News for All Players - 2016 Ezra Stiles NBA League

Show news on or before
Next
Mon Oct 1514:26Oklahoma City's Adams among big men reviving center positionSteven AdamsCThunderThe Sith Lords
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Steven Adams is invaluable to the Oklahoma City Thunder.He's also a reminder: Big men in the NBA are still vital.The imposing 7-foot center from New Zealand is helping change the recent narrative that NBA centers are an endangered species, something that — based on spending and drafting this summer — is evidently not the case.The perimeter-oriented and defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors landed All-Star DeMarcus Cousins this summer, albeit on a $5.3 million bargain deal. NBA teams went big at this year's 2018 draft, with Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley going No. 1 and No. 2 and centers taking four of the first seven spots. And this summer, $285 million worth of contracts went to three centers — Nikola Jokic, Clint Capela and Jusuf Nurkic.Not bad for often underappreciated guys."I just think guys are just getting more opportunities to play their game, play outside the box," Detroit's Andre Drummond said.Adams is a great example.He doesn't get many, ... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:26Nowitzki hopes 21st season with Mavs is start of turnaroundDirk NowitzkiPFMavericksSchellackers
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki hasn't won a playoff series since leading the Dallas Mavericks to their only championship in 2011 and has watched the franchise's steady slide to depths not seen since he was the fresh-faced rookie out of Europe 20 years ago.If Nowitzki's record 21st season with the same team is his last, the superstar from Germany at least wants to be able to say he was there for the beginning of a turnaround.Those hopes are grounded in another precocious Euro transplant, No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic from Slovenia, and second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who can tell his new young teammate what it's like to start an NBA career as a teenager. The Mavericks open the season next Wednesday at Phoenix."To me it was always about winning and keeping us a winning franchise," Nowitzki said. "Ever since the championship we had a few rough seasons, snuck into the playoffs a couple times, missed the playoffs. So it's been tough to be part of it at times. But hopefully we're h... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:25Paul George's return fuels high expectations for ThunderPaul GeorgePFPacersThe Sith Lords
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George is back, and so are the high hopes be brought when he joined the Thunder.Oklahoma City acquired George last year in the deal that sent rising star Victor Oladipo to the Indiana Pacers. It was thought by many that Oklahoma might be just a detour on George's road home to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. Instead, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder made a winning sales pitch. George, an All-Star and one of the league's best two-way players, shocked many by staying instead of leaving in free agency."I just developed these really good relationships here, almost feeling like I've been here for a while," George said. "And then just over the course of the whole season, it just steamrolled, just got better and better, and here I am."George's return is fueling hopes that Oklahoma City can improve on a disappointing, inconsistent season that ended with a first-round playoff exit."I just think we worked through a lot in one year, and people expected us to be a l... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:25Expectations rise as Giannis, Bucks move into new arenaGiannis AntetokounmpoSFBucksBuchanalia
Malcolm BrogdonSGBucksFree Agent
MILWAUKEE (AP) — In his never-ending quest to improve, Giannis Antetokounmpo connected in the offseason with one of the NBA's retired greats.No way was the Milwaukee Bucks star going to be late for a summer workout with Kobe Bryant.But showing up three hours early? That sends a message.It's all part of an effort by Antetokounmpo to help get the Bucks take another step in the postseason."I just wanted to show him I'm not here to mess around ... I'm here to get better, simple as that. I think he understood that," Antetokounmpo said. "It was an amazing day. It was a dream working out with Kobe."Expectations are on the rise in Milwaukee after three first-round exits over the last four seasons. The Bucks are moving into a new downtown arena, the Fiserv Forum, and new coach Mike Budenholzer has experience winning playoff series.The Bucks hope they'll be able to get a top-four seed. Whatever the case, they believe they have the talent to get out of the first round.It's just the type of grow... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:23Wizards add Dwight Howard, coach wants team to stop talkingJeff GreenSFMagicBuchanalia
Dwight HowardCHawksThe Sith Lords
WASHINGTON (AP) — For all of the changes Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks wants to see John Wall, Bradley Beal and other players implement this season with an eye to finally making a deep playoff run, the most important might have nothing do with better shot selection or a more concerted effort on defense or taking every opponent seriously."Stop talking," Brooks said. "There's enough talk. Players and teams that talk are the ones that usually don't have success. The players that just let their play speak for themselves are the teams that are successful."The Wizards are coming off a 43-39 finish, No. 8 seeding in the Eastern Conference and first-round playoff exit, hardly the sort of showing they seemed to think they were capable of a year ago.One major problem, acknowledged by all, was that they tended to fail to show up against lesser teams."The professionalism is going to be a big thing for us," forward Markieff Morris said."We've just got to perform," Morris said. "Quite hone... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:22Heat have high expectations in Dwyane Wade's final seasonDwyane WadeSGBullsDoppelganger
Dion WaitersSGHeatFree Agent
MIAMI (AP) — There was no need for introductions when the Miami Heat got to work this season.It's the same team as last year.That won't be the case next year.Dwyane Wade's 16th NBA season, almost all of which was spent in Miami, will be his last — and the Heat are determined to send the franchise's career leader in just about everything out the right way. Miami slogged its way through injuries to make the playoffs last season, and in an Eastern Conference that seems more open than it has now that LeBron James has moved West the Heat are hoping to send Wade off with a deep postseason run."I'm going to treat it with the appropriate respect," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade's final season. "I want him to know that I'm going to give it everything I have to make sure it goes the way that he wants it to — and then in turn, for him to give everything he has to make sure this team goes the way we want it to."Wade wouldn't have it any other way.He labored over this decision to come... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:21Hornets poised to push tempo under first-year coach BorregoJeremy LambSGHornetsFree Agent
Kemba WalkerPGHornetsIavaronis
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets are looking to change their style of play.The Hornets have been working with a 12-second play clock since the summer under first-year coach James Borrego in an effort to dramatically improve their pace of play. Borrego believes he has a team that is athletic enough — and fast enough — to push the ball up the floor to get more easy baskets, more open looks and create open 3-pointers.It's been a challenge for the players, but they say they're adapting well."It was interesting for me that first day, to say the least," said veteran forward Marvin Williams of the 12-second shot clock.Williams joked that at first the Hornets were running down the court and simply launching 3-pointers without much passing. But that changed as they got used to playing at an increased pace.The Hornets have grown to like Borrego's offense."We've been moving the ball well," said shooting guard Jeremy Lamb. "Some nights I score. Some nights Kemba (Walker) scores. ... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:20New Magic coach Steve Clifford begins rebuilding effortMohamed BambaFree Agent
Nikola VucevicCMagicTeam Erik
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — First-year Magic coach Steve Clifford is aware that the most consistent them about his new NBA team over the last few years has been losing.Consider this: Four head coaches and dozens of players have come and gone since Nikola Vucevic arrived in Orlando six years ago in a four-team trade.The 7-foot center has been one of the positive constants, averaging 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds in 405 games with the Magic. But Vucevic has never been in a playoff game, and this season could be his final shot in Orlando."Trade rumors have been part of my last three years and I've kind of grown used to it," Vucevic said. "I know it's the last year (of his contract) but I also don't focus on that. If you focus on things you can't control, it doesn't really work out for you."Vucevic prefers to focus on the young help he will have this season in the frontcourt.Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba, the Magic's first-round picks in the last two drafts, are the centerpieces of the team'... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:18Fultz could be the key for 76ers to take step toward titleJoel EmbiidC76ersFree Agent
Markelle FultzFree Agent
Ben SimmonsPF76ersFree Agent
Zhaire SmithFree Agent
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Brett Brown made the bold decree that the Philadelphia 76ers would be "star hunting " this summer.Hope the Sixers coach made some nice trips to the local observatory.The only stars the Sixers saw this summer were the ones that passed them by on the way to joining other teams. LeBron James' camp gave the ownership group a cursory meeting on the same day he agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. No other major free agents showed a glimmer of interest in joining a franchise trending from history-making losers toward Eastern Conference contenders in just a few seasons.In social media terms, the 76ers were blocked and muted. They even unfriended their own general manager.Bryan Colangelo split from the Sixers as GM after, of all things, a Twitter scandal that found him guilty of sharing insider information with his wife, who used those details to criticize the Sixers and rival colleagues.It was a stunning fall for Colangelo, a former two-time executive of the year ... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:16Jazz pushing to join NBA elite with familiar faces in placeRudy GobertCJazzSchellackers
Donovan MitchellFree Agent
Ricky RubioPGTimberwolvesDoppelganger
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Bringing back a roster virtually unchanged from the end of last season isn't intended to be a sign that the Utah Jazz have embraced the status quo.The Jazz want to send a much different message.This is a team eager to prove last season's strong finish was simply a snapshot of a climb toward becoming an elite team. One thing is certain: Utah will not be sneaking up on anyone this time around, so an even better encore performance will be needed."That focus for me is maybe the unspoken thing when you talk about a team that has guys back and all of that," coach Quin Snyder said. "I want to see them get better. I want to see guys get better individually and I want to see us collectively get better."Donovan Mitchell lessened the blow of Gordon Hayward's departure, averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game during a breakout rookie season. He was even better in the playoffs, averaging 28.5 points on 46.2 percent shooting to help power a first-round series win over Okla... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:15Leonard and retooled Raptors hope to challenge for NBA titleKawhi LeonardSFSpursTeam Lorin
TORONTO (AP) — There's a lot on the line for Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors this season.A two-time NBA defensive player of the year, Leonard is eager to show he's healthy again after being limited to nine games last year because of a quadriceps injury.The Raptors want Leonard at his best right now, so they can push for the Eastern Conference crown, but also hope their new star likes playing in Toronto enough to stick around when he becomes eligible for free agency next summer.Leonard was the biggest splash in a busy offseason for the Raptors, who traded a package including franchise icon DeMar DeRozan to acquire the 2014 NBA Finals MVP from San Antonio."I want to do great things, so I'm going to make sure that I put all my effort on the court, each and every night," Leonard said in his first public comments with his new team.Toronto also fired Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, replacing him with former assistant and first-time NBA head coach Nick Nurse."The summer was crazy but, ... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:14With new deal, Jokic sets aim at leading Nuggets to playoffsGary HarrisSGNuggetsFree Agent
Nikola JokicCNuggetsTeam Lorin
Isaiah ThomasPGCelticsTeam Erik
DENVER (AP) — Fair warning: Don't challenge Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris to a game of Spikeball.The Denver duo are the team's undisputed champions of a sport that's a little like volleyball, only players hit the ball off a trampoline-style net that's set up on the ground. They recently won a team tournament."It's the perfect sport for me," the 6-foot-10 Jokic said.Or basketball. Because he's pretty good at that, too.The versatile big man averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists last season. His reward from the Nuggets was a max contract worth around $147 million for five seasons.Next on The Joker's to-do list: Lead the Nuggets back to the postseason for the first time since 2012-13. Denver lost out on the eighth and final playoff spot last season with an overtime loss in Minnesota during their last game."We have an identity now and Nikola is a huge part of that identity," coach Michael Malone said. "He's slowly and surely having that confidence and that swagger to be a fra... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:13Pacers relying on chemistry, upgrades to challenge in EastDarren CollisonPGKingsTeam Erik
Myles TurnerPF/CPacersIavaronis
Victor OladipoPG/SGThunderSchellackers
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — All-Star guard Victor Oladipo promised to spend the offseason becoming a better all-around player.Promising young center Myles Turner beefed up, fine-tuned his defense and worked on his flexibility. Darren Collison, the NBA's 3-point percentage champ, continued working on his shooting touch, and the Indiana Pacers added depth to improve their chances of winning an NBA title.The key to this season might actually be maintaining the selfless approach the Pacers used to emerge as one of last season's biggest surprises."We want to continue to build that culture," coach Nate McMillan said. "We've been throwing that around a lot because I thought that was a big part of us having success last year — creating an atmosphere in which we play together, an atmosphere of sacrifice. All that was created last year and we've got to do that again this season, I think, to have success.'It's going to take more words to rekindle the togetherness they had last season when the Pacers ... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:12Grizzlies have high expectations with Gasol, healthy ConleyMike ConleyPGGrizzliesFree Agent
Marc GasolCGrizzliesFree Agent
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies know only too well that they won't outshoot or race up and down the court with the likes of Golden State and Houston. Their version of grit 'n grind that got them to seven straight playoff berths might not work with this current roster.But Memphis still has guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies know who they are and that they need to play defense to be competitive in the loaded Western Conference."We've got to be a contrarian team, and we've had a lot of success here over the years in this grit-grind era of being a contrarian team," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said.Most of the Grizzlies' confidence stems from having Conley back from a heel injury that limited him to 12 games last season , and Conley averaged 17.1 points per game in his short stint. Gasol remains one of the NBA's top centers, and he and Conley are the NBA's longest-tenured teammates without any interruption.Memphis revamped the roster in the o... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:11Lillard, McCollum look to erase last season's playoff exitDamian LillardPGTrailblazersThe Sith Lords
CJ McCollumSGTrailblazersDoppelganger
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — There's a big difference between comfort and complacency for Damian Lillard.Yes, the Portland Trail Blazers return all five starters from a team that finished third in the Western Conference. So there's a level of ease among the players.But their season went sideways in the first round of the playoffs, when Portland was swept by New Orleans. Lillard said the Blazers have to guard against allowing that to happen again."I don't see how we could be complacent about anything," he said. "I think it's a level of comfort with each other we've you know been teammates for a few years now we know each other pretty well so I think there is comfort. But I don't think we're in a position to be complacent."And certainly this is true in the loaded West, with the defending champion Warriors, talented Rockets, as the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.The Blazers went 49-33 last season and secured the third seed in the conference, earning a trip to the playoffs for the fifth st... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:10LeBron-less Cavaliers starting anew with Love as focal pointKevin LovePFCavaliersThe Sith Lords
Collin SextonFree Agent
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Love wore a pair of LeBron James' signature sneakers on media day. It's the last time he'll try to fill them.Four years after aligning with James and Kyrie Irving to form a Big Three of stars that ended Cleveland's five-decades-long championship drought by winning an NBA title in 2016, Love is the only one who remains with the Cavaliers.While James left for Los Angeles as a free agent this summer, and Irving forced his way to Boston via trade a year ago, Love has found a home — and peace — in Cleveland.Before James announced that the next chapter of his career would be written in Hollywood, Love — who had been the focus of trade rumors almost from the moment he arrived — told the Cavs he was willing to lead."I'm staying," he informed general manager Koby Altman. "I want to be a part of this.""This" is life without James, the end of the four-year run and start of a rebuild as massive as the $140 million renovation taking place at Quicken Loans Arena, the... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:10Clippers enter new era with eye toward free agency next yearAvery BradleySGCelticsThe Sith Lords
Tobias HarrisSFPistonsDoppelganger
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers are entering a new era without the Big Three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. For the first time in years, they lack star power in a city that thrives on high-wattage talent. But it may be a short-term problem.While the Clippers seek to be competitive this season, the franchise already has an eye on next year. That's when a blockbuster list of potential free agents comes on the market and the Clippers could go shopping for a big name or two.They might not even wait that long.In order to attract talent, the Clippers would need some of it to lure a big name. It could be that the team will be active in the trade market this winter, especially with multiple players heading into the final year of their contracts.Another playoff appearance would make the Clippers more attractive to potential free agents, too. They finished with a winning record of 42-40 last season, but their streak of consecutive postseason appearances ended at s... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:08Celtics healthy, eager to embrace favorites tag in EastGordon HaywardSFJazzThe Sith Lords
Kyrie IrvingPGCavaliersDef Fresh Flow
Terry RozierPGCelticsFree Agent
BOSTON (AP) — The band is back together in Boston.Or, at least, it's healthy again.Hopes were high for the Celtics going into last season thanks to a revamped roster that included All-Star additions Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.Everything changed five minutes into the season with Hayward's gruesome leg injury. Expectations changed again late in the season when Irving was also lost for the year following a pair of knee surgeries.Without them, Boston finished the regular season with 55 wins and made the Eastern Conference finals. A Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers ended a playoff run that saw veteran leadership from Al Horford, the emergence of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as budding stars and growth from Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart.Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was able to keep the group intact during the offseason, re-signing the most vulnerable asset in Smart.This preseason brought more welcome news when Irving publicly proclaimed his desire to s... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:08Knicks intent on rebuilding and not afraid to say itTrey BurkePGWizardsFree Agent
Emmanuel MudiayPGNuggetsThe Sith Lords
Kristaps PorzingisPFKnicksFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Mills just wanted his clothes. He ended up getting an earful.The man delivering Mills' dry cleaning one day this summer wasn't happy with the Knicks' draft, and he let the team president know it. That's what happens in New York, home of a frustrated fan base.Still, Mills believes fans are on board with the Knicks' plan for patience, one that seems to guarantee that a 45-year drought without a title will last at least a few years more."I grew up here and I just have a different point of view. I talk to a lot of fans, I talk to people on the streets all the time. I think people here will let you rebuild," Mills said."They will let you rebuild as long as you are true to what you say, and you lay out for them what you're going to do. I just, in my gut, believe New Yorkers are OK with that."Perhaps that's because they've seen the Knicks try every other way, from blockbuster trades to splashy signings, and it hasn't worked. So building through the draft and developing... [More]
Mon Oct 1514:05Nets want to be better, but probably still won't be goodSpencer DinwiddiePGBullsFree Agent
Rondae Hollis-JeffersonSFNetsSchellackers
D'Angelo RussellPGLakersTeam Lorin
NEW YORK (AP) — The Nets arrived in Brooklyn six years ago with big boasts about winning over New York and eventually winning a title.They don't say much now at all.There are no promises about how much they will win or how soon. In fact, they don't even really talk about winning.The goal remains to be better, which isn't quite the same as being good. The Nets are content to do things slowly, knowing there are no quick fixes to the problems their former win-now attitude created.So it's all about improvement, just as it was last season."I think that's the theme," coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I think we need to take another step forward, take another big step. That's the goal and I think our guys are excited about it."Brooklyn did that last season, making a seven-win improvement that trailed only Philadelphia among Eastern Conference teams. But that still left the Nets at only 28-54, and it's hard to see them doing much better than that this season.But the won-loss record won't determine... [More]
Next
Copyright © 2018 by Almaviva Software LLC. All rights reserved.
Player news and notes copyright © 2018 The Associated Press, delivered by SportRadar US. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Thu 18-Oct-2018 20:34:14