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Andy Natalie

Holiday is Your Point Guard posted by Andy Natalie

I know that Lou Williams has been waiting and working for the point guard job since he was drafted out of high school. And he clearly has improved over the years. And I also know that Eddie Jordan insists he doesn't look at the positions like you traditionally do.

But make no mistake about it Jrue Holiday is a much better basketball player and point guard than Lou Williams. This guy is a nice acquisition. Almost a Thaddeus Young type draft pick. It looked liked a decent pick and now has a chance to be huge in the big picture.

If I was the 76ers I would start Holiday and let him grow while the team stinks. Lou Williams is a good back up, let's keep it that way until he proves otherwise.

On Monday night the 76ers actually played a solid game to beat the New Orleans Hornets. The thing that impressed me the most was that only one player, Iguodala played more than 40 minutes.

And Elton Brand continues to be a solid bench player. An expensive one, but solid nonetheless.

I wish Dalembert would rebound like this every-night. He'll have big nights on the glass like this an yet he still has a blah 8.7 rebounds per game average. Anything under 10 for me sucks, when you are a center. Now I should allow some leeway for his lack of overall minutes. That said I still think 10 a game would be attainable.

I have to credit the Sixers somewhat in this win. They jumped out and plastered the Hornets in the 1st quarter but New Orleans put up back to back 31 point quarters to make the game a 1 point deficit for them. It was 76ers 75 and Hornets 74 going into the 4th. And the Sixers battled for the 96 - 92 win.

Continue reading "Holiday is Your Point Guard"


Andy Natalie

Bringing Up The Bottom (DEC 30) posted by Andy Natalie

Even with the win in Portland we are looking pretty solid at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. My hope is we keep this up. Honestly with a healthy Speights and Iverson the team is a little more watchable.

Elton Brand looked better the other night also. It appears that whether he likes coming off the bench or not, that playing around 30 minutes is better for him. He led the team with 25 points even in Monday's win. He also led with 9 boards.

Iverson's 19 points and 5 assists from the #2 was solid also. Lou Williams who is the heir apparent PG has been okay since returning but frankly I thought Jrue Holiday showed more promise.

At this point I would love to see a radical change for us to go young! Here is what the Sixers should do. Trade Sam Dalembert and Brand for Tracey McGrady. And if Houston doesn't want Brand send Iguodala and Sammy.

No kidding! McGrady doesn't even have to come to Philly. You just want his contract which expires this season. Then you get rid of Brand's noose also. If they don't want Brand?

Give them Iguodala's noose. I am a big Andre Iguodala fan but he does not fit into this team's system or any system they have tried before. He is not becoming the star I thought he would either. Which I believe is the problem he has fitting in. We all over rated him. Oh he has some great skills but he also lacks what it takes to be a superstar and probably always will. He would be a great fit on a team that already has superstars. Which that isn't Houston either but that can be their problem.

Ironically they would probably take him for the same reasons we want to keep him. He would be an upgrade for them. Funny thing is they are 19 and 13 and have a better

Continue reading "Bringing Up The Bottom (DEC 30)"


Andy Natalie

A Teaser In Philly (76ers Dec 16 loss) posted by Andy Natalie

I would like to say that the Sixers gave a cavalier effort but that is just part of the story.

 

You see I don't believe it is an effort problem with this basketball team. For one I think they get out-coached and have since Larry Brown left town. And Eddie Jordan and Mo Cheeks are not horrible coaches but they are one trick ponies. They do not appear to be able to build a plan around the talent and the personnel.

Now ironically Larry Brown is also like that but he has the clout and the whining /temper tantrum abilities to make his boss get the personnel to match his system. He also believes in defense.

That brings us to the Sixers vs Cavaliers contest on Wednesday. The Sixers put up a respectable 101 points. But the Cav's and LeBron James scored 108 points.

The POSITIVES:

  • Iguodala had a good night scoring 26 and he had a solid 7 rebounds
  • Thaddeus Young continued his march toward All - Stardom with 16 points and 10 rebounds
  • Iverson had a solid night with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists
  • Jrue Holiday played again at PG and had a nice 9 assists to go with 9 points
  • Elton Brand had settled in to his bench role. He had a respectable 11 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes
Continue reading "A Teaser In Philly (76ers Dec 16 loss)"


Andy Natalie

Misery Loves Company (Sixers Finally Win Dec 14) posted by Andy Natalie

The 76ers finally find a team that they can beat up on. The Sixers beat the Warriors 117 to 101 at home in the Wa-Cove!

The 76ers play a strong 1st and 2nd quarter and a solid 3rd and 4th to stop their long losing streak. The Warriors had a horrific 3rd quarter for a relatively easy win.

Thaddeus Young was the stud of the night with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He even had 4 assists. Jrue Holiday and Allen Iverson made a nice back court tandem also. Iverson had a very good 20 points and 4 assists. While Holiday had a solid 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Samuel Dalembert had another good night for him. He had 13 boards, 12 points, and 4 blocks. A nice added benefit was Elton Brand and Willie Green off the bench. Brand 11 points, 7 boards. Green had 14 points.

All totaled the Sixers had 7 players in double digits.


PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Thaddeus Young, F 40 12-21 1-2 1-1 5 9 14 4 3 1 3 2 +27 26
Jrue Holiday, PG 39 7-14 1-5 0-0 3 4 7 6 3 0 3 4 +20 15
Samuel Dalembert, C 29 6-9 0-0 0-0 5 8 13 1 0 4 2 2 +16 12
Allen Iverson, SG 32 7-10 0-0 6-8 1 1 2 4 0 0 1 2 +23 20
Andre Iguodala, SG 35 4-20 0-5 6-6 3 5 8 2 3 1 4 2 +6 14
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Elton Brand, PF 17 5-7 0-0 1-1 5 2 7 1 0 0 3 3 +2 11
Primoz Brezec, C 2 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 -2 1
Jason Kapono, SF 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 -9 0
Royal Ivey, PG 8 1-2 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 2 -2 4

Continue reading "Misery Loves Company (Sixers Finally Win Dec 14)"


Andy Natalie

Yet Another 4th Quarter Flushed Down the Crapper By the 76ers (DEC 10) posted by Andy Natalie

The other day Andre Iguodala insisted that the Sixers were not as bad as their record indicated. And then last night (WEDS) they preceded to drop a basketball game to the lowly Detroit Pistons, who are as bad as their record indicates.

The Pistons come from behind in the 4th and win 90 to 86 over the inconsistent 76ers. Now mind you the Pistons are a bad 9 wins and 12 losses while the 76ers 5 and 17. So you be the judge of if you agree with Andre.

Personally, I love "Iggy Hop" but I do think the 76ers are a bad team. Yes they have their moments and they have some raw talent. And now they have the extra juice with the addition of Allen Iverson, the original A I. And there is some positive aspects of all of that.

But I think part of the problem is the ego. I think Andre and his team mates needs to look in the mirror and say "wow we stink". Are they capable of more? Perhaps. But that isn't who you are, that is who you might be! This is where I have a problem with Eddie Jordan and Andre's assessment.

Eddie, you need to stop with the it's coming along, we are getting better upbeat stuff. I don't get it? What was pre-season basketball for? You don't implement and entirely new concept that takes the whole franchise a season to learn. How about a little at a time?

You should have implimented base sets and the foundation and stuck with that and some standard sets until they can do that in their sleep. You then can compensate with a somewhat simplistic level of strategy with hard aggressive work. Out hustle your opponent on the basketball court. Which you should do anyhow. But that is very difficult when you are thinking too much about the system. Which is the entire point!

Continue reading "Yet Another 4th Quarter Flushed Down ..."


Andy Natalie

76ers Win and Lose At The Same Time (Dec 9) posted by Andy Natalie

  Hey welcome home Allen. And boy was it nice to see a packed house!

But in the end Denver schooled the Sixers to a 93 to 83 tune. Yeah they schooled them. You know coming into the season I thought this team could be better then a borderline playoff team. But they stink.

Yeah on paper some of the names scream "talent". But they fail the eye test. Andre Iguodala is a borderline All -Star with star talent. But he is not being used to his strengths and he has not improved in his weaknesses. Which neither is the end of the world. However something has to give. I would like to think that all Pros would like to improve but a Coaches job is to put players in position to succeed. Iguodala is a receiver and finisher.

Elton Brand is a brand name who has past his sale expiration date. We can only hope he just needs more time to come back from previous injuries. In the meantime? IF he could just help in the low post on both ends that would help.

Sammy D? He has skills and I thought with Brand, Dalembert would blossom as a solid center. He doesn't rebound enough and his defense is suspect at times. He is still somewhat young but he better grow up fast.

Thad Young is a legit star on the rise. I am not worried about him but he is the lone no brainer. I mean even Iguodala has been living on potential more than proven performance. Young has consistently improved and will continue.

Continue reading "76ers Win and Lose At The Same Time (Dec 9)"


Amari Harris

The Answer Returns! posted by Amari Harris

The Answer Returns!

 

It was crazy to see how emotional AI was over his recent signing with the Philadelphia 76ers.  It truly touched my heart.  But this isn’t just a sentimental acquisition. The Sixers could really benefit from bring back The Answer….

 

This is a young team with potential that could use a strong veteran presence such as Iverson.  He will bring instant credibility to a 5-14 Sixers team that is need of a spark.  Jrue Holliday (the Sixers 1st round pick this year) needs to absorb as much as he can from the iconic Iverson.  Iverson should move into a starting role, which is what he was looking for and what he deserved.  I want Iverson to win a championship just like a lot of other basketball fans but not at the cost of his dignity.  Do you really want this guy to come off the bench just to win a title?  This is not Daryl Armstrong.  This is not Tyron Lue.  This is not Derek Fisher.  This is Allen “Motherf&^*^)” Iverson, son!  The Answer!  This dude had one of the most popular shoes in NBA history.  He is the master of the “ Killer Crossover”!  And you want him to come off the bench?!  If he never wins a championship, Iverson will still be in the top 10 greatest players ever.  That fact alone requires that he be a starter as long as he’s on a team. 

 

I can’t wait to see the reaction when Iverson runs out of that tunnel for the first time.  It should be epic.   The Philly fans will definitely embrace Iverson in his return to the City of Brotherly Love.  And how great would the story be if AI and AI (Andre Iguodala) can sneak the Sixers in to that 7th or 8th seed? This is a dream scenario for both parties and I, for one, am going to be paying very close attention to this team. 

Continue reading "The Answer Returns!"


Andy Natalie

Iverson in Philly: The Sequel posted by Andy Natalie

Hey who didn't see this coming? Frankly it was the right move. For the right reasons too!

The harsh reality is Lou Williams is out for at least 8 weeks. The 76ers do not have a replacement on their roster. I mean Royal Ivey is not a legit back up who can take over the starting role. And Jrue Holiday is not a realistic option either. Jrue is a Rookie and he is a shooter. That is what he does and that is what he should be doing.

With Iverson on board you at least get a veteran who can play adequate point guard and he will get some assists even as a ball hog. He has average 6.2 assists over his career actually. Which compared to John Stockton or Magic that sucks. But Lou Williams was good for 5.1 thus far. Yes he is learning but he isn't going to be playing.

The following statement says it all:

"In light of the recent injury to Lou Williams, which will sideline him for close to eight weeks, we felt that Allen was the best available free agent guard to help us at this time," team president Ed Stefanski said.

Yeah he brings luggage galore. And yes this is about fannies in seats also. But at the end of the day you need to have some one play PG.

And come on folks we all know this is not a Championship team and theoretically you want them to lose to get a high pick. But you can't put just anyone at the point and stumble through the season.

Continue reading "Iverson in Philly: The Sequel"


Andy Natalie

SIXERS Re-CONSIDER A I : Good I-dea? posted by Andy Natalie

 

When Lou Williams went down I immediately thought of the recent Iverson situation. He wants to start and now there is a team that needs something.

But is it a good idea? Some would argue the obvious. The team is in desperate need of energy and a ball handler. Andre Iguodala is a very good, borderline All -Star player who plays his best around the rim and as a receiver. He is not a dribbler. Rookie Jrue Holiday may improve but do you want a shooting guard running your offense?

I think we have seen enough of Willie Green to know he is not an everyday starter. Not too mention Green is a shooter not a handler. Royal Ivey hasn't done anything in this league to say he is a starter either.

Bringing Iverson would not be a bad idea overall. He can play point guard good enough and he certainly can handle the ball. And he can still score some.

Having Iverson also could help Holiday get some looks. It would also likely move Iguodala to play the 3 where he is best suited. Iguodala and Thaddeus Young should be the forwards. Elton Brand? He could play center and alternate him and Dalembert. You could move Brand around when people sit also. Frankly Brand should come off the bench at this point.

Or if you could trade Brand that would be nice. I was cautiously excited to get him but he is not healthy. He is Derrick Coleman at this point. Almost reminds me of the Jeff Ruland debacle.

Continue reading "SIXERS Re-CONSIDER A I : Good I-dea?"


Andy Natalie

ALLEN IVERSON's Answer posted by Andy Natalie

Say it ain't so Bubba Chuck!

Okay so the news is that AI is calling it quits. Because he insists he is a starter in this league. This has always been a part of Iverson's problem. He knows more than everyone else.

On one hand it made a skinny undersized heart of a lion boy into an NBA scoring man. But he also has lived a fantasy also. As much as he butted heads with Larry Brown, he owes Coach his career. It was the team that Brown built that made Iverson flourish.

Yes we look at those teams and say "but he had to take all those shots". Yes, but we forget that Brown would get rid of anyone who would threaten or challenge Iverson for shots. Exhibit A? Jerry Stackhouse.

Yes Stackhouse came before Iverson. The 2 of them could not play together because they both wanted to hurl shots like a drunk at a bar. "Give me another, bartender!" Neither could play point guard either because that required passing the ball to someone else.

Brown felt Iverson was a better offensive threat so off went Stackhouse. Brown shipped out Stack and Eric Montross for Aaron McKie and Theo Ratliff.  McKie and Ratliff were both defensive players. McKie could score a little but he was not a ball hog or a whiner if he didn't get the ball.

Then came Larry Hughes who was going to be made into a point guard. Didn't work. Brown tried bringing in Tony Kukoc to help Iverson with scoring and he couldn't get Iverson to share either.

Continue reading "ALLEN IVERSON's Answer"

Philadelphia 76ers News

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The 10-man rotation, starring NBA jerseys reimagined as soccer kits (Ball Don't Lie)

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Behance Gallery . Sleeved jerseys are here, and advertisements on them are all but inevitable . Maybe if what the NBA and Adidas came up with looked a bit less like crummy T-shirts and a bit more like the soccer-inspired designs dreamed up by Jesse Nuñez, basketball fans wouldn't mind quite as much. (Now let's see some with the existing logos replaced by football-style crests , too.) PF : Slate . Amanda Hess: "When it comes to women in professional sports, the NBA often seems to be the only men’s league eager to make historic choices." That reputation only got burnished on Tuesday . (Kate Perkins also has a nice piece on Becky Hammon's historic hire for Self magazine's Flash blog , noting that "doing the right thing is indistinguishable, in the [San Antonio] Spurs organization, from doing basketball right.") SF : TrueHoop . Justin Verrier on the Los Angeles Lakers' "delusional" but "a bit endearing" refusal to acknowledge that the West has passed them by, a fate largely sealed with a $48.5 million salute last winter. SG : A Wolf Among Wolves . If a Kevin Love-for-Andrew Wiggins trade is indeed coming in just a few weeks' time , Steve McPherson thinks the Minnesota Timberwolves would do well to see if they can loop the Philadelphia 76ers into the deal and come away with Thaddeus Young. (Andrew Unterberger considers the prospect of a Young trade from a Sixers fan's perspective at The 700 Level .) PG : Hardwood Paroxysm . Jeremy Conlin wonders whether Bradley Beal is better than Dion Waiters, how wide the gulf between the two shooting guards is, and whether said gulf is more a matter of context than hard-and-fast talent differential. 6th : SLAM . Brendan Bowers profiles Waiters, who says he spoke with LeBron James before the Cleveland deal got done: "He called me and just told me to be ready. Be ready. I talked to him four or five days before he made his decision. He just got on the phone and said, 'I haven’t made my mind up yet but be ready.' I told him that I’m already working hard. I’ll be ready. And he said, 'I know, I know you are.' Then a few days later I read the letter." 7th : Grantland . Zach Lowe considers the ways in which the evolution of NBA offenses and defenses has changed the market for big men who aren't floor-spacers or rim protectors. 8th : Eye on Basketball and Bucksketball . Zach Harper on the need for new head coach Jason Kidd to once again get weird with the Milwaukee Bucks' fun and awkward roster this season, and Nick Whalen on whether O.J. Mayo can bounce back enough from a dismal first year in Wisconsin to be an effective part of the weirdness. 9th : Derek Bodner . An argument that the reported potential adjustments to the NBA draft lottery system don't actually address the supposed scourge of tanking, but rather the perception problem the league faces in an environment where the 76ers aren't pretending to be ashamed of losing now to win later. 10th : The Classical . A fun read from John Wilmes on how Joel Embiid's irrepressible Twitter persona helps provide a counterbalance to the Sixers' (and, increasingly, many other NBA teams') contextually cold approach to roster-building: "Here is a Personnel Asset that refuses to stop acting like a goofy human being." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning,switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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