Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four

Friday morning one liners (so long Brandon Roy)

Leave a comment

Our morning look around the NBA with stories worth reading and notes that are not their own post here at PBT.

If you read one thing today, make it the BlazersEdge look back at the career of Brandon Roy. This is spectacular stuff from Ben Golliver.

In case you missed it, PBT previewed all 30 NBA teams on Thursday. I expect you to read all of them. There will be a quiz.

Metta World Peace will be coming off the bench this season for the Lakers and Matt Barnes will be the starting three. Interesting. We’ll see how Ron-Ron (is that Metta-Metta now?) deals with that. But what really matters is who closes out games.

Chris Bosh drained a three in the Heat’s scrimmage last night. It’s something he’s been working on (after getting an up-close look at Dirk Nowitzki draining a bunch).

LeBron James is showing off his post game.

LeBron is also showing off the Heat’s new black alternate jersey. Embrace the dark side and together we shall rule the galaxy….

The Spurs are not going to amnesty Richard Jefferson after all. At least not this year. (When they said they were going to they Spurs thought they would get Caron Butler or Vince Carter or someone to fill Jefferson’s shoes. Didn’t work out that way.)

The Nets did use their amnesty on Travis Outlaw, as expected.

The Rockets desperately need a center (sorry Jordan Hill) and they are going hard after Samuel Dalembert.

Maurice Evans flirted with the Knicks and other teams, but has re-signed with the Wizards.

Bonzi Wells is getting a shot at an NBA comeback up in Timberwolves camp. To answer you next question, 2008 in New Orleans (the last time he stepped on an NBA court).

Andrea Bargnani says he is going to get more rebounds this year. I’m going to need to see proof of that before I begin to buy it.

Corey Maggettee missed practice in Charlotte with some lower back pain… yes, that was a little red flag you just saw go up. His back has long been an issue.

The Knicks are taking a look at Michael Redd and Troy Murphy. And maybe Eddie Murphy at this point.

The Pacers also are going after Redd.

David Thorpe — a player development specialist I really respect — loves the idea of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul together. Almost as much as Clipper Darrell.

The Nets signed Ime Udoka to a one-year deal.

No shock here, but Jerome Jordan is officially a Knick.

The Warriors picked up Dominic McGuire.

Five days after they got him in the Tyson Chandler deal, the Mavs waive Andy Rautins.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed their second round pick and Wisconsin favorite Jon Leuer.

Chris Kaman talks about being traded.

The Nuggets continue to have the best team in China.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

4 Comments

TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

9 Comments

TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

2 Comments

TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
1 Comment

TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: