Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft, 2.0

The 2011 NBA Draft is roughly 72 hours away.

Here is the latest update of our mock draft from Kyle Baillargeon, our NBA Draft guru, (see his first mock) with plenty of changes throughout:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving, Duke (discuss pick): Irving has the potential to be an all-star caliber point guard. In an era of great point guards, Cleveland would be smart to start rebuilding around one of their own.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Derrick Williams, Arizona (discuss pick): I still think Minnesota will wind up making a trade here. If that doesn't work out, however, expect them to take Williams and look to trade someone out of their front court (likely Beasley, if anyone is willing to take him). Rubio to Williams doesn't sound so bad in Minnesota.

3. Utah Jazz - Brandon Knight, Kentucky (discuss pick): The Jazz will look to start from scratch at the point guard position and it looks like Knight gets the edge over Kemba Walker.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Enes Kanter (discuss pick): The Cleveland dream scenario is gone now that Minnesota has taken Williams. Expect them to go with Kanter to beef up their front court.

5. Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas (discuss pick): Colangelo loves international players, and with his recent extension he has the kind of security to make this pick. Also, Toronto doesn't have a good center on the roster.

6. Washington Wizards - Tristan Thompson, Texas (discuss pick): The Wizards can pair Thompson up with JaVale McGee and potentially trade Andray Blatche for some help elsewhere. The team is still in the early rebuilding stages, and Thompson is a good building block here.

7. Sacramento Kings - Kemba Walker, Connecticut (discuss pick): While Knight isn't available in this version of the mock draft, Walker can come in and allow the Kings to move Tyreke Evans to the SG position where he belongs.

8. Detroit Pistons - Bismack Biyombo (discuss pick): The Pistons will hope that Biyombo can be another Ben Wallace. Thankfully, the original Ben Wallace is already in Detroit and hopefully he can take the beast from Congo under his wing.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State (discuss pick): New GM Richard Cho will try to make a splash by taking a player we had in the top three in our last mock. Charlotte would be very happy to see Leonard slide this far.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Alec Burks, Colorado (discuss pick): Burks could give Milwaukee an explosive tandem in the backcourt for years to come.

11. Golden State Warriors - Marcus Morris, Kansas (discuss pick): Morris is a bit on the smaller side, but that won't hurt him as much in the run-and-gun Golden State offense. He can also inject some much-needed toughness into the front court.

12. Utah Jazz - Jan Vesely (discuss pick): Vesely could very likely be gone at this point in the draft, perhaps even to Utah with the third pick. But if he somehow falls this far, expect Utah to snatch him up.

13. Phoenix Suns - Chris Singleton, Florida State (discuss pick): Singleton can give Phoenix a strong perimeter defender from the start. While Singleton has a lot of work to do on the offensive end, who better to learn from than Steve Nash?

14. Houston Rockets - Jimmer Fredette, BYU (discuss pick): Jimmer may seem like a bit of a head-scratcher here, but are Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic really the point guards of the future in Houston? Not likely. Jimmer would be an upgrade for Houston, and likely just the first of many moves by Daryl Morey this offseason.

15. Indiana Pacers - Klay Thompson, Washington State (discuss pick): The Pacers will hope that Thompson becomes their point guard of the future. There is a chance he won't be, but he can shoot and could at the very least be a good role player.

To see the rest of our first-round NBA Mock Draft, click here. Or for our NBA Mock Draft database, click here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is it "evitable" that the Warriors trade Monta Ellis?

According to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, "it seems inevitable" that the Warriors will trade guard Monta Ellis even though they aren't actively shopping him.

Meanwhile, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that "Ellis' representatives have joined the Warriors in an attempt to find a mutually beneficial destination."

Per Thompson, four players the Warriors have discussed are Rudy Gay of Memphis, Andre Iguodala of Philadelphia, Luol Deng of Chicago and Nene of Denver.

Some of the other players mentioned by Simmons include Atlanta's Josh Smith and Portland's Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum.

While one of Thompson's sources says "it's not close to happening," the Iguodala-to-Warriors option, in particular, is "the one that has legs."

Ellis, who is under contract at $11 million per season for three more years, averaged 24.1 points, 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game in 80 games last season. Ellis led the team in scoring and steals and was second in assists behind guard Stephen Curry.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft, 1.0

The NBA Finals will end June 14th (or earlier if the series does not go seven games) and then all attention will turn to the 2011 NBA Draft, which will happen in Newark (NJ) on Thursday, June 23rd.

At least, it will be all of the good attention considering the NBA's current labor deal ends on June 30th and there is the threat of a shortened 2011-2012.

Back to the good stuff, here are the first ten picks of our 2011 NBA mock draft from Kyle Baillargeon, our NBA Draft guru:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving, Duke (discuss pick): Irving has the potential to be an all-star caliber point guard. In an era of great point guards, Cleveland would be smart to start rebuilding around one of their own.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Enes Kanter, International (discuss pick): We can't predict trades, but we expect Minnesota to trade out and someone else to come in and take Derrick Williams. Assuming Minnesota stays with this pick, however, Kanter is the guy here, as the Wolves are already set at SF and PF.

3. Utah Jazz - Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State (discuss pick): The Jazz would rather have Kanter, for sure. But he's gone. Andrei Kirilenko will be gone soon, and the Jazz can use this pick to get their SF of the future.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Derrick Williams, Arizona (discuss pick): A dream scenario for Cleveland, this will allow them to not only build around two potential studs, but also trade J.J. Hickson for some help elsewhere.

5. Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas, International (discuss pick): Colangelo loves international players, and with his recent extension he has the kind of security to make this pick. Also, Toronto doesn't have a good center on the roster.

6. Washington Wizards - Tristan Thompson, Texas (discuss pick): The Wizards can pair Thompson up with JaVale McGee and potentially trade Andray Blatche for some help elsewhere. The team is still in the early rebuilding stages, and Thompson is a good building block here.

7. Sacramento Kings - Brandon Knight, Kentucky (discuss pick): Knight gives the Kings a chance to move Tyreke Evans to the SG position where he belongs. Kemba Walker is an option, but Knight looks to have the bigger upside.

8. Detroit Pistons - Bismack Biyombo, International (discuss pick): The Pistons will hope that Biyombo can be another Ben Wallace. Thankfully, the original Ben Wallace is already in Detroit and hopefully he can take the beast from Congo under his wing.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Kemba Walker, Connecticut (discuss pick): The Bobcats have a penchant for taking known collegiate products in the draft. It hasn't really worked out for them, but Walker is an immediate upgrade over D.J. Augustin.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Chris Singleton, Florida State (discuss pick): The Bucks could use a strong permimeter defender, and Singleton would help immediately. He needs to work on his offensive game, but that could come with time and hard work.

Click here to view the rest of the first round in our 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Or, to see more mocks from around the internet, check out our 2011 NBA Mock Draft Database.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mavs sweep Lakers with 36-point blowout

Ugly. Embarrassing. Classless.

All words that could be used to describe what happened in Game 4 of the Mavs-Lakers series.

Not only did the Mavericks sweep the Lakers with today's 36-point blowout win, but both Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected in the fourth quarter for cheap shots.

Per Elias (via ESPN Stats & Info), today's victory was the largest margin of victory in Game 4 of an NBA playoff series sweep.

Within one minute of play, Odom shoved Dirk Nowitzki and Bynum closedlined J.J. Barea with elbow to the chest on a lay-up attempt.

Before this series, teams that had lost the first three games of an NBA playoff series were 0-for-98. Now, they are 0-for-99.

However, this was the first time in Phil Jackson's coaching career that he was swept in a playoff series.

In fact, Jackson's titles (11) exceed the number of times he has even lost a playoff series (10). Jackson finishes with a record of 229-104 (.688) record in the post-season, which are records for wins and winning percentage.

Speaking of records, the Mavs tied an NBA record with 20 three-pointers made and Jason Terry accounted for nine of them, which also ties the NBA record.

Three players in this game scored 20-plus points and all of them came off the Mavs' bench: Terry (32), Barea (22) and Peja Stojakovic (21).

Many expect changes to be on the horizon for the Lakers.

One of the guys that could be gone is Pau Gasol, who averaged only 12.5 points on 42.2-percent shooting and 9.3 rebounds per game this season. In the regular season, Gasol averaged 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and shot 52.9 percent from the field.

And, of course, expect rumors involving Dwight Howard trade to the Lakers to continue to heat up over the next couple of months before the official start of the free-agency period.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chris Paul has first triple-double of year, Hornets even series

During the regular season, Hornets point guard Chris Paul had no triple-doubles.

CP3 picked a great time to have his first of the season.

In last night's 93-88 win over the Lakers to even the series, Paul finished with 27 points, 15 assists and a career-high 13 rebounds.

"Regardless of what happens in this series, it was good to see the city with a smile on their face," said Paul. "It was fun, man. I'm just so thankful to get to say this is my way of life."

Paul is the first player to have 25-plus points, 15-plus assists and 10-plus rebounds in a playoff game since Oscar Robertson did so in 1964.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Andrew Bynum says knee 'felt fine' after Friday's practice

Lakers center Andrew Bynum participated in Friday's practice without much pain in his hyper-extended right knee, per Mark Medina of the LA Times.

Bynum, who hyperextended his knee on Tuesday, will be ready to go for Game 1 versus the Hornets on Sunday.

"It felt fine," said Bynum (via Medina). "It was all right. I'll be all right. It's nothing that's not normal at this point."

Since the All-Star break, Bynum has averaged 11.2 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jared Sullinger to return for another season at Ohio State

In a mock draft by DraftExpress, Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger was the third player off the board to Minnesota. In this one by HoopsHype, he was the top overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Based on Sullinger's comments after last night's loss to Kentucky, there is no chance of either of those happening.

I did make a decision and I’m definitely coming back next year,” Sullinger said, per Clifton Brown of Sporting News. “I need to work on a lot of things. I have to come back. I’m coming back to win."

“I’m going to be an Ohio State Buckeye next year,” Sullinger said. “This isn’t why I came here, to come in here and see my seniors in here crying. I came here to win a national championship.”

What about the possibility of the freshman having a change of heart?

"Jared Sullinger ... said he won't change his mind. 'I'm a man of my word'," tweeted Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sullinger had 21 points and 16 rebounds last night and averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on the season.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jordan Farmar gets third double-double in past four games

New Jersey's Jordan Farmar scored 15 points and dished out 16 assists in tonight's loss to Orlando.

In the past four games that Deron Williams has missed, Farmar has made the most of his opportunity.

During that span, Farmar has averaged 37 minutes per game and has three double-doubles. He is averaging 12.3 points, 11.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game in those four games.

Per Al Iannazzone of the Bergen Record, Williams will also miss Saturday's game against Atlanta. After Saturday, the Nets play the Rockets on Tuesday and the Knicks on Wednesday.

At a minimum, it seems likely that Farmar is in store for at least one more big game.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back-to-back triple-doubles for Andre Iguodala

Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala had only six double-doubles from the start of the season through February 15th.

This weekend, Iguodala had back-to-back triple-doubles and now has three of them in the seven games since February 16th.

Against the Timberwolves on Friday, Iguodala had 22 points, ten rebounds and 13 assists. Tonight against the Warriors, Iguodala finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and ten assists.

On the season, Iguodala is averaging 14.3 points, a career-high 6.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Spoelstra: Some Heat players were "crying" after today's loss to the Bulls

Nobody likes to lose.

Apparently, that's especially true for some (unnamed) players for the Miami Heat, who have now lost four consecutive games.

After today's one-point loss to the Chicago Bulls, ESPN's Brian Windhorst tweeted that Heat coach Erik "Spoelstra said some Heat players are crying in the locker room at the moment."

Crying? Are you serious? From the team that was talking about "not one, not two ... but eight" championships?

Chris Bosh said he "almost" cried but did not. LeBron James said it wasn't him. Per Sam Smith of, Dwayne Wade said, "Why you want to know if I was crying? I’m not going to tell you that.”

As pointed out by ESPN's Tom Haberstroh, the Heat have made only one of 18 shots in the final ten seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime when trailing by three points or less.

Smith notes that the Heat are a combined 1-9 versus the Bulls, Celtics, Spurs, Mavs and Lakers.

In order to get to the NBA Finals, it's likely that they will have to beat the Celtics and/or the Bulls. To win their first championship as The Heatles, they'd then likely have to beat either the Lakers, Spurs or Mavs.

Don't schedule the parade just yet.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paul Pierce to have MRI on Monday

Boston's Paul Pierce, who is battling a hand and ankle injury, scored only one point after he missed all ten of his field-goal attempts in Sunday's win over the Miami Heat.

Aside from an 0-for-11 game in 1999, it was the worst shooting performance of Pierce's career.

Tomorrow Pierce will get an MRI on his foot.

"I sprained my hand in practice [Saturday] and I hit it today," said Pierce, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston. "I just got to get my foot checked out [Monday], I'm going to get an MRI on it and go from there."

Pierce hasn't missed any games this season and the Celtics face the Nets on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Durant calls Bosh a "fake tough guy" and a "cool dude"

Despite losing to the Miami Heat by five points today, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, led all scorers in today's game with 33 points.

In fact the trio of Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook outscored the trio of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh by two points, 77-75. Then again, the Thunder trio shot only 38 percent (24 of 63) while the Heat trio made 57.1 percent (28 of 49) of their shots.

Bosh, who returned from a four-game absence, scored 20 points for the Heat and drew some criticisms from Durant for an incident that occurred in the first quarter.

“I was talking to my teammate and [Bosh] decided he wanted to put his two cents into it,” Durant explained, per's Art Garcia. “I am a quiet guy, laid-back guy, but I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. There are a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

Per Darnell Maybury of The Oklahoman, Durant, who is a mild-mannered guy, called Bosh a "cool dude" when saying that he and Bosh don't have a history of bad blood.

“He was telling Harden to dunk on me,” Bosh said (via Maybury). “He said dunk the next one. I expressed that, no, he’s not going to dunk that. And he expressed, yes he is. We just kind of went back and forth. I don’t think it was anything to get a tech over. It was just talking.”

These two teams will meet one more time in the regular season: Wednesday, March 16th in Miami.

Spurs first NBA team to 40 wins this season

After beating the Rockets last night, the Spurs earned their 40th victory of the season. (The next closest team is Boston, who has 35 wins.)

Last night's win was the team's 18th consecutive home victory and the Spurs are 25-2 at home this season.

Through 47 games, the Spurs are 40-7 and have a seven-game lead over the Lakers in the Western Conference and an 8.5-game lead over the Mavs in the Southwest Division.

This is the fastest the Spurs have reached 40 victories in a season.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mike Miller sets Heat record, scores 22 in second quarter

Before last night's game against the Raptors, Miami's Mike Miller scored a total of 15 points all season (ten games).

Now Miller has 47 points.

With both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh out, Miller scored 32 points last night including 22 points in the second quarter, which set a Heat franchise record. In the second quarter, Miller knocked down five three-pointers.

"I got it going a little bit," Miller said. "Which is fun. ... Obviously, I've shot a lot of basketballs in my day, and I always say confidence ain't going to be an issue. I'm going to miss. I'm going to make. But as long as you stick with it, you're getting opportunities. Guys found me in the second quarter, I got some opportunities, and I made them."

In the process, the Heat ended their four-game skid.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tyrus Thomas to miss eight weeks with a torn meniscus

Before Thursday's game against the Sixers, Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas was a last-minute scratch due to swelling in his knee.

The team sent Thomas for an MRI and the results aren't good.

Thomas, who has a torn meniscus, will miss up to the next eight weeks with the injury.

On the season, Thomas was averaging 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.

With the injury to Thomas, both Kwame Brown and Nazr Mohammed should see their minutes expand.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chris Douglas-Roberts has 54 points in past two games off bench

Bucks G/F Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a season-high 30 points off the bench in yesterday's loss to the Miami Heat on 12-for-19 shooting.

In tonight's win over the New Jersey Nets, CDR had 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

His career-high was 31 points in a game against the Bucks last season.

He's had two of only three 20-point performances of the season in his two most recent games and he's shooting 63.6 percent (21 for 33) in the past two games.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Caron Butler likely done for year

After having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right knee, Mavericks forward Caron Butler is likely done for the season.

As ESPN's Jeff Caplan points out, the injury could cost Butler, who is in the final year of his contract, millions of dollars when he hits free agency.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says that surgery "went extremely well, from what I heard.''

In the month of December, Butler averaged almost 17 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

With Butler (and Dirk Nowitzki) out on Jan. 2nd, Shawn Marion, who is available in one-third of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, scored a season-high 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting.

Triple-Double for Hedo Turkoglu

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu had his first triple-double since he was dealt back to the Magic.

Turkoglu finished with ten points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in last night's win over the Warriors.

I’m glad I finally did something to help this team win,” said Turkoglu, who has been steady in nearly every game since his return to the Magic. “When I have the ball in my hands, I’m able to do the things I’m good at. My strength is to be the guy who is a facilitator, get my shot or find one for my teammates.”

It was the third triple-double of his career.

Turkoglu averaged 16.5 points per game in his last full season with the Magic (2008-09).

Since then, he's averaged only 11.3 points per game with the Raptors last year and 9.5 points per game with the Suns earlier this season.

In eight games with the Magic, he's averaging 12.5 points per game in addition to 6.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists (both of which would be his highest average) per game.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki won't play Sunday vs. Cavs

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who did not play in Saturday's loss to the Bucks, will miss Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

It will be the fourth consecutive game that Nowitzki will miss.

"Yeah, hopefully we can get these two games on this trip and then next week sometime I'll be able to go," [Nowitzki] said. "I really like the way the guys have responded. (Brian) Cardinal was great, playing tough and giving out hard fouls. (Alexis) Ajinca came in and did a good job. It's going to be tough without Shawn, but we got guys who can get it done."

Next week, the Mavs have three home games: Portland (Jan. 4th), Oklahoma City (Jan. 6th) and Orlando (Jan. 8th).

Nowitzki is averaging 24.1 points (three-year low) and 7.5 rebounds (lowest since 1999-2000 season) per game this season.