In what started off as a great tribute to long-time star Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest), the New Orleans Hornets soured the evening with a display of poor sportsmanship by Jason Smith (7'0''-F-86, agency: Priority Sports, college: Colorado St.). Smith has become a regular contributor for the woeful Hornets, and had a nice night yesterday with 17 points and 8 rebounds, but displayed antics that have no place on the professional level.
In a close game throughout, Clippers star Blake Griffin (6'10''-F-89, college: Oklahoma) had a fast break look for a dunk, when Jason Smith comes hustling down the court to 'defend', throwing his left shoulder into a defenseless Griffin, which immediately threw Griffin to the ground. The hit looked like one that would've won the bounty for the New Orleans Hornets, so its safe to say it had no business in last night's NBA game. Smith was immediately ejected from the game.
Flagrant fouls are a part of the game, and Smith's foul was no different. But what made this incident even worse was Smith's reaction to being ejected from the game. As he was being escorted out by security, Smith was waving his arms, to gain praise from his home crowd, as if he had accomplished something honorable. Instead, all he did was to bring the wrong type of attention to a game that should've been about honoring Chris Paul, and applauding the Hornets for pulling out a tough victory. Instead, it'll be about Smith and his selfish acts.
Spurs take the lead in Western Conference Finals - May 20, 2013
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Lionel Hollins isn't normally one for histrionics. The Memphis Grizzlies coach is the steady sort, a composed personality who reflects the confident steadiness of his workmanlike team with his courtside demeanor. So who was this guy on Sunday at the AT&T Center, the frustrated and furious fellow who spent so much of the afternoon flailing his arms, rolling his eyes and scolding his players who were so overmatched? It was Hollins alright. But this sure didn't look like his team [read more]
Lionel Hollins isn't normally one for histrionics. The Memphis Grizzlies coach is the steady sort, a composed personality who reflects the confident steadiness of his workmanlike team with his courtside demeanor. So who was this guy on Sunday at the AT&T Center, the frustrated and furious fellow who spent so much of the afternoon flailing his arms, rolling his eyes and scolding his players who were so overmatched? It was Hollins alright. But this sure didn't look like his team. The San Antonio Spurs not only put his Grizzlies in a 1-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals by winning 105-83, but they also put Memphis in the sort of tailspin that they have spent their historical season avoiding. They trailed by double digits less than six minutes into play, then managed only one semi-believable comeback when a Quincy Pondexter (6'6''-F-88, college: Washington) shooting show helped cut the lead to six in the third quarter. The Spurs put a quick end to any notion that they would blow this dominating debut, with Matt Bonner (6'9''-F-80, college: Florida)'s three sparking an 11-1 run to end the third quarter leading 73-57. But Hollins was hardly the only one who didn't look like himself, as the most ominous sign of them all for the Grizzlies was the disappearance of forward Zach Randolph (6'9''-C-81, college: Michigan St.). He checked out for good with 5:14 left in the fourth quarter and just two points to his name, setting a new season low after missing seven of eight shots. For all the well-deserved praise the Grizzlies had received for their classic approach inside-out offense and gritty defense it seems the Spurs are more than happy to beat them at their own game. San Antonio had just spent the previous six games chasing those sharpshooting, fun and run, Golden State Warriors, and the chance to slow down the style and make it a match of sheer force again against the Grizzlies was apparently welcomed. As has been the case so often of late, only one member of the Spurs' Big Three played big (Tony Parker (6'2''-PG-82) 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and nine assists), but the collective effort was more than enough. Their swarming defense held the Grizzlies to X shooting, and young guns Danny Green (6'6''-G/F-87, college: N.Carolina) and Kawhi Leonard (6'7''-F-91, college: San Diego St.) combined for 34 points on 13-for-19 shooting to lift the offense. By the time the first quarter came to a merciful close for the Grizzlies, they looked as if this was the end of a double-overtime affair. Darrell Arthur's chest heaved up and down as he tried to catch his breath late in the one-sided period, as did Randolph's, perhaps because Arthur had spent so much energy throwing his gum at the scorer's table in a fit of frustration. The Grizzlies forward had failed his assignment of guarding Matt Bonner miserably, letting him bury back-to-back three-pointers that pushed the lead to 17 points and left coach Lionel Hollins screaming on the sidelines. Bad went to worse moments later, when Arthur fouled GInobili outside the top of the arc on a questionable shooting foul call and his free throws brought their disastrous start to a bitter end. This was a much more daunting defensive assignment than the last one for Memphis, which faced an Oklahoma City Thunder team that was isolation-heavy without injured star Russell Westbrook and more than capable of exploiting that simplistic style. But the Spurs at their best are a thing of ball-moving beauty, and the Grizzlies couldn't contain them from the start. Leonard and Green hit open threes that were the byproduct of penetration, while Parker did what he so desired both inside and out. The Spurs led 18-6 less than six minutes in after hitting seven of their first eight shots. The edge grew from there, with Parker and Green combining for 22 points in the first half on a combined nine of 12 shooting. Nothing mattered more than Randolph's disappearing act, though, and it doesn't bode well for Memphis that their leading scorer in both the regular season and the playoffs was nowhere to be found. It was as if he was playing against himself, what with the way he was bumped and bullied and beaten down low. The Spurs' big bodies came with effective force, from Tiago Splitter to Bonner and Tim Duncan. It reached ridiculous levels in the second half, when Randolph missed a number of layups and putbacks that could have made the game so much more manageable for Memphis. Courtesy of: usatoday.com
Pacers knock out Knicks with 106-99 win in Game 6 - May 19, 2013
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Indiana P. - New York K. 106-99
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Lance Stephenson (6'5''-F-90, college: Cincinnati) scored nine of his playoff career-high 23 points during a late 11-2 run Saturday night, leading the Indiana Pacers past the New York Knicks, 106-99 and into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004. The New York native also had 10 rebounds and the Pacers were spurred by the return of point guard George Hill two days after he was diagnosed with a concussion [read more]
Indiana P. - New York K. 106-99 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Lance Stephenson (6'5''-F-90, college: Cincinnati) scored nine of his playoff career-high 23 points during a late 11-2 run Saturday night, leading the Indiana Pacers past the New York Knicks, 106-99 and into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004. The New York native also had 10 rebounds and the Pacers were spurred by the return of point guard George Hill two days after he was diagnosed with a concussion. Next up is a rematch with Miami, the team that eliminated Indiana last season. Game 1 will be Wednesday at Miami. Carmelo Anthony (6'8''-SF-84, college: Syracuse) scored 39 points and Iman Shumpert (6'5''-G-90, college: Georgia Tech) had 19 for New York. Indiana is 6-0 at home in the playoffs, but this one sure wasn't easy. Courtesy of: Associated Press
Golden St.W. - San Antonio S. 82-94 It all proved to be too much, the injuries, the minutes, the machine that is the San Antonio Spurs. Will simply wasn't enough. Golden State's dramatic playoff run came to an exhausting end Thursday night at Oracle Arena. The Spurs advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 94-82 win over the Warriors, winning the best-of-seven series 4-2. By the time the game ended, Warriors starting center Andrew Bogut was glued to the bench, hobbled and rendered ineffective for the second consecutive game. Their emerging rookie star, Harrison Barnes, was in the locker room with a head injury that forced him to sit out the entire fourth quarter. And star guard Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson), hounded and harassed for the 12th consecutive game and playing on a tender left ankle, didn't have enough in him to put the Warriors on his back. He missed his last four shots, all of them carried the Warriors' last hopes. In the end, the Warriors couldn't score enough, shooting just 39.3 percent from the field. They couldn't defend well enough, torched by San Antonio's precision execution that produced 27 assists on 32 baskets. As a result, the Warriors - who entered the playoffs as a No. 6 seed, upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round and had the No. 2 Spurs tied after four games - were bounced from their first postseason appearance in six years. The Warriors tried to put together a comeback, and was in striking distance to do so. Back-to-back jumpers by Klay Thompson (6'6''-G-90, college: Washington St.) and Stephen Curry, both after missed jumpers by San Antonio, cut Golden State's deficit to 77-75 with 4:52 left in the game. After a Spurs turnover, the Warriors had a chance to tie, but Stephen Curry missed back-to-back jumpers. San Antonio then snapped a three-minute drought when Parker, thanks to a blown assignment by the Warriors, drilled a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner. After a Thompson missed jumper and a loose ball foul, the Spur went back up 82-75 with a pair of free throws by forward Kawhi Leonard. The Warriors answered with a floater in the lane by Jack. After another stop, a pair of free throws had the free throws down to four. But Leonard answered with a 3-pointer from the left corner, putting the Spurs back up by six. Thompson and Stephen Curry each had 3-pointers rattle out on the next possession. Then Spurs guard Tony Parker, who finished with 13 points on 3 of 16 shooting, iced the series with a 3-pointer from the right side. Stephen Curry finished with 22 points, six assists and four rebounds. Guard Jarrett Jack had 15 points. Forward Carl Landry had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench. For the second consecutive game, the Warriors put together a brutal first-half for the home crowd. They managed 40 points on 40.9 percent shooting. Stephen Curry and Barnes combined for 24 points on 11 of 21 shooting. The rest of the Warriors: 16 points on 7 of 23 shooting. The Warriors went three minutes without scoring early in the second quarter and San Antonio turned that drought into a 10-point lead. And it wasn't the usual suspects who hurt the Warriors, but the role players. Big man Tiago Splitter scored five points during the run. Matt Bonner hit a turnaround in the lane to put the Warriors down 35-35. Stephen Curry and Barnes got the Warriors back in the game. Stephen Curry converted back-to-back baskets off drives. A minute later, his 3-pointer cut the Spurs lead to five. Barnes caught Duncan guarding him out by the three-point line and drove by him for a reverse layup. Another layup by Stephen Curry and Golden State trailed 39-36 with 3:11 left in the half. But the Warriors couldn't sustain the run and trailed 47-40 at the half. Stephen Curry opened the second half with a floater and the Bogut split a pair of free throws. But Golden State put together another drought, this time three minutes, 22 seconds. The Spurs scored six straight, the last four by Duncan, and the Warriors were back down double-digits 53-43. It was a trend for most of the second half. Golden State got the stops. But they couldn't score. Golden State trailed by six after a jumper by Jarrett Jack but missed its next five shots. The Spurs scored five straight to push the lead to 61-48. The Warriors trailed 65-55 late in the third quarter. The Spurs failed to score on five straight possessions, but Golden State was only able to shave four points off the lead. A free throw by guard Manu Ginobili sent them into the fourth quarter down 66-57. At that point, the Warriors were shooting 39.1 percent from the field, making on 3 of 11 from deep. They took eight more shots than the Spurs and failed to take advantage. The Warriors simply looked tired, a step slow and running on fumes. Courtesy of: mercurynews.com
Krzyzewski reconsidering return to USA Basketball through 2016 - May 18, 2013
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Mike Krzyzewski is now giving serious consideration to remaining as head coach of USA Basketball through the 2016 Olympics in Rio. "There's a chance," Krzyzewski said. "That's correct." Krzyzewski had said for eight months that he's not returning to his position with USA Basketball, but a final decision has yet to be reached. Jerry Colangelo said Saturday he and Krzyzewski have been discussing his return "in installments." "I think it's very close to being resolved," Colangelo said [read more]
Mike Krzyzewski is now giving serious consideration to remaining as head coach of USA Basketball through the 2016 Olympics in Rio. "There's a chance," Krzyzewski said. "That's correct." Krzyzewski had said for eight months that he's not returning to his position with USA Basketball, but a final decision has yet to be reached. Jerry Colangelo said Saturday he and Krzyzewski have been discussing his return "in installments." "I think it's very close to being resolved," Colangelo said. "That's all I can say for sure." Krzyzewski has a 62-1 since 2005, a run that includes gold medal Olympic victories in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. Courtesy of: basketball.realgm.com
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