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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"

Lakers News

Los Angeles Lakers Preseason Report 2014 posted by Lakers News

In the history of Los Angeles Lakers, 2013-14 was their worst season. Kobe Byrant worked hard to return after his injury and came in after 20 games, but unfortunately played only six games before he was injured again. The team started the season with 10-9, and even if Byrant was able to come back and perform as he did in the previous year, it would not have made much difference. Most players were a letdown, and the stats seemed empty.

For 2014-2015, there seems to be some major changes for reviving the team's morale and performance. The Lakers have hired Byron Scott to be the head coach. Scott is a former player and has helped the team win championships when was playing. In his stint as a coach, his best record is 42-22, and he managed to get New Jersey into two finals. However, he has also spent three years coaching Cleveland without getting the team back on track. Scott has been longing to coach the Lakers, and his return might motivate the team.

However, the roster of Los Angeles Lakers does not look promising, and there are doubts whether the team can even reach the playoffs. Pau Gasol, one of the key players is no longer in the team, and the replacements, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis have not shown much promise. Bringing in Jeremy Lin might be hype, as he has not been able to maintain the explosive performance when he first started. However, he is still an improvement for the team. Younger talent that were picks from the first round, such as Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, and MarShon Brooks, have not performed in other franchises. Julius Randle, another pick from the first round is considered ready for NBA. However, he may not have the caliber to make it in the playoffs.

Continue reading "Los Angeles Lakers Preseason Report 2014"

NBA News

Lessons I learned from playing poker that helped my improve my basketball skills posted by NBA News

Poker is a game that some try to discourage due to its perceived association to gambling. Some parents may discourage their children from playing the game; for fear that it could eventually lead to a gambling problem. However, this attitude is wrong, given the many benefits that both children and adults can gain from playing the game.

Playing poker requires a diverse range of skills that you acquire over some period of time. These skills can be applied in different areas of your life, from the sports you participate in to businesses and the personal relationships and interactions you have to handle on a day to day basis.

Making Timely Decisions

One of the ways lock poker helped me improve my basketball skills, was to improve my ability to make judgments. I learned to read non verbal cues that I could read from my opponents and use that to make split second decision. It made me realize that non verbal cues can add improve decision making. I realized it is possible to learn to look for this cues as when training and playing in the field, without necessarily knowing what to look out for.

The beauty of poker, is that it helps you to learn things faster. You recognize patterns and learn to identify them quickly. The game has a tight feedback system that enhances the learning process. Other games do not. But if you play this game for an extended period of time, you will teach your mind to identify these patterns.

Taking Risks

Another way that this poker helped me to improve my basketball skills was to learn how and when to take risks. The consequences of taking certain risks become apparent almost immediately. As a result you learn to weigh the risks. You become increasingly aware of the weight of your actions and learn to make the right decision on your feet.

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NBA News

Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor posted by NBA News

Gambling is one of the oldest forms of commercial activities known to man.  There are many types of gambling and one of the most popular is sports betting.  To put it in layman’s term, sports betting is simply predicting and placing a wager on the outcome of a sports event.

For most people, sports betting is merely a hobby that can be addictive and engaging. People place wagers on the outcome of the Super Bowl, for instance. Through sports betting, cheering for a particular team or athlete becomes more thrilling since there is money involved.

However, for some people, sports betting is not just a recreational activity that they enjoy. In fact, they rely on sports betting for their main source of income. These professional sports bettors don’t just rely on luck. After all, luck can’t be on their side most of the time to make sports betting their primary source of income.

Sports betting is not for everyone. It takes a lot of guts for people to make sports betting their bread and butter. For the few who are inclined to make sports betting their number one source of income, here are some tips to become successful in this endeavor.

The first key to being a professional sports bettor is to learn how to be detached to a certain sports team or athlete. In sports betting, it is very common for recreational bettors to place a wager on their favorite team or athlete. For instance, a bettor from New York is inclined to put his money on the Knicks instead of, say, the Miami Heat. Emotional attachment to a sports team or athlete is one of the obstacles to becoming a successful professional sports bettor. When one bets solely or mainly on the basis of preference, then there are higher chances that he or she will end up on the losing side.

Continue reading "Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor"

NBA News

The Kentucky Derby is Just Around the Corner posted by NBA News

The Kentucky Derby is considered as the most exciting two minutes in all of sports.  It is held every year in Kentucky, Louisville.  It is the highlight of the two-week long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is the first leg of the US Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Unlike the other two races, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875.  This year, the event is slated on May 4. Several horses are being picked as top contenders in the race. These include Verrazano, Revolutionary and Shanghai Bobby. Like in previous years, the Kentucky Derby is expected to draw a lot of interest with millions of people placing bets on their favorite horses. You can make money by betting on the Kentucky Derby, and this article discusses how. 

First, you should be familiar with the betting terminologies. A win pertains to a bet on a horse you think will win the race, while a place pertains to a bet on a horse you think will end up either in first or second place. A show is a bet on a horse you think will finish first, second or third.  The three are the basic types of wagers offered by Churchill Downs, the racetrack that hosts the derby.  There are also exotic wagers, or more complicated types that include exacta (picking the top 2 finishers), trifecta (picking the top 3 finishers) and superfecta (picking the top 4 finishers). 

In the Kentucky derby, you are betting against other players. Churchill Downs gets a slice of the total pool (around 15 to 20%) and then the rest of the money is given to all the players that have the winning tickets.  If it is your first time to bet, you can check live KY derby betting odds to have a better idea on which horse to put your money on. 

Continue reading "The Kentucky Derby is Just Around the Corner"

Richard Kagan

Miami Heat Could Be A Bust posted by Richard Kagan

It's come down to this.  A coming out party for the 3 star players of the Heat:  LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, was wierd.  It was over-the-top and unfortunate.  If this is an example of giving the players their due props, then the Heat are already in trouble.  They haven't won anything.  You'd think they won the NBA title.  Heck, they haven't even played together, won a game together, fought together or sweat together.

I'll say this, when it came down the crunch time against the Celtics, where was Lebron?  He all but disappeared in game 5.  Looked dreadful, out of sync, like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 

This whole deal with the Heat is all hype and flash.  It's alot of smoke and flash.  The Heat will be interesting to watch.  Everyone will expect them to win every game they play.  After about 10 games, playing for them won't be fun anymore.  The Heat could collapse under the weight of the over-sized egos on the team.  They may have to turn to Pat Riley to coach these guys, but he can;'t make them play together.  Not too many teams will be able to test them, but they will be tested, and then we will see how good they are.  One coach will find a way to neutralize LeBron, and the other parts won't work as well.  A coach has to understand physics and the laws of human nature and there aren't too many coaches that come to mind.  Phil Jackson can find a way to beat the Heat.  He has Kobe and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.  The Lakers and the Heat will be something to see.

Continue reading "Miami Heat Could Be A Bust"

TP&G Blog

Lakers Watch (7/1/10) posted by TP&G Blog

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES -  epa02204272 Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar (C) makes a pass  around Boston Celtics center Rasheed Wallace (L) and Boston Celtics  guard Nate Robinson (R) in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers  89-67 win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals Game Six at the  Staples Center in Los Angeles California, USA 15 June 2010. The best of  seven series is tied at 3-3. May 10, 2010 -  Salt Lake City, Ut, California, U.S. - Los Angeles Lakers' Shannon Brown  slams home two points over Utah Jazz's Ronnie Price in the first half  Monday night, May 10th, 2010 at the Western Conference Semifinals at  EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah. ....///ADDITIONAL - 05/10/10 - Photo by MICHAEL GOULDING,THE ORANGE  COUNTY REGISTER - Additional info, CQs, and keywords for  searching..Lakers vs Utah Jazz in Game 4 of the Western Conference  Semifinals at EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah.

There is still nothing major yet to report regarding the Laker off-season moves, but this so-called exciting job fair is starting bad. Really, really bad with too many non-top-tier players (and counting) getting offered ridiculous contracts.

Continue reading "Lakers Watch (7/1/10)"

TP&G Blog

What the 2009-2010 Season Taught us About the Lakers posted by TP&G Blog

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES -    epa02208457 Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic of Slovenia kisses    the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after he and the Los Angeles    Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th NBA    Championship at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA 17    June 2010.

Plans of dethroning the Lakers are well underway, and in less than 24 hours the first step will being. But before we start watching how next season will shape up for our back-to-back champs, let's take a look at some of the highs and lows that brought the Lakers to one of the most epic NBA Finals in history and cement another Laker legacy:

• Jerry Buss has always been a businessman who knows his craft but never ever takes whatever or whoever makes his Lakers one of the most respected franchise in sports history. That includes sticking with the players who win him another championship. He may have tried to put on his poker face with Lamar Odom last sumer, but we all knew he would help Lamar win that poker game only because he hates fixing something that isn't broken. However, Odom may have made Buss regret not sending him on a one-way bus fare to Miami by being too inconsistent in this year's playoffs. Another thing about Buss: he demands the same generosity from the players he give charity to. The way Odom stunk it up in the post-season, he just might be the first victim of Buss' budget plans for next season.

Continue reading "What the 2009-2010 Season Taught ..."


Three-peat is highly possible for Lakers in next NBA season posted by nbaball

THE BOLD declaration of Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard Kobe "Black Mamba" Bryant that the team will attain its third straight crown in the next season of the National Basketball Association is highly possible. Basketball experts said three-peat might be hard to achieve in the face of the tough competition in the NBA but if the Lakers will continue to play its full potential it is very possible.

The basketball experts said one thing going for the Lakers in its quest for a piece of NBA history is the fact that almost all of their important players will be back for the team to defend their crown. Bryant the heart and soul of the Lakers had an existing contract to play for the Lakers for many years to come.
With the superstar guard still part of the Lakers roster, the team will remain solid for years to come. Aside from Bryant other Lakers players who will be back to defend their crown are superstar center Pau Gasol, versatile power-forward Lamar Odom, veteran point-guard Derek Fisher, rising young center Andrew Bynum and defensive specialist Ron Artest.

Gasol had been a vital factor in the Laker's tough victory against its arch rival Boston Celtics in their best of seven NBA Finals.
The Spanish center provided front-court scoring and defense to frustrate and defeat the determined Celtics who was able to send the game into a deciding game seven. Odom although undersized as a power-forward still contributed big for the team with his ball distribution and clutch plays against the trough defense put out by the Celtics.

Fisher for his part provided efficient veteran leadership to solidify and add more spunk to the defending champion. Bynum for his part was a steady center who provided quality minutes in terms of scoring and defense for the team. Newly acquired Laker Artest is himself had a big contribution for the Lakers victory with his tough defense against the top scorers of the opposing team particularly in the NBA Finals against Celtics superstar forward Paul "Truth" Pierce. With those players mentioned back in Lakers uniform in the next NBA season it would very difficult for other NBA teams including the Celtics to defeat the defending NBA champion. To achieve their desired three-peat the Lakers however need to resign Lakers coach Phil Jackson to coach the championship team again in the next season of the premier professional basketball league in the planet.
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Amari Harris

Father's Day, Fútbol, and Prince Albert? posted by Amari Harris

Good morning brave souls.


Once again, it has been an unreasonably long time since I’ve done this but I’ve had quite a bit on my plate for the last couple months.  I’ve officially started my education in the law and I’m also the captain/coach/coordinator/quarterback/cornerback for my flag football team.  Ok, that’s only two things but cut me some slack.  I have to make time for Paul, Jack, and Evan.  But I am digressing.  You don’t want to hear about what’s going on in my life (you selfish bastards!).  You want to hear about men in little shorts, playing with balls that they throw or kick in a whole, a goal, or sometimes even into the hands of another man (gross).  


So where do I begin?  Well, if this were an international blog I’d have to start with globes most beloved sport and the World Cup.  Everybody loves the soccer and everybody loves the World Cup.  People come out of the wood works to pick the team they think is going to go all the way and 9 times out of 10 they can’t even name the goalie.  But me, I’m an honest Joe.  I mean I’ll keep track of who is moving up in the standings, but I may watch a total of 5 minutes of this dreadfully dry activity over its duration. I’m not going to pretend I like soccer or know anything about it for that much.  With that said, I bought an ITALIA World Cup t-shirt because it looks good on me and girls love Italy…I think.  

My goodness, I forgot two very important administrative announcements before I started this thing.  First I’d like to wish all of the

Continue reading "Father's Day, Fútbol, and Prince Albert?"

Los Angeles Lakers News

View All Los Angeles Lakers News

As Warriors push Grizzlies to brink of elimination, Tony Allen vows to play in Game 6 (Yahoo Spo

After watching the Warriors light up the Grizzlies while he sat on the bench, Tony Allen says he'll play through his hamstring injury in Game 6. [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 or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

How the Clippers suffered one of the most stunning playoff collapses in NBA history (Yahoo Sports%

The Clippers were about to close out the Rockets and reach the Western Conference finals when everything went all wrong. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Sources: Thunder coach Billy Donovan targeting Monty Williams, top assistants for staff (Yahoo

Donovan has an ambitious list for the two most prominent spots on his Oklahoma City staff. [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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: — 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… — 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 or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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