Kurt Helin

Watch Paul George go off for 17 in third quarter against Raptors

1 Comment

Indiana’s 100-90 win in Toronto was the big upset of the first day of the NBA playoffs. Part of that was due to the All-Star backcourt in Toronto of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan having off nights.

And part of it was due to Paul George.

He had 17 points in the third quarter to push the Pacers into the lead, and you can see that above. He did it with jumpers, and with defense creating offense. It was vintage Paul George.

He had 10 points in the fourth quarter, and his entrance into the game in the fourth quarter coincided with a 19-6 Pacers run that was the difference in the final score. Expect Toronto to adjust their defense on him for Game 2.

Stephen Curry, Barack Obama play some connect four, promote mentoring program

President Barack Obama wears protective glasses during a science experiment for a My Brother's Keeper taping with NBA player Stephen "Steph" Curry in the Map Room of the White House, Feb. 4, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Official White House Photo
5 Comments

Rajon Rondo would destroy them both at connect four. Just saying.

Golfing buddies Stephen Curry and President Barack Obama teamed up in a new spot to promote My Brother’s Keeper and mentoring programs. A worthy cause. And a decent little ad, we thought we’d pass it along before games tip-off and things start to focus on the court Sunday.

Multiple people auctioning off bag of air, sweat, more allegedly from Kobe’s last game on eBay

In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant waves good bye to the fans after an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in his last appearance at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Renamed SleepTrain Arena, the facility has been the home of the Kings since it opened in 1988. The Kings won an NBA-best 61 games in the 2001-02 season behind Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, losing to the eventual champion Lakers in Game 7 of the conference finals. The Kings will play their last game at the aging building, Saturday against the Oklahoma City Thunder and begin play next season at the new Golden One Center built in downtown Sacramento. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
12 Comments

During the middle ages (the “dark ages”) some priests used to use “relics” of dead saints — allegedly their bones or clothing or some other personal item, although it almost never was such a thing in reality — to impress peasants, knights, and royalty. And people bought it. Fortunately, we’ve matured and evolved since then…

Or not. Because multiple people on eBay are selling bags of air purported to be from inside Staples on the night of Kobe Bryant‘s final game. Other people are selling toilet paper or other trinkets allegedly from that night. This one is my favorite:

Kobe air/sweat

The seller’s comment:

I wanted to find a rare collectors item from Kobe Bryant’s last game so the story on this item is a guy court side was about 2 steps away from Kobe and watched a drop of sweat hit the floor he wiped it up with a tissue and instantly put it in a zip lock bag, he decided to fill the bag with air from Kobe’s last game as well I have Absolutely no way to prove this unless you wanna run a dna test on this which will pass

Bidding on this is up to $41. There are multiple other such bags of air available for purchase on eBay.

I was fortunate to be there for Bryant’s 60-point exit from the NBA stage, and you certainly could say the air inside Staples Center was charged with electricity that night. I just don’t think you can capture that in a bag. And that’s ignoring the whole authentication process.

If you’re thinking of bidding on one of these, just donate your money to charity instead. At least that way it will do some good.

(Hat tip to Matt Moore of CBSSports.com for noticing this trend, which worries me a little about Matt.)

When every other team switches to Nike jerseys in 2017, Jordan’s Charlotte may have Jumpman logo

DENVER - FEBRUARY 18:  The Air Jordan logo at the Air Jordan XX Launch Party at Rise Nightclub on February 18, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Starting with the 2017-18 season, Nike will take over from Adidas as the maker of NBA uniforms, and those jerseys will have a little Nike swoosh on them (just as there is an Adidas logo now).

Except in Charlotte, where Michael Jordan’s team may have something far more Jordanesque, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

I like the idea of the “Jumpman” logo on the Charlotte jerseys, both something different and a little nod to the team owner who happened to propel Nike to the top of the basketball shoe and clothing market.

You can bet those jerseys also will have shoulder-patch ads on the opposite side as well.

Thunder try to make statement with thrashing of Mavericks 108-70 in game one

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Associated Press
2 Comments

Oklahoma City has said all season they want to be talked about in the same breath with Golden State and San Antonio.

In Game 1 of the playoffs they looked like they should.

Oklahoma City made a “we belong” statement with a 108-70 thrashing of Dallas in the first game of their seven game series. Dirk Nowitzki said he was “embarrassed” as his team set a franchise low for points scored in a playoff game.

Oklahoma City opened the game on a 15-2 run, was up 26-11 after one quarter and 59-33 at the half. This game was never close. Russell Westbrook had 24 points, Kevin Durant 23, and neither had to set foot on the court in the fourth quarter.

More than offensively, this was a defensive statement by OKC which was aggressive on that end of the court from the start, holding Dallas as a team to 29.8 percent shooting and 4-of-18 from three (0-of-8 in the first half). Rick Carlisle wanted to play smaller and faster — why so little Justin Anderson for the first three quarters? — and that proved a disaster when the point guard trio of J.J. Barea, Deron Williams, and Raymond Felton combined to shoot 4-of-25 from the floor, while Wesley Matthews was 1-of-6 from three. Williams in particular seemed to go off on his own dribbling around, not passing, and taking poor shots.

To literally add insult to injury, Barea strained a groin muscle, did not play the second half, and is questionable for Game 2.

One Dallas player who didn’t suck was Nowitzki, who was 7-of-15 from the floor for 18 points, the only Mav in double figures.

We knew there was a talent gap between these teams, but it looked like there was a talent Grand Canyon between them on Saturday, particularly with Serge Ibaka playing like his vintage self. Dallas’ big advantage is supposed to be coach Rick Carlisle, and I expect some major adjustments (like playing Justin Anderson?) but it’s going to take a lot more than Xs and Os tweaks to change the tone of this series.

Dallas will make the next game closer, they may win a game or so, but in the NBA talent wins out and it’s clear who in this series has more of it.