<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

2015 NBA Draft Lottery

Minnesota Timberwolves win No. 1 pick in NBA Draft lottery, Lakers move up to second

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to have the last three No. 1 draft picks on one team.

Last summer they moved Kevin Love to Cleveland for both Andrew Wiggins (2014) and Anthony Bennett (2013).

This season they won the NBA Draft lottery.

The Los Angeles Lakers moved up to the No. 2 spot in the draft, Philadelphia 76ers is third, and the New York Knicks fall two spots to fourth. The rest of the draft order held to form in order of record.

“It’s very important to us,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told ESPN on the broadcast of the Draft Lottery. “We have a young team and one more outstanding young player may really help us.”

The Timberwolves had the worst record in the NBA last at 16-66 last season, they had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick because of it. That’s the point of the lottery — the last time the team with the worst record in the NBA got the No. 1 overall pick was 2004.

It is expected that Timberwolves will take Karl Anthony Towns, out of Kentucky, or Jahlil Okafor of the national champion Duke Blue Devils. Rumblings are that Minnesota GM Flip Saunders prefers Okafor. Whichever one the Timberwolves don’t take, the Lakers likely will (and they prefer Towns).

The Timberwolves have a nice young core with Ricky Rubio at the point, Zach LaVine at a guard slot, Gorgui Dieng and Bennett up front, and now a key piece in the paint.

The Sixers reportedly have been high on D’Angelo Russell, the point guard out of Ohio State, don’t be surprised if he goes No. 3.

The Knicks fell one spot to No. 4, which makes it even more likely they will move their pick for a veteran that can help now rather than down the line.

Here is the order of the NBA Draft lottery.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. New York Knicks
5. Orlando Magic
6. Sacramento Kings
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Hornets
10. Miami Heat
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Oklahoma City Thunder

The rest of the first round:

15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets)
16. Boston Celtics
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans)
19. Washington Wizards
20. Toronto Raptors
21. Dallas Mavericks
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Portland Trail Blazers
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
25. Memphis Grizzlies
26. San Antonio Spurs
27. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston Rockets)
28. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers )
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Atlanta Hawks)
30. Golden State Warriors

Grizzlies’ Mike Conley was playing through a lot of injuries

Mike Conley
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It was obvious in the playoffs Grizzlies’ point guard Mike Conley had pushed to get back from three facial fractures — he was wearing a mask to protect the steel plate in his face.

But that was far from the only injury he was playing through.

From Peter Edmiston of the Commerical Appeal:

Damn.

Conley played 30 minutes a night and averaged 14.4 points and five assists a game for the Grizzlies through the playoffs. Plus they played strong defense on the perimeter.

Get Conley healthy, keep Marc Gasol (which is likely), and add some shooting this offseason, then the Grizzlies will be a team to fear next season.

The time Kevin Garnett head butted a hole in the wall of his own home because of “Making The Band”

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls
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If you read one thing today, it should be the oral history of Kevin Garnett at Bleacher Report. It is a brilliant bit of work by Howard Beck.

If you take something away from the history, it’s that KG is intense. All the time. His relaxation is more intense than your average work day.

The best story about that intensity comes from longtime Garnett friend and current Cavaliers assistant coach Tyronn Lue.

“The proudest moment for me was when he won that championship, and I got a chance to see his emotions and how he reacted. It was the best thing for me. […] A lot of people do all their howling on the court and they’re faking just for attention, but what he does is genuine. So one day we were at his house and we were watching Puff Daddy’s show Making the Band, and in one of the scenes, some new guys came in and were trying to sing and were trying to compete against the guys who had been there. And KG just got so hyped, “Motherf—-r, you’ve got to stand up for yours! You’ve got to fight! Motherf—-r, you’ve got to come together!” He’s going crazy, he’s sweaty. And he just head butts the wall and put a hole in the wall of his house.”

We’re going to miss KG when he’s gone.

Top 10 poster dunks of 2014-15 season (VIDEO)

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
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There were some stunning dunks this season.

Andrew Wiggins over Rudy Gobert (that should be higher on the list). Or Andrew Wiggins over Omer Asik. Mike Scott over Bradley Beal.

But the fine folks at NBA.com got this right — James Ennis had the dunk of the year. (And I’m not just saying that as a Long Beach State guy.)

Report: Rockets’ Patrick Beverley will not play in series against Warriors

Patrick Beverley
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Houston could use the pesky on-ball defense of Patrick Beverley against the Warriors. They could turn him loose on Stephen Curry, put Trevor Ariza on Klay Thompson, and try to hide James Harden on Harrison Barnes.

But Houston is not going to have Beverley for the entire series due to a torn ligament in his left wrist that required surgery, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After trying a second time on the eve of Game 1, Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley couldn’t find the strength and mobility in his left wrist to believe there exists a chance that he can return in the Western Conference finals, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“It’s a no-go for the series,” a league source told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday. “He’s done trying.”

This isn’t a shock; the Rockets had said he would not come back in the playoffs. Still, Beverley is a competitor and wanted to give it a shot.

Without him the Rockets face some serious matchup challenges this round — Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni are going to have to chase around the Golden State backcourt. Those guys are going to have to step up their game or the Rockets will be in serious trouble.