Thabeet is back

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It appears that Hasheem Thabeet’s brief sojourn into the D-League has come to an end. According to the twitter of Yahoo! Sports scribe Marc Spears, Thabeet has been recalled by the Grizzlies. In six games with the Dakota Wizards, Thabeet averaged 13.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.17 blocks, and made 50% of his shots. His offensive rebounding was particularly impressive, as Thabeet averaged 4.2 offensive rebounds per game and grabbed 11 offensive boards in a single game against the Tulsa 66ers. 

Thabeet’s best game was his second game in the D-League, when he scored 19 points on 8-10 shooting from the field, snagged 16 rebounds, and blocked six shots. His worst game came two contests later, with Thabeet being held to 8 points on 1-9 shooting and 6-12 shooting from the line. Turnovers and fouls were a problem for Thabeet in the D-League; Thabeet averaged 2.67 turnovers and 3.00 fouls per game during his stay with the Wizards. The fouls are understandable for a player who contests as many shots as Thabeet, but the turnovers suggest Thabeet may not have the offensive skills to hold his own when he has the ball in the NBA. 
Among lesser talents, Thabeet’s physical talents make him look like a man among boys. What remains to be seen is whether Thabeet will develop the skills to utilize his physical gifts against the best basketball players in the world. 

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.


PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade


Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.