Small-market teams rejoice as new CBA finally gives them a little help

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NBA Out in Oklahoma City, they’ve read all the major changes in the new, soon-to-be-approved Collective Bargaining Agreement, the ones that are supposed to help NBA small-market teams keep their superstars. As Thunder execs have noticed, the adjustments might have prevented Kevin Durant from bolting last July. The reaction has something along the lines of…”A hell of lot of good it does us now!” MORE: Biggest early-season surprises and disappointmentsThe same lament has been heard in Portland, where the Trail Blazers are still hurting over the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge. Have you seen their frontcourt lately? Then you know why there’s a little bit of anger about how the new changes won’t do them a bit of good, with Aldridge long gone to San Antonio. “Multiple teams were victimized by the previous CBA rules and now they’re making an adjustment,” one small-market executive told Sporting News. “Had this rule been in place Portland doesn’t lose Aldridge and Oklahoma City wouldn’t have lost Durant.”You can debate that, of course. The new rules don’t take into account what always is a factor in free agency: Sometimes, it’s just time to go. As in Aldridge’s case, he felt he had been surpassed as the face of the franchise by Damian Lillard and wanted to leave to find a better chance of winning a ring. Plus, he got to go back to Texas, his home state, with all those tax advantages.In Durant’s case, he had the chance to jump to a ready-made championship squad and help form a “Super Team.” He still got to pocket top dollar, thanks to an historic surge in the salary cap that negated the Thunder’s built-in “hometown salary” advantage.DEVENEY: Durant’s incredible numbers prove he deserves MVP chatterIn these recently-completed negotiations between owners and players, the record $24 billion in TV money put the traditional haggling over dollars and cents and the split of Basketball Related Income on the back burner. Owners and players knew that with league revenue projected to go from $4 billion to $8 billion annually, they couldn’t afford to blow things up with a third costly work stoppage in less than 20 years. Instead, the issue of superstar movement, driven home by Durant’s departure, became the No. 1 issue at the bargaining table.Small-market teams had a good beef, once again. They’ve long felt that the system is rigged against them. Exhibit A will always be Shaquille O’Neal leaving Orlando for the Lakers, for almost the exact same $126-million contract, after he had been in the league only four seasons and by the age of 24 had already established himself as a transcendent superstar. Despite losing a once-in-a-lifetime player at such an early age, the Magic of course received no compensation. (It should be noted that the Magic certainly botched negotiations with O’Neal, making it easier for then-Lakers GM Jerry West to bring the big man to LA.) It’s no coincidence that Orlando returned to the[……]

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Kenyon Martin gives caustic response to George Karl

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NBA Basketball Kenyon Martin is snapping back at former coach George Karl.The longtime NBA coach made some nasty allegations against a few of his former players, including Martin, in his yet-to-be released memoir, “Furious George.” Karl claimed Martin’s lack of a father figure is why he had a “detrimental” personality. MORE: NBA coaches who were playersMartin didn’t take too kindly to Martin’s written words, and he let Twitter know it Thursday afternoon.夜网论坛 I didn’t have a father going up. We all know that. What’s George Karl excuse for being a terrible person— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016George Karl is selfish,unhappy,missable,,cowardly person. No wonder he’s be fired every place he has coached— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016The book he is writing is full of lies and deceit. By far the worst coach that ever played for— Kenyon Martin Sr. (@KenyonMartinSr) December 22, 2016Clearly there is no love lost between these two.MORE: Karl writes Nuggets trading Anthony was like ‘popping a blister’Karl also bashed J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony in his book. He said the those players and Martin were like “the spoiled brats you see in junior golf and junior tennis.”[……]

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James to sit out second night of back-to-back

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NBA null null Basketball n夜网论坛ull The Cavaliers can set a franchise record Wednesday night, but they’ll have to do it without the best player team history.LeBron James is expected to sit out when Cleveland visits the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN.com, as the Cavs try for a franchise-best 10th win in their first 11 outings. James isn’t hurt.Cleveland is following the pattern they’ve used the last two years, resting the 31-year-old superstar on the second of back-to-back games from time to time.  MORE: 8 NBA players with the most to prove in 2016-17The Cavs sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. A victory against the 5-6 Pacers would give Cleveland its best start since opening the 1976-77 campaign with a 9-1. A James-led team has never started 10-1.The four-time MVP is averaging 23.4 points, 9.6 assists and 8.9 rebounds per game. That’s not too bad for an old guy.[……]

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Giannis Antetokounmpo recalls funny Jason Kidd story

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null Basketball 夜网论坛 NBA Jason Kidd is coaching the Bucks, but before that he had an incredible NBA career as a player. One that apparently Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t know about. Via Sports Illustrated:The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. “I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’ ” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made 3s, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.’”MORE: Giannis stole a fan from Westbrook Most NBA fans know about Kidd’s career, so it’s kind of funny to see Antetokounmpo completely oblivious to what the 10-time NBA All-Star accomplished. But then you remember he was born in Athens, Greece, and lived there for the majority of his life, so it’s not like he could watch Kidd play on national TV regularly.Antetokounmpo doesn’t see too many benchings now as he’s taking the league by storm in his fourth season. He leads the Bucks in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and plenty of other stats.[……]

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Clippers coach Doc Rivers explains why he got so upset

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NBA null null null Basketball Clippers coach Doc Rivers had to be restrained by his players and staff Tuesday night after he became livid when he was called for a technical foul. Rivers was arguing a foul call with official Lauren Holtkamp when another offici夜网论坛al, Ken Mauer, issued the tech on the L.A. coach. That’s when the rage set in, and Rivers was ejected from the game in the first overtime period.When asked during his postgame chat with the media, Rivers explained what got him so riled up. MORE: 8 NBA players with the most to prove in 2016-17″I thought it was an awful tech,” Rivers said candidly. “The official who had nothing to do with the play thought I was yelling at Lauren, and I wasn’t. Actually, she said, ‘Doc, you’re right,’ or whatever, ‘Let’s walk back.’ We were walking. We weren’t even arguing. So it was the damnedest tech to give at that time.”What the league is going to do, they’re going to fall back on, ‘He crossed half court.’ You’ll see tomorrow, that’s what they’re going to say. And we’re going to all know that’s not the real reason. I don’t think an official that has nothing to do with the play should be giving someone a tech. That’s my thing. That’s why I got upset. He didn’t even know what we were talking about. It wasn’t even an argument. But listen, that had nothing to do with the game, and that’s not why we lost the game.”Rivers was correct with his guess that the league will use the “he crossed half court” excuse, as that’s what Mauer said after the game.Transcript: NBA Referee Ken Mauer Comments to Pool Reporter after Clippers-Nets Game pic.twitter.com/9uhG17YKxA— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) November 30, 2016DEVENEY: Blazers face a $340 million problemAlso, Rivers claimed the half court excuse was “not the real reason” for the tech. He’s likely referring to the history between Holtkamp and the Clippers, which was a big ordeal in 2015 when Chris Paul said officiating “might not be for her.” He was fined $25,000 by the NBA for those comments.There’s a chance Rivers gets hit with a $25,000 fine himself for these comments.[……]

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LeBron James reaches yet another NBA milestone

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NBA null null Basketball null One day after passing El夜网论坛vin Hayes for ninth on the all-time scoring list, LeBron James reached another milestone Saturday against the Hornets.James became the first player in NBA history to record 27,000 career points and 7,000 career assists after a monster first half. The Cavaliers have been getting great production from all three members of their “Big Three” this season, but James remains the leader on Cleveland’s championship-defending squad. MORE: LeBron Jr. already has more range than his dadJust for good measure, James proved he can still dunk with the best of them.LeBron Raymone James. #DefendTheLand https://t.co/akRgBCXU9B— NBA (@NBA) December 11, 2016James finished a rebound shy of a triple-double (44 points, 10 assists, nine boards) as the Cavs won 116-105.[……]

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Friday night in the NBA

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NBA null 夜网论坛 null null null null null null null Basketball null null null null null null The Celtics kept Russell Westbrook in check for about 16 minutes on Friday night, but the Thunder star took over from there, putting up 45 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead Oklahoma City to a 117-112 win at TD Garden.Westbrook’s latest impressive performance marks his 14th triple-double of this still-young NBA season, and he’s on pace to shatter his own career high of 18 triple-doubles in a single season set last year. MORE: Breaking down the top rookie scoutsIt’s been a while since the Celtics allowed an opposing player a triple-double. LeBron James was the last to do it, when he had 43 points,12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 113-109 Cavaliers win in Boston on Feb. 15, 2006. So, yeah, he’s here.The Celtics have gone 231 games without allowing a triple-double, longest streaK in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/SaKZu7DgVZ— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 23, 2016Westbrook missed his first five shots from the field on Friday and didn’t get one to go until there were 8:19 remaining in the second quarter. He scored the last seven points of the first half, flipping the Thunder’s three-point deficit to a four-point lead.He tallied 18 points in the fourth quarter of his third-straight 40-point game.Stud of the nightWith apologies to Mr. Westbrook, tonight’s stud of the night honor goes to Anthony Davis, who scored 28 points (including two 3s), pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds and blocked four shots, as his New Orleans Pelicans erased a 14-point Miami Heat l[……]

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Kyle Lowry powers Raptors past Jazz

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null null null null null null Basketball null null null null null null 夜网论坛 null null null null NBA The Raptors have quietly developed a big three of their own, and they were all on full display during Thursday’s 101-93 win against the Jazz.Kyle Lowry led the way with a game-high 33 points. The All-Star point guard hit 10 of 17 shot attempts while also grabbing six rebounds with five assists and three steals. After a slow start to the season, he has established himself as one of the best floor generals in the league. DeMar DeRozan has cooled off a bit from the scintillating start to his 2016-17 campaign, but he still scored 23 points with seven rebounds.Unfortunately, it took him 26 shots to reach that mark. MORE: These 12 big men could be available this trade deadlineThe final member of the Raptors’ stars, Jonas Valanciunas, came into the game having endured a tough time recently. Coach Dwane Casey even said he wouldn’t play his center late in games if he couldn’t “dominate.”Valanciunas dominated Thursday, scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds and zero turnovers.Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Both teams have the look of strong playoff contenders.Stud of the nightPacers forward Myles Turner scored 25 points with 15 rebounds and five blocks in a 121-109 win against the Nets. Turner, who is averaging 15.6 points per game this season, now has six doub[……]

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Derrick Rose says he could be 'better' than MVP season, was a 'dumb player'

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NBA After major knee surgeries and various other ailments throughout his career, could Derrick Rose possibly be better than he ever was?Well, according to… Derrick Rose, he could be. And he is. In an interview with the New York Post, Rose claimed that he didn’t demonstrate a lot of basketball IQ earlier in his career, and could be getting even better now. When asked if he missed being an MVP-caliber player, Rose said not really.MORE: 12 biggest surprises, disappointments from the NBA season “No. I know I could become better (than the MVP season). … I was a dumb player at the time,” he said. “I was reckless. … I wasn’t being smart. I wish I never dunked the ball. … I was playing too fast, I wasn’t changing up my speeds. I wasn’t reading the game right.”I think I’m able to read the NBA game a lot better, and pick and choose my spots. …  And now, I feel like with the IQ that I have and with the experie夜网论坛nce I have after playing nine years, I could really go out there and pick and choose my spots, instead of just going out there shooting shots trying to win the game.”MORE: Derrick Rose is happy he can be a normal guy in NYCThe 28-year-old guard won the NBA MVP for the 2010-2011 season, but has struggled to stay on the court since. His injury history is well-documented, with 2015-16 being the first season he’s played in over 60-plus games since his MVP campaign six years ago.A free agent following this season, if Rose really does feel like his experience can help bolster his game, then the Knicks will have an interesting decision to make come summer 2017. If they want to take a calculated risk locking up Rose long-term given his injury history, then 2016-17 will tell the tale as to whether or not Rose will be worth backing up the truck for.[……]

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Russell Westbrook film session: In-depth look at how he's putting up those stats

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NBA James Harden isn’t the only player on pace to make history this season . With Kevin Durant off in Oakland, Russell Westbrook has turned the Oklahoma City Thunder into a one-man show with averages of 31.8 points, 10.6 assists and 9.6 rebounds through 15 games.While there is still a lot of basketball to be played between now and the playoffs, Westbrook has a legitimate shot at joining Oscar Robertson as the only other player to average a triple-double for an entire season. MORE: Top 15 point guards in the NBA, rankedWestbrook establishing himself as a walking triple-double isn’t anything new , but the situation he’s in with the Thunder forces him to handle the ball in ways he never has before. He’s the first player in NBA history to post a usage rating greater than 40 percent , and that’s probably not going to change much based on what we’ve seen from Westbrook in the past when he hasn’t had another star to defer to . To go along with his high usage rate, Westbrook is also leading the league with 24.2 shot attempts and nearly 100 touches per game. To get a better understanding of why that paves the way for Westbrook to average a triple-double, take a look at what he’s able to accomplish in the pick-and-roll. Westbrook is scoring out of the pick-and-roll with about the same frequency as years past — 37.1 percent compared to 35.4 percent — but his attempts have gone up by nearly three shots per game to fill the void left by Durant. That’s fine because Westbrook is one of the more efficient pick-and-roll scorers in the NBA.Westbrook looks to create for himself in the pick-and-roll rather than setting up others. Because Steve Adams isn’t a pick-and-pop threat, opposing centers can afford to hang back in most pick-and-rolls to protect the basket. It’s not a bad tactic considering Westbrook isn’t the 3-point shooter Stephen Curry is coming off screens, but he’s comfortable pulling-up from mid-range when given space. Westbrook currently leads the league with 12.4 pull-up attempts per game and has converted 39.2 percent of those looks, according to NBA.com , both of which are similar to the numbers he posted last season.MORE: The mistake that cost the Thunder a dynastyTake a look at this play to see the impact he has with those shots:While Westbrook’s success rate on pull-ups isn’t quite as high as you’d expect for him to be treated as a true threat from that distance, the volume alone forces teams to respect him. Plus, Westbrook is one of the toughest covers in the NBA without a reliable jump shot due to the pressure he puts on teams off the dribble. When he knocks a couple of those jumpers, he becomes unstoppable because it opens up the rest of his game in ways that benefits everyone on the Thunder.Watch Westbrook use the threat of his pull-up to freeze Luc Mbah a Moute ever so slightly following a screen from Steven Adams (below). As a result, DeAndre Jordan finds himself having to mak[……]

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