For the 2nd time in 3 years the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA Draft Lottery. Coming into the night they had the 3rd best odds of taking home the top honor. With the number 1 overall selection they will be able to build around a good young nucleus that is centered around Kyrie Irving. Selecting 2nd will be the Orlando Magic, who had the best shot of winning the spot based on percentages. The Washington Wizards were the real surprise of the night moving into the top 3.
Check out the full order after the jump.
In a move that surprises nobody, the Los Angeles Clippers have declined to offer head coach Vinny Del Negro a new contract. This comes after a terribly disappointing first round exit in the playoffs in a year with such high expectations. This year they made huge steps in the regular season winning their first ever Pacific Division title, but again fell incredibly short of their long term postseason goals.
The remained of this off-season is filled with questions for the Clippers, as their sole focus now targets on keeping Chris Paul. Rumors have been swirling that the superstar is unhappy and may check his options in free agency, which begins in July. No word on what coaches the Clippers will look at but it is guaranteed they will factor in which hire will make Paul the most happy.
The NBA finals are now only one round away, as we have the final four of the best possible conference finals that could’ve happened. Featuring the Miami Heat & Indiana Pacers battling out East, game 1 today see the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Memphis Grizzlies.
Although this isn’t the sexiest match-up fans would’ve wanted to see, the two teams should give us one of the best pure playoff series in quite some time. And what do we mean by “pure”? Simple, both the Spurs and Grizzlies play traditional team basketball with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili following suit from Gregg Popovich; and the best front-court in the NBA of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph always on the same page.
The Spurs finished the season with just only two more wins than Memphis, but that doesn’t mean both teams can’t win on the road. Each of the two teams closed out their last series on the road (San Antonio’s won both series on the road) to advance, which is why home court won’t have that much of an effect to these experienced teams. In 2011 the, the Grizzlies (who were an 8th seed) upset the top seeded Spurs in 6 games, as Zach Randolph averaged nearly 30 points a game for the series.
*UPDATE* Spurs 105 | Grizzlies 83
After a 9 year wait, the Indiana Pacers are headed back to the Eastern Conference finals with their 106-99 win over the New York Knicks. George Hill who missed game 5 with concussion-like symptoms returned back for the finale at home to avoid a game 7 on the road. Hill provided a much needed scoring boost netting 25 points that was missing in game 5; even grabbing 10 boards, equaling Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin’s rebounding output.
The story of game 6 was Lance Stephenson having a career-high in playoff points with 23 to put the finishing touches on his favorite team growing up in New York City. In the 4th quarter, he even scored 9 points of the Pacers 11-2 run in the final stages to finish the series, solidifying his big performance. Carmelo Anthony did all he could with scoring 39 points (29 FGA) but ran out of gas in the 4th quarter going 2-8 from the field with little to no help from the “others” in crunch-time.
Continue after the jump for a highlight video along with more of the recap.
Coming into game 6 last night, San Antonio was planned to return home on Friday morning, but not to host a game 7 against the Warriors; instead planning for a game 1 meeting Sunday afternoon against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Golden State Warriors, have gave us some of the most exciting moments for the playoffs in quite some time led by the jaw dropping shooting from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Since Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, has figured out how to contain their shooting, the two have went on a cold streak. Curry, who’s bee dealing with ankle injuries, was forced him to take a backseat to Klay; who was obviously not ready for this big of a stage in his career. In game 6, Tim Duncan came out making a statement in the first quarter scoring one third of the Spurs total points to set the tone of the game.
David Lee also made some contributions in the first quarter scoring 4 of his 9 points for the game to give the team some relief. Steph Curry would continue into 2nd quarter trying to keep his team in the game scoring 11 of the 21 points before halftime; but San Antonio’s balance of offense at all angels was just too much for Golden State to endure.
Hit the jump for a video recap and more.
The last 24 hours in the city have memorable watching from a third person perspective from seeing people’s awkward reaction to Kanye West’s new album and even J.R. Smith throwing a downtown party on the eve of their potential season-ending game. The Knicks faithful were staying loyal to their team with aspirations of just getting a chance to head back to Indiana and extend the series back home.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, would install Chris Copeland into the rotation providing a huge lift off the bench with Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith’s lack of consistency scoring. Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Novak are both also dealing with injuries they’re trying to work their way through but saw limited action. The pacers were without their starting point guard George Hill, who suffered a concussion during game 4.
Indiana would insert Lance Stephenson into the starting lineup which they would instantly see the decline in production without Hill in the action, as Lance only scored 4 points in 1-7 of shooting. The Pacers essentially run a 5-man rotation for their starters which made them vulnerable last night against the Knicks.
We have a pair of potential closeout games slated for tonight’s NBA action. The biggest game of Kevin Durant’s career is tonight at 9:30pm when they fight for their season down 3-1 to the Memphis Grizzlies. Durant’s been playing lights out since the injury departure of Russell Westbrook, which in our opinion he’s been running out of energy down the stretch seen in 5 points combined in the 4th quarter and OT in game 4. Serge Ibaka finally had a breakout game scoring 17 and 14 boards, but he’s going to have to mirror his play once again with Kevin Martin and Reggie Jackson helping Durant to keep their season alive.
The Miami Heat dealing with injuries of their own with guard Dwyane Wade expected to be a game time decision due to re-aggravating his knee. Wade’s had career playoff series low’s in points and production this series and has essentially became team’s 4th option behind Norris Cole. Miami wants this series to end quickly rather than later, as the Bulls are expected to be without Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich tonight and a loss here tonight could prompt them to return on Friday for game 6.
Miami 94, Chicago 91 | Heat Win Series 4-1
Memphis 88, Thunder 84 | Grizzlies Win Series 4-1
You can continue after the jump for more in-depth previews of each game.
Miami Heat “center,” Chris Bosh was next to be profiled for E:60. Lisa Salters visited the 8-time all-star’s home in Miami during February before All-Star 2013. Along with his wife Adrienee and closest friends Dwayne and LeBron, the three all discuss how Chris is secretly a funny guy behind the scenes and keeps his professional personality in the public.
Named “Mr. Basketball” in Texas during 2002, Bosh grew up in a rough environment which he used basketball as his escape. He would go on to play collegiately at Georgia Tech which after a stand-out freshman year, he would have to leave his engineer dreams behind and forego a career in the NBA. After the jump you can watch the interview with narrator Lisa Salters breaking down the Heat’s 2011 emotional collapse, his 2012 playoffs injury and coming back to win the championship.
OS REWIND: E:60 – Dwayne Wade
OS REWIND: Our Favorite Miami Heat-STREAK Moments
OS REWIND: Chris Bosh’s Miami Home Reportedly Robbed Of $497K In Goods
The most talked about team all year in the NBA has been the New York Knicks. Tonight their backs are against the walls in a must-win game; and luckily for them, they’re on the road to avoid the boo’s throughout the Garden from the faithful. All eyes are on Carmelo Anthony, as he’s the only superstar remaining from the 2003 not to win a NBA championship. The teams most consistent player this series, Iman Shumpert was scheduled to be out of action tonight but will suit up after positive reports on his knee today from evaluations.
Pacers Defeat Knicks 93-82, Take 3-1 Series Lead | Spurs Win 109-91, Take 3-2 Series Lead
In the 2nd game scheduled for tonight’s hoops, features surprisingly the San Antonio Spurs in a must-win situation of their own a 2-2 series tie with the Golden State Warriors. The winner of game 5 normally goes on win the series generally, but this series hasn’t seen a clear cut favorite with the Spurs stealing game one and winning game 3 before their Sunday collapse in OT in Oakland. A loss here could put them in a hole heading back to the Bay Area against the league’s loudest crowd.
Check after the jump for more previews of the each game.
It’s been just over a year since Chicago’s Derrick Rose played an NBA game. Backlash from his decision to sit out all the season (and playoffs) has been the main story that continues to float around him. After the Bulls’ own Joakim Noah decided to stand up for his fellow teammate, now Craig Robinson also has his back, with a song.
He took his time out from promoting his upcoming movie This Is the End, to be on ESPN’s Sportnation and lend his two cents to the situation. As Rose’s top ten plays of the season played behind him, you could feel Craig inspired by the hate towards Rose. But when will he return? It is not on the horizon as of yet, but Rose will rise.
Watch “A Song For Derrick Rose” after the jump.
Tonight’s slate of NBA games is very interesting to say the least in our opinion. The Miami Heat gave the Chicago Bulls a school lesson earlier in the week, as we witnessed the largest margin for playoff win-loss differential in NBA history with a 37-point blowout.
In the night cap of hoops, the Golden State Warriors are home after evening the series against the Spurs which they almost blew their double-digit lead again, as San Antonio tried for a late 4th quarter run. Golden State could’ve been back home up 2-0 against the odd-on-favorite Spurs, who are having a hard time dealing with the back-court shooting tandem of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry.
Check after the jump for a continuation of the previews.
This comes to no surprise at all as King James has been unquestionably the most dominant player all year. Setting an NBA record back in February for his six straight games of at least 30 points and 60% field goal percentage, and leading his team on 27 game win streak, which was second best of all-time. LeBron joins Bill, Kareem, Wilt, and Jordan as the only player to win regular season MVP four times. Something that accolades his legacy and leads to more discussion about the all time greats.
The Heat are scheduling an awards presentation this Sunday and commissioner David Stern will present LeBron with the trophy itself at the start of their second-round series against the Chicago Bulls tomorrow .
James was honored to receive the award but as playoff cliche’s go, he shrugged it off and said the playoffs and finals are the only thing he’s focused about. Which is good for him, because how far he can distance himself away from other athletes with world titles, is still what everyone is waiting to see from the King.
The final game for the NBA’s 2013 first round ends in proper fashion with the Brooklyn Nets looking to advance against the injury-riddled Chicago Bulls. This will be Brooklyn’s biggest game ever for its franchise, as they will look to end the series tonight just one week after being down 3-1 when Nate Robinson had a career playoff game. Like the picture above featuring the GOAT’s “Flu Game,” the Chicago Bulls have been dealing with injuries and most recently a virus that has spread throughout the team.
Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson played through the illness in game 6 sick and were seen on the bench during the game vomiting. Luol Deng couldn’t had to be placed in the ER from the oral viral infection and felt the weakest in his life he said. Deng will not be suited for action tonight along with Kirk Hinrich (game-time decision) expected to also be out with an injured calf he’s been dealing with. Joakim Noah, who’s never one to make excuses guaranteed a victory tonight for game 7 following their game 6 loss.
Watch a video preview for game 7 along with more of the game build-up after the jump.
OS REWIND: Our Favorite Michael Jordan Game Winners
OS REWIND: ESPN Shows Us Nate Robinson’s Air Jordan Collection
For the first time in the history the NBA we have total of four game 6’s on the same night. The Knicks open up tonight at Boston to avoid a game 7 at home with the possibility of becoming the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead (circa 2004 NY Yankees). New York wore funeral black attires on Wednesday, but Boston felt disrespected and motivated to win game 5 to extend the series.
The Hawks have won 13 straight games at home against the Indiana Pacers who were believed to be the sleeper team of the East but some of us are going to continue to sleep. Neither team in the series has won an away game, which we’re curious if the Pacers are ready to take the next step and end the series tonight.
Oklahoma City has lost consecutive games and now find themselves in an extended series they did not want to see with the possibility of being the last team escape the Western Conference first round. Without Westbrook in the lineup, OKC’s showed signs of fatigue in the later stretches of each meeting, shown in their game 4 collapse (literally). Houston has a legitimate shot at the series but it starts tonight with a must-win game at home tonight.
Check after the jump for start times of each game.
The Golden St. Warriors have finally won their first playoff series in over 6 years; but it wasn’t an easy closeout. Even a strained hip flexor from David Lee, and a hefty $25K on head coach Mark Jackson couldn’t stop the Warriors from defeating the Nuggets in their series finale. Heading into the game 6, Golden St. had been tested in game 5, with the Denver bringing their defensive adjustments to contain the free-flowing offense the Warriors had in the previous 3-of-4 games.
With the series at 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Oracle; every Bay Area local was tuned in, with even MC Hammer court-side to witness the festivities. In the first quarter, Steph Curry came out struggling again only scoring one FG in the entire half.
Draymond Green’s outside shooting and Andrew Bogut playing like his Milwaukee Bucks days, would carry Golden State to keep the game intact. David Lee who was thought to be out for the entire season, was cleared to play; and came into the game for one minute providing an emotional lift for the team to go out and handle business.
Check after the jump for video highlights and more of the recap.