Tag: New Orleans Pelicans

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Warriors unveil practice facility championship banner (with names of every player)

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On Oct. 27 the Golden State Warriors will unveil a championship banner at Oracle Arena to the deafening roar of Warriors fans that waited 40 years — through some terrible ownership — to see another one of those. All while Anthony Davis glares.

But that’s not the first banner to go up.

The Warriors’ practice facility in Oakland is ringed with banners representing the great players in Warriors history, major milestones of the franchise, and a 1975 championship banner. Now that banner has a twin — the practice facility banner went up Friday.

And it had the name of every player on last year’s Warriors’ team.

You have to be happy for the fan base — they have remained loyal through two decades of ownership that would have been the worst in the NBA had Donald Sterling not set that bar so very low. You have to be happy for Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and the players. It’s just a feel-good story, unless you’re a Cavs fan (and don’t worry, your turn is coming).

Jazz sign J.J. O’Brien to join roster competition

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The Jazz are set to hold one heck of a training-camp battle.

Utah just added its 20th player, the offseason limit, to compete for 15 regular-season roster spots.

Jazz release:

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free agent forward J.J. O’Brien.

Utah has 13 players with guaranteed contracts, leaving two potential vacancies on the regular-season roster for the other seven players.

Jeff Withey’s deal is $200,00 guaranteed, and Treveon Graham’s is $75,000. Christopher Johnson, Jack Cooley, Elijah Millsap and Bryce Cotton have unguaranteed contracts. O’Brien’s salary is partially guaranteed, according to Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

O’Brien, a 6-foot-7 forward, went undrafted out of San Diego State. He’s well-rounded for a power forward, though undersized. He’s not quite skilled enough to be a small forward.

Most likely, the Jazz waive him and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.

Withey, Millsap and Cotton are the favorites to make the regular-season roster. Withey has shown some ability at the NBA level and has the largest guarantee. Millsap looked good defensively last season. Cotton might be needed at point guard with Dante Exum injured, though Utah has Trey Burke and Raul Neto, and Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood can handle some point guard duties.

Like Graham’s, O’Brien’s partial guarantee gives him a slight leg up. Its size – but more importantly, how he plays in camp and the preseason – will determine whether he makes the team.

Anthony Davis “definitely” plans on shooting more threes this season

Anthony Davis

Fresh off signing a five-year, $143 million extension with the Pelicans, Anthony Davis is going into this season with high expectations on both an individual and a team level. The Pelicans made the playoffs for the first time in his career, and they’re now expected to be in the mix going forward. Davis has established himself as an MVP candidate and All-NBA caliber player, even as he has so much room to grow in his game at age 22. One thing he hasn’t done much of so far is shoot threes.

In a new interview with SLAM‘s Chris Cason, Davis says he plans on shooting more threes this year:

SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward?

AD: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game.

I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.

As incredible as Davis is, three-point shooting has never been one of his strengths. He’s shot just 27 threes in his three-year career, and made just three of them. But he’s extended his shooting range out to midrange, where he shot 41.9 percent last season. He shot 35.7 percent from 20-24 feet, and if he can even get his three-point shooting around there, to where defenses have to respect it, that’s huge. With all the other ways Davis can destroy you on the offensive end, if he adds even a respectable three-point shot, that makes him that much more lethal.