Author: Kurt Helin

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?


With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Remembering former Suns player Neal Walk (VIDEO)

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Former Suns’ center Neil Walk, a guy key to the formative years of that franchise, passed away at the age of 67.

He’s more than just the answer to the trivia question “who was drafted No. 2 behind Lew Alcindor?”, he is one of only two Suns players ever to average 20 and 10 for a season (the other is Charles Barkley). He went on to play for the New Orleans Jazz and New York Knicks in his eight-year NBA career.

The video above touches on his NBA career. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

NYC trial starts for NBA player charged in clash with police

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements are set to begin in the trial of a professional basketball player charged with resisting arrest and other crimes following a confrontation with police officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub in April.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha, who suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the struggle, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also include misdemeanor obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct. He has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and his attorney, Alex Spiro, has said his client is going to trial to clear his name.

A jury of four women and two men was picked Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Opening statements start Tuesday.

The case stems from an early-morning struggle outside the 1Oak Club in Chelsea shortly after the stabbing of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman. It was then that the 30-year-old guard-forward ignored six separate orders to move away from the crime scene, charged at another officer and then flailed his arms and twisted his legs while being placed under arrest, according to a criminal complaint.

During jury selection, Spiro said that while his client, a Swiss national, may have been “mouthy” and “fresh” in his dealings with officers after the stabbing, no crime had been committed. He also suggested race played a role in his client’s arrest.

“Are you all willing to understand that we’re all swayed at some level by implicit racial biases,” he asked potential jurors.

Six police officers will be called as witnesses for the prosecution, an assistant district attorney, Francesca Bartolomey, said Monday. Spiro had sought to review the personnel records of five officers involved in the incident but the judge, Robert Mandelbau, denied that motion.

Charges against another Hawks’ player involved in the confrontation, Pero Antic, have been dropped.