Basketball News

  • For the first time in 13 playoff appearances, the team featuring LeBron James lost its playoff opener. The Cleveland Cavaliers were no match for the Indiana Pacers on Sunday as Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 32 points in a commanding 98-80 win, raising doubts about Cleveland’s ability to once again represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
  • Perhaps the Philadelphia 76ers don’t need
  • The NCAA men’s basketball tournament will conclude Monday with a matchup that defies the madness of the past few weeks.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers have mercifully put an end to Isaiah Thomas’ season, sending the hobbled guard to surgery to repair hi
  • Dwight Howard channeled his inner Wilt Chamberlain - or his younger self - for a rare level of dominance against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Howard finished the game with 32 points and 30 rebounds, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a comeback victory and becoming just the second player since 1982 to reach 30 points and 30 rebounds in one game.
  • No seed was safe in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, which fulfilled the promise of March Madness more than ever before.
  • Russell Westbrook joined an exclusive club on Tuesday. Westbrook’s third straight triple double in a win over the Atlanta Hawks was also the 100th triple double of his career, putting him in the company of all-time NBA greats Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Jason Kidd.
  • Villanova can thank the NCAA selection committee for giving it the best odds of emerging from March Madness as champions. Villanova is the top seed in arguably the weakest region of the 2018 tournament, putting the Big East champion Wildcats in prime position to win their second title in three years, but first they will need to survive what should be a wild opening week of games, beginning Tuesday with the First Four.
  • For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors have secured a playoff spot before anyone else. The Raptors defeated the Detroit Pistons 121-119 in overtime on Wednesday, winning their sixth straight and improving their lead atop the Eastern Conference to 2.5 games. The only team hotter than Toronto right now would be the West-leading Houston Rockets, who bring their 17-game winning streak to Toronto on Friday for a showdown between conference leaders.
  • A return to the postseason is starting to look like a real possibility for the Philadelphia 76ers, who last made the playoffs in 2012 and posted one of the worst teams in NBA history over the last four years. The 2017-18 season has been a remarkable improvement for the 76ers, who moved into a relatively comfortable playoff spot during a seven-game win streak in February and showed their playoff readiness on Thursday in a 108-97 road win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • The Toronto Raptors developed a reputation as perennial also-rans in the LeBron James-dominated Eastern Conference after finishing the last few years with a strong regular season followed by a disappointin
  • The Isaiah Thomas era is over in Cleveland as the Cavaliers made a flurry of trades at the deadline on Thursday. Cleveland moved a total of six players and received four in return, getting younger and possibly more competitive in the process - something that will be tested in the playoffs. The Cavaliers desperately needed a roster overhaul, and if nothing else, it gives the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions hope to return to the NBA Finals once more.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers followed one embarrassing blowout loss with another even more embarrassing blowout loss, losing more ground in the Eastern Conference they’ve controlled for the previous three years. The Cavaliers are now seven and a half games behind the Boston Celtics for the conference lead, and the return of Isaiah Thomas has not provided the lift Cleveland needed. The East now belongs to the Celtics and the Toronto Raptors, who both appear more likely to represent the conference in the Finals than the Cavaliers.
  • Blake Griffin might have thought he was going to retire as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Clippers had other plans. Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons on Monday in exchange for a package of players including Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and a first-round pick. Griffin leaves a Los Angeles team on the edge of the Western Conference playoff picture to join the Pistons, who are on the edge of the Eastern Conference playoff picture and are hoping Griffin will put them into the postseason.
  • LeBron James’ climb up the NBA’s all-time points list has not been slowed by the recent struggles of the Cleveland Cavaliers. James became the youngest player to reach the 30,000 point milestone in a Tuesday loss to the San Antonio Spurs, which dropped Cleveland to 3-10 since their Christmas loss to the Golden State Warriors.
  • Jason Kidd is no longer head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd was fired on Monday halfway through his fourth season coaching the Bucks, who are clinging to one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Kidd’s overall regular season record with Milwaukee was 139-152 with two postseason appearances, and his firing opens a coaching seat that is likely coveted due to the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Bucks’ roster.
  • Monday’s heated contest between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t quite end when the teams left the court. The NBA is investigating a postgame visit to the Clippers locker room by a group of Rockets players, who were escorted away by security. The incident is the latest chapter in a budding rivalry that appears to be centered around former teammates Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
  • Emotions got the better of Serge Ibaka and James Johnson during Tuesday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat, and they will both have some time to think about what they did. The two players were ejected in the third quarter for trading punches while jostling for position on an inbounds pass, and the NBA added a one-game suspension to their punishment, as well as fining DeMar DeRozan $25,000 and Goran Dragic $10,000 for a verbal altercation after the game ended.
  • Draymond Green’s bank account is a little lighter after some comments he made regarding NBA officials on Saturday got him in trouble with the league. The Golden State Warriors star received a technical foul in Saturday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, raising his season total to 11 and leading him to suggest the league would be better off with referees who don’t hold personal grudges.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers are beginning 2018 at full strength. Isaiah Thomas made his Cavaliers debut on Tuesday after sitting out the start of the season with a hip injury, and he made his presence felt with 17 points off the bench in a 127-110 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Thomas’ play headlined a strong second unit for Cleveland, which made all the difference against Portland.
  • December has been kind to the Toronto Raptors. A road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday ended a six-game winning streak for the Raptors, who dropped to 10-2 since December 1. Toronto’s success, coupled with the recent struggles of the Boston Celtics, has made the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference a tight one.
  • On a night when former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant had not one, but two jersey numbers retired, the new-look Lakers nearly did his legacy proud with a strong performance against the NBA’s defending champions. Los Angeles took the Golden State Warriors to overtime on Monday, forcing some heroic shots out of Kevin Durant in order to lift Golden State to a 116-114 victory without the services of players like Steph Curry and Draymond Green.
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves are on track to secure their first playoff berth since 2004, but only if they can maintain the most top-heavy rotation in the NBA. No other team plays its starters nearly as much as Minnesota, which is already beginning to show the negative effects of such extreme minutes with more than half of the season remaining.
  • The Golden State Warriors announced Tuesday that Steph Curry will miss at least two weeks after spraining his ankle in Monday’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Warriors are understandably being cautious with Curry considering his history with ankle problems, and having him healthy for the playoffs is the top priority, but they will need to solve their discipline problems in order to keep pace in the Western Conference.
  • David Fizdale’s first stint as an NBA head coach is over. The Memphis Grizzlies fired Fizdale on Monday after losing their eighth straight game, ending his tenure in Memphis after just 101 regular-season games and surprising the basketball world. The Grizzlies are struggling with injuries this season, but Fizdale’s dismissal likely has something to do with rocky relationship with star center Marc Gasol.
  • More than one year apart has done little to cool the rivalry between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Westbrook finally earned a win over Durant and the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a much-needed victory, which also happened to be their first against Golden State since Durant left the Thunder.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers don’t look like themselves. The Clippers were one of the better teams over the last six seasons in the hyper-competitive Western Conference, never finishing lower than fifth, but an early-season nine-game losing skid suggests their days of relative dominance are over. Los Angeles has big problems on offense and defense, from its lack of depth to lacklustre performances by stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
  • The Process is paying off. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, two of the players the Philadelphia 76ers drafted with lottery picks from being a terrible team for years, have Philadelphia on course for something it hasn’t seen since 2012: a playoff berth. The only real concern is that they both remain healthy enough to make it through an entire NBA season.
  • The Houston Rockets are the James Harden show once again while Chris Paul recovers from a knee injury, and Harden has responded with some of the best basketball he’s ever played. Harden’s recent performances put him next to all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, and it could be a sign he’s on his way to winning the MVP award some people felt he deserved last season.
  • The Boston Celtics are doing everything they can to show they’re still a contender to win the Eastern Conference despite losing Gordon Hayward for the season. With the Cleveland Cavaliers struggling, the Celtics have jumped out to an early lead in the standings thanks to a nine-game winning streak that includes a victory against the San Antonio Spurs and impressive road wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.