The Detroit Pistons have decided to bring back Chauncey Billups (6'3''-PG-76, college: Colorado). Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars confirmed the move Thursday morning. Billups has agreed to a two-year deal the first season is guaranteed for $2.5 million US a year. Detroit dealt Billups to his hometown Denver Nuggets early in the 2008-09 season and the team has struggled since making the unpopular trade. Billups was the NBA Finals MVP in 2004, when he led Pistons past the Los Angeles Lakers. The five-time all-star turns 37 in September. He bounced back last season to play 22 games for the Los Angeles Clippers after tearing his left Achilles tendon during the 2011-12 season. Courtesy of: cbc.ca
Cleveland Cavaliers advance to NBA Finals with 113-87 Game 6 win over Toronto - May 28, 2016
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are moving on up to the Westside of the conference. A spirited second-quarter combination of lockdown defense and opportunistic offense fueled a 113-87 victory over Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, advancing to their second straight NBA Finals. It was the first time all season that the Cavaliers won in Canada. LeBron James (6'8''-SF-84), who finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, will make his sixth connective Finals appear... [read more]
The Cleveland Cavaliers are moving on up to the Westside of the conference. A spirited second-quarter combination of lockdown defense and opportunistic offense fueled a 113-87 victory over Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, advancing to their second straight NBA Finals. It was the first time all season that the Cavaliers won in Canada. LeBron James (6'8''-SF-84), who finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, will make his sixth connective Finals appearance. Kevin Love (6'10''-PF-88, college: UCLA) will play in his first Finals after registering 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) put in 30 points and nine assists. Cleveland led, 31-25 after one. The team that has won the first quarter has won every game in this series. Before tipoff, Raptors' faithful were confident this series would extend to seven games. "They're our team. We're the North. I have faith," lifelong Raptors fan Allison Randall said before the game. "The Raptors came back and killed them here. We're on home turf. Why can't they do it again?" There was more enthusiasm and glass half-full banter where that came from. "LeBron James is obviously a very good game closer, but honestly in this building, anything can happen is how I feel about it," said Raptors season-ticker holder Gavin Hull. "I think we're going back to Cleveland. They can pull it out." There's only one team going back to Cleveland. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) scored a game-high 35 points and Demar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) produced 20 points. No other Raptor scored in double-digits. Bismack Biyombo (6'9''-C-92) was accessed a Flagrant 1 foul in the first quarter for elbowing Kevin Love in the face while going up for a layup in the post. He has four flagrant points, which carries an automatic one-game suspension. If there were a Game 7 on Sunday, Biyombo would not have been available. Early in the second quarter another elbow was landed. Big man Jonas Valanciunas (7'0''-C-92) pulled down an offensive board and swung his elbow to clear space. He connected on the chest of Richard Jefferson (6'7''-F/G-80, college: Arizona). A livid Jefferson rushed to Valanciunas and put his hand in his face. Teammates came over to separate the two. Double technicals were issued. The Cavaliers used those elbows as fuel. Moments later the energy would be sucked right out of Air Canada Centre for good. James drained a left corner three-pointer off of penetration from Irving and then on the very next possession, James got DeMarre Carroll (6'8''-F-86, college: Missouri, agency: Priority Sports) to bite on a pump-fake before driving baseline for a one-handed dunk. The Cavaliers went up 11. Toronto called a much-needed timeout. The building went absolutely mute. Cleveland held Toronto to 16 points in the quarter, closing off the half on a 9-3 run capped by a Love three to take a 14-point lead. The fans were stunned. Cleveland players walked to the locker room pumped up, yelling, "Way to finish the quarter off." They felt it. It didn't look like Toronto had much of anything left in the tank. In the third quarter, the Cavaliers kept their foot on the gas and stretched the lead to 21. Then things got a little interesting. An 18-point quarter by Lowry brought his team within 12 entering the final quarter. A DeRozan midrange jumper trimmed the margin to 10 early on in the fourth quarter, but that was their limit. That's all the Cavaliers were giving them. Cleveland pushed it up to 26 points in the final seconds, their largest lead of the evening. It was a nice run for the Raptors. They made it to the conference finals for the first time in the franchise's history. They just ran into a better team. When the Cavaliers were 2-0 in this series, most believed a sweep was inevitable. "They won 56 games this year," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "They were second in the East. They played well all season. I know a lot of you thought it should be different, but we knew we had to take it one game at a time. This is a hostile environment. They play very well here." The Eastern Conference champs will await to see if Oklahoma City Thunder can complete a stunning triumph over Golden State or if the Warriors return to The Finals. Cleveland won both games against OKC during the regular season while losing both games to Golden State. The first game of The Finals tips off on June 2. Courtesy of: cleveland.com
Warriors stave off elimination, defeat the Thunder, 120-111 - May 27, 2016
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After two days in a stressful spot, facing the prospect of an early summer break and the burden of so much having gone wrong so quickly, Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson) wanted to be heard. He removed his mouthpiece with just over a minute to play Thursday night in Oracle Arena, turned toward courtside fans and let them know the Golden State Warriors weren't finished. 'We ain't going home!' Curry yelled. 'We ain't going home!' The Warriors are going back to Oklahoma City aft... [read more]
After two days in a stressful spot, facing the prospect of an early summer break and the burden of so much having gone wrong so quickly, Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson) wanted to be heard. He removed his mouthpiece with just over a minute to play Thursday night in Oracle Arena, turned toward courtside fans and let them know the Golden State Warriors weren't finished. 'We ain't going home!' Curry yelled. 'We ain't going home!' The Warriors are going back to Oklahoma City after a 120-111 victory over the Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals narrowed their deficit to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Curry ensured that the defending NBA champions would play at least one more game by scoring 31 points and finishing off the Thunder in the closing minutes. Curry poked the ball away from Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (6'9''-SF-88, college: Texas) for a steal before driving past Steven Adams (7'0''-C/F-93, college: Pittsburgh) and Serge Ibaka to flip in a layup with 62 seconds left. The basket put the Warriors ahead by 10 points and prompted Curry to make his proclamation. 'That's great grammar, right?' Curry said later before giving a nod to his alma mater. 'My Davidson people would be very embarrassed.' Game 6 will be Saturday at Oklahoma City, where the Thunder won Games 3 and 4. Curry was back to looking like a two-time most valuable player after two of the worst games of his season, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter. He made nine of 20 shots overall and added seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. 'I thought he looked like 91%,' Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said, poking fun at a report that Curry was only about 70% recovered from a knee injury. Golden State's Draymond Green (6'7''-F-90, college: Michigan St.) was also back to resembling his dynamic self with 11 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and one technical foul. Klay Thompson (6'7''-G-90, college: Washington St.) scored 27 points for the Warriors and Andrew Bogut (7'0''-C-84, college: Utah) had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Durant scored 40 points on an inefficient 12-for-31 shooting night, missing a three-pointer that could have pulled the Thunder to within three points with 35 seconds left. Teammate Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA) added 31 points but made only 11 of 28 shots after arriving at the arena in his usual all-black elimination-game outfit complete with leopard-print shoes. Westbrook committed seven turnovers and one postgame blunder when he couldn't contain his laughter in response to a reporter's question about Curry being an underrated defender. Durant remained composed and said he liked the matchup with Curry on Westbrook. Green picked up his first technical foul of the series early in the third quarter after fouling Durant on a three-pointer. It was Green's fifth technical in the playoffs, putting him two short of an automatic one-game suspension. He made up for it later in the quarter after taking an outlet pass from Bogut for a layup. Fouled by Ibaka, he punctuated the play with his usual celebratory arm flex. Bogut, who had been a foul-plagued nonfactor over the first four games of the series, nearly had a double-double by halftime with 10 points and eight rebounds. He also disrupted the Thunder around the basket, where they repeatedly had trouble finishing plays. Green looked more like the player everyone remembered in the early going, running stride for stride with Westbrook and blocking his layup against the backboard and later finding Curry for a three-pointer in transition. Green had received a text from the recently retired Kobe Bryant after Game 4 posing a simple question: If making history was easy, why bother? Of course, the Warriors probably never imagined they would have to piggyback trying to become the 10th team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit on top of collecting a record 73 victories during the regular season. Their bid lives on at least two more days. Courtesy of: latimes.com
The Knicks currently don't hold any picks in the 2016 NBA draft, having sent their first-rounder to Toronto and their second-rounder to Houston, but the team plans to trade back into the draft, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. We've heard previously that the Knicks had been trying to acquire a pick, but Begley's suggestion that they 'plan' to land a pick sounds a little more definitive. Of course, just because the Knicks intend to get back into the draft, that doesn't mean it's a slam... [read more]
The Knicks currently don't hold any picks in the 2016 NBA draft, having sent their first-rounder to Toronto and their second-rounder to Houston, but the team plans to trade back into the draft, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. We've heard previously that the Knicks had been trying to acquire a pick, but Begley's suggestion that they 'plan' to land a pick sounds a little more definitive. Of course, just because the Knicks intend to get back into the draft, that doesn't mean it's a slam-dunk - it takes two teams to make a deal. But there are a few clubs that have stockpiled picks and may not want to use all of them. Teams like Boston or Denver could be open to dealing with the Knicks, since those franchises hold 13 of this year's 60 selections between them. As our Eddie Scarito observed earlier this month, the Knicks still have up to $3.3MM that they can spend to purchase a draft pick if they're unable to swing a deal involving a player for one. Armed with that flexibility, New York should be able to find a willing trade partner. Assuming the Knicks do acquire a pick, it figures to be a second-rounder or something late in the first round, and the team has been eyeing prospects who figure to be available in that range. According to Begley, New York has expressed interest in Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell (6'0''-PG-93), Kansas guard Wayne Selden (6'5''-SF-94), and St. Bonaventure guard Marcus Posley (6'1''-G-94), among others. Of those names, only Posley has not yet been linked to the Knicks. The Knicks' interest in Ferrell and Selden has been previously suggested, as the team scheduled a workout for the former, and interviewed the latter at the combine in Chicago. Courtesy of: hoopsrumors.com
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