<span class="vcard">Dan Feldman</span>

Stephen Curry retains NBA’s most popular jersey over LeBron James and surging Kobe Bryant

5 Comments

LeBron James closed last regular season with the NBA’s most popular jersey for the sixth straight year.

But a new reality – where Stephen Curry is the league’s most popular player – is setting in.

NBA release:

NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry and defending NBA ChampionGolden State Warriors retained top honors on the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise lists. Results are based on NBAStore.com sales from October 2015 through December 2015 and reflect a record-breaking holiday shopping season.  NBAStore.com had its largest Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) in history, with combined sales up 20 percent from the previous year.

Rounding out the top five players are the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (No. 2), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (No. 3), the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis (No. 4), who earned a spot on the list for the first time after a sensational start to his rookie year, and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant (No. 5).

The Warriors once again emerged as the top-selling team, followed by the Chicago Bulls at No. 2, the Cavaliers at No. 3, the Lakers at No. 4 and the Knicks at No. 5.

Additional highlights:

· The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler makes his debut on the list at No. 10.

· Bryant jumps three positions from the latest list (June 2015) to No. 3, while Durant and Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook each move up six spots to Nos. 5 and 7, respectively.

· Two-time NBA All-Star Paul George of the Indiana Pacers earns his highest ranking ever at No. 12.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

9. James Harden, Houston Rockets

10. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

11. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

12. Paul George, Indiana Pacers

13. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers

15. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:

1. Golden State Warriors

2. Chicago Bulls

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. New York Knicks

6. San Antonio Spurs

7. Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Miami Heat

9. Boston Celtics

10. L.A. Clippers

Best player not on that list? Kawhi Leonard.

Best team missing? Raptors.

Biggest surprise? Derrick Rose still ranking so highly.

Josh Richardson dunks from just inside free-throw circle (video)

4 Comments

Michael Carter-Williams anticipated Josh Richardson using the screen.

Richardson didn’t and got himself just enough room to take off for this impressive dunk.

Paul George drops Brandon Knight with spin (video)

3 Comments

Brandon Knight is not a bad player, but he’s on the wrong end of so many highlights.

The latest: A Paul George drive in the Pacers’ win over the Suns tonight.

NBA: 76ers incorrectly denied potential game-winning FTs against Knicks

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, blocks a shot by Philadelphia 76ers' Ish Smith, center, while Lou Amundson defends during the first overtime of the NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 in New York. The Knicks defeated the 76ers in double overtime 119-113. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
3 Comments

In the Knicks win over the 76ers yesterday, Carmelo Anthony hit a clutch 3-pointer to send the game to overtime – once Philadelphia failed to score on the other end.

But the 76ers, if the final moments were called correctly, probably would have scored.

Isaiah Canaan missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Lou Amundson should’ve been called for fouling Nerlens Noel going for the rebound with 1.3 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Amundson (NYK) pushes Noel (PHI) into Thomas (NYK) affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound.

The Knicks were in the penalty. So, a correct call would’ve given Noel – a 60% career free-throw shooter – two attempts. If that represented his true odds, he would’ve had an 84% chance of making at least one.

Of course, the Knicks could’ve gotten a final attempt to score themselves.

Instead, they settled for three missed calls in their favor in overtime.

The first missed call in overtime actually favored Philadelphia.

Not only should Jose Calderon not have been called for fouling Canaan, Canaan fouled Calderon first:

Canaan (PHI) hooks Calderon (NYK) on the spin move.

Calderon (NYK) cleanly strips the ball from Canaan (PHI).

The Knicks also got away with an illegal Amundson screen a couple minutes later:

Amundson (NYK) sets the hand-off screen on Canaan (PHI) without giving him room to avoid the contact.

But the Knicks missed the subsequent shot anyway, and Melo committed a foul just after Philadelphia grabbed the rebound. So, the uncalled illegal screen was pretty inconsequential.

But the tide turned against the 76ers from there.

Arron Afflalo drew a shooting foul on Jerami Grant with 1:31 left in the first overtime – an error according to league:

Grant (PHI) maintains legal guarding position as he defends Afflalo’s (NYK) driving shot attempt. Any contact on the play is initiated by Afflalo.

Afflalo made both free throws.

Then, Carmelo should’ve been called for fouling Hollis Thompson on an inbound with 10.2 seconds left:

Anthony (NYK) holds Thompson (PHI) affecting his FOM during the inbounds play.

That would’ve given the 76ers a free throw by their choice of player on the court plus the ball.

The possession still turned out well for Philadelphia, as Robert Covington hit a game-tying 3-pointer to force a second overtime. With a correct foul preceding, that could’ve been a game-winner. Or maybe the possession would’ve unfolded completely differently. Butterfly effect and all.

Finally, in the second overtime, New York guard Langston Galloway made a layup with 3:05 left. But his teammate, Robin Lopez, freed him by committing an uncalled foul on Noel:

Lopez (NYK) grabs Noel’s (PHI) arm affecting his ability to defend

Galloway’s shot put the Knicks up for good.

NBA teams played six overtimes in 10 games yesterday. There were bound to be some missed calls. The 76ers can’t know they would’ve won with correct calls, but they can join the Jazz and Celtics as teams that feel a little mistreated.

NBA: Celtics should’ve had chance to beat Mavericks in regulation

3 Comments

The Celtics overcame a 16-point second-half deficit against the Mavericks yesterday. Jae Crowder drew a foul and hit three clutch free throws to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left in regulation.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, they ran out of gas in overtime and fell, 118-113.

But they should’ve gotten a chance to win in regulation, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

After Crowder’s free throws, Dallas center Zaza Pachulia threw away a pass to Deron Williams in the backcourt, chased it down and then missed a long heave at the buzzer. Pachulia effectively passed to himself without the ball touching anything between – a clear travelling violation. The league said:

Pachulia (DAL) attempts to pass the ball to Williams (DAL) and is the first player to touch the loose ball

The NBA marked the violation as occurring with 5.6 seconds left, but that appears to be when Pachulia threw the ball away. It didn’t became a violation until he touched it again with about 2.6 seconds left.

Either way, Boston would’ve gotten the ball on the sideline near the Mavericks’ basket with a chance for the final shot – a huge swing.

Instead, the game went to overtime, where the only incorrect call also went against the Celtics.

As Crowder drove for a jumper that he’d miss with 2:56 left, Dirk Nowitzki should’ve been called for a foul:

Nowitzki (DAL) makes contact with Crowder (BOS) that affects his RSBQ on the drive

RSBQ stands for Rhythm, Speed, Balance, Quickness.

As usual, it’s impossible to say the Celtics would’ve won if these calls had gone correctly. But their odds – especially on the Pachulia travel – would’ve been much better.