NBA announces deal to broadcast D-League games live on YouTube

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The NBA and YouTube announced a deal to stream live more than 350 D-League games during the 2012-13 season, both through a dedicated YouTube channel and through a video player on NBA.com.

From the official release:

“As a result of today’s announcement, the NBA D-League, the NBA’s official minor league, will feature the most live games on YouTube by a major professional sports league.”

“The NBA’s latest initiative with YouTube marks another milestone in our partnership and a great way to tip off the 12th season of the NBA Development League,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. “By turning to our longtime partner, YouTube, we are able to bring the NBA D-League to basketball fans around the world, further expanding the league’s growth and showcasing future NBA stars.”

“Throughout the season, NBA D-League fans won’t miss a moment of live regular season action as all of the league’s games will be available nationwide either online; on the NBA D-League Center Court mobile app – the league’s free mobile application providing fans with access to NBA D-League content on the Android Market and the App Store; or on CBS Sports Network and NBA TV, the league’s national television partners.

“In addition, fans will be able to access the live games on the NBA D-League YouTube channel via all of the league’s 16 team web sites.  They can also access archived versions of the live games to view on demand through the YouTube channel and the league’s web site shortly after the conclusion of the contests.”

The NBA Development League has had a hard time attracting hardcore fans of its own, for a variety of reasons. The teams are almost exclusively located in very small markets, the talent level of the players fluctuates wildly, players come and go to and from teams erratically throughout the season, and it wasn’t always easy to find out when and where to watch.

The league has taken a big step to eliminate that last issue, and more basketball available to watch for free online can only help to increase its fan base.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

AP Photo/Phil Long
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Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

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The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

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Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

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In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.