Atlanta Hawks vs. Houston Rockets 12/20/14: Video Highlights and Recap

December 20th, 2014 by Sam Westmoreland No comments »
Two of the NBA's hottest teams squared off on Saturday night when the Houston Rockets took on the Atlanta Hawks. The Rockets saw a three-game win streak snapped their last time out and faced another stern test from the Hawks, who had won two straight and 11 of their last 12. Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Portland Trail Blazers vs New Orleans Pelicans 12/20/14: Video Highlights, Recap

December 20th, 2014 by Sam Westmoreland No comments »
The Portland Trail Blazers looked to continue their recent hot streak on Saturday night when they took on the New Orleans Pelicans. The Blazers had ripped off four straight wins, including a triple-overtime thriller against the Spurs on Friday, but faced a tough test from Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, who had won two straight and three of their last four.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Utah Jazz vs. Charlotte Hornets 12/20/14: Video Highlights and Recap

December 20th, 2014 by Sam Westmoreland No comments »
The Utah Jazz looked to keep their recent run of success rolling on Saturday night, when they took on the Charlotte Hornets. The Jazz had won two straight to pull themselves out of their recent funk, and they faced a tough test from the Hornets, who snapped a four-game skid their last time out.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Phoenix Suns vs. New York Knicks 12/20/14: Video Highlights and Recap

December 20th, 2014 by Sam Westmoreland No comments »
The Phoenix Suns looked to build a bit of momentum on Saturday, when they took on the New York Knicks. The Suns snapped a six-game skid their last time out, and they faced a Knicks squad that had dropped three straight.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Jermaine O’Neal Would Be Final Piece to Dallas Mavericks’ Puzzle

December 20th, 2014 by Stephen Babb No comments »
Adding four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a starting lineup that had already acquired impact players Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler over the summer signified another bold move by an ambitious Dallas Mavericks front office.   But the team still has some details to hash out between now and the postseason. The Rondo deal required team president and general manager Donnie Nelson to part ways with Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder (along with two draft picks and a trade exception)—an acceptable cost that nevertheless creates holes in the rotation. Particularly, there's a void left by Wright, who was averaging 18.7 minutes per contest as a reserve big man. A highly qualified solution may be well within reach. According to Marc Stein: Sources told ESPN.com that O'Neal, who opted to spend the start of this season with family and focusing on business interests while deciding whether to come back for what would be his ...

8 NBA Players Who Would Flourish with a Fresh Start on a Different Team

December 20th, 2014 by Jim Cavan No comments »
So much of thriving in the NBA—any profession, really—is about timing: what team you play for, who your teammates are and how your skill set fits into the franchise’s near and long-term goals. Today’s spark plug is tomorrow’s worn-out welcome. And there inevitably comes a point with every player when a change of scenery can make or break a season, a contract, even a Hall of Fame career. In this spirit of redemption and resurrection, we’re offering up eight players for whom a fresh start would pay the biggest dividends—both now and in the future. Some of the players are simply trapped in rookie contracts. Others might be past-prime veterans who’ve languished far too long on middling teams. Still others you could argue never got a real chance to begin with. With so many contenders vying for a springtime surge, expect the few months before the February trade deadline to be busier than a ...

James Harden Injury: Updates on Rockets Star’s Hamstring and Return

December 20th, 2014 by Tim Keeney No comments »
The Houston Rockets appear to have avoided a scare as James Harden deals with a hamstring injury. Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle had the details of the 25-year-old's newest malady, which forced him to leave Saturday night's game against the Hawks: However, the Rockets reported that Harden returned: While Harden has dealt with minor injuries here and there, he has been an impressive model of health through the first five seasons of his career, missing a total of just 23 games. He averaged a whopping 38.5 minutes per contest (regular season and playoffs) his first two years in Houston, but he sat out just 12 games. An All-NBA First Team selection in 2013-14, Harden poured in 25.4 points with an efficient true-shooting percentage of 61.8 to go with 4.7 rebounds and a career-high 6.1 assists per game. Equally capable of taking opponents off the bounce or getting white-hot from distance, he finished fourth in ...

Which Los Angeles Lakers Have a Legitimate Future with the Team?

December 20th, 2014 by Howard Ruben No comments »
The Los Angeles Lakers can't win for losing. No sentiment seems more appropriate for this talent-deprived team that runs the risk of losing a top-five NBA lottery draft pick next June if it ekes out too many wins during the regular season. At 8-18, that’s just where the Lakers stand during another record-setting, gosh-awful season. What’s a coach and his players to do? For a small handful of Lakers who may have a legitimate future with the team, the answer is simple: Play hard and play to win every night. Your job depends on it. If it was left up to Magic Johnson, the Lakers would purposely lose every game to ensure they obtain a coveted lottery draft selection next June. Johnson told Neil Best of Newsday: If you're going to lose, you have to lose, because you can't be in the middle of the pack. You either have to be great or you have ...

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

December 20th, 2014 by Andy Bailey No comments »
With the rest of his team struggling, Monta Ellis took over down the stretch, leading his Dallas Mavericks to a 99-93 win over the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday at the American Airlines Center. Ellis tied his previous season-high with 38 points and shot 15-of-23 from the field and 5-of-6 from three-point range. Late in the fourth quarter, the Spurs had no one who could stay in front. Ellis' backcourt mate, Rajon Rondo, made his Mavericks debut with nine assists, seven rebounds and six points on 3-of-11 shooting. Chandler Parsons was also solid for the Mavs, notching his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. San Antonio, meanwhile, held the lead for most of the game without a single starter in the lineup. Marco Belinelli led the way with 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Aron Baynes scored 16, and Cory Joseph and Matt Bonner chipped in 14 apiece. The Spurs will return ...

Adam Silver Rejects Idea That NBA Players Lose on Purpose

December 20th, 2014 by Stephen Babb No comments »
Though the notion of "tanking" has become a fixture of the NBA lexicon, league commissioner Adam Silver believes the conventional narrative is misguided. "I absolutely don't think any team is trying to lose," he told ESPN's Andy Katz in a recent Outside the Lines interview (via ESPN.com). Skeptics may discount the assessment as spin, but Silver isn't blind to case studies such as the now notoriously bad Philadelphia 76ers. From his perspective, criticisms of front-office strategies are often overly simplistic. "No player is going out there to lose," Silver added. "In terms of management, I think there's an absolute legitimate rebuilding process that goes on. It's so hard to win in this league, and it's so complex. "I think what's happened in the case of Philadelphia—their strategy has been reduced into a tweet. This notion 'be bad to be good.' ... When it gets reduced into a headline, I understand the reaction." One suspects that Silver ...