Basketball News

  • 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.
  • The first two weeks of the NBA season have not gone the way the Cleveland Cavaliers thought they would. Cleveland is struggling to produce wins against some of the league’s weaker teams, stumbling to a 3-4 record and mired in a three-game losing skid after dropping games to the Brooklyn Nets, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the New York Knicks. The Cavaliers’ concern goes beyond the losses themselves to how they are losing games, and the team addressed these issues in a team meeting on Tuesday.
  • One week into the NBA season, the Phoenix Suns are a fiasco. The three lopsided losses in their first three games was only the most visible part of their issues, which extended from coach Earl Watson to starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. Phoenix is now trying to distance itself from both people, firing Watson and deactivating Bledsoe in an attempt to salvage their disastrous start.
  • Gordon Hayward’s first season with the Boston Celtics ended in horrific fashion almost immediately after it began. Hayward, who was one of the offseason’s biggest free agent signings, suffered a fractured tibia and a dislocated ankle in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, sending shockwaves throughout the sports world with one of the worst basketball injuries in quite a while.
  • LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ended last season as teammates in the NBA Finals, but they begin the 2017-18 campaign on opposite ends of the court, representing the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. Irving and the Boston Celtics visit James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday to open the NBA season with a game that should set the tone for the East.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder capped a busy offseason of big moves by agreeing to a long-term extension with Russell Westbrook. The contract will pay Westbrook an NBA-record $205 million over five years starting next season, with a player option for another $28 million in the sixth, and it appears the Thunder expect to still be contending for titles at that point.
  • Free agency isn’t expected to last long for Dwyane Wade, who agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. The 35-year-old free agent is reportedly ready to sign a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers once he clears waivers on Wednesday, reuniting him with his good friend and former Miami Heat teammate LeBron James.
  • After an offseason of waiting, Carmelo Anthony got his wish. The New York Knicks traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick, ending the polarizing star’s tenure with the struggling franchise. Anthony was on the trading block for months, which diminished the value of his return, but the deal should leave both sides satisfied, even if the Knicks and Anthony are just happy to be rid of one another.
  • The NBA took a long look at jump shooting in the offseason and came up with two important rule changes that should have a positive impact on the safety and flow of the game. Starting this season, a flagrant foul can be assessed when a defending player impedes a jump shooter’s landing space, and a foul on the perimeter will no longer be a shooting foul if the player is simply gathering the ball to shoot instead of already in a shooting motion.
  • Tilman Fertitta has achieved his dream of owning the Houston Rockets, and all it took was an apparently record-breaking sum of money. Fertitta agreed to purchase the franchise from Leslie Alexander for $2.2 billion according to ESPN, which is more than anyone has ever paid for an NBA team.
  • The long saga of the NBA offseason’s biggest trade is finally over. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics have agreed to terms that will send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for a package including Isaiah Thomas, whose injured hip originally put the deal in jeopardy.
  • The biggest trade of the NBA offseason might not happen. A deal between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference that would see Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving move to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package including Isaiah Thomas is now in danger of falling apart due to questions about Thomas’ health.
  • Just when everyone thought the frenzy of summer moves had wound down in the NBA, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers pulled the trigger on the biggest deal of all, swapping superstar point guards and drastically altering the trajectories of their respective franchises.