Author: Brett Pollakoff

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

Hawks’ Kyle Korver wins 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award


Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks has won the 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the league announced on Wednesday.

From the official release:

“Korver (Southeast) was one of six divisional winners, joining the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson (Atlantic), the Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol (Central), the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Nick Collison (Northwest), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jeremy Lin (Pacific) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (Southwest). The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Korver to his charity of choice, Helping Hand Rescue Mission.”

“Besides the donation to Helping Hand Rescue Mission on behalf of Korver, the NBA will make $5,000 donations to the other five divisional winners’ charities of choice: Blessings in a Backpack for Johnson; Gasol Foundation for Gasol; Special Care, Inc. for Collison; Partnership for the Advancement & Immersion of Refugees for Lin; and Audubon Nature Institute for Davis.

“The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship — ethical behavior, fair play and integrity — in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the league’s NBA Cares program. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient, in 1995-96.”

Unlike the rest of the awards, the players are the ones who vote on this one. Here’s how it shook out:

Player, Team                                1st        2nd       3rd        4th        5th        6th       Points

Kyle Korver, Atlanta                         87        70        66        31        42        21        2,351

Anthony Davis, New Orleans          56        76        60        55        53        17        2,171

Pau Gasol, Chicago                         66        54        58        54        39        46        2,051

Nick Collison, Oklahoma City         35        49        39        70        52        72        1,677

Amir Johnson, Toronto                    45        35        35        57        62        83        1,609

Jeremy Lin, Los Angeles Lakers     28        33        59        50        69        78        1,553

Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies received the award last season.

Boris Diaw surprises himself by hitting buzzer-beating circus shot in Game 5 win over Clippers (VIDEO)

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four

Game 5 between the Clippers and Spurs essentially came down to a single possession — which makes some of the other plays that took place late in the fourth quarter that much more monumental.

This one from Boris Diaw certainly qualifies: a turnaround, one-legged fadeaway to beat the shot clock buzzer with less than three minutes to play.

It was so crazy, it even surprised Diaw himself.

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WATCH: Chris Paul called for questionable technical foul late in Clippers’ Game 5 loss to Spurs

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Clippers

Following a tough Game 5 loss to the Spurs on Tuesday, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers lamented the amount of calls from the officials that he believed were incorrect, and went against his team.

“I don’t complain much,” Doc Rivers said. “I thought we got some really tough calls tonight. Some brutal calls. The travel on Blake (Griffin), the goaltend on Matt (Barnes), which wasn’t a goaltend. You think about the playoffs, and they’re single-possession games. Those possessions those were crucial. J.J. (Redick’s) foul that got him (fouled) out, J.J. didn’t touch anyone.

“It’s not why we lost, but those were big plays for us.”

And he didn’t even mention this one — a technical foul on Chris Paul for making a crisp pass to the official following a Spurs made basket.

“I thought if anything, (the technical foul) was a delay of game,” Paul said after the game. “In the other 82 games, it would have been a delay of game but they didn’t call it.”

Touching the ball after a made basket — even just to get it quickly to the nearest official — is indeed usually a delay of game warning in most situations.

Unless, of course, Paul said something inflammatory as he whipped the pass.

But whether he did or he didn’t, it was just one of many crazy plays that helped decide a critical Game 5, in what might be the best series we get throughout the entirety of the postseason.

Tim Duncan rejects Blake Griffin in final minute of Spurs’ Game 5 win over Clippers (VIDEO)


The Spurs came away with a critical Game 5 win over the Clippers on Tuesday, and in a contest that came down to the final few possessions in order to be decided, Tim Duncan made one of the game’s most important defensive stops.

Blake Griffin received the pass from Chris Paul in the lane, and with Duncan guarding DeAndre Jordan, who was positioned on the baseline near the basket, Griffin believed he’d be able to elevate and get the shot up, somewhat uncontested.

Duncan, however, met Griffin at the top of his shot to come away with the clean block, and managed to keep Jordan at bay with his off hand at the very same time.

Boris Diaw grabbed the steal once the ball was back in Griffin’s hands closer to the floor, and the Spurs were off and running in the other direction.

Report: Lakers interested in signing Rajon Rondo as a free agent ‘only at a certain low price’

Rajon Rondo

The Lakers have been interested in adding Rajon Rondo to the roster ever since the beginning of this season.

They tried to trade for him more than once, but ultimately decided that just waiting to sign him this summer as an unrestricted free agent might be the best course of action.

But after a rocky tenure in Dallas that involved clashes with his head coach, a negative net rating in his time on the court, and a mysterious back injury that likely put an end to his time with the Mavericks, there’s no question that Rondo has become a bit less desirable.

As for just how much all of that has affected his chances of signing with the Lakers this summer, well — it’s still something that both Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are in the process of sorting out.

From Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:

So there remains a distinct possibility in today’s space-and-shoot NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers will be the torchbearers for the old school and sign the pass-first (nay, pass-only) Rondo to a free-agent contract this summer.

But what should be made clear, according to team sources, is that Buss is not the believer he was earlier in the season when it comes to Rondo, and Kupchak is toting enough healthy skepticism that he sees Rondo as value only at a certain low price. …

The Lakers have higher priorities when it comes to spending their precious 2015 salary-cap space. They are hopeful of buying a foundational piece—something they aren’t convinced Rondo is.

The question with Rondo is whether or not you believe he’s salvageable, and whether or not he can coexist with Lakers head coach Byron Scott.

Teams began to sag heavily off of Rondo defensively because of his poor shooting, and he had been unable to make them pay, at least during his time in Dallas. He also no longer has the speed to consistently blow by defenders on the perimeter and get all the way to the basket.

If the Lakers are going to sign Rondo, then it needs to be at a greatly-reduced price. It seems as though Kupchak and Buss are in agreement on this, which is good news for the team’s future — if in fact they won’t overpay to chase questionable talent that only has a small chance of jumpstarting the rebuilding process.