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What does the Oklahoma Thunder have to do to win a Championship? (1 comment)

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Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers comeback in Oklahoma City 115-111 in OT posted by Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers came out on top in a wild point guard match-up against Russell Westbrook 115-111 in overtime in Oklahoma City.

The Blazers comeback would not have been were it not for a boneheaded series of plays from Westbrook. Westbrook was the biggest reason the Thunder were winning but a useless personal foul in the backcourt coupled with a technical allowed the Blazers to cut the lead to seven with no time coming off the clock.

Then Lillard came down and hit a deep three off a screen. In the blink of an eye the lead went from 10 to four.

Aldridge and Lillard combined for 32 of Portland’s final 42 points.


Another key to Portland’s success late was head coach Terry Stotts decided to match the Thunder’s 3-guard line-up with Steve Blake and bring in more athleticism in Dorell Wright. Wright didn’t play since his crucial role in Friday’s 3OT win against the Spurs.

Wright didn’t have the 3-point barrage he had against San Antonio but grabbed some crucial rebounds and had a nice tip in in overtime to give the Blazers breathing room.

The Blazers capped off an incredibly successful trip with wins against the Spurs, Pelicans and Thunder without Robin Lopez and getting two of those without Nicolas Batum. The Blazers are nearing the end of a grueling December which had 10 of 16 games on the road.

The Blazers are succeeding when schedules and injury continue seem to say they shouldn’t.

And with 7 of the next 10 days off, the Blazers have earned a considerable amount of rest. They are banged up and sick and certainly need it. Although Lillard and Matthews have played every night, you could tell with the amount of miscommunications the Blazers had tonight they were running out of gas.

Continue reading "Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers ..."

Thunder Fan

Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's cruise past Hornets posted by Thunder Fan

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was worried his team would be tired after a tough win in San Antonio a night earlier.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 98-75 victory over Charlotte on Friday night, snapping the Hornets' season-high four-game win streak.

"We talk about playing a defensive brand every night and in back-to-back games to come back with a defensive effort for 48 minutes," Brooks said. "I'm really proud of our effort. I thought that set the tone. We locked in defensively and throughout the game it was solid."

Charlotte scored the game's first basket then the Thunder reeled off nine straight points to take a lead they never relinquished in winning for the second straight day.

Westbrook scored 13 points in the first quarter, and Oklahoma City opened a 59-40 halftime lead.

"It was good that we didn't come out flat and came out with some energy," Westbrook said. "We were hungry."

Brian Roberts came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 17 points, 11 in the final period.

Al Jefferson, averaging 19.1 per game, didn't get his first basket until there were four minutes left in the first half and finished with just four points.

The Thunder played their fifth straight game without MVP Kevin Durant, who has a sprained ankle.

Westbrook, coming off of a 34-point effort in Thursday's win at San Antonio, started the game shooting 7 of 9. He finished with his 11th straight game of 25 points or more.

"They're so good defensively, in the first quarter we just had a tough time making shots and everything was contested," said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. "They are just so long and so big. That's why their defense has been good all year."

Continue reading "Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's ..."

Hornets Fan

Pelicans lose for the seventh consecutive time to Pacers, 96-84 posted by Hornets Fan

Late in the third quarter on Tuesday night, Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday saw the lane open quickly with Anthony Davis standing just a few feet away.

But instead of seizing upon the advantage, it turned out to be another dismally executed play that kept Coach Monty Williams flustered for most of the game. Holiday tossed an errant pass that never got to Davis and resulted in a turnover.

With a chance to build momentum from Sunday's big road win against Oklahoma City, the Pelicans had another uneven performance and lost 96-84 to the Pacers at Bankers Fieldhouse.

It was their seventh consecutive loss to the Pacers; fifth straight on the road. The Pelicans (14-14) came in holding the eight-seed in the Western Conference after having won six of their past nine. The Pelicans also dropped their fourth consecutive road game against an Eastern Conference opponent. 

The Pelicans struggled throughout the game to execute offensively. They had too many empty possessions where the ball didn't move enough and they settled for jump shots.

Pelicans scored only 14 points in the second quarter, but the Pacers led by only a  44-40 margin at halftime. It stayed close because the Pacers didn’t have a player score more than nine points in the first half.

But the Pacers took control of the game in the third quarter after extended their lead to as much as 12.

During a stretch in the second quarter, Holiday missed four consecutive jumpers. Backup forward Ryan Anderson also forced too many shots, missing six of his first seven before fouling out in the fourth quarter with four points.

Continue reading "Pelicans lose for the seventh consecutive ..."

Lakers News

Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant posted by Lakers News

The 36-year-old Bryant missed his second consecutive game in the Lakers’ 113-93 loss on Thursday to the Chicago Bulls at United Center after reporting soreness in his knees, both Achilles tendons and metatarsals as well as back tightness.

“I just need to kind of hit the reset button,” said Bryant, who watched the game from the bench. “What happens is my body realizes how messed up it is. Then everything starts hurting. It’s an opportunity to treat everything.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers provided more than enough evidence to refute an inaccurate statement after pulling a surprising win over Golden State, the Western Conference’s best team. The Lakers (9-20) are not better without Bryant.

After supposedly benefitting from Bryant’s absence thanks to more ball movement and more shots, Nick Young and Jeremy Lin combined for nine points on a 3-of-14 clip. The Lakers shot 39.1 percent overall.

“Teams seem to focus more on me, and it showed tonight that they wouldn’t leave me,” Young said. “We can joke around and all that. But we’re always going to need Kobe out there.”

That partly explained why Bryant has averaged 24.6 points per game (third in the NBA), albeit on a career-low 37.2 percent clip. None of his teammates consistently produced enough to leave Bryant with open shots or entice him enough to pass.

“Ball movement is great when guys are making shots,” Bryant said. “You don’t hit shots, I try to take the load myself and we have a lot of standing around. In games they hit shots, I sit back and let them hit shots.”

Continue reading "Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant"

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 ..."


Thunder Fan

Oklahoma City Thunder posted by Thunder Fan

The 2013-14 season for Oklahoma City Thunder came to an end when they lost in the finals of Western Conference in Game 6 to San Antonio Spurs, who were eventually the champions. The Spurs were able to defeat Oklahoma three times, but in two of those games, Serge Ibaka was not playing due to his calf injury. However, overall, the season was quite good for Oklahoma, finishing with 59-23. In the postseason, the team survived tough games from Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. In the end, Oklahoma was simply not good enough to match the Spurs.

For 2014-15 season, Oklahoma City Thunder has as much chance to be the champions as the Spurs. There seems to be changes in Oklahoma's approach, as indicated by the change in roster. During offseason, the team brought in veteran Sebastian Telfair and Anthony Morrow, and in the draft, they managed to snag Mitch McGary.

Even though they are an elite NBA team, the Thunder fell in its ranking for offense in the last season. From second place, they dropped to seventh; however, one of the main reasons for this slip was Westbrook's injury, and the team had to rely heavily on versatility of Durant. The new acquisitions seem ideal for seeking better shots and more movement of the ball.

Experts feel that it is going to be Thunder-Spurs final, but one must not forget that the Spurs have eliminated Oklahoma for last two years in succession. Oklahoma will have to prove that they are ready for the Spurs with a great offense. People are expecting a prolonged fight, and both teams will have to compete fiercely throughout the season for earning the first seed, which will provide advantage of playing on home grounds. However, Oklahoma City Thunder may not have performed enough during the offseason for closing the gap.

Continue reading "Oklahoma City Thunder"


NBA News

NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams and their Prospects for 2013, 2014 Season posted by NBA News

In the 2012, 2013 prediction of the NBA game seven, Miami Heat were the favorites to win according to basketball sports betting sites. They went ahead to win against the spurs. Miami Heat were defending their title for the second time. Spurs were not the favorites but they had raised hope in many people that they had a chance to take the title. Most odd makers had put odds in the fact that the game will be close. This prediction also came to be true with the final 95, 88 score. There are those that are looking for Miami Heat’s prospect for the 2013-2014 season.

Defending the Title

Miami Heat are favorites to win again in early predictions for this season. The Lebron James magic is expected to play out again as he leads his time to another victory and defend their title. Some predict that Lebron may retain his Most Valuable Player of the year title this coming season. He has consistently shown his skills in shooting, defending and attacking.

On the other hand it may be too early to judge. What are the real prospects of defending the title? Defending the title for the third time will not be that easy. There is talk of Dwayne Wade’s knee injury. Whether he will be part of the action next season and whether Lebron can do without him, is another important factor that will determine the prospects for the team this coming season.

Westbrook’s Return to Oklahoma City

Another team to watch is Oklahama City Thunder. Some odds place it second for the title after Miami Heat. Their prospects are also good. The team up of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is going to be interesting to watch this season. The two are expected to help lead the team towards the title. However Russell has been on crutches and is widely expected to recover in time but how well he recovers and the level of his game remains to be seen.

Continue reading "NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams ..."


Randolph Charlotin

Refreshed Bench posted by Randolph Charlotin

Focus on the last names:

 

Jeff GREEN.

 

Troy MURPHY.

 

They were meant to be Celtics.

 

If Danny Ainge stopped his trade deadline dealings at the two-for-two swap that sent C Kendrick Perkins and G Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Green and Nenad Kristic, then fan dread over Boston’s chances in the playoffs would be understandable.

 

But Trader Dan was far from done. Often with Ainge, he makes a deal with complementary moves in mind. The two trades that followed Perkins’ departure cleared room for productive veteran players on the bench and improved versatility.

 

Celtic fans have a tough time accepting change from a winning formula. Perkins was the anchor in the middle of the defense, an intimidator that protected the paint from intruders. The Celtics hung their hat on being a physical defense-first team and was the cornerstone.

 

Health permitting, Boston could had claimed their NBA-record 18th championship. But health hasn’t been on the Celtics’ side this season. Already down are the two O’Neals (Jermaine and Shaquille) and G/F Marquis Daniels. Ainge decided not to wait and hope for modern medicine.

 Upon arrival Kristic was in the starting lineup and Green came off the bench. Regardless of their performance (they helped the Celtics win against the Los Angeles Clippers), they were available to play, which is something Perkins and Daniels can’t do right now. Perkins is expected to miss his first two to three weeks while Daniels might not play another game this season.

Continue reading "Refreshed Bench"


john howard

Thunder Go Green on Pistons posted by john howard

With 7 seconds left who would you go to?  Kevin Durant no doubt.  If not, the blazing quick Westbrook.  Last night, the Pistons took both those options away, leaving Jeff Green one on one with Maxiell.  Green layed it up.  Oklahoma City took a one point lead with 2.5 seconds left.  What was more impressive is what Westbrook did next.  No one talked about it.  There was no post game interview, but Westbrook did something that every high school coach dreams of.  He turned his the dribbler not once, but twice in 2.5 seconds.  Ben Gordon got the ball on the in bounds and Westbrook forced him to change directions twice.   Every time you turn your defender, the defense has many advantages.  One, you can double team with his back turned. Two, as in this case, they don't make much progress up the floor.  And, three, it eats up clock.  He may be the best defensive point guard in the league.

Oklahoma City shot a terrible 38% from the floor and only hit 2 three pointers.  They made for it with 14 steals and 44 free throw attempts.  Durant ended up with 30 points and 13 trips to the line.  Westbrook had 17 points and 10 free throw tries.  The shooting must improve and someone has to hit 3's.  They acquired sharp shooter Dequan Cook who has yet to hit a 3.   Cook and Harden where a combined 0 for 7.  Both can shoot, so they will change.  But, Cook's defense is going to have to improve to earn a spot in the rotation.  He gave up an easy bucket at the end of the 3rd quarter.  Cook's has gotten close to 15 minutes each game and they may fall if he doesn't start hitting shots.

Continue reading "Thunder Go Green on Pistons"


john howard

Oklahoma City Thunder run with the Bulls posted by john howard

The Thunder open the season with a victory over the Chicago Bulls.  The defensive pressure led by Thabo Sefaloosha was too much for the Derrick Rose and the Bulls.  He had 4 blocks and 2 steals.

Russell Westbrook is on the fast track to becoming a premier player in this league.  He got to the free throw line 13 times, had 10 rebounds, 28 points, and only 3 turn overs.   Talk about production at the point, Eric Maynor came off the bench and added ten points with perfect shooting.  38 points from the pg and only 3 turnovers is incredibl.e

 Kevin Durant landed on his tailbone in the 3rd qtr but appeared to be ok when he returned.  He didn't shoot it great, but led all scorers with 30 points and added 7 rebounds.

Jeff Green, as usual, did a little bit of everything and was the Thunder's 3rd scorer over twenty with 21.  Serge Ibaka had 8 points and 9 rebounds. 

The only dissappointment of the night was newcomer Dequan Cook who went 0 for 4 beyond the arc.  If he is going to stick with the team and earn a spot in the rotation, he must stick shots.

This team got off to a very good start.  Go Thunder!!!

Continue reading "Oklahoma City Thunder run with the Bulls"

Oklahoma City Thunder 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 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]

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]

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]

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