Tag: Blake Griffin

NBA All-Star Game 2015

PBT Awards: All-NBA

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Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

First team

  • G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • G: James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • F: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • C: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Second team

  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  • C: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

Third team

  • G: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • G: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls
  • F: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
  • C: Al Horford, Hawks

There are just so many good forwards, you can’t mention them all. Apologies to DeAndre Jordan, who easily could have been that third center.

Brett Pollakoff

First team

  • G: James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • F: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • C: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Second team

  • G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls
  • C: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Third team

  • G: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • G: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
  • F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • F: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
  • C: Al Horford, Hawks

Sean Highkin

First team

  • G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • G: James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • F: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • C: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Second team

  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
  • C: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Third team

  • G: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • G: John Wall, Washington Wizards
  • F: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
  • F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • C: Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls

The first team is self-explanatory. The positional logjam forces Paul and Westbrook onto the second team — it’s a little ridiculous that they can’t be on the first team, but there are only two guard spots and it would be hard to justify not giving them to the top two MVP candidates. Aldridge carried the Blazers through several injuries and even put off thumb surgery until the summer, without falling off at all. The Gasol brothers were great for different reasons. Marc has a legit case for First Team honors, and Pau was the Bulls’ most consistent player while Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler missed time with injuries.

Dan Feldman

First team

  • G: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • G: James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • F: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
  • F: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • C: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Second team

  • G: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • F: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  • C: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks

Third team

  • G: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • G: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
  • F: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
  • F: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • C: DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

I could easily flip Horford and Jordan between the second and third teams, and DeMarcus Cousins isn’t far behind.

Putting Butler at forward might be cheating a bit, but he guarded small forwards often enough to qualify in my book. Apologies to Blake Griffin, who would have taken that spot if I hadn’t fudged Butler’s position.

John Wall was the toughest omission otherwise followed by Paul Millsap, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Love (who regressed from last season, disappointed relative to expectations, didn’t play as well as he’s capable, was misused – and still had a pretty good year).

LeBron James tops list of NBA’s most popular jerseys for sixth consecutive season

Maccabi Tel Aviv v Cleveland Cavaliers
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The NBA released its ranking of most popular jerseys for the 2014-15 season, and for the sixth straight year, LeBron James topped the list.

Rankings are based on overall retail sales on NBAStore.com since the beginning of the season.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:                                   

1.      LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

2.      Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

3.      Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

4.      Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

5.      Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

6.      Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

7.      Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

8.      Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

9.      Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

10.  Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

11.  Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

12.  Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

13.  John Wall, Washington Wizards

14.  Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

15.  Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

A few surprises here:

– James Harden is having an otherworldly season that has him neck-and-neck with Stephen Curry in a two-man MVP race, yet he’s noticeably absent from the list, perhaps due to his foul-drawing ways not always being aesthetically pleasing.

–  Russell Westbrook has had a similarly insane season, yet teammate Kevin Durant — who was limited in appearing in only 27 games due to injury — finished eight spots ahead of him on the list.

– Legacy guys like Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony finished third and eighth respectively, despite appearing in just 35 and 40 games respectively this season.

The team merchandise list is interesting, too, mainly because the Knicks and the Lakers are in the midst of their worst seasons in franchise history, yet fans still had no problem buying up their gear at a volume higher than that which was sold by 23 of the league’s 30 franchises.

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:

1.      Chicago Bulls

2.      Cleveland Cavaliers

3.      Golden State Warriors

4.      Los Angeles Lakers

5.      Oklahoma City Thunder

6.      San Antonio Spurs

7.      New York Knicks

8.      Miami Heat

9.      Boston Celtics

10.  Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul was dishing, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were dunking

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers
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The Clippers have the most efficient offense in the NBA, scoring 109.8 points per 100 possessions.

The most efficient shot in the game remains the dunk.

The Clippers have diversified their offense some, but they still like the efficient dunk. Chris Paul had the nice setup of DeAndre Jordan for the throw-down dunk.

CP3 also set up Blake Griffin as well. The Clippers used all these dunks to pick

The Clippers used all these dunks to pick up a key 94-86 win over Memphis. Those two — and the Spurs — are all tied with two games left in the season.

Blake Griffin says he’d give MVP to James Harden

Donatas Motiejunas, Blake Griffin, James Harden
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My sense among media members is that Stephen Curry is going to win the MVP award. It’s close, but talking to people I think that’s where the majority of votes would go.

My sense is that players are leaning toward James Harden. Blake Griffin is the latest in the list of players to back the Rockets’ star, with the theory that he had to do more to carry the Rockets to a top playoff seed. Hat tip to the LA Times for the video.

Which will make it interesting when the players vote for their own awards at the end of the season. There probably aren’t going to be radical differences, but who ends up on top of the MVP ballot may be one of them.

Five Things We Learned in NBA Tuesday Night: Anthony Davis, Pelicans deserve to be in playoffs

Anthony Davis, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala
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If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while dreaming about the best part of baseball season, the ballpark food

1) Anthony Davis and his Pelicans deserve to be a playoff team — and as of now they’re in. No doubt, Russell Westbrook has put up numbers this season. But so has Anthony Davis. From Day 1. Davis has averaged 24.4 points on 53.6 percent shooting, pulled down 10.4 rebounds a game and blocked three shots. He leads the league in PER (with a Jordan/Chamberlain-like number) and is fourth in win shares. He deserves MVP consideration.

And the Pelicans are playing like a team that deserves to be in the postseason. On Tuesday night, Davis scored 29 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, plus had four blocks and two steals to lead the Pelicans to a 103-100 victory over a Golden State team that wasn’t resting anyone. That win (combined with the Spurs routing the Thunder) makes New Orleans a playoff team, they are the eight seed half a game up on OKC. The Pelicans got there on Tuesday night because Davis got help: From Quincy Pondexter and his 20 points including 4-of-4 from three; from the officials with a bad call late. (The officiating in this game was shaky both ways.) However, it was the Pelicans playing hard and pushing the best team in the league that made them look like a playoff team. They’re not beating the Warriors in a seven-game series, but it would be entertaining. New Orleans deserves to be there.

2) Oklahoma City is going to need some help to make the postseason. The Spurs are making everyone look bad lately — just ask Steve Kerr and the Warriors — and following that trend San Antonio thrashed Oklahoma City 113-88 Tuesday night. It was a blowout from the opening tip. Gregg Popovich said it wasn’t a fair fight without KD and Ibaka, it didn’t look like it. This felt like the punch that could weaken their knees and bring down OKC’s playoff dreams crashing to the floor. As it is they are half a game back of the Pelicans — and New Orleans has the tie breaker. Meaning the Thunder are going to need a little help to get to the playoffs. Tuesday night, San Antonio did what it did because Kawhi Leonard tied his career record of 26 points — and he played just 24 minutes. All the Spurs’ shooters couldn’t seem to miss. OKC looked outclassed on the night the Pelicans stood toe-to-toe with the league’s best. Only one looked like a playoff team and they now have the upper hand.

3) Clippers move into a tie for three seed in West, but it’s not pretty. The Lakers played harder and frankly looked better than the Clippers for large swaths of Tuesday night. The Lakers seemed embarrassed by their Sunday performance — they should have been — and were looking to turn things around. The Clippers got enough from their starters — and nothing from their bench — to get a 105-100 win. Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick each had 27 points on the night. With that the Clippers moved into a virtual tie for the three seed in the West with Memphis. Those two teams play later Saturday and I would say that game could determine the three seed out West, but the Spurs (just half a game back of Memphis and L.A.) could have a say in that.

4) Miami stays alive in East playoff chase with win. Brooklyn has Brook Lopez playing like a guy who wants to get paid this summer. Indiana has the return of Paul George. Boston has real grit. And through it all the Miami Heat will not go away. Goran Dragic had 28 points, and Luol Deng chipped in 21 in a Heat win over the Hornets Tuesday night, another hard-fought victory. With that, Miami is just half a game back of Boston for the eight seed. Miami has Chicago and Toronto its next two games — those two tough games will determine their playoff chances.

5) Sim Bhullar makes some NBA history. The 7’5″ mountain of a man became the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA. It wasn’t much to see, just 16 seconds, and it doesn’t mean the NBA is going to take the place of cricket in that country’s hearts. But it’s a step. And you change things one step at a time.