis said. "But you do think about Bill Russell and what he did here, what he did for the league. He led the way for guys like us today.

"I went in the Bill Russell Room, and me and (a Pelicans media relations official) were saying (as they looked at the picture) that he looks so much younger. He and I were in the same predicament. It's just cool when you see something like that."

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: Anthony Davis, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Drummond: I Want Draymond Green On Pistons

Apr 20, 2015 1:44 PM

Andre Drummond posted a Tweet that he has since deleted indicating he would love to play with Draymond Green.

Green will be a restricted free agent in the offseason and was an All-American at Michigan State.

Green is one of the NBA's best stretch forwards and would seemingly be an ideal fit for the Detroit Pistons beside Drummond.

“I want @Money23Green on my team .......” wrote Drummond.

Kirkland Crawford/Detroit Free Press

Tags: Andre Drummond, Draymond Green, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Pacers To Play Smaller Next Season With Hibbert Having Diminished Role

Apr 17, 2015 12:06 PM

The Indiana Pacers plan on playing faster on offense next season to contend with smaller and versatile lineups of opponents.

Roy Hibbert is the player that will most likely be impacted by the change in scheme.

"Possibly," said Vogel when asked if Hibbert will be benched. "Roy's role will be diminished."

Hibbert can opt out to become a free agent.

"Whatever he does, he does," said Larry Bird. "We'll assume he's going to come back."

Paul George will play some small-ball 4 for the Pacers.

Candace Buckner/Indianapolis Star

Tags: Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Warriors, Spurs, Hawks, Blazers Finish In Top-10 In Offensive, Defensive Efficiency

Apr 16, 2015 1:29 AM

The Golden State Warriors finished the 14-15 season first in the NBA in efficiency differential in the regular season at +10.3 per 100 possessions. The Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top-5.

The Warriors, Spurs, Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers were the only four teams to finish in the top-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

1. Golden State Warriors: 10.3
2. Los Angeles Clippers: 6.9
3. San Antonio Spurs: 6.5
4. Atlanta Hawks: 5.8
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: 4.8
6. Portland Trail Blazers: 4.5
7. Memphis Grizzlies: 3.4
8. Toronto Raptors: 3.3
9. Houston Rockets: 3.3
10. Chicago Bulls: 3.2
11. Dallas Mavericks 3.0
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: 2.3
13. New Orleans Pelicans: 0.9
14. Washington Wizards: 0.8
15. Utah Jazz: 0.6
16. Indiana Pacers: 0.5
17. Milwaukee Bucks: 0.4
18. Boston Celtics: 0.2
19. Phoenix Suns: -0.9
20. Detroit Pistons: -1.1
21. Miami Heat: -2.9
22. Brooklyn Nets: -3.1
23. Charlotte Hornets: -3.4
24. Denver Nuggets: -3.7
25. Sacramento Kings: -3.9
26. Orlando Magic: -6.1
27. Los Angeles Lakers: -7.2
28. Minnesota Timberwolves: -9.3
29. Philadelphia 76ers: -9.3
30. New York Knicks: -10.1

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kerr: Curry Never Talks About MVP Race, But Better Believe He Wants It

Apr 10, 2015 10:59 AM

Stephen Curry scored 45 points, including 15 in the final 5:16 in the Golden State Warriors' win over the Portland Trail Blazers to boost his MVP candidacy.

"Nothing left to say, except he's the MVP," said Steve Kerr. "He never talks about it, but you better believe he wants it."

Curry also broke his own NBA single-season record for three-pointers as he has 276 and counting.

Curry is aware of the constant MVP chatter but said he forces it out of his head when the game begins.

"Finally played a fourth quarter, so I wanted to get out there and make some plays," said Curry.

"He's our MVP," teammate Klay Thompson said, "and he should be for the league because he does it on a nightly basis and he's at his best at crunch time."

Jeff Faraudo/Mercury News

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Award, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Batum Glad Blazers Matched Three Years After Signing Offer Sheet With Wolves

Apr 9, 2015 1:49 PM

Nicolas Batum admitted he occasionally plays the what-if game in regards to the four-year, $45 million offer sheet he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves and was subsequently matched by the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I've thought about it, but the thing is, we will never know,'' Batum said. "Maybe it would have worked out well and (Minnesota) would have been a good team. Maybe not. You just never know. The thing is, I'm glad (Portland) matched because we are doing good since we matched.''

 

The Blazers played the Wolves on Wednesday as the team he nearly joined misses the playoffs yet again.

Batum said his desire to leave had nothing to do with Portland the city, or its fans, but rather the direction of the franchise.

The Blazers had just drafted Damian Lillard and he helped turn around the franchise.

"When I signed with Minnesota, Portland had three guys under contract,'' Batum said. "We had drafted Dame, but I didn't know him. Knew he was from a small school, but didn't know him. And didn't know the system we would play because hadn't signed Terry (Stotts) yet ... and we just had a bad season.''

Batum was sold by the opportunity to play for Rick Adelman.

"He was the right coach for me, that was the main reason - coach Adelman,'' Batum said. "But now, I don't regret it, because the way we play, and the direction of the franchise. I'm good with it. I'm good now.''

The Blazers are again a playoff team this season.

"We can imagine what it would have been like, and people say, yeah the injuries and everything, but who knows, maybe it would have been different?'' Batum said. "The thing is, they matched, and after that they signed Terry, got Rolo, Dame became Dame, and bang - we are a 50-win team. I am very happy.''

Jason Quick/Oregonian

Tags: Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Vlade Divac Has Become Lead Decision-Maker Of Kings' Front Office
Pete D'Alessandro's role in the front office of the Kings is unclear with the emergence of Vlade Divac.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Thaddeus Young Trade Praised For Surge Of Nets, Brook Lopez
Stefan Bondy reports that Billy King had been working on the Kevin Garnett for Thaddeus Young trade all season.

Tim Bontemps/New York Post

LeBron: We're A Championship Contender But Not There Yet
The Cavaliers rebounded from a slow start to the season and will almost certainly be the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

J.R. Smith Sets Record With 17 Three-Point Attempts, No Two-Point Shots
J.R. Smith made eight of his 17 attempts.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Mario Chalmers Frustrated, Unsure Of His Role On Heat
Mario Chalmers appears frustrated and said he is unsure of his place on the Miami Heat.

Joseph Goodman/Miami Herald

Kupchak: No Lakers' Basketball Decision Is Made Without Me
Jim Buss has received a lot of criticism for his role in the basketball department of the Lakers, but Mitch Kupchak insists he remains as involved as ever.

Thomas Golianopoulos/Grantland

LeBron: I've Called Plays Every Game For 11 Years
LeBron James' on-court playcalling duties has become an issue this week following Brian Windhorst saying that David Blatt often parrots James' calls.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Lance Stephenson Doesn't Regret Leaving Pacers For Hornets
Lance Stephenson has averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season compared to 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season.

Associated Press

Russell Westbrook Eyes NBA's Citizenship Award
Russell Westbrook has put up MVP-caliber numbers one season after teammate Kevin Durant won the award.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Nerlens Noel Enjoying Playing With 'First True PG' Ish Smith
In the 20 games since Ish Smith's arrival, Nerlens Noel has averaged 11.1 shots per game, up from 7.8.

Bob Cooney/Philadelphia Daily News

Giannis Expects Shooting Range To All Make Sense Next Season
Giannis Antetokounmpo attempted 118 three-pointers as a rookie (converting 41) but has tried only 40 this season, making just seven.

Charles F. Gardner/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

LeBron Prioritized Acquiring J.R. Smith Over Shumpert In Knicks' Trade
LeBron James reportedly loves the Cavaliers' top-7 players.

Bill Simmons/Grantland

Westbrook's Adjusted Stat Line For 1962: 47-15-12
In 1961-62, Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists to become the first and only player to put up a triple-double season.

Tom Haberstroh/ESPN

Dwight: Harden And I Aren't Super Close But We Talk
Dwight Howard was asked if his relationship with Kobe Bryant has informed how he and James Harden get along.

Ben Golliver/Sports Illustrated

Shaq Wishes He Had More Patience Instead Of Leaving Magic In 1996
Shaquille O'Neal returned to the Magic on Friday to be inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame.

AP

Dan Gilbert One Step Below Cuban In Terms Of Involvement
Dan Gilbert purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers for $375 million ten years ago this month.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

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