Saturday, August 30, 2014

BallasTv Showcase Quick Recap

BallasTv held their first annual showcase today.  The day was filled with great excitement.  Among notable attendees were Jalen Adams (committed to UConn), Jermaine Samuels, Jordan Hardwick, Dexter Thompson, Monytung Maker, and Isaiah McLeoud.  Jalen Adams was dominant getting to the basket with ease and hitting any shot he wanted.  Isaiah McLeoud who is fresh off his visit to Stonehill College played great.  He created for his team well and hit a bunch of shots from behind the arc.  Dexter Thompson had the best day for anyone trying to make a name for themselves.  Thompson drove to the hoop hard and finished off with nice slam dunks multiple times.  He plays with a Jaylen Brown or Stanley Johnson style.  Dexter seemed to be a few steps ahead of everyone on the court because of his great awareness and high basketball IQ.  Dexter Thompson will receive attention from a few schools due to his performance today.  Monytung Maker also had a breakout performance.  Maker seemed to be everywhere on the court and putting his stamp on the game.  Maker has a smooth offensive game and rebounds the basketball well.  The story of the day though was Jermaine Samuels.  He seemed to dunk anything and everything around the rim.  Several times Samuels had the gym in disbelief with his highly athletic offensive game.  Samuels is a top 25 national prospect in the class of 2017.  Jermaine Samuels is a special player and will receive offers from the top colleges in the country sooner or later.  BallasTv certainly put on a show for fans and coaches.  The top talent in New England looks promising.  Come back soon for the full recap from the event.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Iman Shumpert Looking Forward to the Triangle Offense

Iman Shumpert is excited about playing under Derek Fisher's new system.  Shumpert said he is looking forward to the new triangle offense.  He said, "The way it’s set up, you can start three guards, it really doesn’t matter. Everybody’s going to get touches, everybody gets opportunities to cut.  It’s constant action going on. So I think that I’ll be able to capitalize on that and I’ll be able to use my athleticism a lot more than standing in the corner."  Shumpert will hopefully prosper in the new system.  Under old head coach Mike Woodson the past two seasons Shumpert has averaged 6.75 PPG.  In his rookie season he averaged 9.5 PPG under head coach Mike D'antoni.  Shumpert's playing style is deffinetley not the isolation offense that Woodson liked to run.  With his athletic ability he is better when he can cut to the hoop and capitalize on passing from teammates.  His style is deffinetley more like D'antoni's.  Shumpert had his best season under the offense oriented around the pick and roll.  He is yet to have his best season though.  He will fit right in with Fisher and the triangle offense.  His athleticism well come into handy when he is getting the ball while cutting to the hoop and blowing by defenders.  If Iman Shumpert can stay healthy he will have a career season under Derek Fisher and the new Knicks offense.

Miami Heat Sign Shannon Brown

The Miami Heat have singed shooting guard Shannon Brown to a 1year/$1.3M contract.  Brown will most likely back up Dwayne Wade, considering the Heat have 3 point guards.  Brown will be able to do a little bit of everything for them as a role player.  He is good defensively, shoots the ball well, and has crazy athleticism.  The Heat have are still going to have a good season, even though they lost LeBron James.  Dwyane Wade has been losing weight and is returning to prime playing shape for the upcoming season.  Wade is ready to prove the critics wrong.  Along with Wade the Heat have Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, Luol Deng, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Shabazz Napier.  Bosh is definitely going to up his numbers this year.  Last season Bosh averaged 16.2 PPG and 6.6 RPG.  He is going to have the ball in his hands a lot more this year.  Bosh will certainly have a great season.  The Heat may have lost the best player in the league, but they won't lose their playoff spot in the eastern conference.  The Miami Heat are making the necessary moves to revamp the roster for another playoff run.  Hopefully Wade and Bosh can silence the critics.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jared Dudley Traded to the Bucks

The Los Angeles Clippers have traded swing-man Jared Dudley to the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Clippers sent Dudley and a future first round pick to the Bucks in exchange for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica.  Jared Dudley will add some three point shooting to the bucks and likely come off the bench.  Delfino is expected to miss the entire upcoming season.  The Clippers wanted to clear some cap space and they will receive a good offensive threat at the SG/SF position.  Delfino would have to beat out Jamal Crawford, Reggie Bullock, Matt Barnes,  and J.J. Redick for playing time when he returns.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Recap: Elite 24

On Saturday night, the Under Armour Elite 24 game was played in Brooklyn Bride Park alongside the East River.  The venue was spectacular and so was the game.  The Elite 24 included some of the best high-school talent in the country.  Malik Newman, Jaylen Brown, Stephen Zimmerman, Antonio Blakeney, Harry Giles, and Dennis Smith were only some of the top talents in the game.  Team Liberty beat Team Freedom 127-116 in a rain shortened game.  With 1:44 left in the game officials called the game because the rain was making the wood playing surface to slippery.  Team Liberty was led by Antonio Blakeney, Jaylen Brown, and Chase Jeter.  Blakeney ended the night with 22 points and led his team's offense most of the game.  Jaylen Brown scored 23 points, and shared Team Liberty's MVP honors with big man Chase Jeter.  Jeter, who is committed to Duke, had 17 points and 15 rebounds.  Team Freedom was led by Harry Giles, Josh Jackson, and Malik Newman.  Giles and Jackson shared Team Freedom's MVP honors.  Both are top 5 players in the junior class.  Giles ended with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jackson scored 18 points.  Malik Newman scored 17 points and put forth a great effort.  He is ranked 3rd in the senior class.  Malik Newman and Antonio Blakeney went at each other for a couple of plays to end the 1st half.  They both traded buckets and took turns scoring on the other.  Blakeney bested Newman by stopping him multiple times and also draining a few shots in his face.  The play of the night was an alley-oop to Louisville commit Donnovan Mitchell.  He caught the ball with one hand way above the rim and threw it down with force.  The Elite 24 again proved to be one of the funnest events of the summer.  Watch our mixtape of the game below.

Kevin Love Finally Traded to Cleveland

Kevin Love was officially traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday.  Minnesota received Anthony Bennet, Andrew Wiggins, and Thaddeus Young.  The 76ers got Alexey Shved, Luc Mbah a Moute, and the Heat's 2015 first round draft pick.  The only player the Cavs got was Kevin Love.  It feels like forever since the trade was proposed to us, and now it's finally done.  For the Cavs, they get another great player to go with LeBron.  Love will hit the three, rebound, and run the pick and roll great with either LeBron or Kyrie Irving.  Minnesota gets three young pieces to partner with their 1st round draft pick Zach Lavine and point guard Ricky Rubio.  Zach Lavine and Andrew Wiggins will be on Sports Center's top 10 plays every night they play this season.  The two high flyers will make plenty of highlight plays.  The 76ers dumped salary and picked up no great players.  This is a very typical 76er move.  They get rid of talent so they can tank, and they got a draft pick.  The trade was passed by the league office and now let the rest be history.  Also say hello to the new big three in Cleveland.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Danjel Purifoy Commits to Aurburn

Danjel Purifoy has verbally committed to Auburn.  During the Elite 24 Dunk Contest tonight he announced he would be going there after his senior season of high school basketball.  Purifoy is a 6'6" small forward who is ranked 50th in the ESPN 100.  He can rebound the basketball well and get to the hoop easily.  He is a great landing for Auburn's new head coach Bruce Pearl.  Pearl could not even talk to Purifoy due to NCAA penalties.  His assistant coaches did all the work in getting Purifoy to commit.  Last season at Bibb County High School, Purifoy averaged 17.7 PPG and 6.1 RPG.  Watch Purifoy play live in the Under Armour Elite 24 game live tomorrow night on ESPNU at 7PM ET.

Elite 24 3-Point and Dunk Contests

Tonight Under Armour held the Elite 24 3-Point and Dunk Contests.  In the 3-point contest rising sophomore Mitchell Ballock battled Brandon Ingram for the win.  Ingram beat Ballock by 1 shot, 13-12.  If Ballock hit the last shot he took he would have been able to beat Ingram.  Mitchell Ballock has beautiful stroke with his left hand and keeps his elbow up.  He has offers from Creighton, Iowa State, and Kansas.  Brandon Ingram looked is ranked 12th in the ESPN 100 and has offers from UConn, Duke, UNC, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, and more.  He is a 6-8 forward who can do everything for a team.  In the dunk contest Derrick Jones defeated Josh Jackson in the final round.  Jones did a through the legs 360 dunk and got a perfect score from the judges.  Jones also jumped over big men Stephen Zimmerman and Harry Giles in the Semi-Final.  Jones is a 6'6" small forward who is ranked 27th in the ESPN 100.  He has offers from Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse.  The most impressive dunk of the night was from crowd favorite Kwe Parker.  He caught an alley-oop off the side of the backboard then continued to do a 360 dunk.  Parker failed to dunk the ball in the Semi-Final preventing him from reaching the finals.  Watch our mixtape of the dunk contest below!

Tyler Davis Commits to Texas A&M

Top 2015 recruit Tyler Davis has committed to play his college hoops at Texas A&M.  Davis is a 6'10", 270 lbs. center.  He is the aggies first 2015 commit.  Davis is ranked 21st in the ESPN 100 and is the 6th ranked center in the class.  He has nice hands and can score in the post with a multitude of moves.  He favors to shoot over his left shoulder.  Tyler Davis will be a force down low for the Texas A&M Aggies next season.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kevin Durant calls Steph Curry "Terrible" in NBA 2k

At a promotional event for the upcoming NBA 2k15 the cover athlete, Kevin Durant, says Steph Curry's jump-shot is terrible.  He was asked if he likes playing with Curry in the game and said he just couldn't figure out his shot.  Even CURRY HIMSELF said he couldn't figure out HIS OWN jump-shot.  How can't a player know his own jump-shot.  All 2k players know the pain of playing with a great shooter and not being able to figure out their jum-pshot.  Durant is supposed to help promote the game not point out its flaws.  Watch the video below.

John Calipari Calls into Mike Francesca Show

John Calipari made an appearance on the Mike Francesca Show yesterday.  The two talked for a long period of time from last season's loss against UConn, how he helps players enter the draft, his incoming freshman, and past teams and players.  They went on and on with great basketball talk.  After Calipari left Mike Francesca went on to talk about Cal's coaching style.  Francesca said Cal was not a great X's and O's coach and that his strengths were recruiting and motivating his talented players.  Moments later Mike got a call from "John in Kentucky".  Calipari called in to defend himself!  Calipari started to talk and admitted it was himself. 

Calipari: “That’s basically saying I can’t coach. You know what they call me? The Magician. Cal, the Magician.”
Francesca: “Waitaseckin’. Are there better X’s and O’s guys than you?”
Calipari: “You think I believe that?”
Francesca: “Yes.”
Calipari: “I will pass a lie detector test and say, ‘No.'”
Francesca: “No you won’t. No you won’t.”
Coach Calipari thinks he is the best X's and O's coach in college basketball.  Calipari is definitely not the best at X's and O's, but it is not like he is terrible.  Coach Cal is just that great at recruiting and motivating it makes him seem sub par with X's and O's.  Without doubt John Calipari is one of the best college coaches of all time, just don't argue with him about his strengths and weaknesses.  

ESPN's Weird List of Best Shooting Guards

ESPN has a very weird list of the best shooting guards in the NBA.  The top 10 are 1. James Harden, 2. Dwyane Wade, 3. Monta Ellis, 4. Jimmy Butler, 5. Dion Waiters, 6. Tyreke Evans, 7. Victor Oladipo, 8. Klay Thompson, 9. Manu Ginobili, and 10. Lance Stephenson.  Ok, we can all agree that James Harden is the top shooting guard in the NBA.  Is Dwyane Wade really the second best?  Wade was one of the best guards a few years ago, but now is not even close to his old self.  Second is a little high for Wade, although Wade is probably going to have a monster season to prove he can win without LeBron.  Where is Kobe Bryant?  If Wade is second on this list, Kobe should at least be top 10.  Also where is Bradley Beal.  Beal is one of the only young pure shooters in the league.  Also where is the Raptors DeMar Derozan?  Another flaw is putting Klay Thompson and Manu Ginobili at 8 and 9.  There is no way Dion Waiters is the 5th best shooting guard in the league either. Who knows what ESPN was smoking when they put together their list of the best shooting guards in the league.  Here's a real list of the 10 best shooting guards in the NBA.

1. James Harden
2. Klay Thompson
3. Bradley Beal
4. Monta Ellis
5. Lance Stephenson
6. Manu Ginobili
7. Dwyane Wade
8. Kobe Bryant
9. DeMar Derozan
10. Joe Johnson

Terrance Mann Commits to Florida State

Terrance Mann announced he's going to Florida State yesterday.  Mann is ranked 76th in the ESPN 100 and plays at the Tilton School.  He is a 6-5 shooting guard who surprised everyone when he announced his decision.  He said Florida State was always the front runner though.  Mann is good at getting to the hoop and creating for others.  He is a great defender and can run in transition.  He will be a complete combo-guard once he can perfect his jumper.  Watch Terrance Mann below.

Under Armour Elite 24 Details

The Under Armour Elite 24 is this weekend in Brooklyn, New York.  On Friday night at 7PM ET they will hold the dunk contest, skills challenge, and 3-point challenge.  It will be live on ESPN3 and televised on Saturday at 12PM ET on ESPNU.  Later on Saturday night the Elite 24 game will be televised live at 7PM ET on ESPNU.  Notable players in the events are Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Malik Newman, Chase Jeter, Stephen Zimmerman, Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Thon Maker, and Josh Jackson, and Malik Monk.  The Elite 24 is one of the best high-school basketball showcases.  Notable alumni are Kyle Anderson, Kevin Love, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Mitch McGary, and more. The best of the best in high school come out to play every year. The game will be played in Pier 2 under the Brooklyn Bridge.  Come back after for a review of one of the summer's best events.

Is James Harden the Best Player in the NBA?

James Harden thinks he is the best player in the NBA.  Yes, he really does think that.  The other day he said, "I'm the best all-around basketball player in the NBA."  Harden really thinks he is better than LeBron James, Kevin Durant,  Carmelo Anthony, and LaMarcus Aldridge.  Harden is one of the worst defenders in the NBA, and he thinks he is the best all-around player.  Harden isn't even the best offensive player in the league.  Harden is ranked 5th in Offenseive Real Plus-Minus at +5.97 per 100 possessions.  He is ranked 397th in Defensive Real Plus-Minus at -2.84 per 100 possessions. Manu Ginobili is ranked 6th behind Harden in the ORPM but is ranked 8th in the overall RPM.  Harden drops down to 45th in the RPM.  Harden's offensive game is top 5 but his defense is the 397th best.  There is no larger gap per player between the two stats. How can he be the best all-around player when he doesn't play defense and isn't the best offensive player in the league.  Harden is one of the best players in the league, but he for sure is not the best all-around.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

State Of Nate

Watch the latest episode of Nate Robinson's own State of Nate.  Nate does a better job in 10-20 minute You-Tube videos than reality TV stars do in an hour.  In this episode Nate gets surgery on his torn ACL and begins to rehab.  Watch to get an inside look of the NBA star's life.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers Sign Shawn Marion

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed small forward  Shawn Marion to a veteran's minimum contract. Marion will serve as Lebron's back up this season.  Last year for Dallas he averaged 10.4 PPG and 6.5 RPG.  Marion was also talking to the Pacers, Clippers, and Heat about signing for more money.  But he passed up on more money for the best chance to win a championship.  Shawn Marion will add a good veteran presence, shooting, and defense for the Cavaliers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The WNBA's New Power Couple

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson are engaged!  Both Griner and Johsnon play in the WNBA.  Griner as we all know is a dominating force standing at 6'8".  She is averaging 15.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 3.9 BPG for the leagues best team the Phoenix Mercury.  Johnson is averaging 15.0 PPG and 9.5 RPG for the Tulsa Shock.  It's good to see gay athletes being happy and comfortable with who they are.  Griner was told not to come out as gay at Baylor University because of the negative reception it would receive.  Well now she has come out and is happy with a fellow hooper.  Congrats to the new power couple.

Nick Young Doesn't Have Tattoos on His Right Arm Why?

Nick Young aka SwaggyP revealed why he doesn't have any tattoos on his right arm.  Young said his right arm is "strictly for buckets."  Getting buckets is something SwaggyP does regularly, but yet remains a wild card.  He shows flashes of excellence but then makes several bone head plays.  Young is going to have a fun time this upcoming season playing alongside Kobe Bryant.  Both score the ball with ease, but Bryant is 100x more serious than Young will ever be.  Laker fans will love and hate Nick Young this season but the one thing he will do for them is strictly get buckets.

Justin Simon Transfered to Brewster Academy

Justin Simon has transferred to Brewster Academy.  Simon will be enrolled for the upcoming high school season.  He will join a loaded backcourt with Jalen Adams and Donovan Mitchell.  He is ranked 23rd in the ESPN 100.  Simon is a point guard who can distribute the ball and facilitate an offense easily with his high basketball I.Q. and athleticism.  He is committed to the University of Arizona.  Brewster now has a loaded team for the upcoming season with Adams, Simon, Mitchell, and forward Jordan Reuter.  Watch out for Brewster this upcoming season and try to get to a gym to see one of the best teams in the country square off with top prep school talent.

New Arizona Wildcat Uniforms

Arizona has new uniforms for the upcoming season.  One of them is white with blue trim and another is white with red trim.  There are also red/blue, blue/red, and grey/red uniforms.  Arizona is going to have a new look.  Both uniform and player wise.  They will have to recover from losing Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon.  But they have one of the best incoming freshman Stanley Johnson.  Arizona will look flashy with their new uniforms and highlight plays this season.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bill Simmons Gets His Own Show On ESPN

Bill Simmons will be leaving the NBA Countdown show for ESPN for his own show.  The show will be called The Grantland Basketball Show.  The show will be an hour long airing at 8pm during the NBA season starting in October.  Simmons is one of the few critics that speaks his mind 100% of the time.  He is brutally honest which makes him one of, if not the best analysts in basketball.  You may remember Simmons from the past draft nights in the NBA.  He is known to be a Celtics fan.  He lets his true colors fly even on live TV.  Simmons will have the best basketball show on TV this upcoming year.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Steve Ballmer's Purchase of the Clippers is Official

Steve Ballmer officially owns the Los Angeles Clippers.  FINALLY!  It's about time Donald Sterling is officially gone from the NBA.  Ballmer bought the team for $2 billion a while ago, but now the sale is official.  Let all Clippers and NBA fans rejoice.

NBA 2k15 Soundtrack Released

The NBA 2k15 soundtrack curated by Pharrell Williams has been released.  Many people excepted a better selection of songs.  The game releases on October 7th.  Take a look at the soundtrack below.

Jalen Adams is Transferring To Brewster Academy

Jalen Adams is transferring to Brewster Academy for his upcoming year of school.  He graduated from Cushing Academy in the spring and will enter his 5th year at Brewster.  Adams is already committed to Uconn and is ranked 33rd in the ESPN 100.  Adams will form an amazing backcourt with junior guard Donovan Mitchell.  Mitchell is already committed to Louisville.  Brewster also has forward Jarred Reuter who is committed to Virginia.  Adams is joining a high school basketball powerhouse in New England.

ESPN Reveals College Basketball Big Monday Schedule

ESPN Revealed their Big Monday college basketball schedule for the upcoming season.  Notable games include Oklahoma at Texas, Oklahoma at Kansas, Syracuse at North Carolina, Texas at Iowa State, Virginia at North Carolina, and Iowa State at Kansas.

Carmelo Anthony Does Not Expect to Win a Title This Year

Carmelo Anthony told reporters he does not expect tot win a championship this year.  Anthony said, "I do not expect to win a championship this year.  That's something that takes time and everything has to be in sync, from management to players.  We have much work to do, but something that drives me.  I know we can start creating the foundation of what we do.  It's the start of a good process."  Anthony may be right that the Knicks won't win the title this year, but why say it.  Nowadays stars are saying all the wrong things.  Like James Harden's comments on the Rockets.  Saying he and Howard are the cornerstones of the team.  Carmelo can work with this young team to make them contenders next year though.  Melo has slimmed down and lost weight this offseason.  Maybe he will finally get in shape and become dominant.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Team USA Makes Roster Cuts

Team USA cut John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Paul Milsap from their FIBA World Cup team today.  The team now stands at 16 players.  The current players are Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kyle Korver, DeMar DeRozan, Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons, Kenneth Faried, Gordon Hayward, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, and Mason Plumlee.  The final roster will be cut down to 12 players for the world cup.  The final roster will be released Aug. 29.  Come back then to see the USA FIBA World Cup team.

Chase Jeter Commits to Duke

Chase Jeter has committed to Duke University.  Jeter is ranked #13 in the ESPN 100 and the #6 PF.  He is a very talented big who is athletic and can run the floor.  He can score off either block with a nice hook shot.  Jeter is determined to rebound on both ends of the floor also.  He averaged 14.7 PPG and 10.6 RPG at Nevada's Bishop Gorman High School.  He plays alongside Stephen Zimmerman the 6th ranked player in the ESPN 100.  They one the state title together last year and are looking to make one more title run this year.  Jeter is joining Luke Kennard in Duke's 2015 recruiting class.  Kennard is ranked #31 in the ESPN 100.  Duke is also hoping to land the nation's number one player Ivan Rabb and Brandon Ingram the nation's 12th ranked player.  If Duke could land both of them they would have the best recruiting class for 2015 without doubt.  Jeter also had offers from UCLA, UNLV, and Arizona.  He needs to add some weight and muscle to compete with the college bigs, but watch out for Chase Jeter next year at Duke.  Watch some footage of Jeter below.

Recap: Adidas Summer Events

Adidas Super 64

Showcase Game: 

In the showcase game Game Elite beat Team loaded 73-70 in overtime.  Game Elite was lead by Jaylen Brown (ranked 8th in the ESPN 100).  Brown lead his team to a win with 32 points and 15 rebounds.  He was also MVP of the game.  He showed off his ability to finish down low and run in transition.  He is being compared to the likes of Stanley Johnson.  He is built well and a true athlete.  Team Loaded was led by the #1 junior in the country Thon Maker.  He is 7'0" center with the ability to run the floor, shoot the ball, and is a legitimate rim protector.  Maker had 21 points and 11 rebounds.  He is being compared to Kevin Garnett.  The difference between the two is Maker lacks the motor and determination Garnett has.  Both Brown and Maker had impressive games.

Championship Game:

In the championship game Indiana Elite beat Dream Vision 79-64.  Indiana Elite was led by Ryan Kline and Kyle Guy.  Ryan Cline scored 25 points and shot 70% from beyond the arc.  Cline is a great three point shooter and was named MVP of the game.  He is verbally committed to Purdue.  Kyle Guy added in 16 points.  Dream Vision was led by Chase Jeter and Ray Smith.  Jeter is the #13 player in the ESPN 100 and the #6 PF.  Coach K from Duke was in attendance recruiting Jeter.  Indiana Elite won the game with their unselfish and team first style.

Adidas Nations

Showcase Game:

In the showcase game Team Howard beat Team Europe 52-46.  Team Howard was led by Jaylen Brown and Chase Jeter.  Brown had 19 points and 9 rebounds.  Once again this summer he showed off how easily he can get to the hoop and finish.  Brown will sure to be moving up in player rankings after his strong summer.  He is currently #8 in the ESPN 100 and new rankings come out in September.  Chase Jeter scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.  Jeter is a great rebounder and can score well on the block.  After the game Jeter announced he would be attending Duke after his senior year.  Jeter played with 7 stitches on his forehead after getting elbowed in the head by teammate Justin Simon earlier in the camp.  Overall both teams struggled to shoot the ball consistently, but they both put on a great show.

Championship Game:

In the championship game Team Lillard beat Team Wall 106-78.  Team Lillard was led by Thon Maker and Dennis Smith.  Maker scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.  He shot a perfect 6-6 from the field and also shot 6-6 from the free throw line.  His efforts earned him MVP.  He suggested to his coach before the game he was open to coming off the bench if the team needed him to.  It's not so often you hear about the top player in his class telling his coach he is open to coming off the bench.  Maker is both a talent loaded with potential and also a very unselfish player.  Dennis Smith scored 16 points and shot 6-9 from the field.  He played great defense and also had a few steals.  Smith is ranked 9th in the junior class and already has offers from Duke, Florida, Kansas, and North Carolina.  Other notable talents in the game were Dedric Lawson, Kobi Simmons, and incoming freshman E.J. Montgomery.  Montgomery will be attending last years National Championship winning Montverde Academy.  He will play alongside the #2 player in the country Ben Simmons.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stanley Johnson with the Slam at Adidas Nations

Stanley Johnson had a ferocious dunk last night at Adidas Nations.  Johnson is one of the best players in the incoming college basketball class.  He is going to Arizona and joining with the likes of Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.  Tune into EspnU tonight at 7pm and 9pm Eastern to watch the Adidas Nations showcase and championship games.

KeVaughn Allen at Peach Jam

KeVaughn Allen was an animal at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.  Allen averaged 22.0 ppg and played a huge role in Team Penny's run to the finals.  In the final game Allen scored 22 points and led his team the whole game.  In the end it was not enough to beat the NJ Playaz led by Isaiah Briscoe.  The Playaz won 85-83.  KeVaughn is ranked 54th in the ESPN 100 and is committed to Florida.  Watch Allen's Peach Jam mixtape below.

Brian Scalabrine is Coming Home

Brian Scalabrine announced he is coming back to Boston the greatest way possible.  Scal decided to mock Lebron's "I'm Coming Home" letter.  Read the full letter below.

Before anyone cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid raised in Enumclaw, Washington.  It’s where I walked.  It’s where I ran.  It’s where I did a paper route at age six.  It’s always held a special place in my heart. From the moment I signed with the Celtics, I knew this was my new home. Most of the people are just like me.  They work hard, they play hard, and the passion they have for their sports team is unlike anywhere in the world. I had passion for my team just like the fans.  I guess I was kind of like the fans except I had a courtside seat for free and if we were up by 20 with less than two minutes to play I would get to go into the game.  Where was I – the great American city of Boston.  In Boston, people's passion can be overwhelming.  But it drove me.  The Celtics hadn’t won a championship since the Larry Bird era of the 80s, so I wanted to give them hope when I could.  I wanted to inspire them when I could.  My relationship with Boston became bigger than basketball.  I didn’t realize that when I left Boston in free agency four years ago.  I do now.
Remember when I spurned the Celtics and signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2010?  Actually I begged Ainge to keep me and he wished me the best of luck.  I was thinking, "This is really tough."  I could feel it.  I left something I had spent five years creating.  I haven’t paid for a meal since 2008.  What if all of this goes away? But if I had to do it all over again, I’d probably still have left.  Chicago, for me, has always been like graduate school.  I myself had always considered getting my MBA at Northwestern.  These past four years helped bolster my resume to showcase the well-rounded individual I am.  I'm a better player, a better coach, a better broadcaster, and a better Mamba.  I've learned a great deal in my time spent with four franchises…actually five if you count my stint in Italy because of the lockout. What was the purpose of the lockout again?   I will always think of Chicago as my third home and Oakland probably as my fourth home…but not like downtown Oakland, more like the suburbs.  Without the experiences I've had in these places, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
I went to Chicago because of Tibs and D-Rose and the crazy energy of Joakim Noah, and it was my only job offer in the states.  I loved becoming an everyday customer at Giordano’s Pizza, the free meals were back.  I loved the fans and the creation of the White Mamba by Stacy King. Chicago was exactly what I needed and I believed we could do something magical if we came together.  But we fell short.  So I took my talents to Golden State searching for their championship and I really believed we could do something magical if we came together.  But then I was sent down to the D-League where we flew to Hidalgo, TX on commercial flights with no first class sitting next to a 7’2” center named Ognjen Kuzmic.  There was nothing magical happening down there, no matter how much we came together. And that’s when I knew it was time to come home.
I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted...and gather some great press based on another recent NBA almost the exact same way.  I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Mark Jackson didn’t get along … The Bulls and Warriors couldn’t put the right team together … Does anyone really care what Brian Scalabrine is doing right now?  None of these things were true.  And for the record I never played for the Warriors, I was just a coach, didn’t people see me holding my clipboard.  I don’t understand why people couldn’t put it together, I was holding a clipboard, I was a real coach.  
I may have a press conference, and I am definitely having a party.  And all of Boston will be invited.  And when we are done, we will still have a few months before we have to get to work.
When I left Boston, I was on a mission.  I was seeking another championship. I wanted to ride in another parade, pop enormous bottles of champagne, and maybe even crash the podium.  But Chicago already knew that feeling with MJ and Oakland had that feeling in baseball with the Bash Brothers.  How did those guys only win one ring together?  Seriously. Celtics fans haven't had that feeling since I was last there.  My goal is for the Celtics to win the most titles of any other NBA franchise, and I will not sleep until we are done.  No question.
I always believed that I’d return to Boston and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, I went to see 22 Jump Street. Then, I saw They Came Together with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. It was delightful. But I have two girls and one boy. We have a lovely family. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in Boston, well not like downtown, more like Metro West or at least twenty minutes outside the city. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Oakland for anywhere except Boston…or maybe Chicago…or maybe Brooklyn…or possibly Los Angeles to go back with Doc. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
The last time I was in the Boston, the fans were all over me.  They said I didn’t have it any more, and they challenged me to games of one-on-one.  They called it the Scallenge, and I gave those fans a bean town beatdown.

I took the ball, took their pride, and showed them what the White Mamba was all about.  They wrote me letters and asked for my autograph.  Some even invited me to their weddings, it got a little weird.  Even Bill Simmons has wanted me back for quite some time.  I've met with Bill, face-to-face, man-to-man.  We’ve hashed it out. Bill fist pumped on the air during this year's NBA Draft.  Everybody makes mistakes.  I’ve made mistakes as well – I once mispronounced Omer Asik’s name in Chicago. Who am I to hold a grudge?
I’m not promising a championship.  I know how hard that is to deliver.  We’re not ready right now.  No way.  Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic.  I’m only a broadcaster - what could I really do?  It will be a long process, much longer than in 2008.  My patience will get tested.  I know that.  I’m going into a situation with a young team and a young coach.  I will be the young Comcast SportsNet announcer in the booth next to the legendary Mike Gorman and learn from the greatest color analyst in the game Mr. Tommy Heinsohn. I know that I have a lot to learn but I see myself as a Champion, and I think I can help break down some great Marcus Smart dunks this season.  I think I can elevate Kelly Olynyk’s game by the amount of research I make my interns do before announcing road games.  And I can’t wait to reunite with Rajon Rondo, one of my favorite teammates.  Paul, KG, and Ray may have all left, but Rondo and the White Mamba remain in Boston, at least for now.
But this is not about the roster or the organization.  Thinking twice about it, it really is about the organization.  Does it get any better than the Celtics?  I feel my calling here goes above basketball – get it...calling... double meaning?  They call that a pun.  I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously.  I want kids in Boston, like the hundreds of elementary school kids who have red hair and no chance of making the NBA, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up.   Maybe some of them will come home after college and work at a bank.  That would make me smile.  Our community, which has struggled.  Well, not really.  Winning eight championships since 2000 isn’t much of a struggle, and I guess the Sox won last year.  I should have known that … where was I?  Oh yeah, I want to bring another championship back to Boston.  Really, I just want to ride in another championship parade and smoke an overpriced Cuban cigar as a tribute to Red after we hang banner number 18.
In Boston, nothing is given.  Remember in the movie The Departed when Francis Costello said, “No one gives it to you.  You have to take it.”  That was a great scene and a great Boston movie.
I’m ready to accept the Scallenge. Boston, I’m coming home.

Top Recruit Terrence Mann Narrows List to Six Schools

Top recruit Terrance Mann from the Tilton School has narrowed his list of schools down to six.  The schools are Indiana, Marquette, Boston College, Florida, Arizona St., and URI.  Mann is ranked 78th in the ESPN 100, but is one of the best talents in New England.  Watch a mixtape of Mann below.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Allonzo Trier Commits to Arizona

Allonzo Trier has committed to the University of Arizona.  He is the 19th ranked player in the ESPN 100 and the #4 shooting guard.  Trier was offered by 16 other schools including Uconn, Georgetown, and Kansas.  He led the Nike EYBL finals in scoring at 30.8 PPG.  He joins Justin Simon (#23 in the ESPN 100) and Ray Smith (#26 in the ESPN 100) in Arizona's strong 2015 recruiting class.  Steve Lavin and St. John's are glad to hear this news.  Arizona was also in the running for Isaiah Briscoe.  But now they do not really need him.  Lavin will make a strong push for Briscoe now.  Watch Allonzo Trier play below.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tony Parker Signs Extension with San Antonio

Tony Parker signed a 3 year $45 million extension with the Spurs.  Parker averaged 16.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 2.3 RPG last season.  He was instrumental in the Spurs success the past few years.  He will definitely help the Spurs remain favorites to win the NBA title again.  He is one of the best point guards in the league and deserves the extra money.

Paul George Suffers Gruesome Injury

Last night during the USA Basketball inter-squad scrimmage Paul George broke his right leg.  George was trying to block James harden and came down awkward.  He fell into the hoop stanchion and his leg just gave out.  Coach K called the game after George was injured. After the injury many players, including Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Dirk Nowitzki, all tweeted out their condolences to George.  He is most likely out for the whole upcoming season.

George's injury raised multiple questions.  The most commonly asked being, is it worth it for stars to play in international games?  The question makes no sense though.  A team like Indiana is obviously going to say no.  They just lost their star player.  But what if George didn't get hurt.  No one would ask this question.  Instead they would being saying George has developed well alongside other NBA stars.  The games are good for players because they get to play against elite talent and work on their game during the summer.  Players get to work with the best coaches in the world daily.  Young players like George need the international play to develop and become better players.  It makes sense Lebron James doesn't play.  James is the best player in the world and has already developed.  It is weird how owners and GM's don't ask their players to play in these games.  This way they know their players are working on their game with elite coaches.  Some players just sit around all summer or play useless all star games against sub par talent.  It is definitely worth it to risk injury in order to develop your game.  As Larry Bird said in his release about Georges injury, "This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere."  This injury could have occurred when George was playing in an all-star game, training in the gym, or in the scrimmage.  Stars will continue to play in the international games for now.

The real question is: What do the Indiana Pacers do now?  The Pacers just lost their star player.  George averaged 21.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG last season.  The Pacers also lost Lance Stephenson in free agency.  Stephenson averaged 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.6 APG last season.  So now what?  Indiana lost 35.5 PPG, 14 RPG, and 8.1 APG this off-season.  Roy Hibbert is the next best player on the team and remains a question.  Hibbert averaged 10.8 PPG and 6.6 RPG last season.  He is inconsistent and won't have any help next season.  A 7'2" Hibbert was out rebounded by both George and Stephenson last year.  The Pacers have dealt with drastic change.  Last season they were planning on winning the Eastern Conference at this time of year.  This season it will be a miracle if they make the playoffs.  Indiana may want to try to sign restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe to fill in the void left by George and Stephenson.  But no one can make up for the loss of those two.  The Pacers suffered a huge loss Friday night.  

Hopefully Paul George has a speedy recovery and doesn't skip a beat.  He is one of the best talents in the league and it's devastating to see him get hurt.  Below is a video of George's injury.