Kurt Helin

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: A Philadelphia 76ers fan looks on with a bag over his head during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 22, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Grizzles defeated the 76ers 104-90.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Five Takeaways from NBA Tuesday: Sixers set new record for futility


Is all your Christmas shopping done? Me neither. So I fully understand if you were hitting the shops rather than watching NBA games on Tuesday night, but we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know from a Tuesday night around the Association.

1) Philadelphia sets record for worst 30 game start in NBA history. The 76ers have deflected some of the heat and criticism of their play this season — and the rebuild process that has them worse in the third year of the rebuild than the first — by hiring Jerry Colangelo to make decisions (ones such as putting Mike D’Antoni on the bench or interviewing veterans to help the locker room be more professional). But all that is for optics in the short-term, they don’t want to get too good too fast. The Sixers have a lot of picks coming — they likely have three, maybe four first rounders this June, depending on the lottery ping-pong balls — and they don’t want to start suddenly winning a lot of games and hurting their lottery odds. Not to fear.

With their 104-90 loss to Memphis on Tuesday, the Sixers are 1-29 on the season, the worst 30-game start in NBA history. This far into the season, every team had won two games. Every other team had won three by 46 games, so the Sixers have some work to do before setting a new milestone.

2) Kobe Bryant decides it should be throwback Tuesday, drops 31 on Dallas in Lakers win. Bryant had missed the previous Lakers’ game due to a shoulder injury and was considered a game-time decision on Tuesday, but you wouldn’t have known it watching him. Bryant was living in the midrange but knocking it down from the left side of the floor, he attacked and got to the line 11 times, he hit 9-of-16 contested shots, and seemingly every time the Lakers needed a bucket he was there. Los Angeles won 111-107 against Denver.

3) Coach Rick Carlisle rips Mavericks after they lost to the Raptors. Dallas has been one of the surprise teams of the NBA season, with Dirk Nowitzki finding the fountain of youth and the team around him playing better than expected. Yet they are still basically a .500 team (15-13), and Carlisle didn’t like the mental vacation the team took against the Raptors up in Toronto and let his team have it postgame. From James Herbert of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball:

“We got our asses kicked at the beginning of the game,” Carlisle said. “We knew they were going to come out hard. They did the exact same thing in Dallas. They’re coming off a tough loss. They’re very aggressive by nature. We really knew it, we talked a lot about it and we didn’t handle it well. And it was, frankly, it was embarrassing.”

A reporter asked Carlisle if he was unhappy with the starters, and Carlisle essentially threatened to have them traded.

“Do I look happy?” he said. “I mean, would you be happy? Look, it was a 24-minute, take-you-to-the-beach, kick-your-butt, kick-sand-in-your-face type deal. And then, hey, we come in at halftime and we’re finally pissed, I get on their case and we decide to bust our ass in the third quarter. And we played a hell of a third quarter. But, look, if it’s going to be like that, these guys aren’t going to be Mavericks very long. I can promise you that.”

We’ll see if the message gets through and how Dallas plays in Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

4) Apparently it was highlight dunk night in Miami. The Heat put on a show with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Justise Winslow all throwing down big dunks on the Pistons.

5) Miami put up the highlights, Detroit will take the win. Early on this game had the look and feel of a Miami Heat game of a few seasons ago. Cristiano Ronaldo was sitting courtside, the Heat raced out to a quick 18-point lead, and the Heat players were filling the highlight reels (see above).

But Detroit came back from that deficit with some big second quarter runs, got 18 points out of Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond had his league-leading 25th double-double, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had seven points in the fourth quarter, and the Pistons got the victory. That’s a quality road win for Detroit.

Dwyane Wade fakes Ersan Ilyasova out of the gym (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade has still got it.

Maybe not as often, or for as long, but he’s got it. Just ask Ersan Ilyasova, who gets shaked and baked on this move from Wade in the third quarter Tuesday night. This play started out up top where, after a Chris Bosh screen, Wade crossed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and drove the lane, but that’s where Ilyasova waited. Wade threw a lot of moves at him, going behind the back, then showing the ball while stopping on a dime, spinning, and hitting the little jumper.

The Pistons got the last laugh, the Heat led by 18 at one point in this game, only to have Detroit come back and get the win, 93-92.

Chris Bosh attacks rim, dunks over Andre Drummond (VIDEO)

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Chris Bosh did not have his most efficient game Tuesday night: 20 points on 21 shots.

But when he went to the rim he knew how to finish. Andre Drummond slid over to try to make a play and Bosh dunks, well, more around him than on him, but still Drummond ends up in the poster.

This dunk came during a second quarter otherwise dominated by the Pistons, who came from 18 down early to the Heat to holding them off for a 93-92 Piston win.

Cavs’ Irving will never watch knee injury again

Kyrie Irving
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has vowed to never watch another replay of his knee injury in last season’s NBA Finals.

Irving, who made his season debut on Sunday against Philadelphia, said following practice on Tuesday that he looked at the video of him breaking his left kneecap in Game 1 eight times since last June. But the 23-year-old swore he won’t look at it again, saying, “I had to let it go.”

Irving scored 12 points in 18 minutes during his first action in more than six months against the 76ers. He described his first game back as “awful at times.” Irving missed his first five shots before LeBron James fed him for an easy uncontested layup for his first basket.

The All-Star point guard will return to Oracle Arena for the first time since suffering his severe injury when the Cavs visit the champion Warriors on Christmas Day.

Mikhail Prokhorov’s group buys 100% of Nets, Barclays Center

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 30: Owner Mikhail Prokhorov of the Brooklyn Nets addresses the team during preseason training camp at Duke University on September 30, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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This has been rumored to be coming for a while, but it’s now official:

Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim has bought out former Nets’ and Barclay’s Center owner Bruce Ratner’s ForestCity Group — Prokhorov now owns 100 percent of the Nets and the arena they play in, the combination valued at $1.7 billion. CNBC had the news early, and it was later confirmed in an official press release by the firms.

What does this mean? Mostly that Prokhorov is going to make a killing on the real estate deals surrounding the arena. He enjoys the vanity of owning an NBA team, but this was always also a real estate deal for him. It is possible down the line he could sell part of the team to minority owners. If the mood strikes him.

As for the Nets, nothing changes. Prokhorov and his firm have been pulling the strings for years, that’s not changing. Nor is the fact they are one of the worst teams in the NBA and don’t control their own first round draft pick until 2019.