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

Sprint Celebrity Game 2015

Mo’ne Davis puts spin move on Kevin Hart, blows past him for layup (VIDEO)

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Mo’ne Davis can do more than throw a baseball.

The Little League World Series star took part in the NBA All-Star weekend Celebrity Game and gave us the highlight of the night — a spin move right past Kevin Hart for the layup.

Hart went on to win the MVP — that’s four of them for him, it’s a February tradition like Groundhog Day — but all we’re going to talk about is this. Well, that and that Davis is about the same height as Hart.

Paul George says he plans on mid-March return to Pacers

Paul George
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NEW YORK — Eight months after Paul George suffered as nasty an injury as you will ever see on a basketball court, he intends to get back on the hardwood. George is planning on a mid-March return to the Pacers, he told ProBasketballTalk on Friday.

“I want to (play this season),” George said. “March 1st was the date I wanted to be able to full on practice without limitations or restrictions, and from there see where things go. But mid-March is ideally where I want to be able to make a comeback and play my first game.

“But it’s so many steps I have to take to get to that point it’s just a date I threw out.”

It’s a date that should make Pacers fans happy. At the All-Star break, the Pacers are just two games out of the playoffs in the East and George’s return could push them into the eight seed in a season that at one point early on seemed lost.

George, a two-time All-Star, who averaged 21.7 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, said he believes he will come back a better player than the one we last saw.

“The only thing that I could have done for three or four months was dribble the basketball and shoot the basketball,” George said. “So I definitely think my ball handling, and my shooting has improved, and my strength is improved. Those three were the biggest things I needed to work on going into the next season. It’s almost been a blessing in disguise that I was injured, to really focus on those points. So I’m excited to make the comeback.”

Back in July, George was going to be a key part of Team USA’s defense of its World Championship. Then in an exhibition game in Las Vegas he went up to block a shot on a fast break, his leg caught the stanchion just wrong as he landed, and George suffered a compound fracture that had his bone sticking up through his skin. The gruesome nature of the injury was a key reason Kevin Durant walked away from Team USA this summer.

“Now it’s just about getting the confidence going forward….” said George, who was promoting his new line of New Era Pacers caps he helped design. “The amount of work you have to put into it, not only to strengthen the injury, but to strengthen the whole body. Really, not to disengage from what I do. That’s been the hardest part, remaining a basketball player and without actually playing.”

Pretty soon, he could be actually playing again.

 

 

PBT Extra: Highlights of NBA All-Star media day; talking Three Point Contest

Manteo Mitchell
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The NBA doesn’t call it by the same name, but the Friday of All-Star weekend for the league is a lot like Super Bowl week media day — all the stars are out, a lot of ridiculous/pointless questions are asked, a few players get annoyed.

Jenna Corrado and I were on hand with our amazing video crews to get highlights of this event.

The interesting discussion is Saturday’s Three-Point Contest — players and spectators alike may be more interested in that than Sunday’s game itself. We get Kyle Korver and some of the other participants to talk about what should be an amazing shootout.

Bulls, Cavaliers threw down some huge dunks (VIDEO)

Kyrie Irving, Tony Snell
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There was only one game on the NBA docket Thursday night, but that was packed in the entertainment value. There was Derrick Rose going off for 30, Pau Gasol with another double-double, Tony Snell going off again, and there was a Bulls’ win.

And there were dunks. Plenty of quality dunks.

Timofey Mozgov may have had the best of the night throwing down on Joakim Noah, but it was more than that. So we bring you the video above to satisfy your NBA game dunk cravings.

 

Suns GM admits roster is guard heavy

Phoenix Suns Media Day
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When the Phoenix Suns went after, then won the bidding for Isaiah Thomas last summer, the question was always fit. They already had an interesting backcourt with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, plus they were trying to fit Gerald Green into the mix. Thomas is a good player and the Suns wanted to play fast and small but seemed to be overkill.

Turns out it was. Sure, the Suns are a solid team at 29-25 (the eight seed in the West) and Thomas is averaging15.2 points a game off the bench. However, the Suns have struggled in close games, in part because their three-guard lineups have the team playing small and good players are getting quality looks over them in crunch time.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough admitted the roster was guard heavy on Arizona Sports radio Wednesday.

“I think our roster balance is a little off, and that’s my fault,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “We are a little too backcourt heavy, especially in terms of guys who, you know, I think you’d define primarily as scorers in the backcourt.

“So I think at some point we’ll need to balance that out, try to get a little more size, a little more frontcourt scoring and rebounding.”

The Suns are 3-7 in their last 10 and go into the All-Star break just half a game ahead of surging Oklahoma City. The Suns look like once again they will finish with 45 or more wins only to miss the playoffs in the stacked West.

Could a trade change that? Sure. Teams are calling about Goran Dragic in particular, but the Suns are demanding at least a good first round pick. It can be hard to get value at the trade deadline (especially with Dragic becoming a free agent this summer, so teams can just bid on him then).

McDonough admitted making a deal will be difficult.

“At the same time it’s a challenge because we do have talented players, they’ve all had success individually and team success in the NBA,” he said, “so those are some of the decisions we’ll kind of mull over the next week or so and we’ll see where we are on the 19th next week.”