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- Nuggets-Celtics Preview (The Associated Press) December 6, 2013The Boston Celtics may own a losing record, but first-year coach Brad Stevens has guided them into first place in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics will try to continue their recent surge by continuing their historical home dominance of the Nuggets on Friday night. Only Indiana and Miami are above .500 in the Eastern Conference, while Boston (8-12) has played well enough to top the Atlantic. The Celtics' rise has come on a 4-2 stretch, during which they're averaging 96.5 points - 2.7 more than their season mark.
- Dissecting the Derrick Williams Trade (Yahoo Contributor Network) December 5, 2013Sacramento Kings rookie GM Pete D'Alessandro gave up virtually nothing to acquire highly talented forward Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kyrie Irving was the consensus top pick (though even he had questions as he battled back from injury). In the days before the draft, it was Derrick Williams who emerged as the consensus second-best player available. Williams was an absolute beast in his two years at Arizona.
- Andrew Bynum on facing J.J. Hickson in win over Nuggets: ‘The guy guarding me was an infant’ (Ball Don't Lie) December 5, 2013When I tuned into the early Wednesday matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, the same thing struck me that struck Portland Trail Blazers general manger Neil Olshey repeatedly last season: "Hey, J.J. Hickson looks pretty undersized at center, especially lining up across from Andrew Bynum. The Cavs should probably give Bynum the ball a lot." Clearly, Mike Brown and I share something more than ill-timed personal grooming habits , because Cleveland fed the 7-foot, 285-or-so-pound Bynum early and often against the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Hickson on Wednesday. The big man started out slow coming off his best performance of the season, missing six of his first eight shots, but he turned it on in the second half to finish with 14 points and seven rebounds as part of a mammoth front-line effort — Tristan Thompson bulled his way to 17 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, and Anderson Varejao added 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench — in the Cavs' 98-88 win over the visiting Nuggets. All that low-post feeding seemed to agree with Bynum, who even found himself rediscovering some of the on-court nastiness that cropped up quite a bit toward the end of his days in purple and gold. From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal : 6. A few games ago, Bynum was running out [and] setting a number of high screens, which seemed in direct contrast of his real strengths. Now he’s focusing more on setting up in the post and going to work. He made just 2 of 8 shots in the first half, but clearly was inspired by the Nuggets’ coach and their bench. 7. “Too soft early in the game,” Bynum said. “Had to take me to get mad to play right.” 8. Bynum was clearly annoyed by J.J. Hickson, who was defending him most of the night. Hickson was giving up about three inches and 40 pounds to Bynum, who swatted Hickson for a flagrant foul in the third quarter. “The guy guarding me was an infant,” Bynum said. 9. He actually stole that line from C.J. Miles, who was hollering at the Nuggets all night, “They're babies! They can’t stop you!” I mean, they could — again, a still-shaking-off-the-rust Bynum went 6 for 15 from the floor during his 20-plus minutes of floor time, with many of the misses coming on the sort of at-the-rim bunnies on which he feasted while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers — but going to him still felt like the right idea. Even when the shots weren't falling, you could sort of see the Cavaliers' offense looking more like the hoped-for ideal of the summer, when Cleveland signed Bynum to an incentive-laden two-year contract in the hope that he'd provide a low-post presence and added Jarrett Jack in the hope that his playmaking could help unleash Kyrie Irving as an off-ball weapon in the same way that it aided Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson last season with the Golden State Warriors. One second-quarter possession in particular stood out — Bynum backing down Hickson to pivot his way into a pretty high-percentage lefty layup that missed, followed by Thompson crashing the offensive glass from the weak side to beat noted glass-cleaner Kenneth Faried for the board and kicking out to Jack, who reset atop the arc, spotted Irving sliding down to the left corner all alone and fired a cross-court pass for an open corner 3 by Kyrie that found the bottom of the net. Working inside out, taking advantage of the combination of size, skill and athleticism on the interior, removing responsibility from Kyrie to create everything, and getting a knockdown shooter a clean look ... it's the kind of thing we haven't seen much of from Cleveland, and it was a welcome sight. Depending on where you sit, that attitude might be, too. While Bynum's latter days in L.A. were marked by a fair bit of petulance and criticism , they also showcased him as a supremely confident difference-maker capable of turning perceived slights into productive play ... and that seemed to come back around on Wednesday. More from Lloyd : 10. [Nuggets head coach Brian] Shaw was an assistant with the Lakers for much of Bynum’s time in Los Angeles. Shaw was complimentary of Bynum before the game, but clearly said something that irritated him Wednesday night. 11. “I think just BShaw and their bench pissed me off a little bit,” Bynum said. He was blocked in the third quarter by Timofey Mozgov, which apparently got the Nuggets’ bench barking. When Bynum made a short turnaround jumper a minute later, he glared at the Nuggets’ bench and nodded. That sort of sneering swagger can be helpful, and infectious , and propulsive. Left unchecked, though, it can also verge into the unhelpful and dangerous: Bynum's third-quarter flagrant-1 on Hickson wasn't an especially dirty play in and of itself — he appeared to get more arm than head/neck — but given the nature of their back-and-forth throughout the game, plus the nature of Bynum's post-game commentary, it also didn't seem accidental, and the result could have been worse. In a sense, then, the Cavaliers got perhaps the most complete vision of their free-agent acquisition on Wednesday — the returning post moves, footwork and desire to dominate on one hand, and the wild streak that can bleed over from competitive to reckless. A Cavs team that entered this season with playoff aspirations needs the former; to get it, though, they might have to learn to live with the latter. That might come complete with some outbursts, comments and actions more commonly associated with the kind of kid Bynum says was checking him on Wednesday. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.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.
- Cavaliers-Hawks Preview (The Associated Press) December 5, 2013The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for more after winning consecutive games for the first time this season, though they'll first have to change their fortune on the road. The Cavaliers seek their second win in 11 road games Friday night when Kyle Korver attempts to set the league record for consecutive contests with a 3-pointer for the Atlanta Hawks. Following a season-worst five-game losing streak, Cleveland (6-12) has turned things around at home with back-to-back victories over Chicago and Denver. The Cavaliers are coming off perhaps their best performance, stopping the Nuggets' seven-game winning streak in Wednesday's 98-88 victory.
- Dose: Aldridge the All-Star (Rotoworld) December 5, 2013LaMarcus Aldridge walloped OKC, Andre Drummond was the Hulk, Al-Farouq Aminu said hello, and Bruski has you covered after a smokey night.
- Andrew Bynum refers to J.J. Hickson as 'an infant' December 5, 2013Andrew Bynum has finally logged some decent minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and notched some decent numbers as a result. Bynum is averaging about 17 points and eight rebounds in his last two outings, and although he appears out of shape, Bynum resembles his former self a tab bit. Bynum is listed as 7’1, 285 pounds, so he’s certainly one of the bigger players in the league. On Wednesday night, former Cavalier, J.J. Hickson, was given the assignment of guarding Bynum. The Nuggets’ big man goes about 6’9, 240 pounds, and as a result was easy pickings for Bynum. Andrew even went as far as to refer to Hickson as an “infant” due to his lack of size at the center position. “The guy guarding me was an infant,” Bynum said. Bynum was hesitant to mix it up down low early on in the game, and as a result, teammate C.J. Miles was on the sideline hollering that the Nuggets were “babies”. This again, referring to Denver’s lack of size at the center position. Or perhaps it was because Bynum is such
- Pregame Notes: Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics On Dec. 6 December 5, 2013All-Star Rajon Rondo hasn’t played for the Boston Celtics yet this sesaon. The Denver Nuggets look to get back on the winning track against the Boston Celtics on Friday at the Boston Garden. On Wednesday, the Nuggets had their seven-game winning streak snapped by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 98-88 loss. On their six-game east coast road trip, the Nuggets have a record of 2-1. Pregame Notes: -The Celtics have the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference at a sad 8-12. They’re 1-6 against Western Conference teams in 2013-14. -Defense has allowed the Celtics to stay relevant in the East. They’re allowing the seventh least points per game at 96.8. -The Nuggets are scoring the fifth most points per game in the NBA–netting 104.3 per game. They’re also the fifth highest rebounding team averaging 45.9 boards per game. -The bench of the Nuggets has the second highest scoring average in the league with 40 per game. The Celtics bench averages 32.3 Pts–16th best. (via HoopsWorld) -Dur...
- Denver Nuggets Podcast: Episode 34 December 5, 20135280 Hoops Show: Denver Nuggets Podcast We are back and better than ever with another episode of the only Denver Nuggets podcast – the 5280 Hoops Show. Jordan Morey is back from New York and ready to jump right into FastBreaks with Peter Sherwill. There are many topics of conversation this week including the continuation of Peter’s theory that George Karl will end up coaching the New York Knicks because he is the only coach that can get the best out of Carmelo Anthony among many other reasons. With tip of hat to @PeterSherwill, if there’s any justice in NBA world, Knicks will fire coach and fill vacancy with G Karl. Hello, Melo! — Mark Kiszla (@markkiszla) December 4, 2013 We talk about how well the Portland Trailblazers are doing as well as how bad the Eastern Conference is in the NBA. A team with a .500 record is currently the third seed for the playoffs in the east. It is that bad out east this year. The Denver Nuggets went on a winning streak recently, only to be cut off by the ...
- Irving helps Cavaliers snap Nuggets' seven-game win streak December 5, 2013Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped the Denver Nuggets' seven-game winning streak with a 98-88 victory Wednesday night. Tristan Thompson had a career-high 21 rebounds and 17 points for the Cavaliers, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Nuggets, playing the third game of six-game road trip, lost for the first time since Nov. 18. The trip began with a 14-point win in Toronto on Sunday and a 24-point victory in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Randy Foye led Denver with 16 points, while J.J. Hickson had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Anderson Varejao scored a season-high 18 points and had 13 rebounds for Cleveland, which recorded its largest margin of victory this season. Denver trailed by 12 points in the second quarter, but finished the first half on a 10-2 run and cut the lead to two early in the third period. The Nuggets got no closer, however, as the Cavaliers stretched the lead to double figures. The margin reached 13 points early in the fourth. Denver cut
- Nate Robinson Shoots Lefty Free Throws After Injuring Right Hand (Video) December 4, 2013After injuring his right hand (he says he’s playing tonight) on a drive during the fourth quarter against the Nets Tuesday night, Nuggets backup PG, Nate Robinson goes 1-2 from the stripe left-handed. The post Nate Robinson Shoots Lefty Free Throws After Injuring Right Hand (Video) appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.
- Frank, Once Kidd’s Right-Hand Man, Is Demoted December 4, 2013Before the Nets’ loss to the Nuggets, Coach Jason Kidd announced that Lawrence Frank had been reassigned from his position on the bench as Kidd’s top assistant.
- Back in Denver, Anthony Is Booed as Knicks Lose November 30, 2013The Knicks lost for the eighth straight time as Carmelo Anthony returned to the city where he played his first seven-plus seasons and left under less-than-amicable circumstances.
- Bulls Extend Their Streak to Five Games November 19, 2013Luol Deng scored 21 points and the Chicago Bulls overcame a rough shooting night to beat the visiting Charlotte Bobcats.
- Home, Hostile Home August 9, 2013Fans have jeered and booed more than one Yankee on the field in the past, and scorching one of your own has been a phenomenon well-documented in other sports.
- Nuggets Hire Shaw as Coach June 25, 2013The Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw said he had been hired as the coach of the Denver Nuggets.