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Magic Fan

Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short posted by Magic Fan

Midway through Friday’s second quarter, the Magic were in possession of a feel-good 10-point lead on the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers, confetti inexplicably starting falling from the rafters.

It was a case of premature celebration considering LeBron James’ propensity for taking games over late and the Magic’s struggles in the clutch in recent weeks.

Orlando started strong and matched the Cavs blow for blow most of the night only to see James come alive in the fourth quarter as the Magic went cold at the wrong time. James ended up with 29 points – one more than the Magic over the final 12 minutes of the game – to lead Cleveland to a 98-89 victory that wrecked Orlando’s hopes of capturing a signature win.

``You just watch the film on the game and you will see two different teams. One from the first three quarters and one from the last quarter, especially the last five minutes of the game,’’ frustrated forward Tobias Harris said.

``A big part of this league is at the end of the game having the ability to put the basketball in someone’s hands and that person makes a play,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``How many possessions at the end of the game was the ball in LeBron’s hands? He made the plays for himself and for his teammates.

``We’re still growing and understand where we want the ball and in whose hands,’’ Vaughn continued. ``And we’re still learning how to finish once the ball is in that person’s hands.’’

Continue reading "Magic Hang Tight With Cavs Before Falling Short"

Cavaliers Fan

Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love sits fourth quarter posted by Cavaliers Fan

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, Kevin Love scored 22 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter and the Cavs beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 Friday without Kyrie Irving.

Irving was a late scratch with his bothersome left knee. Coach David Blatt thought he would be able to play, but Irving tested the knee prior to the game and determined he couldn’t go.

The Cavs’ defense was terrible throughout the first half when the Magic shot 60 percent, but the effort improved in the second half to win after trailing by 10 in the third quarter.

Love scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers then was relatively quiet the rest of the night. That has been a recurring trend with the third member of the Cavs’ Big Three.

Love played the entire third quarter, shot 1-for-6 and struggled at times defensively. He started the fourth quarter on the bench and didn’t return to the game.

James put the game away in the final minute. With the Cavas already leading92-89, James blew past Tobias Harris for a basket and foul. He made the free throw to extend the lead to six with 40 seconds left.

Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds as the new starting center and Dion Waiters scored 17 points off the bench for the Cavs, who rebounded from Thursday’s disappointing loss at Miami.

The Cavs have been playing hurt lately. James’ left knee has been bothering him, Irving aggravated his knee in Thursday’s loss at Miami and Anderson Varejao has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles.

Continue reading "Cavs rally to beat Magic 98-89 without ..."


Magic Fan

Orlando Magic Preseason Report 2014 posted by Magic Fan

The starting of the 2013-14 season might have looked promising for the Orlando Magic, but they went into a downward spiral very soon, and ended with 23-59, which was the third worst NBA record. Nikolar Vucevic in spite of his athletic abilities was not able to deliver, and Victor Oladipo, who in spite of being best rookie since January could not win Rookie of the Year. The veterans were quite ineffective and they did not seem comfortable playing together.

For 2014-15 season, Orlando Magic might need to implement major changes. Willie Green, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo might be given PG positions. Oladipo has gained good experience compared to Payton in the last season. Even though Payton has good potential, he has a weak offense, and has issues moving the ball. For the offense, Aaron Gordon would be ideal at small forward, paired with Tobias Harris at PF.

Last season, Andrew Nicholson seemed buried at the PF position, and he would do much better at center. He was not able to defend effectively at PF last season, and his playing time was not much. Center would be a good position for Nicholson, as he can shoot jumpers and 3's, and he can be good at immediate offense, which Dedmon was not able to deliver. The remaining PF could go to Marvin Williams as free agent, and Kyle O' Quinn. For SG positions, Bend Gordon, Roy Deyvn Marble, and Evan Fournier would be ideal, whereas for SF, Moe Harkless and Aaron Gordon would be more suitable. Dewayne Dedmon, Andrew Nicholson, and Nik Vucevic would do well in C.

With this overall lineup, Orlando Magic might be able to deliver much better games, compared to what they did last season. Seth Curry would be a good inclusion to the team as a PG third-string, and Osby being a versatile player would suit the team as well.

Continue reading "Orlando Magic Preseason Report 2014"


Johnny Matheis

Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet posted by Johnny Matheis

One is never sure about the odds the public will choose. I will give the odds as a combination of what I think they should be and what they probably will go off at. I may think a runner is a 15-1 long shot, but he may have big names and money, so even though I figure he'll go off 4-1, I will split the differece and call it about 8-1 or 12-1.

It's important to look at the odds. You don't want to bet a large bankroll at 2 minutes till post, because you're betting down your own odds. You're actually picking your own pocket for others to take your money. But you still want an idea of the odds. 8 minutes till post is a comfortable margin. When I give picks, look at the odds. If the odds are much lower than I give, it isn't a good bet.

For example, in the second race I consider number 8 AT THE FINISH a strong bet at 2-1, but I myself wouldn't bet it unless he was 5-2. If he's 3-2, he shouldn't be bet at all. He may win, but he doesn't win this race 2 times out of 5 (barring scratches).

If my second pick, Number 10 SWEET JODY, whom I list at 10-1, goes off at 26-1, I would probably bet on that one. I will be busy working, and taking your bets at the window, though, so it's your baby.

Incidentally, if you do come to a window whie they're loading the gate, to bet a hundred dollars, don't be surprised if our machines jam. We're used to thieves who do this to steal from us, simply making the bets without paying, and the race runs while they argue, then they don't pay up if their horse loses, and we're paying to work.

Which is why I only take small bets at post time. Only an idiot or a thief bets his odds down at post time.

Continue reading "Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet"


Johnny Matheis

Do people really really want a triple crown that bad? posted by Johnny Matheis

Do people really really really want a Triple Crown that bad? I'm not sure people do. When I hear "people will be disappointed", I keep thinking it's an imaginary group, maybe .01% of the people, like most other "they" groups that exist only in cliches.

The good news is that the trainer did the right thing. The horse and the stable come first. You don't take chances. An owner would take Zero chances. Maybe owners should do the entering into races, if we could make sure they could have 100% of the veterinarian reports.

O'Neill proved to be classier than trainers of Westrern Playboy, Barbaro, and others who were run into the ground.

The bad news is that whomever you liked will now pay less than half as much. Well, those are the breaks.

 Confidentially, it's probably no secret I would bet against a Triple Crown prospect, because of my system. I like a horse who isn't "run into the ground", one that comes off softer surfaces, and probably in the best condition.

Which is how I'm handicapping the Belmont.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH FOR BELMONT 2012 1 1/2 MILE BELMONT RACE 11

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS

7 FIVE SIXTEEN 20-1 Only one upset possibility to beat Paynter, one off softer slower tracks, should be fit.

9 PAYNTER 6-5 With Baffert and the best pedigree in race, obvious pick. Probable heavy favorite. Very obvious.

12 MY ADONIS 20-1 Should be in hunt with 1 1/2 fractions easier to relax with

6 RAVELO'S BOY 20-1 Pretty well bred, and Tampa runners usually outrun later odds.  Would need best to contend. 

Continue reading "Do people really really want a triple ..."


Richard Kagan

Likely Cutler's Out For Season posted by Richard Kagan

Jay Cutler talked to a reporter in Chicago and didn't offer great optimism about returning to play this season.  The man has a broken thumb.  Could you play with a broken thumb in 5-6 weeks?  Unlikely.  It is pretty safe to say that he is out for the season.  If Caleb Hanie doesn't work out, the Bears need another guy.  It's a bummer, but those are, the pardon the pun, breaks of the game. 

We don't know how Hanie will do.  Cutler said the man is feeling his way in the game.  Let's hope that Hanie can weave some magic for a few weeks, so the Bears can qualify.  I'd rather see them in the playoffs even without Cutler, heck, they were a good team a few weeks ago.  That shows you how important the QB position is.  Look at the Colts, they lost Manning to an injury and are 0-11!  That is mighty tough. 

Continue reading "Likely Cutler's Out For Season"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Are Tops in East posted by Richard Kagan

This has been an amazing year for the Chicago Bulls and the post-season hasn't started yet.  Last year, the Bulls clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the season.  This year, the Bulls are looking to clinch home court throughout the playoffs.  Chicago is 60-20 with two game remaining to be played.  60 wins is a milestone.

The Bulls will have homecourt advantage for the first 3 rounds.  That is, the road to who plays in the NBA title series, goes through Chicago.  That is a great accomplishment.  Derrick Rose, living up to his MVP hype, scored 39 points to lead the Bulls in a win against the Orlando Magic. 

Now, Chicago has done some great things.  The crowd is buzzing.  The United Center resembles that roarin' house on Madison St, the old Chicago Stadium.  There MJ and Company made NBA history.  The Bulls are hard to beat at the United Center, and this post-season will be one to remember.

Continue reading "Bulls Are Tops in East"


Richard Kagan

The Bulls Are for Real posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 99-90, despite Dwight Howard's 40 point night.  The Bulls won with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng making great contributions.  Deng led the team in scoring with 26 points, Rose scored 22.  The Bulls won the game without injured center Joakin Noah.  When Noah comes back in a few weeks, look out, the Bulls will be scary good. 

As it is, this is perhaps the strongest team, yet assembled since the glory years of MJ, Pippen, and Horace Grant.

You could add the years since MJ, Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.  Whatever, Phil Jackson was the coach, who pulled the right strings.  This year's team is legit.  They win despite losing key players to injury.  Kurt Thomas has been a revelation coming off the bench.  Despite his age, one of the older players in the league, Thomas is getting it done.  The other night, he dropped 22 points and had mutliple boards.  Terrific night for him.  Kyle Korver has supplied points in the clutch.

Carlos Boozer has played like an alll-star.  He deserves to be picked as a reserve.  He playes tough minutes, scores big and brings in rebounds.  He is a consummate pro.  He adds a lot of toughness to the lineup.

Luol Deng has been great all year.  He must lead the team in minutes played.  He goes all out, scores, plays great defense, and gets rebounds, if needed. 

The Bulls are a fun team to watch.  They play hard.  They play tough.  And, this year, they are winning. 

Continue reading "The Bulls Are for Real"


john howard

Miami Destroys Rival Magic posted by john howard

Miami destroys rival Orlando.   The Magic shot a horrible 30% as D-Wade lead the Heat with 26.   Miami's bench had 7 3's and Haslem had 11 rebounds.

 Last night was a scarry indicator to the rest of the league how it may be this year.  Miami crushed the Magic 96 to 70.  Wade was the only player who scored over 20 points.  And, to top it off, the Heat still aren't playing with Mike Miller. 

Continue reading "Miami Destroys Rival Magic"


Sports Fan

Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender in the East? posted by Sports Fan

I really like the direction this team is going but I'm not so sure they can really be a contender in the East this year.  The East has gotten a lot stronger over the last few years and while I think they can make the playoffs I don't really see any chance that they can really beat The Magic, the Heat, the Celtics, of the Bulls.  And I'm skeptical they can even beat teams like the 76ers or the Hawks.

What do you think? 

Continue reading "Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender ..."

Orlando Magic News

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Judging who should and shouldn't have been asked to attend the NBA draft lottery (Ball Don't L

The NBA’s draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 19. Representatives of the 14 NBA teams that will take part in the lottery were announced on Thursday, and as tends to happen, several mistakes were made. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Minnesota Timberwolves Who they chose : Glen Taylor, owner Why : There are rumors that an ownership group cobbled together by both Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders and Kevin Garnett could try to purchase the team from Taylor, so this might be his last go-round in the lottery. Not because the Timberwolves will get any better any time soon, but because he could decide he’s had enough with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. On the bright side, Taylor still carries that membership card from that Chipotle he likes outside the lottery studios and he’s about to get his 10th click and I think that means a free burrito but he’ll still have to pay extra for guacamole. Guacamole costs extra. Who they should have chosen : Kevin Garnett Why : The Wolves have the best odds at the top overall pick, and after they slide into the top three ESPN would ask Garnett to come over to the stage for the final unveiling and he’d decide to take a 45-minute shower first and make them wait and then the show would be delayed and then the entire ESPN schedule would be delayed and then your dumb roommate Phillip’s DVR of ‘First Take’would be screwed over the next day and it would be so sweet. New York Knicks Who they chose : Steve Mills, general manager. Why : Because Phil Jackson is a rich baby-boomer, and rich baby-boomers are notoriously averse to taking responsibility for the mess they’ve created. Come on, people now. Smile on your brother. Who they should have chosen : Don Henley, Eagle, former perm-haver . Why : Because the manager of the Eagles helped put Phil Jackson in charge of the Knicks, because the Knicks are the worst, and because the Eagles are the worst. It’ll be a nice distraction before Isiah Thomas represents the team at the 2016 lottery oh wait they traded away that pick for Andrea Bargnani my bad. Yeah, go with Henley. He’s down with the culture, there. Philadelphia 76ers Who they chose : Nerlens Noel, player. Why : Cool hair, better gap-tooth. Subject to be replaced pending league approval of the four-team deal that will send Noel to Oklahoma City for OKC’s 2021 first-round draft pick (top three protected, could turn over into an unprotected 2022 first-round pick if unclaimed in 2021). Who they should have chosen : Burt Young, famed star of stage and screen. Why : The man who played Paulie Pennino in all 12 ‘Rocky’features achieved Hollywood immortality by attempting to deny the titular character a chance at both the heavyweight championship and also the hand of the woman he loved. The character is loathsome and outside of an affinity for both canned beer and robots, devoid of any redeeming qualities. All he wanted was for all of Philadelphia to be as unhappy as him. This is right up the 76ers’alley. Los Angeles Lakers Who they chose : Byron Scott, head coach lol. Why : Because I need something to write about the next day. Who they should have chosen : Kobe Bryant, shooting guard. Why : Glen Taylor needs to be told he shouldn’t be celebrating too much, and that it’s just a top overall pick and nothing like FIVE RINGS. Steve Mills needs to be told that he doesn’t even have Phil Jackson’s secret-secret cell phone number and hell no Kobe’s not giving it to him. The guy from ‘Rocky’needs to be told that he’s not even making the top six names in the Leonard Maltin Game . And when the Lakers fall out of the top five and lose the pick to Philadelphia Kobe gets to say “good man I didn’t even want to play with some punk kid get me Caron Butler that’s someone I can go to war, with, man, I’m a WARRIOR MAMBA OUT.”Orlando Magic Who they chose : Alex Martins, CEO. Why : This is what CEOs get to do, I guess. Get on TV for a bit as your pick slides from fifth to eighth and all the free bobbleheads you can find and hey look here’s a picture of me and Dr. J. did you know Michael Jordan bet me fifty bucks I couldn’t knock in this 20-foot putt and I totally nailed, man, totally nailed it. Who they should have chosen : A selected fan participant, the winner of a “why I remain an Orlando Magic fan”essay contest. Why : Because it would have been hilarious to see which d-bag Laker fan the essay winner would sell his ticket to. Sacramento Kings Who they chose : Vlade Divac, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : Vlade Divac once played basketball for the Sacramento Kings. As such, he has earned the right to run the Sacramento Kings for five months. Who they should have chosen : Peja Stojakovic, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : You didn’t hear? Check your Twitter. Denver Nuggets Who they chose : Josh Kroenke, inheritor, bon vivant, and man about town. Why : He’s rich, he played basketball, and he can park wherever the hell he likes. Who they should have chosen : Ron, Wal-Mart greeter. Any Wal-Mart greeter. Why : Why? Have you seen those dudes? They are adorable . They don’t look at you funny when your only purchases include a George Jones CD, a three-pack of boxer shorts, some almonds and a tire gauge. He’ll always check your receipt when you get ice andit’s like come on Ron I’m not going to steal ice. Detroit Pistons Who they chose : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He’s tall, he’s respected, he is well-groomed and he is the general manager. He has perfect handshake timing, never lingers too long, and he understands that these days you prefer text to voicemail. Who they should have chosen : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He is the team’s general manager. Charlotte Hornets Who they chose : Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 500 jumpers a day. Why : It is May. It is warm. Michael Jordan has played 27 holes and made over 1200 untaxed bucks before you even decided to check if Lawrence Funderburke was just named president and maybe coach of the Sacramento Kings. Who they should have chosen : I guess we’re going all in on this whole stupid 1990s nostalgia thing so, I dunno, Larry Johnson? Why : LJ is pretty cool . If he’s unavailable we can just see who’s trending or who’s on Fallon’s show tonight so probably Lisa Turtle or the woman that sang ‘Zombie’or TV’s Wayne Knight or Joe Isuzu or ‘Air Bud’just kidding ‘Air Bud’is totally dead by now. Miami Heat Who they chose : Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat family member for life unless he wants to sign with another team . Why : Well, in 1993 Larry Johnson signed a massive 12-year, $84 million contract, the largest NBA deal of its time. When Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn declined to offer a similar deal to the clearly superior Mourning in 1995, Alonzo made it known that he would leave the Hornets without compensation in the summer of 1996. Looking to circle the wagons, Shinn and the Hornets dealt Alonzo to Miami just before the 1995-96 season for a package that included center Matt Geiger. Days later, Geiger would break Shaquille O’Neal’s thumb in an exhibition game on a hard foul, clearing the way for Penny Hardaway to have the best season of his career and reportedly creating some resentment from O’Neal’s camp as Hardaway was discussed amongst MVP candidates. There, that's what I paid attention to in the 1990s. Can I get on Fallon, now? Who they should have chosen : Dwyane Wade, superstar guard. Why : Wade was the team’s representative in 2008 when the squad grabbed the second round pick, wasted it on two crummy seasons of Michael Beasley, then traded Beasley for cap space that was used on signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Let’s fail upward all over again, Miami! Indiana Pacers Who they chose : Larry Bird, three-time three-point shootout champion, 1979 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament runner-up. Why : Larry Bird demands that you remain accountable for your organization’s actions, even if bad luck put you an undesirable place, and he’s not going to shirk away from responsibility in spite of potential embarrassment. Besides, there is no embarrassment in working to the best of your abilities and putting in an honest effort even if the cards don’t come your way. He demands you sit up straight and make eye contact, and he’s going to cough loudly and ask to have a word after you tell the server you want yours prepared “medium well.”Who they should have chosen : Whoever the hell decided that our LGBT brothers and sisters can be discriminated against based solely on how their maker created them, and whoever the hell decided that you can’t buy beer on Sunday in Indiana. Why : It’s the same guy. Utah Jazz Who they chose : David Lindsey, general manager. Why : All-around good guy. Picked Tyler up at the airport when the kid was coming back from college and they sent me to Knoxville for some meeting that we could have done over the phone. Lent me a pair of dress shoes when Carol packed them in the wrong bag and I had to give a presentation right after getting off the airplane. Fixed a hitch in my swing. Who they should have chosen : You’re telling me there’s a better person to choose than David Lindsey? Why : Gave an absolute beaut of a toast at Michael’s wedding. Absolutely nailed the Gordon Proposal back in 2009, took the pressure of the whole damn department. His wife Erin really is great, gets along with Carol and isn’t like the rest of them. Never seen him get out of line with Ian at HR, though I don’t know how he keeps his patience with that dingbat. Makes more than most of us but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his Acura. Phoenix Suns Who they chose : Alex Len, center. Why : Nobody on the Phoenix Suns likes each other, save for the set of twins that allegedly like to slap the noise right out of your mouth . Who they should have chosen : Alice Cooper, singer of ‘Clones (We’re All),’not really named “Alice.”Why : America needs to be reminded that you can still retire to a sober life in Arizona, play golf all day, and still be the best. Oklahoma City Thunder Who they chose : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on Alex Len. Who they should have chosen : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on the guy from Price-Waterhouse. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


AP Source: Contract talks between Wade, Heat at impasse (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Judging who should and shouldn't have been asked to attend the NBA draft lottery (Ball Don't L

The NBA’s draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 19. Representatives of the 14 NBA teams that will take part in the lottery were announced on Thursday, and as tends to happen, several mistakes were made. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Minnesota Timberwolves Who they chose : Glen Taylor, owner Why : There are rumors that an ownership group cobbled together by both Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders and Kevin Garnett could try to purchase the team from Taylor, so this might be his last go-round in the lottery. Not because the Timberwolves will get any better any time soon, but because he could decide he’s had enough with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. On the bright side, Taylor still carries that membership card from that Chipotle he likes outside the lottery studios and he’s about to get his 10th click and I think that means a free burrito but he’ll still have to pay extra for guacamole. Guacamole costs extra. Who they should have chosen : Kevin Garnett Why : The Wolves have the best odds at the top overall pick, and after they slide into the top three ESPN would ask Garnett to come over to the stage for the final unveiling and he’d decide to take a 45-minute shower first and make them wait and then the show would be delayed and then the entire ESPN schedule would be delayed and then your dumb roommate Phillip’s DVR of ‘First Take’would be screwed over the next day and it would be so sweet. New York Knicks Who they chose : Steve Mills, general manager. Why : Because Phil Jackson is a rich baby-boomer, and rich baby-boomers are notoriously averse to taking responsibility for the mess they’ve created. Come on, people now. Smile on your brother. Who they should have chosen : Don Henley, Eagle, former perm-haver . Why : Because the manager of the Eagles helped put Phil Jackson in charge of the Knicks, because the Knicks are the worst, and because the Eagles are the worst. It’ll be a nice distraction before Isiah Thomas represents the team at the 2016 lottery oh wait they traded away that pick for Andrea Bargnani my bad. Yeah, go with Henley. He’s down with the culture, there. Philadelphia 76ers Who they chose : Nerlens Noel, player. Why : Cool hair, better gap-tooth. Subject to be replaced pending league approval of the four-team deal that will send Noel to Oklahoma City for OKC’s 2021 first-round draft pick (top three protected, could turn over into an unprotected 2022 first-round pick if unclaimed in 2021). Who they should have chosen : Burt Young, famed star of stage and screen. Why : The man who played Paulie Pennino in all 12 ‘Rocky’features achieved Hollywood immortality by attempting to deny the titular character a chance at both the heavyweight championship and also the hand of the woman he loved. The character is loathsome and outside of an affinity for both canned beer and robots, devoid of any redeeming qualities. All he wanted was for all of Philadelphia to be as unhappy as him. This is right up the 76ers’alley. Los Angeles Lakers Who they chose : Byron Scott, head coach lol. Why : Because I need something to write about the next day. Who they should have chosen : Kobe Bryant, shooting guard. Why : Glen Taylor needs to be told he shouldn’t be celebrating too much, and that it’s just a top overall pick and nothing like FIVE RINGS. Steve Mills needs to be told that he doesn’t even have Phil Jackson’s secret-secret cell phone number and hell no Kobe’s not giving it to him. The guy from ‘Rocky’needs to be told that he’s not even making the top six names in the Leonard Maltin Game . And when the Lakers fall out of the top five and lose the pick to Philadelphia Kobe gets to say “good man I didn’t even want to play with some punk kid get me Caron Butler that’s someone I can go to war, with, man, I’m a WARRIOR MAMBA OUT.”Orlando Magic Who they chose : Alex Martins, CEO. Why : This is what CEOs get to do, I guess. Get on TV for a bit as your pick slides from fifth to eighth and all the free bobbleheads you can find and hey look here’s a picture of me and Dr. J. did you know Michael Jordan bet me fifty bucks I couldn’t knock in this 20-foot putt and I totally nailed, man, totally nailed it. Who they should have chosen : A selected fan participant, the winner of a “why I remain an Orlando Magic fan”essay contest. Why : Because it would have been hilarious to see which d-bag Laker fan the essay winner would sell his ticket to. Sacramento Kings Who they chose : Vlade Divac, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : Vlade Divac once played basketball for the Sacramento Kings. As such, he has earned the right to run the Sacramento Kings for five months. Who they should have chosen : Peja Stojakovic, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : You didn’t hear? Check your Twitter. Denver Nuggets Who they chose : Josh Kroenke, inheritor, bon vivant, and man about town. Why : He’s rich, he played basketball, and he can park wherever the hell he likes. Who they should have chosen : Ron, Wal-Mart greeter. Any Wal-Mart greeter. Why : Why? Have you seen those dudes? They are adorable . They don’t look at you funny when your only purchases include a George Jones CD, a three-pack of boxer shorts, some almonds and a tire gauge. He’ll always check your receipt when you get ice and it’s like come on Ron I’m not going to steal ice. Detroit Pistons Who they chose : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He’s tall, he’s respected, he is well-groomed and he is the general manager. He has perfect handshake timing, never lingers too long, and he understands that these days you prefer text to voicemail. Who they should have chosen : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He is the team’s general manager. Charlotte Hornets Who they chose : Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 500 jumpers a day. Why : It is May. It is warm. Michael Jordan has played 27 holes and made over 1200 untaxed bucks before you even decided to check if Lawrence Funderburke was just named president and maybe coach of the Sacramento Kings. Who they should have chosen : I guess we’re going all in on this whole stupid 1990s nostalgia thing so, I dunno, Larry Johnson? Why : LJ is pretty cool . If he’s unavailable we can just see who’s trending or who’s on Fallon’s show tonight so probably Lisa Turtle or the woman that sang ‘Zombie’or TV’s Wayne Knight or Joe Isuzu or ‘Air Bud’just kidding ‘Air Bud’is totally dead by now. Miami Heat Who they chose : Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat family member for life unless he wants to sign with another team . Why : Well, in 1993 Larry Johnson signed a massive 12-year, $84 million contract, the largest NBA deal of its time. When Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn declined to offer a similar deal to the clearly superior Mourning in 1995, Alonzo made it known that he would leave the Hornets without compensation in the summer of 1996. Looking to circle the wagons, Shinn and the Hornets dealt Alonzo to Miami just before the 1995-96 season for a package that included center Matt Geiger. Days later, Geiger would break Shaquille O’Neal’s thumb in an exhibition game on a hard foul, clearing the way for Penny Hardaway to have the best season of his career and reportedly creating some resentment from O’Neal’s camp as Hardaway was discussed amongst MVP candidates. There, that's what I paid attention to in the 1990s. Can I get on Fallon, now? Who they should have chosen : Dwyane Wade, superstar guard. Why : Wade was the team’s representative in 2008 when the squad grabbed the second round pick, wasted it on two crummy seasons of Michael Beasley, then traded Beasley for cap space that was used on signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Let’s fail upward all over again, Miami! Indiana Pacers Who they chose : Larry Bird, three-time three-point shootout champion, 1979 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament runner-up. Why : Larry Bird demands that you remain accountable for your organization’s actions, even if bad luck put you an undesirable place, and he’s not going to shirk away from responsibility in spite of potential embarrassment. Besides, there is no embarrassment in working to the best of your abilities and putting in an honest effort even if the cards don’t come your way. He demands you sit up straight and make eye contact, and he’s going to cough loudly and ask to have a word after you tell the server you want yours prepared “medium well.”Who they should have chosen : Whoever the hell decided that our LGBT brothers and sisters can be discriminated against based solely on how their maker created them, and whoever the hell decided that you can’t buy beer on Sunday in Indiana. Why : It’s the same guy. Utah Jazz Who they chose : David Lindsey, general manager. Why : All-around good guy. Picked Tyler up at the airport when the kid was coming back from college and they sent me to Knoxville for some meeting that we could have done over the phone. Lent me a pair of dress shoes when Carol packed them in the wrong bag and I had to give a presentation right after getting off the airplane. Fixed a hitch in my swing. Who they should have chosen : You’re telling me there’s a better person to choose than David Lindsey? Why : Gave an absolute beaut of a toast at Michael’s wedding. Absolutely nailed the Gordon Proposal back in 2009, took the pressure of the whole damn department. His wife Erin really is great, gets along with Carol and isn’t like the rest of them. Never seen him get out of line with Ian at HR, though I don’t know how he keeps his patience with that dingbat. Makes more than most of us but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his Acura. Phoenix Suns Who they chose : Alex Len, center. Why : Nobody on the Phoenix Suns likes each other, save for the set of twins that allegedly like to slap the noise right out of your mouth . Who they should have chosen : Alice Cooper, singer of ‘Clones (We’re All),’not really named “Alice.”Why : America needs to be reminded that you can still retire to a sober life in Arizona, play golf all day, and still be the best. Oklahoma City Thunder Who they chose : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on Alex Len. Who they should have chosen : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on the guy from Price-Waterhouse. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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