Lakers Reportedly Awarded $4.85 Million Disabled Player Exception for Steve Nash

November 25th, 2014 by R. Cory Smith No comments »
The Los Angeles Lakers lost veteran Steve Nash for the season due to a back injury, but they are reportedly set to receive some compensation due to the disabled player exception.    Brian Windhorst of ESPN initially passed along the news:Nash has played in just 65 games over the last two seasons with the Lakers. The former Phoenix Suns star holds averages of 11.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during that span.Back in October, the Lakers made the news of his injury official along with quotes from Nash and general manager Mitch Kupchak:The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries this season, including the recent loss of Xavier Henry for the season due to a ruptured Achilles, per ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes, as well as the loss of promising rookie Julius Randle to a broken leg. Receiving the return on Nash should help lessen some of the blow from another down season.Jeremy Lin ...

Joakim Noah Injury: Updates on Bulls Star’s Knee, Eye and Return

November 25th, 2014 by Matt Fitzgerald No comments »
Chicago Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah will miss Tuesday's game against the Denver Nuggets with a variety of ailments.  ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell reported on the unfortunate news: Noah is known for his tenacity and competitive fire, but he often plays banged-up due to his physical, relentless style of play. That contributed to Noah's need for offseason knee surgery, limiting his minutes to start the 2014-15 campaign. The Bulls need Noah healthy if their current nucleus is ever meant to make a legitimate championship push. Past NBA MVP point guard Derrick Rose has struggled to stay on the floor throughout his career. Should Noah eventually succumb to health issues too, Chicago will be hard-pressed to compete for a Larry O'Brien Trophy. While Noah recovers, coach Tom Thibodeau will be shuffling around the frontcourt rotation. Pau Gasol should eat up the majority of minutes at the center position in his absence. Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Lou Williams Trade Paying Early Dividends for Toronto Raptors

November 25th, 2014 by Mohammad Arshad No comments »
The Toronto Raptors made a fairly low-key trade last June, sending veteran swingman John Salmons to the Atlanta Hawks for guard Lou Williams and center Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira. Atlanta made the trade in order to clear the $5.45 million owed to Williams during the 2014-2015 season off the books. The fact that the 28-year-old hadn’t looked the same during the 2013-2014 season after coming off ACL surgery likely also served as motivation for the Hawks to commit to the deal. Shortly after the trade, Atlanta waived Salmons, per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com). For the Raptors, the mantra during the offseason was continuation. The team re-signed Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez in an attempt to bring back the same team that had won the Atlantic Division title with a 48-34 record the previous season. This is mainly why new acquisitions such as Williams didn’t receive a whole lot of attention ...

5 NBA Teams That Should Strongly Consider a Coaching Change

November 25th, 2014 by Dan Favale No comments »
Too bad they don't make swinging-ax-proof suits. Most NBA coaches would purchase them by the dozen. Coaching is a fickle profession rife with turnover. Sideline meanderers lose their jobs frequently. Nine teams began 2014-15 with new head honchos. It's a brutal business. As we consider those who may fall victim to such brutality next, our goal is not to overreact or savagely speculate. We're not trying to trivialize these situations either. Shoot, we're not even calling for jobs. It's too early for that in most cases. Instead, we're taking a look at teams that should consider moving in another direction at some point. Justification will vary. Perhaps a team is underperforming relative to expectations. Maybe there's an area of the game in which improvement has been needed but not achieved. The fit between coach and team just might not make sense anymore. For whatever reason, there's cause for skepticism—doubt that the coach in charge now should ...

Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

November 25th, 2014 by Alec Nathan No comments »
Behind six double-figure scorers, the Denver Nuggets captured their fifth straight win with a 114-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls.  Already without the services of Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, the Bulls (9-6) were forced to play the entire second half without Derrick Rose, who departed with tightness in his left hamstring. According to head coach Tom Thibodeau, via CBS Sports' Matt Moore, "nothing happened" and the team "didn't want to risk anything."  Per Moore, the Bulls have not won a game in Denver since 2006.   Ty Lawson led the Nuggets (7-7) behind totals of 20 points and 12 assists, but a collective effort that saw all five starters finish in double figures propelled Denver to yet another victory. Arron Afflalo added 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting while Danilo Gallinari poured in 15 points off the bench.  As a team, Denver shot 51 percent from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from three while ...

How Alex Len Is Turning Young Career Around with Phoenix Suns

November 25th, 2014 by Jonathan Wasserman No comments »
There have been a number of Alex Len sightings in Phoenix over the past two weeks.  It's no hoax or mirage—Len, who nearly racked up as many personal fouls (68) as he did points (86) in 2013-14, is actually playing well 15 games into his sophomore year.  Of course, it helps to be healthy and conditioned. Len wasn't his rookie season after undergoing two offseason foot surgeries and missing over 30 games due to soreness.   “I was out of shape the whole year,” Len told ProBasketballTalk's Dan Feldman. But knock on wood—Len hasn't experienced any setbacks, and it's finally allowed him to find his groove.  Over his last six games, Len is 24-of-33 (72.7 percent) from the floor with averages of nine points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.8 minutes. Offensively, he's been a lot more effective at the rim, where he's shooting 70 percent compared to just 58.1 percent a year ago. And he's consistently played ...

Brandon Jennings Injury: Updates on Pistons Star’s Thumb and Return

November 25th, 2014 by R. Cory Smith No comments »
Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings suffered a thumb injury and will miss Tuesday night's matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks.       The Bucks' official Twitter account passed along the news:C.F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted a subsequent move for the team:Jennings, 25, has averaged 16 points and 5.8 assists per game for the Bucks. Though the team has struggled this season, Jennings has been a catalyst for the offense thus far.The sixth-year player spoke about the injury prior to the announcement, per Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:Not having Jennings on the court will be a huge loss for a Detroit team that is already 3-10 and looking at another down season after four straight losses. Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Marc-Andre Fleury’s 300th Career Win a Sign of Good Things to Come

November 25th, 2014 by Carol Schram No comments »
November has been a good month for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He's 6-1-1 in eight starts with two shutouts and was rewarded by general manager Jim Rutherford with a four-year, $23 million contract extension on November 5, per Patrick Williams of NHL.com. On Monday night, the 29-year-old Fleury joined an elite group of netminders when he turned aside 27 shots for the 300th win of his NHL career—a 3-2 overtime road victory over the Boston Bruins. As Matt Kalman of NHL.com explains, "Jacques Plante and Andy Moog are the only goaltenders to reach that milestone in fewer games, and Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk are the only ones to do it a younger age." Monday's milestone win against Boston must be especially sweet for a netminder whose most vivid memories of TD Garden are likely of being stapled to the bench for the final two games of the Bruins' four-game sweep of the Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final. Fleury has ...

Charlotte Hornets’ Disappointing Start Is Cause for Real Concern

November 25th, 2014 by Zach Buckley No comments »
The Charlotte Hornets should be several steps into their Eastern Conference climb by this point. Instead, they still haven't answered opportunity's knock and are now at risk of plateauing at—or even below—mediocrity. It's hard to say exactly where everything started going wrong. The Hornets appeared to be making all the right calls, everything from returning their iconic teal-and-purple threads to buying low on intriguing options in free agency (Lance Stephenson) and on draft night (Noah Vonleh). The Hornets had a buzz, and not only due to their smart decision of ditching the Bobcats moniker they had carried the previous 10 seasons, all but two of which ended without a playoff berth. The stage appeared set for a rather substantial breakthrough. After all, the Hornets had rattled off 43 wins last season during head coach Steve Clifford's first year on the job. Their offense was of the hit-or-more-often-miss variety, but their dominant defense (sixth in ...

Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

November 25th, 2014 by Andy Bailey No comments »
Behind a distinctly Stephen Curry-like barrage of scoring, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Miami Heat, 114-97, Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Curry put on the kind of shooting display that leaves fans and players in awe, hitting 12-of-19 from the field and 8-of-11 from three-point range on the way to 40 points. He also handed out seven assists and grabbed three steals. His fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, did his thing as well. Thompson went 10-of-19 from the field, scoring 24 points. Andrew Bogut, meanwhile, once again had an immense impact on the game, despite scoring only eight points. He grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists, blocked two shots and anchored a defense that allowed just 11 fourth-quarter points. Miami got off to a hot start behind Mario Chalmers, who started the game 4-of-6 from the field and helped the Heat take a 36-30 lead after the first quarter. Chalmers went on to ...