The Portland Trail Blazers are your 2018 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Champions. I want Multnomah County just to drink that in for a minute.
Tuesday night’s Final was not a close one, with the Trail Blazers in control of the game for most of the time. Portland jumped out to an early 31-19 lead, and were led by KJ McDaniels, who eventually took home the championship game’s MVP honors.
On the other side of the floor, it was Summer League MVP Josh Hart who had been ejected in the fourth quarter. Portland’s largest lead was 24 points, and it was surely a frustrating night for the young Lakers Squad.
McDaniels led the way for Portland, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, and one assist on 57 percent shooting from the field. The Blazers had six players in double figures, and helped shut down LA from 3-point range, forcing them to shoot just 3-of-21 from deep.
Hart scored 12 points for the Lakers, and Los Angeles had just three players in double figures. As a team, LA shot 39 percent from the field during the 18-point loss.
This Summer League playoff win doesn’t quite make up for the 2000 Western Conference Finals between these two rivals, But Blazers fans have to be happy that their team at least got a sniff of a deep playoff run.
No doubt they will be partying on SE Division tonight.
Josh Hart was the Las Vegas Summer League MVP for the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored a whopping 37 points during Monday night’s 2OT win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but apparently it was just too much of him to finish Tuesday’s Final against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Hart didn’t agree with an official’s decision — presumably on a no-call — late in the fourth quarter, and he had some choice words for the referee as the floor changed possession. The Lakers guard already had one technical foul from earlier in the game, so his second earned him an ejection. It was his second of Summer League.
That’s not necessarily a good look for Hart, although it’s not as though Summer League has a real impact on a player’s career in the long run.
Should Hart have been upset that he did not get a foul? Probably not, seeing as how he led with his elbow. No doubt Lakers brass will be more concerned by the fact that he was ejected from not one but two Summer League games during his MVP run.
Hart will have to get his emotions under control as we head into the regular season for Los Angeles.
The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers in the Final, 91-73, with KJ McDaniels taking home the championship game MVP honors.
Along with Kevin Love, Sexton will be a player to watch over the coming season as the Cavaliers try to remain relevant in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Sexton has already drawn some attention in Las Vegas Summer League for his performance, and not just as a point guard.
It appears that Sexton is a student of the theatrical arts as well.
It’s not really clear whether Sexton was able to intimidate Hart with his strange sumo flex. Although Hart didn’t score on that possession, he did score 37 points in a 2OT game which LA won. Hart was also named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP.
We will see whether Sexton decides to deploy this defensive strategy over the course of the regular season. I personally hope he does it every possession.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has received a contract extension following the franchise’s repeat championship and third title in four years during his tenure.
Kerr and general manager Bob Myers, who are close friends and colleagues, said when the season ended that something would get done quickly once they began formal discussions. Kerr had one year remaining on his original $25 million, five-year contract. Details of the extension were not announced Tuesday.
“We’re excited to have Steve under contract and poised to lead our team for the next several years,” Myers said in a statement released by the team. “Under his guidance, we’ve been fortunate enough to win three NBA titles in four years and his ability to thrive in all facets of his job is certainly a primary reason for our success. He’s a terrific coach, but more importantly an incredible human being.”
The 52-year-old Kerr has said he hopes to coach at least another decade and perhaps 15 years. His Warriors swept LeBron James and Cleveland in the fourth straight NBA Finals matchups between the rivals.
Kerr stayed healthy and on the bench while continuing to deal with symptoms such as headaches and dizzy spells stemming from a pair of back surgeries following the 2015 title.
The Warriors marked themselves as a dynasty with their latest crown. They joined Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan and the Lakers’ trio of title runs fueled by George Mikan in the 1950s, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the `80s, and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant nearly 20 years ago as the only franchises in NBA history to capture three championships in four years.
Golden State captured the franchise’s first title in 40 years during 2014-15, with Kerr as a rookie head coach. Now, the Warriors are gearing up for one more season in Oracle Arena before opening their state-of-the-art Chase Center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood in August 2019.
James offered a shoutout to Kerr during the finals.
“I could sit here and say today – `Listen, Golden State is a great team …’ – I didn’t even mention their head coach,” James said. “Their head coach is the one who kind of puts it all together, makes it all flow. To be able to put egos and the right position and spot on the floor where everybody feels good about the outcome and things of that nature – when it comes to team sports, that’s something that you would hope that you could be a part of.”
Kerr owns a 265-63 record (.808), guiding the Warriors to a record 73-win season in 2015-16 before a runner-up finish to the Cavaliers. His Warriors then went a record 16-1 during the 2017 postseason on the way to another title.
He was tested more as a coach this season, aside from his 43-game absence to begin the 2015-16 season when then-top assistant and current Lakers coach Luke Walton led the Warriors to a record 24-0 start and 39-4 mark before Kerr’s return to the bench.
Late in the regular season this year, Golden State lost seven of 10 during one noteworthy funk for a team that when healthy starts four All-Stars and can score in flurries with a pass-happy offense that racks up assists.
For weeks ahead of the 2018 playoffs, the Warriors hardly looked like that super team that dominated through the previous postseason. They lost their final regular-season game at Utah by 40 points.
Yet Kerr and his players insisted all along they would find another level when there was something bigger to play for.
Kerr was forced to use a mindboggling 27 different starting lineups to get through the regular season and wind up a No. 2 seed behind Houston, with the Western Conference finals marking the first time the Warriors had to open a series on the road since 2014.
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