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- Dose: The Blake Show (Rotoworld) November 1, 2014Matthew Braine breaks down all of Friday night�s action including Blake Griffin�s stellar line.
- Thomas, Morris lead pesky Suns past Spurs 94-89 (The Associated Press) November 1, 2014PHOENIX (AP) -- Isaiah Thomas scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, rallying Phoenix with a relentless series of driving layups, and the Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 94-89 on Friday night.
- National Basketball Association roundup (Reuters) November 1, 2014(The Sports Xchange) - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook suffered a small fracture in his right hand Thursday night and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Westbrook exited Thursday night's 93-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with 6:35 left in the second quarter and did not return. Westbrook had X-rays taken at Staples Center and was set to be re-evaluated Friday. He had a soft cast on his hand when he left Staples Center and didn't talk with reporters. ...
- Larry Brown rips the Philadelphia 76ers, achieves peak Larry Brown-ness (Ball Don't Lie) October 31, 2014Larry Brown spent six years running the Philadelphia 76ers. Former Philadelphia general manager Billy King would take offense to us pointing out that Larry ran the Sixers, but at the end of the working day Larry Brown and Larry Brown’s ideas ran the 76ers from 1997 through 2003. He took those Sixers to the playoffs in 1999, which was a bit of a surprise, and led the team to the NBA Finals in 2001 – a piece of work that in the minds of most made up for just about everything else he did with that particular franchise. Larry Brown acted as a coach and de facto GM along the way. He salted the squad’s crops prior to his Larry Brown-styled flight to Detroit in 2003, leaving it with a GM in King that made a series of Larry Brown-styled win-now moves over and over again in the wake of Larry Brown’s departure. Yes, Allen Iverson crossed over Tyronn Lue and the 76ers took Game 1 of the Finals in 2001, but by and large Brown’s whole time in Philadelphia was just a series of penny-(barely) wise and pound-foolish maneuvers. (We’ll get into those later.) Brown, currently relegated to coaching at Southern Methodist University after years’ worth of attempts at getting a job running the 76ers front office, unleashed on the NBA’s worst team in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday . Taking aim at fish in a barrel (in the same way, we admittedly are in response), Brown teed off on a Philly front office that is making NBA history in willingly punting two consecutive seasons in order to create a groundswell of young talent and cap space. From his rant : "I hate what's going on in Philly," Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday. "They don't have a basketball person in the organization. It makes me sick to my stomach. "These analytics, they don't mean squat to me. Throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. To say that these analytics guys have the answer is crazy. It doesn't apply to basketball. Everybody uses the data you get, but that's what coaching is. Maybe it will work, I don't know. But it's a shame what those fans are going through waiting to see if it will." […] “You get assets by developing young players, draft picks, and moving contracts. But how much teaching is going on? "What they are doing to that city to me is mind-boggling. That's the greatest basketball city in the world with its fans and you want them to sit back and watch you lose." So many … so many things. To start, I’m sure Sixers coach Brett Brown, who helped develop several San Antonio Spurs bench units as a longtime assistant coach under Gregg Popovich, doesn’t like to hear Larry Brown musing about “how much teaching is going on.” To end it: Come off it, Larry Brown. The 76ers are in this position because too many years of Larry Brown-esque moves salted the team’s crops. When Brown saw another shiny object and left the franchise high and dry in 2003 in order to move to Detroit (a move that lasted all of two seasons before he left again, prior to sticking with the Knicks for one whole year), he won the team’s front office and ownership over on a brand of franchise-making that did the team’s fans no favors. Those Sixers refused to rebuild. Giant contracts were handed out to role players like Kenny Thomas. Bad contracts were turned into players like Chris Webber, on his last legs. Allen Iverson was turned into Andre Miller, because that move was totally going to put the Sixers over the top. Elton Brand was given huge money after an Achilles tear. Re-treads like Doug Collins, Rod Thorn and Ed Stefanski were allowed to run the show and shoot for 45 wins. It was a joke. A hoop crime of the highest order. “Basketball person” after “basketball person” (to use Larry’s terminology) was allowed to run the show, and the Sixers stunk as a result. The team’s top showing was a second-round playoff appearance in 2012, only pitched because Derrick Rose tore his ACL and Joakim Noah sprained his ankle in a six-game opening-round win over the Chicago Bulls. All while working with a massive payroll. For more than a decade between Allen Iverson’s pathetic “practice?” press conference and Doug Collins’ equally-as-pathetic shot at relevance in dealing for Andrew Bynum, the 76ers were the very picture of boring-as-hell mediocrity. Larry Brown, working through various gigs and attempting two different coups in New York and Charlotte as he tried to take on a role as personnel chief, apparently stewed. In the wake of Brown’s comments, Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil tossed this out on Thursday : “You know, after seeing Larry Brown’s SMU team in the Final Four this year it was tough to hear those kind of comments,” O’Neil said on the radio show. “Was he in the Final Four this year?” When asked by (radio host Angelo) Cataldi if O’Neil was taking a shot at the last Sixers coach to take a team to the NBA Finals, the Sixers’ CEO kept going. “How are they doing? How are they gonna be this year?” O’Neil said. “Nah, you know, I think it’s hard for people not in the market to understand what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. I think the good thing about Philadelphia is that the fans certainly get it.” And, of course, Larry Brown had to “fire ” (because he always quits before being fired) back: Well, ask Scott where SMU was when I took the job. We were 315th and two years later, we’re a top-25 team. And who is Scott O’Neil by the way? I mean, what is his basketball background? And he ought to look at how I care about the team rather than criticize my job and what I’ve done. Look at the Sixers where they were when I took that job and where they are today. How many coaches have been there since I left? You know I’ll talk to Scott O’Neil every day and be a resource for him every day. (Full disclosure: I wrote for HoopsTV.com, a website Scott O’Neil owned, back in 2000. Trust me when I say that is hardly tugging me toward bias in this sad, little slap-fight.) Yes, the 76ers stunk when Larry Brown took over. They had the Rookie of the Year (Iverson) and the second pick in the 1997 draft, which they used in part to to deal for Tim Thomas, Eric Montross, Jim Jackson and Anthony Parker. Parker, who later went on to work his way into perhaps the best American expatriate playing overseas before coming back to the NBA, was quickly let go. Jackson was turned into expiring contracts, and Thomas was turned into the aging Tyrone Hill. Eric Montross, throughout his Philadelphia career, remained a pillar of salt. The team entertained us all by making the Finals in 2001, but that was in a miserable Eastern Conference bracket; one that saw the Sixers overwhelming a Milwaukee Bucks squad featuring Scott Williams at starting center. Brown initiated a litany of win-now moves that, outside of developing a former Seattle SuperSonic afterthought in Eric Snow, did little to help the franchise’s long-term goals. Via Liberty Ballers, Brown’s revisionist history didn’t stop there : "Let me explain something to you. I inherited San Antonio, we won 21 games in my first year. Won 56 the second year, but here's the deal. I had five guys on my team that won 21 games that had career years. You understand that?" Yeah, I understand that. Every kid worth his weight in trading cards back then knew that those Spurs were in the tank because something called a “David Robinson” had Navy duty during your first year in San Antonio, and the combination of Robinson’s rookie year and the addition of Sean Elliott (drafted third overall after Brown’s first year) led to the uptick. I know the hotels aren’t that great when you travel between SMU games, in comparison to NBA standards, but this is so transparent that it borders on saddening. Larry Brown wants to run an NBA team. He doesn’t want to bother with scouting or salary cap maneuvering, but he wants to work as the el jefe at the top of an NBA squad. Understandably, because his family is still based out of Philadelphia after his 1997-2003 run (a town he voluntarily left), he would like to run the 76ers above all other NBA teams. Philadelphia 76ers fans are not going to enjoy this season in the slightest. The overwhelming majority of them, however, are looking forward to the idea of taking in the 2015-16 season with the two top prospects in the last two drafts (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid), the 2014 Rookie of the Year (Michael Carter-Williams), perhaps the league’s best international prospect (Dario Saric), yet another 2015 lottery pick, an ungodly amount of second-round selections to work with, and actual cap space. Nobody is signing Elton Brand after an Achilles injury or trading for Kevin Ollie – two moves Larry Brown acolytes were eager to initiate. No, the Sixers are trying something different. They have more than one “basketball person[s]” in the front office that might actually have the League Pass package, and while punting two whole seasons of play might be distasteful to some, the end result should be pretty satisfying. (Also, most importantly? Philadelphia 76ers fans are smart enough to be behind this, and they don’t want Larry Brown or Larry Brown’s ideas running their favorite team .) Larry Brown’s brand of analytics and roster-building have become an anachronism. If we’re honest, that was the case years ago. There is a reason that no team has reached out to hire Larry Brown as a general manager, and there is a reason he couldn’t even topple Isiah Thomas or Michael Jordan as a franchise’s final personnel chief even in the afterglow of his 2004 NBA Finals win as coach. Larry Brown is behind things, again. As is usually the case, as he scurries through the airport toward his waiting plane. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- Nowitzki, Mavs top Jazz 120-102 in home opener (The Associated Press) October 31, 2014Tyson Chandler pumped up the crowd with three alley-oop dunks in the first quarter. All J.J. Barea had to do to get a standing ovation was enter the game off the bench. A couple of key pieces from the only championship team in Dallas franchise history were finally wearing the same uniform as Dirk Nowitzki again. Nowitzki scored 21 points and the Mavericks celebrated the return of Chandler and Barea with a 120-102 victory over the Utah Jazz in their home opener Thursday night.
- Parker Helps Spurs Edge Mavericks in Opener October 29, 2014Tony Parker scored 23 points, Manu Ginobili had 20, and San Antonio opened its title defense with a 101-100 victory over visiting Dallas.
- Major Changes, but Not for the Spurs October 28, 2014San Antonio and Cleveland are two obvious contenders for the N.B.A. championship, but neither of those teams should become too comfortable.
- Good N.B.A. Teams Jostle to Join the Best in the West October 27, 2014A percolating class of teams is trying to break up the dominance of the Spurs and the Thunder in the Western Conference, where there is a reasonable chance that teams will need 50 wins just to make it to the playoffs.
- With Meaningless Tickets, Apology Is a Tough Sell October 26, 2014Instead of apologizing, N.B.A. owners should promise not to make season-ticket holders buy into meaningless preseason games that lack star players.
- GTT ★ October 24, 2014Our quirky, discerning picks for the most interesting things to do around the state this week.