Jahlil Okafor vs. Karl-Anthony Towns? Lakers to face Timberwolves on Summer League’s opening day

2 Comments

The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and just about every credible mock draft (including ours) has Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns going (in some order) to the Timberwolves and the Lakers with the top two selections.

If things go as expected, it could make for an exciting first day of Summer League action in Las Vegas.

Minnesota will face Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. local time at the Thomas & Mack center on July 10, as part of a six-game slate on the event’s opening day.

Last summer, Andrew Wiggins faced Jabari Parker under similar circumstances. But the league didn’t anticipate the excitement that would surround the matchup, and scheduled it to take place in the much smaller Cox Pavilion, which created an incredibly fun atmosphere that had the building packed to capacity.

The full Las Vegas Summer League schedule is listed below.

NBA Summer League 2015 Game Schedule

All Times listed are PACIFIC

Friday, July 10

Cox Pavilion

3 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. New Orleans (Game 1)

5 p.m. – Atlanta vs. Denver (Game 3)
7 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Houston (Game 5)

Thomas & Mack

3:30 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Toronto (Game 2)

5:30 p.m. – Minnesota vs. L.A. Lakers (Game 4)
7:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Cleveland (Game 6)

 

Saturday, July 11 

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Dallas (Game 7)

3 p.m. – Washington vs. Phoenix (Game 9)

5 p.m. – Boston vs. Portland (Game 11)

7 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Cleveland (Game 13) 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New York vs. San Antonio (Game 8)

3:30 p.m. – Chicago vs. Minnesota (Game 10)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. Philadelphia (Game 12)

7:30 p.m. – Miami vs. Utah (Game 14)

 

Sunday, July 12

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Washington vs. D-League Select (Game 15)

3 p.m. – Chicago vs. Toronto (Game 17)

5 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Denver (Game 19)

7 p.m. – Portland vs. Dallas (Game 21)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Houston (Game 16)

3:30 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. San Antonio (Game 18)

5:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Atlanta (Game 20)
7:30 p.m. – Philadelphia vs. Boston (Game 22)

 

Monday, July 13

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Cleveland vs. Milwaukee (Game 23)

3 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Atlanta (Game 25)

5 p.m. – Miami vs. Denver (Game 27)

7 p.m. – Toronto vs. Houston (Game 29)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Brooklyn (Game 24)

3:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Sacramento (Game 26)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. New York (Game 28)

7:30 p.m. – Utah vs. Minnesota (Game 30)

 

Tuesday, July 14

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Portland vs. San Antonio (Game 31)

2 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Chicago (Game 33)
4 p.m. – Miami vs. Boston (Game 35)

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Washington vs. Dallas (Game 32)

2:30 p.m. – New York vs. Philadelphia (Game 34)
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Utah (Game 36)

 

Wednesday, July 15

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – #24 Seed vs. #9 Seed (Game 37)

3 p.m. – #22 Seed vs. #11 Seed (Game 39)

5 p.m. – #20 Seed vs. #13 Seed (Game 41)

7 p.m. – #18 Seed vs. #15 Seed (Game 43)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – #23 Seed vs.  #10 Seed (Game 38)

3:30 p.m. – #21 Seed vs. #12 Seed (Game 40)

5:30 p.m. – #19 Seed vs. #14 Seed (Game 42)

7:30 p.m. – #17 Seed vs. #16 Seed (Game 44)

 

Thursday, July 16

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Winner of Game 37 vs. #8 Seed (Game 45)

3 p.m. – Winner of Game 39 vs. #6 Seed (Game 47)

5 p.m. – Winner of Game 41 vs. #4 Seed (Game 49)

7 p.m. – Winner of Game 43 vs. #2 Seed (Game 51)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 38 vs. #7 Seed (Game 46)

3:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 40 vs. #5 Seed (Game 48)

5:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 42 vs. #3 Seed (Game 50)

7:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 44 vs. #1 Seed (Game 52)

 

Friday, July 17

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Game 37 Loser vs. Game 38 Loser (Game 53)

3 p.m. – Game 41 Loser vs. Game 42 Loser (Game 55)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Loser vs. Game 46 Loser (Game 57)

7 p.m. – Game 49 Loser vs. Game 50 Loser (Game 59)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Game 39 Loser vs. Game 40 Loser (Game 54)

3:30 p.m. – Game 43 Loser vs. Game 44 Loser (Game 56)

5:30 p.m. – Game 47 Loser vs. Game 48 Loser (Game 58)

7:30 p.m. – Game 51 Loser vs. Game 52 Loser (Game 60)

 

Saturday, July 18

Thomas & Mack

1 p.m. – Game 46 Winner vs. Game 51 Winner (Game 61)

3 p.m. – Game 47 Winner vs. Game 50 Winner (Game 62)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Winner vs. Game 52 Winner (Game 63)

7 p.m. – Game 48 Winner vs. Game 49 Winner (Game 64)

 

Sunday, July 19

Thomas & Mack

3 p.m. – Game 61 Winner vs. Game 62 Winner (Game 65)

5 p.m. – Game 63 Winner vs. Game 64 Winner (Game 66)

 

Monday, July 20

Thomas & Mack

6 p.m. – Game 65 Winner vs. Game 66 Winner (Game 67)

Emmanuel Mudiay beautifully fakes behind-the-back pass to get open layup (video)

Leave a comment

This is where I reminder you Emmanuel Mudiay is just 23. It’s not too late for Mudiay – now with the Jazz after stints with the Nuggets and the Knicks – to implement enough craft into his game to succeed in the NBA. Point guards tend to develop late.

(Relatedly, Jarrett Culver is just a rookie. Falling for this sweet move doesn’t destine him to poor defense. And at least his Timberwolves beat Utah yesterday.)

Carmelo Anthony talks opportunity, playing role as he starts play in Portland

2 Comments

Carmelo Anthony has got his chance.

Portland is a team that needs what Anthony can bring to the court, and Anthony needs the Trail Blazers to end his career on his terms.

Saying the whole thing came together in about 48 hours, Anthony talked about joining Portland in a video posted to YouTube called “The Next Chapter.” He said the Blazers have long been on his mind.

“I always kept my eye on Portland. It just didn’t work out at other times, but now it seems like a perfect opportunity. Me and Dame, we’ve been talking for the past couple years, just off and on. CJ has been playing in my Black Ops runs for the past four years. I just look at that opportunity, that team and say, look ‘this is what I can bring to the team, this is where I can help it.’ It will only work if all parties see it the same way.”

One of the things that gave teams pause about welcoming in Anthony was whether he’d accept a role. The Trail Blazers have a pecking order: Damian Lillard is the alpha and CJ McCollum is the No. 2. Anthony is coming off the bench, not being the focal point of the offense. Anthony is saying the right things.

“What happened before is the past, I can’t dwell on that, I learned from that. This happened at a point in time in my life where I do have a lot of clarity and understanding of different situations and just life, and my approach is totally different.”

Anthony could make his debut as soon as tonight when Portland faces the Pelicans. If not, it will be soon.

Then it will not be about words, but actions.

 

Marcus Smart forced to leave Celtics game with with ugly right ankle sprain

Leave a comment

Marcus Smart has been playing through a lot of bumps, bruises, and minor injuries, refusing to take time off as the Celtics are off to a red-hot start to the season.

He will have to sit out a while with this one, however.

Smart went down with a scary non-contact right ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Boston’s win against Phoenix Monday. It happened with 9:12 to go in the fourth quarter and Smart didn’t return.

The real test with ankles is the next day (when there will be further testing), but there was optimism after the game that the sprain was not that bad, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

“They’ll check it in the morning,” [Boston coach Brad] Stevens told reporters after the game and added, “it doesn’t look too bad.”

In his postgame comments, Smart said he was okay but he had aggravated the “exact same ankle injury I was coming back from.” He added that he “should be fine to play the rest of the road trip.”

Smart’s a competitor who wants to play. Still, with this being the same ankle he has injured twice now the team might be wise to force him to sit for a few games and let his ankle (among other ailments) heal completely and not become a chronic issue all season (there’s still nearly five months of NBA regular season left).

Look for an update from the team later on Tuesday.

Three Things to Know: Luka Doncic is destroying the NBA, setting records — and he’s still 20

Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) Luka Doncic is destroying the NBA, setting records — and he’s still 20. I, for one, welcome our new Luka Doncic overlord.

LeBron James is right, Doncic is a “bad m***** f*****.” Doncic is destroying the Association and he’s not yet old enough to legally buy a drink. Monday night against the Spurs he had arguably his best game yet: a career-high 42-points, plus 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

It’s hard to get a grasp on just how historic a start to the season Doncic is having, but to help here’s the full list of players who have had 40+ point triple-doubles at or before age 20:

LeBron James
Luka Doncic

That’s it. Expand that to age 21 and you can add Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Isiah Thomas. That’s some Hall of Fame company Doncic is running with at a young age.

Doncic has six triple-doubles this season, which leads the league. On the season he is averaging 29.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game, all with a ridiculously efficient 61.2 percent true shooting. Those rebounds are the real difference maker, by the way.

It’s far too early to have a serious MVP conversation, but if you do, Doncic has to be a part of it. He’s been that good this season.

Did I mention he’s only 20?

2) Also making history: James Harden. The Beard put up 36 points in 33:06 minutes on the court against Portland, which is actually slightly below his per game average (39.2) but is still its own bit of history.

Russell Westbrook is right about how we view Harden sometimes, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

“I think that a lot of people like to normalize greatness when you see it over and over again, but it’s not normal because there’s nobody else that can do it. If it was normal, everybody would do it.”

Westbrook, by the way, had his own big night with a triple-double of 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The Rockets have won eight in a row and are one of the NBA’s hottest teams right now.

3) Paul George sticks a dagger in his former team, Clippers beat Thunder. It looked like the night former Clippers would get revenge on their team: First Danilo Gallinari hit a three to tie the game at 86-86, then Chris Paul made two free throws for an 88-86 Thunder lead.

Then Paul George happened.

Gallinari had a shot at a three to win but it missed, George hit a free throw after being fouled, and the Clippers get out 90-88 with a win. The real Los Angeles star for the night was Montrezl Harrell, who had 28 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

George saw his minutes jump to 29 in just his third game back from shoulder surgeries (plural, as in both of them) but did not score north of 30 like his first two games as the Thunder defense had more of a focus on him.

Kawhi Leonard missed his third straight game with a bruised knee suffered against the Rockets.