Author: Brett Pollakoff

2015 NBA Draft Lottery

Jahlil Okafor vs. Karl-Anthony Towns? Lakers to face Timberwolves on Summer League’s opening day


The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and just about every credible mock draft (including ours) has Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns going (in some order) to the Timberwolves and the Lakers with the top two selections.

If things go as expected, it could make for an exciting first day of Summer League action in Las Vegas.

Minnesota will face Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. local time at the Thomas & Mack center on July 10, as part of a six-game slate on the event’s opening day.

Last summer, Andrew Wiggins faced Jabari Parker under similar circumstances. But the league didn’t anticipate the excitement that would surround the matchup, and scheduled it to take place in the much smaller Cox Pavilion, which created an incredibly fun atmosphere that had the building packed to capacity.

The full Las Vegas Summer League schedule is listed below.

NBA Summer League 2015 Game Schedule

All Times listed are PACIFIC

Friday, July 10

Cox Pavilion

3 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. New Orleans (Game 1)

5 p.m. – Atlanta vs. Denver (Game 3)
7 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Houston (Game 5)

Thomas & Mack

3:30 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Toronto (Game 2)

5:30 p.m. – Minnesota vs. L.A. Lakers (Game 4)
7:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Cleveland (Game 6)


Saturday, July 11 

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Dallas (Game 7)

3 p.m. – Washington vs. Phoenix (Game 9)

5 p.m. – Boston vs. Portland (Game 11)

7 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Cleveland (Game 13) 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New York vs. San Antonio (Game 8)

3:30 p.m. – Chicago vs. Minnesota (Game 10)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. Philadelphia (Game 12)

7:30 p.m. – Miami vs. Utah (Game 14)


Sunday, July 12

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Washington vs. D-League Select (Game 15)

3 p.m. – Chicago vs. Toronto (Game 17)

5 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Denver (Game 19)

7 p.m. – Portland vs. Dallas (Game 21)


Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Houston (Game 16)

3:30 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. San Antonio (Game 18)

5:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Atlanta (Game 20)
7:30 p.m. – Philadelphia vs. Boston (Game 22)


Monday, July 13

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Cleveland vs. Milwaukee (Game 23)

3 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Atlanta (Game 25)

5 p.m. – Miami vs. Denver (Game 27)

7 p.m. – Toronto vs. Houston (Game 29)


Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Brooklyn (Game 24)

3:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Sacramento (Game 26)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. New York (Game 28)

7:30 p.m. – Utah vs. Minnesota (Game 30)


Tuesday, July 14

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Portland vs. San Antonio (Game 31)

2 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Chicago (Game 33)
4 p.m. – Miami vs. Boston (Game 35)


Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Washington vs. Dallas (Game 32)

2:30 p.m. – New York vs. Philadelphia (Game 34)
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Utah (Game 36)


Wednesday, July 15

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – #24 Seed vs. #9 Seed (Game 37)

3 p.m. – #22 Seed vs. #11 Seed (Game 39)

5 p.m. – #20 Seed vs. #13 Seed (Game 41)

7 p.m. – #18 Seed vs. #15 Seed (Game 43)


Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – #23 Seed vs.  #10 Seed (Game 38)

3:30 p.m. – #21 Seed vs. #12 Seed (Game 40)

5:30 p.m. – #19 Seed vs. #14 Seed (Game 42)

7:30 p.m. – #17 Seed vs. #16 Seed (Game 44)


Thursday, July 16

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Winner of Game 37 vs. #8 Seed (Game 45)

3 p.m. – Winner of Game 39 vs. #6 Seed (Game 47)

5 p.m. – Winner of Game 41 vs. #4 Seed (Game 49)

7 p.m. – Winner of Game 43 vs. #2 Seed (Game 51)


Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 38 vs. #7 Seed (Game 46)

3:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 40 vs. #5 Seed (Game 48)

5:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 42 vs. #3 Seed (Game 50)

7:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 44 vs. #1 Seed (Game 52)


Friday, July 17

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Game 37 Loser vs. Game 38 Loser (Game 53)

3 p.m. – Game 41 Loser vs. Game 42 Loser (Game 55)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Loser vs. Game 46 Loser (Game 57)

7 p.m. – Game 49 Loser vs. Game 50 Loser (Game 59)


Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Game 39 Loser vs. Game 40 Loser (Game 54)

3:30 p.m. – Game 43 Loser vs. Game 44 Loser (Game 56)

5:30 p.m. – Game 47 Loser vs. Game 48 Loser (Game 58)

7:30 p.m. – Game 51 Loser vs. Game 52 Loser (Game 60)


Saturday, July 18

Thomas & Mack

1 p.m. – Game 46 Winner vs. Game 51 Winner (Game 61)

3 p.m. – Game 47 Winner vs. Game 50 Winner (Game 62)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Winner vs. Game 52 Winner (Game 63)

7 p.m. – Game 48 Winner vs. Game 49 Winner (Game 64)


Sunday, July 19

Thomas & Mack

3 p.m. – Game 61 Winner vs. Game 62 Winner (Game 65)

5 p.m. – Game 63 Winner vs. Game 64 Winner (Game 66)


Monday, July 20

Thomas & Mack

6 p.m. – Game 65 Winner vs. Game 66 Winner (Game 67)

LeBron on winning Finals MVP if Cavaliers lose the series: ‘I wouldn’t feel good about it at all’

LeBron James

The Warriors have looked sensational in winning two straight games to take a 3-2 series lead in the NBA Finals. But with Golden State having two chances to close out the Cavaliers, all anybody seems to be talking about is LeBron James.

The expectation is that the Warriors and their smaller lineups have turned the tide in the series for good, so the conversation, at least for the moment, no longer revolves around the games themselves.

It’s all about the Finals MVP award, and whether or not LeBron should win it even if his team ultimately comes up short. Plenty of people believe he should, but James doesn’t seem to be interested in gaining this form of recognition.

From Jason lloyd of

LeBron James dismissed Tuesday the idea he could win the Most Valuable Player award of these NBA Finals even if the Cavaliers lose. They enter tonight’s Game 6 facing elimination against the Golden State Warriors despite James’ sparkling efforts.

“I wouldn’t feel good about it at all,” James said. “At the end of the day I’m here to win a team prize, and that’s to win a championship, not an individual prize.”

James’ candidacy has gained steam in recent days. He is averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in this series and has carried the Cavs to six games despite the losses of All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

The regular season MVP award went to Stephen Curry, because he was the best player on what had been the league’s best team all year long. But no one would argue against the fact that James remained the game’s best player, and the Finals MVP will more than likely play out the very same way.

James will probably put up another incredible statistical line in Game 6, and it will be one more box score to add to the pile of evidence that he’s currently the best there is. But as for the actual individual hardware, if the Cavaliers lose, he doesn’t want any part of it — and because of how awkward the potential presentation of that trophy would be following a losing effort, he probably doesn’t have anything to worry about.

Hornets GM on Lance Stephenson: ‘He never fit in great’


Lance Stephenson was the big free agent acquisition for the Hornets last summer, and the thinking was that he’d be the perfect perimeter compliment to Al Jefferson’s wizardry in the low post.

But Stephenson wasn’t yet capable of emerging into the player Charlotte envisioned.

He took a step backward in his development, fell out of the starting lineup by January, and was receiving DNP-CDs on a regular basis by the time the season was finished.

The Hornets weren’t willing to let the Stephenson project continue into next season, so they traded him to the Clippers — partially because the fit was simply never there.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:

“Sometimes when you make a trade or a signing it just doesn’t work out well,” Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a conference call. “He never fit in great.

“Sometimes you don’t know how (a player) will fit until he plays for your team.”

Stephenson went from a starter to a reserve to briefly a player out of the rotation entirely. Cho said he did not become a locker-room distraction despite his frustration with the situation.

“I thought Lance handled it really well,” Cho said. “I thought it was a shock to his system that he was not playing so much. But he handled it very professionally.”

The part about the way Stephenson handled himself was likely an important factor in the Clippers agreeing to the trade, when they had previously been unwilling to do so when the opportunity presented itself during the regular season.
In Los Angeles, the expectations will be far lower where Stephenson is concerned. His role will be similar to the one he played with the Pacers, when he was only expected to harass opponents on the defensive end of the floor, while creating offensively in small doses.
If the veterans in the locker room can keep him focused, it could be a move that benefits both Stephenson and the Clippers alike.

Report: Clippers to unveil new logo, uniforms this week

new clippers logo maybe

We’ve known that the Clippers would be undergoing a rebranding this summer, and while we got a glimpse at what the new logos and uniforms may look like, it was made clear in the various reports at the time that nothing was set in stone.

The initial look didn’t get anything resembling a positive response, but everyone reporting on the leaked images was told that they were only one of several options being considered.

We won’t have to wait too much longer to see the end result.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Clippers will unveil a new logo and new uniforms this week, multiple sources told ESPN.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is expected to formally make the announcement as early as Thursday. The Clippers have already begun the process of switching out the old logos at the team’s training facility in Playa Vista, Calif.

ESPN reported in April that the Clippers were planning on changing their logo and uniforms this offseason. In addition to red, white and blue, which have been the team’s primary colors, the Clippers will also add black as a new color, including adding a black alternate uniform.

There have been too many images leaked to believe that anything could change too drastically from what we’ve already seen. The ones below seem likely, but we’ll wait until everything becomes official before weighing in with our final thoughts.

source:  source:  source:

LeBron should win Finals MVP even if Cavs lose, say polled coaches, execs

150602 lebron james

LeBron James should be named Finals MVP, no matter the outcome of the series.

I detailed on the podcast why there’s no way that will happen.

But whether it does or it doesn’t, only Warriors fans seem to believe that someone on their team should win the award if they close out the series and win the title; the majority of well-informed observers feel otherwise.

Chris Broussard of

I polled 50 league execs & coaches from the other 28 teams asking if LeBron James should be MVP even if Cavs lose. 31 said Yes, 19 said No.

In the event the Warriors win the series, it would take an even more outrageous performance from James to steer voters away from handing an additional trophy to someone in a Golden State jersey. Andre Iguodala may have been the favorite early on, but now it would almost certainly go to Stephen Curry, provided he has even an average performance in the game that closes Cleveland out.

In my opinion, there’s almost nothing LeBron could do to win the Finals MVP if the Warriors win the series. He wouldn’t want the trophy anyway, and it would make for a ridiculously awkward presentation on the television broadcast, outside what would assuredly be a devastated Cavaliers locker room, or (worse) on the same stage where the Warriors would be seen celebrating.

But that doesn’t mean that he won’t deserve it.