NBA standings (Reuters)
5 Dec 2013 at 9:54pm
Dec 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Standings from the NBA on Thursday EASTERN CONFERENCEATLANTIC DIVISION W L PCT GB 1. Boston 8 12 .400 - 2. Philadelphia 7 12 .368 0 1/2 3. Toronto 6 11 .353 0 1/2 4. Brooklyn 5 14 .263 2 1/2 5. NY Knicks 4 13 .235 2 1/2 CENTRAL DIVISION W L PCT GB 1. Indiana 17 2 .895 - 2. Detroit 9 10 .474 8 3. Chicago 8 9 .471 8 4. Cleveland 6 12 .333 10 1/2 5. Milwaukee 3 15 .167 13 1/2 SOUTHEAST DIVISION W L PCT GB 1. Miami 14 5 .737 - 2. Atlanta 10 10 .500 4 1/2 3. Washington 9 9 .500 4 1/2 4. Charlotte 8 11 .421 6 5. Orlando 6 12 . ...
Lakers-Kings Preview (The Associated Press)
5 Dec 2013 at 7:42pm
Kobe Bryant is nearly ready to make his season debut. But the Los Angeles Lakers will have to make do without their star for at least one more game. They'll try to win a third straight road game with their short-handed rotation Friday night against the Sacramento Kings. Bryant practiced for a third straight day Thursday without any setbacks, though the Lakers dispelled the speculation he might play against the Kings.
NBA-National Basketball Association roundup (Reuters)
5 Dec 2013 at 4:25pm
Dec 5 (The Sports Xchange) - Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose addressed reporters Thursday for the first time since undergoing season-ending knee surgery on Nov. 22, vowing to possibly return in time for the playoffs. Rose, 25, tore his right meniscus on a simple backcut in Portland against the Trail Blazers. "If I'm healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I'll be out there playing, but if it's something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, it's no need." - - Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will not play Friday against the Sacramento Kings. Bryant practiced twice this week and could still return Sunday, when the Toronto Raptors visit Staples Center.
Andrew Bynum on facing J.J. Hickson in win over Nuggets: ?The guy guarding me...
5 Dec 2013 at 11:50am
When I tuned into the early Wednesday matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, the same thing struck me that struck Portland Trail Blazers general manger Neil Olshey repeatedly last season: "Hey, J.J. Hickson looks pretty undersized at center, especially lining up across from Andrew Bynum. The Cavs should probably give Bynum the ball a lot." Clearly, Mike Brown and I share something more than ill-timed personal grooming habits , because Cleveland fed the 7-foot, 285-or-so-pound Bynum early and often against the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Hickson on Wednesday. The big man started out slow coming off his best performance of the season, missing six of his first eight shots, but he turned it on in the second half to finish with 14 points and seven rebounds as part of a mammoth front-line effort ? Tristan Thompson bulled his way to 17 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, and Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench ? in the Cavs' 98-88 win over the visiting Nuggets. All that low-post feeding seemed to agree with Bynum, who even found himself rediscovering some of the on-court nastiness that cropped up quite a bit toward the end of his days in purple and gold. From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal : 6. A few games ago, Bynum was running out [and] setting a number of high screens, which seemed in direct contrast of his real strengths. Now he?s focusing more on setting up in the post and going to work. He made just 2 of 8 shots in the first half, but clearly was inspired by the Nuggets? coach and their bench. 7. ?Too soft early in the game,? Bynum said. ?Had to take me to get mad to play right.? 8. Bynum was clearly annoyed by J.J. Hickson, who was defending him most of the night. Hickson was giving up about three inches and 40 pounds to Bynum, who swatted Hickson for a flagrant foul in the third quarter. ?The guy guarding me was an infant,? Bynum said. 9. He actually stole that line from C.J. Miles, who was hollering at the Nuggets all night, ?They're babies! They can?t stop you!? I mean, they could ? again, a still-shaking-off-the-rust Bynum went 6 for 15 from the floor during his 20-plus minutes of floor time, with many of the misses coming on the sort of at-the-rim bunnies on which he feasted while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers ? but going to him still felt like the right idea. Even when the shots weren't falling, you could sort of see the Cavaliers' offense looking more like the hoped-for ideal of the summer, when Cleveland signed Bynum to an incentive-laden two-year contract in the hope that he'd provide a low-post presence and added Jarrett Jack in the hope that his playmaking could help unleash Kyrie Irving as an off-ball weapon in the same way that it aided Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson last season with the Golden State Warriors. One second-quarter possession in particular stood out ? Bynum backing down Hickson to pivot his way into a pretty high-percentage lefty layup that missed, followed by Thompson crashing the offensive glass from the weak side to beat noted glass-cleaner Kenneth Faried for the board and kicking out to Jack, who reset atop the arc, spotted Irving sliding down to the left corner all alone and fired a cross-court pass for an open corner 3 by Kyrie that found the bottom of the net. Working inside out, taking advantage of the combination of size, skill and athleticism on the interior, removing responsibility from Kyrie to create everything, and getting a knockdown shooter a clean look ... it's the kind of thing we haven't seen much of from Cleveland, and it was a welcome sight. Depending on where you sit, that attitude might be, too. While Bynum's latter days in L.A. were marked by a fair bit of petulance and criticism , they also showcased him as a supremely confident difference-maker capable of turning perceived slights into productive play ... and that seemed to come back around on Wednesday. More from Lloyd : 10. [Nuggets head coach Brian] Shaw was an assistant with the Lakers for much of Bynum?s time in Los Angeles. Shaw was complimentary of Bynum before the game, but clearly said something that irritated him Wednesday night. 11. ?I think just BShaw and their bench pissed me off a little bit,? Bynum said. He was blocked in the third quarter by Timofey Mozgov, which apparently got the Nuggets? bench barking. When Bynum made a short turnaround jumper a minute later, he glared at the Nuggets? bench and nodded. That sort of sneering swagger can be helpful, and infectious , and propulsive. Left unchecked, though, it can also verge into the unhelpful and dangerous: Bynum's third-quarter flagrant-1 on Hickson wasn't an especially dirty play in and of itself ? he appeared to get more arm than head/neck ? but given the nature of their back-and-forth throughout the game, plus the nature of Bynum's post-game commentary, it also didn't seem accidental, and the result could have been worse. In a sense, then, the Cavaliers got perhaps the most complete vision of their free-agent acquisition on Wednesday ? the returning post moves, footwork and desire to dominate on one hand, and the wild streak that can bleed over from competitive to reckless. A Cavs team that entered this season with playoff aspirations needs the former; to get it, though, they might have to learn to live with the latter. That might come complete with some outbursts, comments and actions more commonly associated with the kind of kid Bynum says was checking him on Wednesday. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
Mark Cuban loves not being ?stuck? with a bloated payroll, as the Brooklyn Ne...
5 Dec 2013 at 10:15am
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has treated Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov with a healthy sense of tact in the years since Mikhail just about swiped Cuban?s starring role as ?The Owner Who Will Spend Anything to Win.? While it?s true that Cuban has spent quite a bit in nearly 12 years of Mavericks ownership in the pursuit of championship rings, he hasn?t gone completely batty with his payroll against his better instincts ? witness his passing on re-signing Steve Nash as a free agent in 2004, a move that eventually backfired, but the sound basketball decision at the time . Relative to the big moves made by the Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets, the Mavericks have kind of whiffed on the last three offseasons; tinkering around the edges while attempting to stay competitive and financially flexible at the same time. While they went out in the first round in 2012, followed by Dirk Nowitzki?s injury getting in the way of a playoff berth last season, this year?s roster is on pace for another 50-win campaign. If Dirk takes a pay cut this summer , the Mavericks could have around $30 million in cap space to tinker with. This is a good pairing.
Kobe Bryant says he won?t return Friday, but doesn?t rule out playing Sunday ...
4 Dec 2013 at 7:53pm
Kobe Bryant is back to practicing at full speed this week, and while many hoped that would mean a return to real game action as soon as Friday on the road against the Kings in Sacramento, Bryant himself said on Wednesday that wouldn?t be the case. Speaking to many reporters one-on-one at the unveiling of?
Kobe Bryant says he will not return Friday vs. Kings, could play Sunday vs. R...
4 Dec 2013 at 7:25pm
Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant is very close to returning to the NBA. However, it looks like we'll have to wait a few more days to see one of the league's most important players back in action. As reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Bryant has ruled himself out of Friday night's road game against the Sacramento Kings (via EOB ):
Numbers crunch: Wall is elite; Wizards' mid-range accuracy isn't (Comcast Spo...
4 Dec 2013 at 3:32pm
After 18 games and a full month being complete, here is where the Wizards (9-9) stand in key categories as they stand at .500 for the first time since 2009. All data was broken down using the NBA's advanced statistics and player tracking cameras through Wednesday's games: The upside for the Wizards is that those percentages are an increase of what they shoot overall, which is 44.7 percent, including 40 percent from three. By comparison, the Portland Trail Blazers are 7-0, Memphis Grizzlies 6-0, Oklahoma City Thunder 6-2, Philadelphia 76ers 6-2 and Los Angeles Clippers 6-3 and Indiana Pacers 4-1.
The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account wonders if the team can join the a...
4 Dec 2013 at 12:50pm
There are seven teams currently slated to head toward the lottery in the Western Conference, per usual, and five of those teams have records good enough to make the Eastern playoff bracket. The 12th-best record in the Western Conference ? currently held by both the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers at 9-9 ? is tied with the winning percentage of the team with the third-best record in the East. That would be your Washington Wizards. Tied. For third in the East. The East is terrible this season, and though teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Pistons may eventually get their acts together, the drop-off between standout Indiana and Miami clubs and the rest of the dreck is significant. Worse, the eventual winner of the piss-poor Atlantic Division (the Boston Celtics hold that honor right now, at 8-12) will be rewarded with the ostensible fourth seed in the East this spring due to NBA bylaws. That?s pretty awful. And it?s especially awful if you?re battling amongst the trees in Pacific Time out West, wondering how this is even fair in the slightest. The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account struck out first, indirectly looking to inspire a move:
Kings' DeMarcus Cousins takes jab at Derrick Rose? (Comcast SportsNet Chicago)
4 Dec 2013 at 9:53am
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a right ankle sprain Sunday vs. Golden State that forced him to miss Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City. When Cousins was asked if he would play in Friday's contest against the Los Angeles Lakers, he jokingly responded (via News10's Sean Cunningham), "probably not, think I'll be out rest of the season and I can get a comeback commercial." Asked DeMarcus Cousins about playing Friday, he joked "probably not, think I'll be out rest of the season & I can get a comeback commercial" ? Sean Cunningham (@News10Sean) December 4, 2013 Shot at the Bulls' Derrick Rose, who promoted "The Return" campaign through Adidas after recovering from ACL surgery in 2012-13?
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