Kurt Helin

Mike Conley

Grizzlies’ Mike Conley was playing through a lot of injuries


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:


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

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

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

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.

PBT Extra: Hawks can give Cavaliers problems, but will they?

LeBron James, DeMarra Carroll

The last time the Hawks and Cavaliers met, with both teams at full health (and after the mid-season moves by the Cavaliers) the Hawks torched the Cavaliers defense, scoring at a 119 points per 100 possessions pace. Atlanta won comfortably behind a balanced attack that exposed flaws (like lateral movement and help) in the Cleveland defense.

If I thought those Hawks would show up this series, I would pick them.

But over the final two months those Hawks have only shown up in little flashes. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers still have LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, plus the size to score inside on the undersized Hawks starting front line. They have played better of late.

I’m picking the Cavaliers in six, just because I trust them more than the Hawks right now.