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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.

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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. 

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Lakers News

Lakers Flourishing With Bynum posted by Lakers News

The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will always be a  basketball betting favorite to win the title, as they’ve lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy five times since 2000, and have gone to the Finals seven times in total. The Lakers are starting to surge just in time for the postseason, and having  Andrew Bynum playing near the top of his game is a huge, literally and figuratively, asset to have.

The oft-injured Bynum started the season on the sidelines because of knee problems, and coach Phil Jackson has brought the 23-year-old center along slowly. But over the past month, Bynum is showing why the Lakers have always been so reluctant to include him in any trade talks, averaging 12.2 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game on 30.7 minutes. Bynum also received a two-game suspension for a flagrant foul on Minnesota’s Michael Beasley in a win on March 18th. The Lakers have gone 12-1 in March heading into a showdown on Thursday with Dallas, and Bynum will be looking to continue a run in which he’s snatched 10 or more rebounds in eight games this month.

When Bynum is being a force in the paint at both ends of the floor, you have to make the Lakers the favorites in the West. The Lakers can play tougher on the perimeter and send everything towards Bynum, who will at least alter the shot, and he’s learning to stay out of foul trouble, although he did have two games this month in which he had five fouls. That keeps Bynum’s minutes down, and keeps him from getting into a rhythm. On the offensive end, Bynum is averaging 3.2 offensive rebounds a game, which gives him the chance to get putbacks and dunks (he’s shooting 57.5% from the field on the season), and you can give him the ball in crunch time because he shoots a decent percentage from the line (69.0%). That will only create more space for the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, and if the Lakers are firing on all cylinders, Bynum is going to be a major factor in the run for a third consecutive NBA champion.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Joe Franciosa, Jr.

SOX SWEEP D-Backs, ... ... ...celtics lose championship... ... ... posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

The Sox just swept the worst team in the NL West. Wooooooooo.

 It just figures that the one time I'm actually rooting against the Sox, they win. When the Celtics play before the Sox, and the Celtics win, the Sox win. When the Sox play before the Celtics, and the Sox win, the Celtics lose. It's an incredibly stupid statistic, but no less accurate for its stupidity concerning the 2010 season. So, when the Sox won last night, I knew whatever vestige of hope had remained was squelched. That didn't stop me from rooting any harder for the C's... I was standing in my buddy's living room for the last 5 minutes of that game because I was too hyped up to stay in my seat.

 2010 Celtics, thanks for the effort. You took us on one hell of a roller-coaster this post-season. I didn't expect you to get past the Cavs. I did expect you to get past the Magic, especially after the Refs tried to give that series away.  I'm not even going to comment on the officiating of the Finals. If you watched and had half a brain in your head, it was obvious what was going on.

 So let's talk about the tragedy of this loss. Without Perk, the Celtics still had a 13 point lead in the 3rd quarter. Celtics defense held the Lakers to just 32% shooting from the field. If anyone wearing green had pulled down just two or three more rebounds, the Celtics would have their 18th banner. Instead, KG has 3 rebounds for the entire game. That's just not a Championship effort. Not in a game 7, on the road. Certainly not with your only true big man dressed in a green button up shirt with a bum knee on the sideline.

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Los Angeles Lakers News

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In an autobiography update, Phil Jackson talks up flirtations with Seattle, and recruiting Dwigh

Between his final game coaching the Los Angeles Lakers in May 2011 and his official hiring as president of the New York Knicks in March , Phil Jackson worked through quite the tumultuous 34-month stretch. He became engaged , he watched his family grow, he underwent a series of significant surgeries, he nearly became coach of the Lakers for a third time, he flirted with front office gigs, he discovered that he was great at Twitter , and he wrote a book . During that stretch, the mutual interest between Jackson and potential NBA owner Chris Hansen was an open secret. Hansen took great pains and offered huge gobs of cash in an attempt to buy the Sacramento Kings during the 2012-13 season (moving them to Seattle along the way), and he pitched a role to Jackson that seemed to fit for his post-coaching career –that of a, in Jackson’s words, “keeper of the flame.”We quote Phil here, because on Thursday he followed up on his most recent book with an addendum published in the New York Daily News . In one of several anecdotes, Jackson discusses his proposed partnership with Hansen : The prospect that captured my imagination didn’t involve any coaching. In December 2011 my son Charley introduced me to Chris Hansen, a successful hedge fund manager who had put together a group of investors who were trying to bring an NBA team back to Seattle. Hansen’s plan was to buy a majority share of the struggling Sacramento Kings franchise, then persuade the NBA to let him move it to the former home of the Sonics. What I liked about Chris was his innovative thinking about sports and community. He wanted me to help him create a new kind of sports culture, focusing on the team itself rather than individual superstars. His goal was to make the fans feel as if they, too, were part of the family. One of Chris’s ideas, inspired by the Seattle Sounders soccer team, was to hold large pep rallies before each game to get the fans juiced up as they made their way to the arena. Another idea was to create a low-priced standing room section behind the baskets, complete with beat boards to rev up the noise level. Chris even wanted to remove the players’names from theirjerseys to shift attention away from individual players. I told him the marketing department of the NBA might have a problem with that one. What’s interesting to note is that Jackson claims his role with a Seattle franchise would not have him working as “the hands-on general manager,”as he kept the flame for a franchise that doesn’t actually exist. This begs the question as to how similarly aligned that potential role is with his current gig as Knicks president, and if technical Knicks GM Steve Mills is the one working over cap figures and negotiating with players. One thing fans of the Sacramento Kings will especially notice is how dispassionate Jackson is when discussing the potential uprooting of a team that has been working out of the California capital since the mid-1980s, and how matter of fact (or borderline dismissive) Jackson is in discussing both the “$258 million public subsidy”that Sacramento residents will have to foot in order for the Kings to have a new arena, how the NBA’s Board of Governors voted to block any move from Sacramento, and how the entrance of current Kings owner Vivek Ranadive “put an end to the dream”for Jackson and Hansen. It’s a tricky situation, one the NBA stuck itself with when former commissioner David Stern decided to back off as former Seattle SuperSonics owner Howard Schultz sold his team to a pair of Oklahoma City-bred men with clear (and proven) designs on moving the team to OKC. Current Oklahoma City Thunder owners lied to the SuperSonic fan base and eventually hauled off to Oklahoma, and Stern declined to intervene, only tossing off snooty replies to a local Seattle government that he did not get along with. Stern and the owners went the complete opposite route when dealing with the Kings’sale and potential move, which has to frustrate Seattle fans to no end. The problem here is that the NBA has an even 30 teams, no current need to expand in spite of the game’s remarkable growth over the last quarter century, and there isn’t a single franchise that seems like an appropriate candidate to move to Seattle. Presuming the NBA, as it watches small market teams being sold for half a billion dollars, votes to allow such a thing. Jackson went on to discuss well-worn topics, such as his engagement, and the Lakers’front office impatience in jumping ahead of Phil’s decision to coach again , and he also mentioned his role in working to convince Dwight Howard to re-sign with the Lakers in the summer of 2013. The former Lakers coach was working as a consultant to the Detroit Pistons at the time, and in his book addendum Jackson claims that Howard asked Laker GM Mitch Kupchak if he could guarantee that Jackson would return as Lakers coach in 2013-14, should Howard re-sign as a free agent. Kupchak “quickly disabused him of that notion,”according to Jackson, though Phil did reach out to Howard with a series of phone messages that Howard, according to Jackson’s newest revelations in the Daily News , never responded to. The former Lakers coach then details Los Angeles’re-recruitment process : The Lakers invited Kobe and Steve to the final pitch meeting to help persuade Dwight to come on board. It sounded like a good idea. Steve sent out an amusing tweet before the meeting: “Dwight Howard we’re coming for you. You’re going to love the statue we build for you outside Staples in 20yrs!”And Kobe made a moving speech during the pitch, promising to teach Dwight the secret of winning championships that he’d learned from the best in the game. If the meeting had ended there, it might have worked. But after the presentation, Dwight asked Kobe what he was planning to do after he recovered from his Achilles injury. Was this going to be his last year? “No,”replied Kobe. “I’m planning to be around for three or four more years.”At that point, according to others in the room, Dwight’s eyes went blank and he drifted away. In his mind, the game was over. A few days later he announced that he was signing with the Rockets. Jeannie Buss, the Lakers’president of business operations , swears that the presence of the late Laker owner Dr. Jerry Buss could have swayed Howard to stay in Los Angeles, and though Dr. Buss’track record was a sound one, that’s hard to get behind. Dwight Howard wanted nothing to do with Kobe Bryant’s looming presence, so much so that he left one of the world’s greatest cities and franchises to take less money to join the Rockets. (That’s not a slight sent toward Houston or the Rockets, just a reminder that it’s hard to turn down so many millions of dollars, even Howard’s finances balance out after his next contract.) Phil Jackson recently re-signed Carmelo Anthony, he runs a team populated by J.R. Smith and Andrea Bargnani, and he works for James Dolan. We can’t wait for the next book. - - - - - - - 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

Free-agent roundup: Pacers start life without Lance, Warriors bring back Rush, Lakers steal Da

You are, by now, familiar with what we're doing here . Let's continue. *** •Less than 24 hours after losing starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson, the Indiana Pacers took a strong first step in the process of replacing him, agreeing to a one-year deal with former Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, as first reported by Sam Amick of USA TODAY . The 28-year-old Stuckey will make only the veteran's minimum, according to Candace D. Buckner of the Indianapolis Star ; for a seven-year vet like Stuckey, that pays $1,227,985 . In terms of pure bang-for-your-buck, Stuckey at the minimum seems like a steal for Larry Bird and company, a rough equivalent of Lance's per-minute productivity for about one-eighth the cost next season. The 6-foot-5 guard isn't as strong or sturdy as Stephenson, but he can approximate his dribble penetration, registering virtually the same number of drives as Stephenson per game in 8 1/2 fewer minutes per contest, according to's SportVU optical tracking data . He also did a solid job of finishing once he got there last season, converting 60.3 percent of his attempts inside the restricted area; that put him just outside the top 20 in at-rim conversion among guards with at least 150 attempts, according to's stat tool. (Stephenson's 67.4 percent mark was fourth, behind only Manu Ginobili, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic.) That might've been a one-year blip —Stuckey had never finished more than 55.5 percent of his restricted area shots in the previous half-dozen seasons —but he's still using his size and strength to seek out contact in the paint and get to the line, logging more than five free-throw attempts per 36 minutes of floor time last season, right in line with his career average. He never became the full-time "point guard of the future" that former Pistons general manager Joe Dumars envisioned after plucking him out of Eastern Washington with the No. 15 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, but Stuckey can serve as a secondary ball-handler and supplemental pick-and-roll operator. He's got a decent post-up game that he can break out against smaller defenders, and when his jumper is going, he can pose matchup problems for opposing backcourts, especially as an offensive creator off the bench. The problem with Stuckey, throughout his career, has been that his jumper doesn't get going super often. He's a career 37 percent midrange shooter, never topping 40 percent between the paint and the arc, and a career 28.6 3-point shooter, never reaching 32 percent from long distance. Unlike Stephenson, whose shooting percentages are trending upward and who provides at least a league-average threat of making defenders pay for sagging too far off him, Stuckey's mostly confirmed as the kind of guy you can give a cushion to take away driving lanes without being too scared of getting dotted. He won't unlock Indiana's seemingly forever-cramped offensive spacing. He's not in Lance's stratosphere when it comes to pitching in on the glass. He lacks Stephenson's top-end floor vision and passing ability. And while he's got the size and quickness to guard both backcourt positions, he's a significant step down from Stephenson on the defensive end. (He's also not without his own locker-room baggage, as Buckner of the Star notes .) Stuckey could benefit from a consistent role alongside good teammates with an established coach after playing under six head coaches in seven seasons in Detroit, but he isn't, on his own, a post-Lance solution at the two for the Pacers. Bird and Indy's braintrust aren't necessarily banking on him to be, though. They're hoping that between the additions of Stuckey and prior free-agent acquisition C.J. Miles, steps forward from the point guard pairing of George Hill and C.J. Watson, and the continued evolution of All-NBA small forward Paul George, they'll have enough on the wing to withstand the loss of one of their most reliable (well, in terms of being in the lineup, at least) contributors during two straight Eastern Conference Finals trips. It'll take some hard work, creativity and trust from head coach Frank Vogel to put the puzzle together, but Stuckey's a nice piece to be able to use, at a very nice price. *** •The Golden State Warriors are bringing back Brandon Rush, agreeing to terms on a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the free-agent swingman, according to Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski . Rush will hold a player option for the second season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Milwaukee Bucks pick up former lottery pick, ex-Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall off waivers %2

When the Los Angeles Lakers waived Kendall Marshall last Friday to clear his unguaranteed 2014-15 salary from the books, freeing up cap space with which to complete other signings, they hoped to be able to bring him back into the fold if he cleared waivers . The Milwaukee Bucks, however, had other ideas, swooping in over the weekend to make a waiver claim on the 22-year-old point guard and add him to new head coach Jason Kidd's backcourt mix. The Bucks had plenty of money to spend, and will remain well under the 2014-15 salary cap of $63.065 million after being awarded Marshall's league-minimum salary; they've essentially bought a $1 scratch-off ticket in the hope of cashing out with some big-time, bargain-priced playmaking. After becoming the all-time ACC single-season assist leader during his sophomore year at North Carolina, Marshall was selected 13th overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. He struggled mightily as a rookie, leading Phoenix to send him down to the D-League and eventually include him in a package sent with Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards for cap space and a first-round draft pick; the Wizards promptly waived him , leaving Marshall out of the NBA less than a year after he'd made his debut. (When the Wizards wound up trading for a new backup point guard midway through the season, Marshall —owner of one of the league's worth-a-follow Twitter accounts —couldn't help but notice .) Marshall sought a fresh start to his pro career by way of a second D-League stint . After putting up strong numbers for the Delaware 87ers —19.4 points and 9.6 assists in 37.6 minutes per game, 46.3 percent shooting from 3-point land —Marshall got a chance to run point for Mike D'Antoni's injury-decimated Lakers , and he made the most of his opportunity. (Never did get that Kobe follow , though.) Despite making just 54 appearances and playing less than 1,600 minutes, Marshall finished 10th in the NBA in assists last season, dropping 477 dimes, 11 fewer than LeBron James. His 8.8 assists per game (in just 29 minutes per contest) would've ranked tied John Wall and Ty Lawson for the league's second-best mark behind superstar Chris Paul; he assisted on 44.3 percent of his teammates' baskets during his floor time, an assist percentage that, again, trailed only CP3. He was careful with the ball, too; among NBA point men, only Paul, Pablo Prigioni and Jose Calderon finished with better assist-to-turnover ratios than Marshall's 3.18-to-1 mark . That elite playmaking, however, comes attached to some less desirable traits. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Free-agent roundup: Lakers bring back Henry, Johnson and Kelly; Seraphin returns to Wiz; and

The list of available players in the free agent class of 2014 continues to dwindle down, with teams tending toward focusing on the ends of their benches while aiming to maintain future flexibility and set their sights on the future ... in part, perhaps, because they'd rather not think too hard about the present. With that in mind, let's run through some recent smaller deals agreed upon by players and teams, starting out in Los Angeles. *** • The Los Angeles Lakers continued rounding out their roster by bringing back three members of last year's dismal 27-55 squad — swingman Xavier Henry, forward Wesley Johnson and prospective stretch four Ryan Kelly. (Start planning the parade.) Henry received a one-year, $1 million deal, according to Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski . So did Johnson, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard . (They may well both be receiving the $981,084 minimum salary for four-year players , with the reports just rounding the salaries up.) Kelly — who was a restricted free agent, unlike Henry and Johnson, and whose agreement was first reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times — got a two-year deal worth just under $3.4 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein , suggesting that his salary comes out of the Lakers' last remaining cap exception, the "room mid-level exception,"  which is worth $2.732 million for the coming season. Johnson made 79 appearances, including 62 starts, for Mike D'Antoni last season, sopping up the lion's share of L.A.'s minutes at the small forward spot and turning in the most productive season of his NBA career in the most wide-open opportunity since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft. That, however, isn't saying much — he chipped in 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.4 minutes per game, shooting just 42.5 percent from the floor and getting roundly outproduced at multiple positions, according to's charting . There were some sunny spots. The former Syracuse star shot a career-best 36.9 percent from long distance, including a 41.2 percent mark on spot-up opportunities, according to Synergy Sports Technology 's game-charting. He used his long arms and athleticism to contribute a neat 2.1 combined steals and blocks per game, and to beat the Portland Trail Blazers on an alley-oop off an inbounds pass . At this stage, though, the 27-year-old's most commendable virtue seems to be keeping the Lakers from starting $21.5 million teammate Nick Young at the three spot. (Which is, to be fair, pretty important.) [read full article]

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The 10-man rotation, starring LeBron James remembering everything, for better and for worse (B

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : . A fantastic read from Brian Windhorst on LeBron James' remarkable memory —the one that Shane Battier once called "quasi-photographic" and referred to as "a little like 'A Beautiful Mind'" —and the good things and bad things it can do to him over the course of a game, a series and a season. PF : RealGM . Jonathan Tjarks on a possible silver lining surrounding the dark cloud that has been the Houston Rockets' disappointing summer —more opportunities for Terrence Jones. SF : Forum Blue and Gold . Daniel Rapaport runs down how, in a little over three years, the Los Angeles Lakers went from championship contender to coachless also-ran. SG : Grantland . Zach Lowe tries to figure out what exactly the Sacramento Kings are doing. Good luck, Zach. PG : Cowbell Kingdom and Sactown Royalty . The answer, for the moment: They're winning (Summer League) championships, baby. 6th : . The great David Aldridge's always-information-packed Morning Tip column leads off with Derek Fisher getting his arms around teaching the Triangle offense as the head coach of the New York Knicks' Las Vegas Summer League team, and the challenges he'll face as he tries to get established pros like recently re-upped star Carmelo Anthony on-board. 7th : Regressing . In which science proves that big men have benefitted more from the institution of the 3-point arc than guards have. (It's all about spacing, y'all.) 8th : PistonPowered . In which Brady Fredericksen makes the case for "Josh Smith: Super-Sub," an idea that seems to me to have a very-close-to-zero chance of ever actually happening, but is fun to think about as Stan Van Gundy looks for ways to jumpstart the moribund Detroit Pistons. 9th : Awful Announcing and The National Post . Of course Canadian athletes don't have less motivation than other athletes, Jason Whitlock. Get out of here. 10th : USA TODAY Sports . Jason Wolf goes long on Sam Hinkie, a man who takes great pains to avoid the spotlight, which has made him persona non grata to those media members and fans who want answers for the Philadelphia 76ers' determined race to the bottom of the NBA. - - - - - - - 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 BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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