Archive for the ‘ NBA ’ Category

Jabari Parker Duke NBA draft 2014

Editor’s Note:
This is a guest post by Ron of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com. For more fantasy basketball updates, you can follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page or like it on Facebook.

We all made several predictions about the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft. And although there were some difference, at least we believed we were certain about the top three spots. And then Joel Embiid’s injury came to completely change the picture of this upcoming, loaded draft. Let’s see how things shape up after Embiid’s game – changing injury.

No.1: Jabari Parker
Parker is characterized as the most NBA – ready player, a ready – made star who can start making his presence felt from Day 1 of his NBA career. If that wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers to select him at the top of the upcoming draft, then Joel Embiid’s injury came to seal the deal. Parker now stands the most chances to be the top pick.

No.2: Andrew Wiggins
With Embiid out of the equation, Wiggins will definitely land in one of the top two spots. Assuming that the Cavs pick Parker, the Milwaukee Bucks, who hold the second pick will select Wiggins. The Kansas product can pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee’s perimeter to form a young duo with tons of potential.

No.3: Dante Exum
Exum is another player who will benefit from Embiid’s injury, as he is now considered a lock for the top three. The Philadelphia 76ers, however, are not benefited at all. Philly wanted to land Wiggins and now, they will have to settle for a guy like Dante Exum at No.3. He is a 6’6” guard who can play either of the two backcourt positions. If the 76ers select him they could either place him alongside Michael Carter-Williams or trade one of the two.

No.4: Noah Vonleh
Vonleh just recently climbed to No.4 and he is now considered as the top big man prospect of the upcoming draft. The Orlando Magic will be more than happy to pick a player like Vonleh thus placing a capable forward to pair with Victor Oladipo. The Magic also hold the 12th pick of the upcoming draft, one they can use to pick a point guard.

No.5: Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is projected to get selected somewhere around the fifth and sixth spot. If the Utah Jazz don’t try to move up, selecting Embiid will make sense for them. Utah is a young team which aims to build its future rather than to contend for a playoff spot next season. So, Embiid can be a great investment for the future.

No.6: Marcus Smart
The Boston Celtics have been linked to Marcus Smart since the start of the season. The 6’3” guard is a NBA – ready prospect who can provide instant help to the C’s next season. But Smart can also be developed and be a solid piece of Boston’s rotation, as the team tries to complete its rebuild.

No.7: Julius Randle
There has been much speculation about the Los Angeles Lakers and their seventh overall pick. The Lakers are rumored to be involved in a potential Kevin Love trade together with the Golden State Warriors and in this case they will send their seventh pick to the Dubs. However, if this deal doesn’t go down, the Lakers will most probably select Julius Randle, a prospect they have been eying and working out for months now.

No.8: Elfrid Peyton
Peyton saw his stocks exploding during the last couple of weeks. He suddenly entered the top 10 and at the moment he seems like a great choice for the Sacramento Kings at No.8. The 6’4” guard could be a great replacement for Isaiah Thomas.

No.9: Doug McDermott
McDermott is another player who gained a few spots in the mock drafts as of lately. He is an excellent shooter and he could be a great pick for the Charlotte Hornets at No.9. He is projected to at least make the top 10.

No.10: Aaron Gordon
Gordon slipped to the last spot of the top 10 since Embiid’s injury. He is still considered to be one of the best big men who will enter the league through the 2014 NBA Draft. The Philadelphia 76ers, who hold the 10th pick can add him to their arsenal and pair him with Nerlens Noel.

Victor Oladipo

Editor’s Note:
This is a guest post by Ron of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com. For more fantasy basketball updates, you can follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page or like it on Facebook.

The 2014 NBA Playoffs are not yet over but if you are an owner of a fantasy basketball team, chances are you have already started cooking up your plan for the fantasy team of the upcoming season. Here are 5 fantasy basketball sleepers for the upcoming season which could help you make the difference.

Mike Scott
Normally, one should get much affected by the playoffs, when it comes to fantasy basketball. The regular season is so much different than the postseason in the NBA. Nevertheless, the case of Mike Scott seems to be different. After being a non – factor for the biggest part of the 2013 – 2014 campaign, Mike Scott made headlines with his superb performance in the first round of the playoffs. The 25 – year old forward will most probably have a big role in the Atlanta Hawks’ rotation next season. He will see more minutes and thanks to the confidence he gained this season he could be a great steal for your fantasy team.

Nerlens Noel
Do you remember who was supposed to be the top pick in last year’s NBA Draft? The 7 – footer Nerlens Noel was heavily rumored to get selected at one of the top three spots but he eventually fell to No.6. Noel missed his entire rookie season due to a knee injury but he will most probably be back at his 100 percent next season. Noel can be a 10 PPG, 10 RPG and 55 FG% type of player and also one of the best sleepers you might find.

Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe is a great player but we already know that right? He finished the 2013 – 2014 season with 15.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 0.6 BLKPG. The catch here lies in the fact that the Detroit Pistons three pillars will no long exist next season. Monroe will be a restricted free agent this summer and the Detroit Pistons might seek a trade for him. Playing without Josh Smith and Andre Drummond on his side, Monroe could reach a whole other level with his performance. He could emerge as a star. Keep a close eye on him and the news about his potential trade.

Victor Oladipo
Michael Carter-Williams won the Rookie of the Year award but Victor Oladipo also made his presence felt. The 22 – year old guard still has much work to do and he has room for improvement in almost any aspect of his game. What Oladipo also showed, though, is that he is extremely talented. He is a leader figure and he has superstar talent. Look for him to be even better and record even greater numbers. A fantastic sleeper for your fantasy basketball team.

Lance Stephenson
I simply can’t form a fantasy basketball sleepers list and not include Lance Stephenson. He was Goran Dragic’s runner up for the Most Improved Player of the 2013-2014 and although he didn’t win the award, he took his performance to a whole different level. Stephenson is now a star and in fact, he is the co-leader of the Indiana Pacers alongside Paul George. As a fantasy owner, you should definitely keep him in your scope and try to add him in your fantasy team. I bet those of you who had him onboard this season were very happy with his outputs.

Quicker to the Ball

Pacers Wizards NBA Playoffs 2014

By Marcus Shockley

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what has happened – and, continues to happen – to the Indiana Pacers.

By all rights the Pacers should have already won a title. Over the past two seasons, they consistently outplayed the Miami Heat, but just couldn’t close the deal when it was in their grasp. This is not to take anything away from the Heat; they got the job done when it mattered and the Pacers didn’t. But that’s all history, anyway.

Let’s talk about right now.

The Pacers have a team that is deep, physical, and built to win in the grueling postseason. Everyone is well aware that they stumbled down the home stretch of the regular season, and had to fight to keep their number one seed in the playoffs.

In the first round, the Atlanta Hawks – the eighth seed – pushed the Pacers to brink of elimination, and frankly, looked better than the Pacers for most of the series. Only via a gutty fourth quarter performance by David West in game seven are the Pacers in the second round. After their poor performance in the first round, no one would be surprised if they were eliminated in the second, as they take on the Wizards. The Wizards are not really young, but they do have two very young elite talents in the backcourt.

The first game looked like what most of us would expect, given what we’ve seen so far from both of these teams. The Wizards looked better than the Pacers, even playing on Indiana’s home court. John Wall and Bradley Beal looked unstoppable, especially Beal, and the Pacers look like they don’t even want to be there. Pacers fans have to be discouraged and in a bit of shock of what they are seeing unfold right in front of them.

To be clear, the Wizards have some talent, but it’s not the kind of team you would expect to look like they clearly outmatch the number one seed. One the surface, they have elite wings in Wall and Beal. Nene is a top center and they have depth in the post with Gortat and Drew Gooden. Trevor Ariza has done some nice things. But no one would expect that they (or, frankly, the Hawks) would be making the Pacers look like they shouldn’t have even have made the playoffs.

In an NBA playoff year that been one of the best in some time, the Pacers no longer look like the dark horse. It’s somewhat baffling – is it locker room issues? Has the roster aged to a point where it looks better on paper than in reality?

Will Frank Vogel, who up until a month ago, was being heralded as one of the brightest coaching lights in the NBA, be able to keep his job if the Pacers can’t suddenly start looking like, well, the Pacers?

One thing is certain: as of this moment the Pacers cannot be considered a serious title contender and, while the Heat are the number two seed, they clearly look like the East’s strongest candidate thus far. The Pacers may be on the brink of becoming yet another team that was built for success but could never get over the hump. As a basketball fan, I’m much more excited by what Washington is doing than Indiana, and I would wager most NBA fans feel the same.

For more basketball nonsense, you can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, right now.

Jabari Parker to the NBA

Jabari Parker Duke NBA

Jabari Parker made it official today by announcing his intention to enter the 2014 NBA draft, surprising…well, no one, really. Parker is expected to be a top 5 pick in the draft and could even be considered a number one possibility. Parker seems to have the most mature game of any of the early entries although that likely means he’s about as good as he’s going to get, which is still good enough to make an NBA team better.

Adam Silver NBA basketball

One thing is for certain; the debate over whether college athletes at high-revenue college programs should be paid is not going away. This, despite the NCAA’s best efforts to frame the conversation with rhetoric about ‘student-athletes’, a term they coined decades ago to justify not paying the players in their employ.

Now the NBA has decides to wade into the fray a bit more, with newly minted commissioner Adam Silver mulling over what they might be able to do for those athletes:

“Rather than focusing on a salary and thinking of them as employees, I would go to their basic necessities,” Silver said. “I think if [Connecticut Huskies guard] Shabazz Napier is saying he is going hungry, my God, it seems hard to believe, but there should be ample food for the players.”

To be clear, the NBA isn’t talking about outright payment of salaries to players but rather a subsidization of any gaps in college attendance. On one hand, it’s good the NBA is paying attention…while on the other, it’s hard to see these comments and wonder why the NBA owners were claiming massive losses during the recent labor agreements if they can offer possible subsidies for thousands of college players. The truth has to lie somewhere in the middle; either the NBA is talking about a limited program, or it’s just more rhetoric designed to give lip service to the issue.

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Joel Embiid Kansas basketball NBA draft

In a move that most expected after his solid year, Kansas’ Joel Embiid has declared for the NBA draft. At his news conference on Wednesday, Embiid shared his reasons for turning pro: “Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me … either way was best for me. Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”

There was quite a bit of speculation leading up to this announcement that Embiid might have had a change of heart after it seemed a near certainty that he would make this move earlier in the season. Embiid suffered nagging injuries this season but still managed to average almost a double-double as a freshman. Many consider Embiid the number one pro prospect in this year’s draft with this announcement.

Want more basketball insight? You can follow Basketball Elite on Twitter, right now.

TJ Warren NC State NBA draft

By Marcus Shockley

Well, it’s official. T.J. Warren has declared for the NBA draft:

North Carolina State University sophomore forward T.J. Warren announced Tuesday that he will forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Warren, the ACC Player of the Year in 2013-14, averaged 24.9 points per game and shot 52.5 percent for the Wolfpack. He set school records for points in a single season (871) and games with 20 or more points in a season (31).

I remember watching T.J. as a high school junior and thinking that teams were sleeping on him and that his scoring ability reminded me a lot of Paul Pierce. By the time TJ was a senior, he’d gathered offers from several major schools, and decided on NC State. Just a few days before he announced his decision, he talked to me in this video interview about his current thinking.

T.J. will be a solid pro player. Scouts and coaches have been doubting his ability since he was in high school, but his ability to score has been proven repeatedly. The one nagging thing that he’ll have to work on at this point is his foul trouble. But that will come, in time.

Best of luck to T.J. at the pro level.

Want more basketball insight? Follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, right now.

Chris Paul Booed…Again

Chris Paul Clippers

You would think that Chris Paul would be beloved in Los Angeles. After all, he’s helped make the Clippers, considered to be the worst-run organization in all of professional sports over the last 30 years, actually relevant. But, that’s not the case:

“I thought the city would have embraced him,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Paul. “I mean, it seems like everywhere we go, people love Chris. I don’t know why he would get booed at a Dodger game.”

Paul said he understood being the victim of the Untrue Blue. Fans booed him at the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, he said, because L.A. remains a Lakers town. Sadly, even being shown on the Dodger Stadium video board alongside Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford couldn’t protect him from the scorn of a sellout crowd.

So what gives?

In Los Angeles, the Clippers are the “other team”. The team that isn’t the Lakers, a team that “borrows” the court of the Lakers when they need to play a home game. It’s been this way since the Clippers franchise moved into L.A. from San Diego in 1984. The Clippers have horrible ownership and have been the laughingstock of the league, well, since even their days in San Diego.

Team owner Donald Sterling lobbied the NBA to allow him to move the Clippers to Los Angeles because of poor attendance…but the reason so few people were coming out to watch the games was that the team was awful for years. Bringing the team to L.A. did nothing to solve the poor management of Sterling and the Lakers were already well established. Remember, this was during the height of Magic Johnson’s ‘Showtime’ Laker teams. Sterling had purchased the team in 1981, and was based in L.A.

So the city of L.A. considered Chris Paul an outsider. They expected him to play for the Clippers for a season after David Stern’s ludicrous move to prevent him from going from New Orleans to the Lakers, then they expected him to move over to the ‘real’ L.A. team. Since he hasn’t, they haven’t embraced him.

Chris Paul is arguably one of the most marketable players in the NBA at the moment, with national endorsements, elite play and a winning personality. But as long as he stays with the Clippers, he will probably continue to be considered the ‘away team’ on the team’s home court.

Kyrie Irving NBA Cleveland Cavaliers

SiriusXM and the National Basketball Association announced yesterday that they will launch an exclusive NBA channel on Monday, December 9, that will cover the league 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and bring fans closer to the game.

SiriusXM NBA Radio on Channel 217 will debut on Monday at 7:00 am ET and will feature a star-studded lineup of exclusive interviews throughout the day including NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, Detroit Pistons center-forward Greg Monroe, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, center-forward Kelly Olynyk and forward Brandon Bass, and Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Bernard King. Other big guests for the opening week will include Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, and Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, as well as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague will also be interviewed on the channel on Dec. 12.

Along with one-on-one interviews with the biggest names in the game, the new NBA Channel will showcase more than 14 live NBA games each week and a daily schedule of NBA-focused news and talk from an unparalleled roster of hosts.

Featured hosts include former star players and coaches such as NBA Champions and TNT analysts Kenny Smith and Steve Kerr; three-time NBA Champion center Stacey King; former NBA Champion guard and head coach Lionel Hollins; former head coaches Mike Dunleavy, Sr., and Sam Mitchell; Hall of Famer and women’s basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman; and former NBA guard Mateen Cleaves. In addition, Ian Eagle, Frank Isola, Mark Boyle, Joel Meyers and Jason Goff will provide their expertise on a regular basis.
NBA fans can call in to discuss the latest headlines and weigh in with their opinions on the issues of the day. The channel will also feature regular interviews with NBA legends; on-location broadcasts from special events like the NBA All-Star Game, The Finals, NBA Draft, team training camps; programming and specials focused on the history of the game; and more.

“The NBA has always been an important element of our sports lineup and we’re thrilled to be enhancing our coverage with the launch of SiriusXM NBA Radio,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “Since 2003, we’ve given our listeners the ability to follow their favorite team’s games from anywhere across the U.S. in their car, at home or on their mobile device. Now they’ll have a radio channel that will deliver a 360-degree view of the league from the people who know the game best. Starting December 9, SiriusXM NBA Radio will be must-listen radio for NBA fans.”

Listeners tuning in for the first day of programming will hear The Starting Lineup, hosted by Stacey King and NY Daily News writer Frank Isola, starting at 7:00 am ET. At 12:00 pm ET, Sam Mitchell and Jason Goff will host Off the Dribble. Steve Kerr and Ian Eagle will host Long Range at 3:00 pm ET. The channel will air live coverage of the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Philadelphia 76ers that night starting at 7:00 pm ET, followed by the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Sacramento Kings. The following night, the channel will carry live play-by-play of the Miami Heat vs. the Indiana Pacers at 7:00 pm ET. For more information on the channel and programming please visit www.siriusxm.com/nba.

SiriusXM and the NBA recently agreed to a multiyear renewal of their broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM subscribers will continue to receive a comprehensive schedule of live play-by-play that includes every regular-season game from every team, all games from the NBA Playoffs and The Finals, and select Spanish-language game broadcasts.

NBA programming is available to subscribers with XM Select, Sirius Premier or Sirius All-Access plans. Those satellite radio subscribers who add SiriusXM Internet Radio access to their subscription can also listen to NBA games on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online. Schedules with SiriusXM channel assignments can be found at www.siriusxm.com/nba.

Basketball Pre-Season Roundup

Brandon Knight NBA

With both the college and NBA basketball seasons closing in, it’s time to revive our regular roundup feature, where we whip around the world of basketball and see what’s happening that’s interesting right now.

First off, Lebron James did a cool Q&A on Twitter, which makes us wonder – would MJ or Magic have done something like that? Pretty sure Magic would have, but not so sure about His Airness.

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Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks picked up the fourth-year options on Brandon Knight and John Henson, and if you need an explanation on how the rookie pay scale works, you might want to review our discussion from last week.

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Gerald Wallace prepares for the upcoming season by ignoring the media.

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Derrick Rose is not only ready physically for the season, he’s been slowly increasing his conversation as well, most recently saying that the only true rival for the Chigago Bulls right now are the Miami Heat.

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The Utah Jazz are pretty happy with Derrick Favors and have signed him to a four year contract extension.

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Doc Rivers is trying to control the home arena for the Clippers by covering the Lakers championship banners when the Clippers play a home game:

“Well, I didn’t look at it as the banner thing. I just look at it as putting our guys up…. Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

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Finally, Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport inside of his luggage. No explanation was given but Russell has apologized for the incident.

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