NBA Roundup

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Piston) scored 26 to key a 121-114 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. The Lakers ended the game on an 18-4 run after trailing late, with Brandon Ingram (21 points and nine assists) making big shots down the stretch.

Josh Hart also added 22 points, allowing the Lakers (21-16) to avenge their one-point loss to the Kings three days earlier.


Josh Hart

James missed his third straight game with a groin strain ( https://ak-static.cms.nba.com/referee/injury/Injury-Report_2018-12-29_05PM.pdf ) , but it was the first time in 14 games dating back to 2016 that his team won without him, per Micah Adams ( https://twitter.com/MicahAdams13/status/1078894505489850368 )  of NBA ( http://bleacherreport.com/nba ) .com.

The Kings fell to 19-17 on the season despite 26 points from De’Aaron Fox.

De’Aaron Fox Deserves Spot on All-Star Roster

The Western Conference is loaded with the best basketball players in the world, but Fox deserves a spot among those players in the All-Star Game based on the way he has played to this point.

No one expected the Kings to be in the playoff hunt this late into the season after going 12 straight years without a winning record, but they have kept pace heading into 2019 thanks mostly to the play of their point guard.

Even while seemingly dealing with shoulder problems and foul trouble, Fox still had a good night with 26 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. The Kings were even while he was on the court despite the seven-point loss.

He once again showed a knack for producing highlight plays in many phases of the game:

> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKingsSwipaVision™️ https://t.co/67X8RFEGNv
>

> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKings🦊

💥

> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKingsA 🦊 always stays ready… https://t.co/iGnQiD8qHb
>

Perhaps just as important for him, he outdueled Lonzo Ball, a personal rival since they were both top recruits in high school.

Fox has been playing at this level all year long, entering the day averaging 18.0 points, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The only players to match these numbers so far this season are James Harden ( https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings/status/1079581321196752896 ) , Russell Westbrook ( http://bleacherreport.com/russell-westbrook )  and Jrue Holiday, per Basketball Reference ( https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&per_poss_base=100&season_start=1&season_end=-1&lg_id=NBA&age_min=0&age_max=99&is_playoffs=N&height_min=0&height_max=99&year_min=2019&year_max=2019&birth_country_is=Y&as_comp=gt&as_val=0&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&c1stat=pts_per_g&c1comp=gt&c1val=18&c2stat=ast_per_g&c2comp=gt&c2val=7.7&c3stat=stl_per_g&c3comp=gt&c3val=1.6&order_by=ws ) .

He has also taken his game to another level as of late. Taking away his six-minute game against the Timberwolves earlier this month, he averaged 21.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals over his last 11 games.

The 21-year-old remains a threat every night as someone who can carry the offense with his scoring or keep the offense flowing with his passing while also playing shutdown defense on the perimeter.

> Jason  Jones @mr_jasonjonesDe’Aaron Fox’s speed shows up in so many ways on both ends. How he snuck in for that last steal and score was ridiculous
>

While Buddy Hield has played well this season and just about everyone on the roster has exceeded expectations, Fox is the most valuable player on this team and one of the best on the floor every night.

DeMarcus Cousins ( https://twitter.com/mr_jasonjones/status/1079580106647990274 )  has been the only Kings All-Star in the last 10 years, and that was because he put up numbers no one could ignore. While Fox doesn’t have this type of production on paper, he has helped his team win and is playing at an All-Star level.

If he can keep this up, he should be in Charlotte next February.

What’s Next?

The Lakers will continue their homestand Wednesday with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings will play on New Year’s Day while hosting the Portland Trail Blazers.

This article will be updated to provide more information soon.

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via Bleacher Report – NBA http://bit.ly/2gMI6gF

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WHY LEBRON IS RIGHT ABOUT THE NBA PLAYOFFS

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WHY LEBRON IS RIGHT ABOUT THE NBA PLAYOFFS

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LeBron James” by Erik Drost 
“I would disagree with that. I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the postseason.” “It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game, we proved you can do that, but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs.”

The above quote by LeBron James is what most of us saw when we got the notification from whatever sports app we use. My guess is that several people saw that one quote by LeBron and thought something along the lines of LeBron wanting to keep the playoffs the same because right now nobody in the Eastern Conference can beat him. I envisioned that quote to give LeBron haters another reason to hate on LeBron.

It’s fair to think that if that’s the only quote you saw, but there’s so much more LeBron had to say about why the playoffs should stay the same, and he’s absolutely right. The NBA wants to change the playoffs to something crazy. A 16 seed playoffs where two Western or Eastern Conference teams can end up playing each other in the Finals. Now there’s even talk of them doing a play-in game for the bottom two seeds in each conference. While the idea of those might be cool, it shouldn’t happen.

To my knowledge, one of the biggest reasons the NBA is considering changing the playoffs, is because the Western Conference is a lot more loaded and competitive than the Eastern Conference. It’s been that way for several years. It’s also because LeBron James has ruled the Eastern Conference for years now, going to 7 straight NBA Finals.

“There’s been dominant conferences throughout time. You know obviously in the 80’s you had mix-matched together Lakers who dominated the league at one point and you had Boston who dominated the league. In the 90’s you had Chicago who dominated the league. You know, San Antonio has had its run, we had our run in the East with Miami, Golden State is having its run.”

LeBron is right on the money here. Was it a huge deal when Michael Jordan ruled the Eastern Conference? Was it when Kobe Bryant ruled the Western Conference? Teams change all the time, and so does dominance. LeBron James wasn’t always the player who made it to 7 straight Finals you know. He used to be the guy who had everyone wondering why he couldn’t win a single championship. During that time there were teams like the Celtics, Pistons, and even the Magic had a little run at the top. In the Western Conference you had the Lakers and Spurs in the Finals just about every year.

The Celtics are good now, but it wasn’t always like that. The Pistons aren’t great now, and the Magic are one of the worst teams in the league. The Spurs aren’t the team they used to be, and the Lakers are not the Kobe Bryant in his prime Lakers by any means. Again, teams change and so does dominance. The Warriors are currently having their time of dominance, but it won’t always be like that. Things will change over time. There will come a time when LeBron doesn’t make it to the Finals because things will change.

“It just changes the landscape of the history of the game if you start messing with seedings or playoffs and you start talking about well if this team played this Western Conference team would he have,” James added. This is another thing that bothers me about this. People say things like, “LeBron wouldn’t have made it the Finals if he played in the Western Conference or if he played the (insert team of choice here) in the playoffs.” People make it sound like LeBron getting to the Finals 7 straight times is easy. They make it sound like he didn’t play any good teams to get there or like he didn’t have to try.

What would happen if there’s a 16 seed playoff and LeBron still makes it to the Finals? Is that system automatically going to be deemed flawed too? LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time. That’s why he’s been to 7 straight Finals. Michael Jordan is one of the greatest of all time. That’s why he had 6 championships. Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest of all time. That’s why he won 5 championships. It’s not because of what conference they played in.

I haven’t heard of any problem like this in the NFL, which has a slightly different but essentially the same playoff system. Tom Brady has been to 8 Super Bowls and has won 5 of them. Is the NFL considering changing their playoff system because Tom Brady rules the AFC? No. Teams change in the NFL just like they do in the NBA. The Jaguars were bad for years, and then last year they went to the Conference Championship game. At the end of last season, nobody thought the Eagles would win the Super Bowl because they were terrible the year before.

There’s no reason for the NBA to change the playoff system. It’s always been like that and it should stay that way. If they don’t like the Warriors and Cavs going to the Finals every year, all they have to do is wait. It won’t be that way forever.

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NBA fines Mark Cuban $600,000 for tanking remarks

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NBA fines Mark Cuban $600,000 for tanking remarks

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Last year, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave Mavericks owner Mark Cuban a mulligan. This year, Silver fined Cuban more than a half a million.

The NBA has announced that Silver has fined Cuban $600,000 for his latest round of comments admitting to a tanking campaign lasting more than a year. Cuban admitted to tanking a year ago, but Silver pretended that Cuban didn’t. This time around, there was no way to ignore it.

From the perspective of a league desperate to ensure the integrity of its games (especially with legalized gambling on the horizon), a fine isn’t enough — no matter how big it is — when someone brazenly admits to giving in to the obvious temptation to enhance draft position. Silver should have taken a draft pick from Cuban, ideally the first-rounder that he has been trying to enhance via tanking.

It won’t stop tanking, or remove the temptation to do so, in the NBA or any other sport. Far more importantly for the NBA, it will make it clear to Cuban and all other owners that, if they’re going to tank, they’d better make sure they don’t admit it.

The smart approach, albeit an untruthful one, would be to react the same way Giants co-owner John Mara did when confronted with the obvious reality that benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith was aimed at turning a lost season into a prime draft pick.

That’s complete b—s—,” Mara said. “We would never do that.”

Sure you would, John. Because you did. But you’d never admit to it. And, unlike Cuban, you definitely wouldn’t admit to it twice.

CAVALIERS RUMORS: DAN GILBERT WANTED VICTOR OLADIPO, NOT ANTHONY BENNETT IN ’13

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CAVALIERS RUMORS: DAN GILBERT WANTED VICTOR OLADIPO, NOT ANTHONY BENNETT IN ’13

cav

Victor Oladipo scored 32 points in the Indiana Pacers‘ 98-80 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, a situation that may have been avoided if not for a few roster moves.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN provided a breakdown:

Oladipo could have been a Cavalier and helping Cleveland in the playoffs, or at least still in the Western Conference, but is now the team’s biggest adversary in the first round of the 2018 postseason.

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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via Bleacher Report – NBA https://ift.tt/yO6Sgr