Check out our new digs. Put your feet up, make yourself at home.

1 Comment

Welcome to our new flat. You like?

A lot of smart people at NBC worked long and hard to come up with a new look for this blog that matches the recently redesigned NBCSports.com site. The carpet matches the drapes now, if you will. What’s more, the PBT team is pumped because some back-of-the-house tinkering makes our jobs easier, gives us better control over the comments and generally just rocks.

Let me go MTV Cribs and show you around.

The biggest change for you, dear reader, is that when you want to comment, you have to register now. I know, I know, not everybody is down with that. Sorry. Just register once and it is over with, and we promise not to sell your information to the Sacramento Kings season ticket sales office.

The fact is that we love the robust discussion on many of the posts — and will be playing along more — but there were some things that needed to be cleaned up. Some things dragging the comments down. No longer.

And yes, you now have to click a link to read all of any story. Not everyone loves that. Frankly I think it makes the site look a lot cleaner and less gray. Sure, we would like a hit count bump too, but the new look is really about helping you find the stories you want to read faster.

Up at the top of the page now is the “Top Posts” where you can find the big stories instantly. Underneath will be the usual fast flow of everything NBA, from games to Russian Billionaires getting vodka sponsorships for their teams. You know, the important stuff.

If you see a post you like, you can now tweet it or get it on Facebook with a click. Whatever you think of Mark Zuckerberg. Same with one click to twitter. You can also send us an email in the tips/feedback area.

That’s it for now. Just make yourself at home. Take your shoes off and put your feet up. It’s not just our place, it’s yours too.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
Leave a comment

CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

Leave a comment

LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

4 Comments

For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.