2019 December

Popovich publicly blasts Spurs after uninspiring win over Hawks


I talk about this all the time, how the value process over results. That starts with coach Gregg Popovich. And on Saturday night, after a win, mind you, :

” saved us. He’s such a professional. We’re so lucky to have him here for as long as we have,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “He was the ultimate professional and he rose above a lot to do it. 

“We had some guys that hadn’t played much that busted their butts. But in general, other than Timmy, in a lot of ways it was a pathetic performance. That kind of play isn’t going to get us very far at the end of the seaise for.The €120m signing from Atletico Madrid was unveiled by Barcelona on Sunday.The Frenchman said in a documentary a year ago that he would be staying at Atletico Madrid – and there’s allegations from his former club that Barcelona should pay mson. And it’s not the first time we’ve played like that in the last few weeks. This team needs to get its head around itself and understand whatam are feeling today about their ma-… ahem… former manager Mauricio Pochettino.Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, laid it out in Mirandes in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Thursday night.A 43rd-minute strike from Martin Odegaard has Real Sociedad a narrow edge over Mirandes in their Copa del Rey semi-final tie as La Real ran out 2-1 victors at the Reale Arenhis statement after the Argentine’s sacking had been made official. This was no knee-jerk decision. It had been a long it takes to be there, because as a group they don’t have it right now.”

The Spurs’ defense has been the problem. In November and December, the Spurs surrendered just .97 points per possession, via .com. In March and April, they’ve surrendered 101.6, slipping from a top-five defense to 10th. This is the third year in a row this has happened, and the Spurs were eliminated in the previous two years because of their defense. 

To be fair, the Spurs’ defensive mark, even since March 1, is much better than in years past, and they’ve been without Duncan, , and for long stretches. But overall, Spurs fans have noted how they haven’t been playing like they did for much of the year. They’ve got to get it together. They can probably get past the first round. But this Western Conference is as tough or tougher than any year in the last five. There’s no margin for error or time to waste if they want to get where they want to go, the Finals. 

That means playing better than they have been, whether they won or not.

Heat mum on whether Chris Bosh will start Game 7 vs. Celtics


could start during Game 7. (Getty Images) MIAMI — The next logical step is starting. But that hasn’t yet been set in stone.Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra remained mum on Friday when asked whether All-Star forward Chris Bosh will be in his starting lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston at AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday. “I’ll give you the [lineup] card [on Saturday],” Spoelstra said.On Tuesday, Bosh returned to play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals after being sidelined for three weeks and missing nine games with an abdominal strain. He played 14 minutes off the bench, scoring nine points and grabbing sevens rebounds while shooting 3-for-8. At shootaround Saturday, Bosh said it “doesn’t matter” if he’s in the starting lineup for Game 7, intimating that he may not start, thought not confirming or denying either way.Bosh saw his playing time ramped up during Game 6 on Thursday, as he played 28 minutes off the bench, scoring seven points and grabbing six rebounds while shooting 3-for-8.”He helped us win [Thuin it.After dropping out of the Champions League, the Nerazzurri will face Ludogorets in the final 32 of the competition.Zanetti said, “We want to be leading lights because we always want to do well in Europe.“We are sorry to exit tBarcelona ace Leo Messi is full of praise for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.Messi won the Champions League with the Catalan.”Guardiola was a unique teacher for me,” the forward told Fox Sports.”He is a coach who warns you of everything that’ll happen in a game.”I do miss Xavi and Andres Iniesta.”I knew that we would win matches, no matter who it was against.”he Champions Lrsday] night,” Spoelstra said. “It’s an extreme situation, bringing somebody back in the middle of a very competitive Conference Finals. He’s very even-keeled in the mind.”  Prior to Game 6, Spoelstra initially did not rule out starting Bosh but  to start guards and plus forwards , and . The Heat went on to take Game 6 in Boston 98-79 to even the series at three games apiece.During the 2011-2012 season, Bosh averaged 35.2 minutes per game. During the postseason, Bosh has averaged 28.1 minutes per game.Spoelstra has said multiple times that Bosh’s minutes in this series require extra management after his extended absence and that he prefers his forward to play in “bursts” rather than in the lengthier stints that st potential from Chelsea’s talented group of youngsters.The 20-year-old has caught the eye this season with a number of fine performances, including in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham.Tammy Abraham and Fiyako Tomori have also established themselves he would see in a normal rotation. “I think we had good communication during the game,” Spoelstra said. “He asked to come out twice.  It’s not a normal rotation where you’re slotting, ‘Okay, you’re going to play this many minutes.  You’re going to come out and rest this many minutes.’  It’s on the fly.”Bosh — who feels he can play with “no limitations” and has said that he feels nothing more than “regular soreness” — has been open to coming off the bench.”I just want to play,” he said earlier this week. “It doesn’t matter to me. I think we feel confident in whoever we put out there. And no matter what the rotation is and what the lineup, we’re good enough to get the job done.”Whether he winds up starting or coming off the bench in the series-deciding Game 7, Spoelstra has liked Bosh’s impact on both sides of the ball. Bosh gives the Heat a face-the-basket, triple threat option at the high post and has helped space things for LeBron James in particular.

“He’s very skilled,” he said. “You have to guard him. He’s a great shooter from outside, a great passer, he’s a multi-dimensional player offensively.”Defensively, Bosh has roamed a bit but also drawn minutes against Celtics forward , who has been dominant throughout the series against the likes of and . Without Bosh, the Heat were forced to use James to cover Garnett at times, a difficult match-up given Garnett’s length. With Bosh, Miami is bigger and longer on defense. “He’s an All-Star player who understands our defense,” Spoelstra said. “He’s a versatile player. He can guard multiple positions. This series requires that because it’s so unconventional both ways. It’s both teams playing different lineups. You need somebody with that veteran experience, but also an understanding and ability in our defensive system.”

Lou Amundson signs with the Timberwolves


The Timberwolves frontcourt has gotten even more eclectic.

According to multiple ondes has been named as the Premier League player of the month for February.Fernandes picks up the award following his first full month in the division, after joining from Sporting Lisbon at the end of the January transfer window.He made his United deutlets, free agent big man will sign a one-year guaranteed deal with the Wolves. The deal is reportedly worth $1.1 million for the season.

will their win over Brighton.It halted a sequence of six games in the top flight without a win and hoisted Howe’s team up a place to 18th in the Premier League table with only goal difference separating them from safety. Asked how big the win was, Howe sabe the 29-year-old’s sixth team in seven years. Primarily a rebounding and energy player, Amundson had his most productive years with the .

With the Wolves, he’ll likely fit in behind and to provide frontcourt depth. Amundson is a fairly athletic forward who can run the floor and should be able to contribute. He’s a player who scores essentially only at the rim, but with running the show, he could add a few buckets.

With lastS Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev says he could get Artem Dzyuba a move to England.The Zenit St Petersburg striker has signed with super agent Jorge Mendes to get himself a Premier League transfer.Everton, West Ham and Wolves have all been linke season, Amundson appeared in 60 games, averaging 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Roy Hibbert: Not a big fan of Bulls center Joakim Noah


At a pretty candid NBA media day session, center told reporters how he feels about center . 

Striking how honest Hibbert is during his news conference. Just admitted doesn’t like Joakim Noah very much, but respects him as a player.

— Michael Pointer (@michaelpointer)

OK, so it’s not shocking, right? Player doesn’t like central division opposing center. And Noah . It’s just unusual for a player to outright say how he feels aboutSolskjaer is prepared to stick with Anthony Martial.The Mirror says despite a frustrating season from the forward, United and Solskjaer will keep faith with Martial, who cost £36million – rising to £58m – from Monaco back in 2015.The 23-year-old Fr another player, if it’s negative. And it’s the same kind of typical take from Hibbert who balances it with a reasonable admission di Alba, Barca’s search has led them to Moreno, reports AS.Moreno is a former Barca junior and has enjoyed an impressive season in a struggling team.With Rayo’s relegation confirmed, Moreno is expected to be on the move this summer with Barca and Reaof respect. 

Roy HiEden Hazard admits he’d welcome the arrival of PSG star Kylian Mbappe.Real are known admirers of the forward, who will visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.”If I could bring Mbappe [to Real Madrid]… he’ll be the bbbert for 2013 Media Day MVP. 

y may not be able to do so once the season starts.


The have made a point of limiting ‘ minutes in the preseason, but they may not be able to do so once the season starts.er became a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.He said: “Of course it’s hard to get to a big team.“But then it’s harder to stay there because you are competing with a lot of footballers that are such hard workers.“When you get to the big cl

Billups has played in just one so far, but looks like he could end up being the starter at shooting guard come opening night. That is because the Pistons are short on quality guards with Rodney Stuckey and Brandnth.Saints’ players reported for duty at Staplewood last Monday but were then advised to train at home in light of prime minister Boris Johnson’s message to the UK. An update released by Saints said: “In light of the latest Premier League statementon Jennings sidelined.

Billups will likely split time with rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and second-year pro Kyle Singler, but says he is .

“I’m havt his side face a crucial period in the coming weeks.The Red Devils have the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash against Club Brugge at home, along with key Premier League fixtures.United play Tottenham, Everton and Manchester City ining a good time with it,” said Billups told Bulls.com Wednesday, before he sat out that evening’s game. “I came here to play. I didn”t come here to play 35 or 40 minutes like I used to, but I came here to play and I’ll be ready to go. If I have to play a few extra minutes until the guys are back, that’s fine. It’s not an issue; its basketball. Hopefully we get our guys back fast.” 

The art of talking yourself into Andrea Bargnani again


I spent three years defending . 

(And that’s about the only time the word “defending” can be used with him, am I right? Wocka-wocka-wocka!)

You looked at his Synergy numbers, and he would look good as far as his post defense goes. Same for his isolation numbers, even if he wasn’t guarding the primary threat. He was a good man defender. He was just horrible when it came to help defense and systemic defense; you know, the most important elements for a big man in the modern . 

I kept holding on becaue of what I saw when he was a rookie. Most especially, the dunk at 3-minute mark in this incredible YouTube video (song choice for the win!): 

I kept defending him as Raptors fans went from “annoyed” to “infuriated” to “this has gotten ugly to a point where no one person should be as hated as this.” But eventually, last season, you had to give up. Bargnani was injured the past two seasons, but he also generally checked out, looking like he was just collecting a massive paycheck. There seemed to be a disconnect between him and teammates. His rehab always seemed to take longer than expected. 

And he couldn’t shoot. 

The one thing that made him (potentially) special, being a 7-footer who could shoot, had gone away. He was just another bust on a big contract. Ev emulate the style of play employed by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.Allegri insists Guardiola’s famous tiki-taka football was only successful because of the players he first had at Barcelona.”We falsely followed Pep for 20 years,” he said. “Guaentually, you can like a player in concept only so long. I’ve been down this road before. Tyrus Thomas. . (I’m holding out hope for .)

Now he’s gotten the magical “second chance.” The Knicks traded for Bargnani in the early days of the offseason, wanting to upgrade their bench with someone who isn’t eligible for Medicare. The key with second chances is that it has to be perfect. You have to happen upon the right coach, the right role, the right circumstances, the right teammates. 

It’s really important to note that this isn’t always evident on the surface. What happens in a locker room and in a player’s mind isn’t something we have access to. New York may be a transformative experience for Bargnani, and being on a bigger stage may actually bring the best out of him. Maybe Canada just never agreed with him, maybe he’ll find a level of maturity he’s never seen. 

These aren’t wild hypotheticals. They’re a reminder that second chances aren’t scripted. As for his role, that’s really complicated. From Zach Harper’s offseason report: 

The most confusing move of the summer might be the Knicks trading , , , two second-round picks, and a first-round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. Let’s say the Knicks were given an extra amnesty clause and use it on Stoudemire’s contract this summer. I would understand the Bargnani move so much more. However, with Stoudemire still on the roster and still not fully fitting in with Anthony on the court, I’m not sure how Bargnani also squeezes into the plan.

via .

Stoudemire is a (formerly) athletic, big power forward with range who struggles defensively and isn’t an elite rebounder. And yet, if you want a big ol’ red flag? 

So, that’s not promising. Harper’s point that Stoudemire couldn’t co-exist with , around whom the Knicks have configured their entire culture, conseqeague crisis going into the new season.The Blues, who want Frank Lampard to replace Maurizio Sarri, will return to Europe’s top competition next season but a transfer ban imposed by FIFA means they cannot make any new signings.And while there will beuences be damned, doesn’t bode well for Bargs. But Bargnani is at least supposed to be a reserve, it’s assumed. If Mike Woodson reverses course and goes with Bargnani at the starting 4 beside Chandler and Melo, I’ll just throw my hands in the air. 

Oddly, Chandler is the perfect compliment to Bargnani in a lot of ways. Dominant defensively, able to cover for his mistakes, the big man down low Bargnani never played beside in Toronto. But Melo needs to play the four. That’s pretty well established. That’s when the Knicks are at their best. And if you’re going to sacrifice any semblance of total team concept in favor of appeasing your star (and this is the year to do it the most with Melo a potential free agent next summer), you don’t throw that out the window for Bargnani. 

So why am I still hopeful? Why does part of me still imagine Bargnani spacing the floor with in a pick and pop, with Chandler down low? Why do I think “Hey, if all he has to do is cover a very small place on the floor, he can be as good as Novak, right?” 

And I’m not looking for him to be an All-Star. I keep thinking of Tim Thomas’ run with the Phoenix Suns in the mid-2000’s when for a brief time, he was an absolute murderer of playoff souls. Thomas was an athletic bust who never worked out, and then suddenly, erupted and ruined men’s postseason lives. 

It’s because we get attached to the way a player plays, his style, the way that watching him makes us respond. It’s a matter of taste, not quality. If you love pizza, bad pizza (and I maintain there is bad pizza out there, though rare) is still something you want to eat. And for some reason, thiesident Ramon Calderon says he’d hire Maurizio Sarri for the Spanish giants.Calderon admits he’s a fan of the Juventus coach.He told Calciomercato.it: “Yes, I like him. He has proven to be very good already with Napoli and with Chelsea, I believe thas Italian stretch 4 prototype who could gun or dunk, who had a post fadeaway and the trailer 3 for even a few weeks of his career, resonated with what I love about basketball. 

The Knicks gambled big on Bargnani. I’m still waiting to see if I can convince myself to reinvest in a player that went so wrong so quickly.

Report: Anthony Davis suffers sprained ankle, doubtful for Team USA


was almost a lock to make Team USA before playing in the . Now, he’s likely out for the London Games. (Getty Images)

Well this is just getting kind of ridiculous now.

Already down Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade because of injuries, Team USA was dealt another significant bristian Pulisic is grateful to fans for the way he’s been welcomed.After a slow start to his time in England, the 22-year-old has suddenly burst into life and he was serenaded by Chelsea fans chanting “USA, USA, USA” on Saturday after scoring in vilow. , No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis suffered a severe sprained ankle in a workout and is “almost assuredly” unable to play in the 2012 London Games.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo .

“I heard that Anthony Davis sprained his ankle yesterday but I don’t know how serious it is,” Colangelo said. “It was in a workout. I’m not going to worry about that unless I’m advised at this point.”

If Davis is unable to go, Team USA essentially has one true center remaining in th be caught next season.For Liverpool, only defeat to the champions at the Etihad in early January blotted an otherwise ­imperious top-flight campaign – and yet they still finished second.And Berger says Liverpool and City are definitely there to be player pool (Tyson Chandler). The U.S. won gold at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey with the same roster situation, choosing to go small while also using the versatile Lamar Odom at center.

However, with Spain built with an outstanding interior trio of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, Team USA could be in trouble if it is lacking size on the inside. It’s extremely unlikely another player or two could be added to the pool (Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins) because it’s getting late in the process. Training camp is set to open July 6 in Las Vegas and the U.S. has already been given one extension. Most likely, the roster will have to be filled out with the players already Australian captain Mark Milligan.The Socceroos captain, who is now 33, has signed a one year contract with the League One side.Milligan is hoping to make an impact during the twilight of his career, but he is already planning for his next adventure. in the pool.

Which means you can be sure Team USA is going to take all the big men possible — Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Chandler and possibly even Odom again. Players like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant can play big, but in terms of center, Team USA will have just one guy to defend Spain’s sturdy interior.

The Olympics start in August and with training camp opening soon along with exhibition games, it’s getting to the point now where Team USA has to just have enough to compete in London. You could already fill out a really good team just from the players injured or that have withdrawn.

It’s unknown how much of a contribution Davis really would’ve made, considering he hasn’t even played an NBA game yet, but he certainly was likely to make the final roster simply because of his size and position. He might’ve had the Christian Laettner Memorial Role of college kid sitting on the bench, but he also was going to provide a little extra depth at an extremely thin position.

Now, Team USA will have to play small, something it has done before and been successful.

Bulls, Tom Thibodeau agree to four-year extension worth at least $17.5 million


(Getty Images)

At media day on Monday, Bulls general manager Gar Forman announced the team had re-signed coach Tom Thibodeau to an extension. Yahoo Sports reported the details of the extension that rewards the former Coach of the Year. 

The four-year contract extension coach Tom Thibodeau reached with the will pay him a base salary of $17.5 million with bonuses that could push the package to $20 million, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

After several months of sometimes contentious negotiations, Thibe.Sturridge has sent Liverpool fans wild after he revealed Kylian Mbappe used to do his famous dancing celebration.His Instagram post shows himself and Mbappe posing in what looks like a hotel lobby, along with a caption that reads: “Serious baller Kodeau and the BullsRoyal Antwerp are making a move today for Southampton defender Wesluthlessness from his Chelsea side after they dropped two more points in the Premier League.The Blues were begged back against Brighton on New Year’s Day and had to settle for a share of the spoils.Lampard hopes his side can kill off teams in the futuey Hoedt.HLN says Antwerp are trying to prise the defender from St Mary’s. The Dutchman is now negotiating with Antwerp, which wants to loan him from Southampton with a purchase option. Saints paid €15m for Hoedt two years ago. He spent part of last season on-loan with Celta Vigo. Hoedt has 6 caps for Oranje to his name. avoided entering a walk year for the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year. In two seasons, Thibodeau has rapidly ascended as one of the league’s most respected coaches, and multiple teams had planned to pursue Thibodeau next summer if he became a free agent.

via .

Thibodeau was a candidate for Coach of the Year honors last season, eventually losing to the ‘ Gregg Popovich. But Thibodeau is regarded in elite class, with his defensive system taking a team with good-not-great defensive talent outside of and , and making them into the most feared defensive unit in the league. 

The Bulls had waited and waited on Thibodeau’s extension. Instead of locking him up after he showed himself to be one of the best coaches in the league in just his first year on the job, they did what the Bulls usually do. That is, fuss around with the situation and allow speculation on whether notoriously brutal negotiator and owner Jerry Reinsdorf would step up to the plate. But $20 million is $20 million, and a huge investment in Thibs as the architect of the Bulls’ future. 

They’ve got their man back, even if they took the long way. Now they just need , and maybe the Bulls can zero in on how to bring a championship back to the Windy City. 

VIDEO: LeBron James video bombs Chris Bosh after 21st straight win


The are in a very good place right now and that means they can have a lot of fun with each other after the job is done. They work hard and play hard, or whatever that cliché is supposed to be.

Usually after ken the No77 shirt after signing a new deal with Juventus.Buffon’s unveiling as a Juve player for the second time came in conjunction with the opening of the club’s new Flagship Store in Milan.“I’ve thought about No 77, it represents my history,” tvictories, or are interviewed by the sideline reporter before they leave the floor. often finds a way to “video bomb” them and disrupt whatever interview is takiwould have supported Christian Benteke going on loan to Bordeaux this month.”I just can’t belining Hoffenheim striker Joelinton.The Magpies have not made a signing this summer but Bruce is hoping to tie up a deal for Joelinton.When asked about transfers Bruce said: “Of course we have, but the whole club is geared up to do that in the next feve I’m being asked the question to be perfectly honest, I really can’t.”I can’t believe in a serious press conference someone is going to suggest, where weng place. After Miami’s 21st straight victory, Bosh was given the honors of being interviewed by Jason Jackson.

Enter LeBron James doing a horrendous version of “The Robot” before Bosh starts dancing as well. 

The 2013 Lakers and the wrath of the basketball gods


The Lakers have always been regarded as the favorite team of the Gods. If you buy into idea of mystical forces operating within the flow of luck and fate in the sport of basketball, then the Lakers have long been the most cherished of franchises.

This is the team of Magic and Kareem. They landed Shaq as the greatest free agent of all time. The 90’s are forgotten, and the lore goes from Magic to Shaq to Kobe. Kobe Bryant, the second-greatest shooting guard of all time, demanded to be drafted there, and it happened. When moderately difficult times fell on the franchise after Shaq was traded, the team traded Marc Gasol (who at the time was nothing but a question mark), Javaris Crittenton and Kwame Brown, for Pau Gasol in his prime.

More on Spurs-LakersColumnRelated links | | | More coverage | |

The Gasol trade was considered to be so lopsided that Gregg Popovich was complaining about it a year later. It baffled GM’s that it could even happen, it was so one-sided.

The Lakers are the team of a thousand conspiracy theories, from the 2002 Western Conference Finals to the Gasol ts Virgil van Dijk’s importance to the team was shown in their struggling victory over Monterrey.The Reds, who were missing the Dutchman, defeated the Mexicans in the semifinal of the Club World Cup yesterday.Analysing the game, Kewell told BBC Sport:rade to a series of games late in the season that were profiled in YouTube clips. Most of it is completely ridiculous. But the total image does paint a picture of favor from the forces that be, at least, if not the forces that have offices in New York.

I point all this out for this next statement to stand in stark contrast.

No team was more unlucky this seasonthan the Los Angeles Lakers. Teams had worse injury luck (the Timberwolves, for one), but they also didn’t have this kind of talent. The Lakers were built to be an amazing team when healthy. If they lost one of their aging veterans for a significant portion, it would be more difficult, but still very possible. Instead, the injuries came in waves.

Dwight Howard didn’t miss many games, but was limited the entire season recovering from back surgery. It wasn’t until after the All-Star break that he finally looked like himself, and even that was inconsistent. I saw Pau Gasol’s foot in a game in January, and it looked like deli meat. He tore his plantar fascia and just had to come back and play on it. Kobe Bryant had ankle issues, knee issues, shoulder issues.

Steve Nash, historically invulnerable in Phoenix with their magetermined to prove himself at Arsenal.On Sunday against Aston Villa he came off the bench at half-time and scored his first Arsenal goal in more than three years in a 3-2 win.”We spoke at the start of the season,” said Chambers. “The plan always was ic training staff, fractured his leg and had back issues related to the conditineeds to communicate more with the fans.The Swede was reacting to the recent attack on Woodward’s family home by an angry fans’ group, with the club vowing to ban those involved from Old Trafford for life.Djordjic said, “He could have prevented this on that was supposed to keep him out nearly ten years ago.

But as much as Lakers fans may want to make this into a matter of injuries, it wasn’t just injuries. The Lakers didn’t work together. They didn’t work under the Princeton offense with Mike Brown. They didn’t work under Mike D’Antoni’s free-flowing offense.

They didn’t work. At all.

Can the talent play together? It’s hard to argue from a logical standpoint it can’t. Basketball is complicated and difficult to udnerstand, though. But that’s a question for another day.

For now, you have to consider the immensity of what went wrong this season. The future Hall of Famer tears his Achilles just when the team is closing in on a playoff spot. The star power forward tears his plantar fascia after feuding with the coach. A coach fired, an interim coach let go, and don’t even get started on Phil Jackson.

The Lakers have also always had drama. Kobe demanding a trade in 2007, the feud between Kobe and Shaq. But this year was something else. From the preseason hype to the dischord between Kobe and Dwight to the dischord between Dwight and D’Antoni and Pau and D’Antoni, and the Phil Jackson affair, it was always a matter of not getting along. 

Basketball has a lot of luck in it, it has a lot of effort and heart and toughness. It also has metrics, and physics, and the simple effect of age. But it’s hard to deny that this season, everything went wrong for the Lakers at once. It was simply never meant to be. 

ainst the Cavaliers as expected. Coach Doc Rivers


The Boston Globe reports that Celtics forward will not play Friday against the Cavaliers as expected. Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday the earliest Garnett will play is Sunday against Washington. “He’ll probably participate in shootaround [Friday], but I’m not going to play him, even if has been linked with an exit from the club, let in two shockers in Wednenal’s radar.Arsenal are considering former striker Malen as a potential replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Emirates Stadium bosses are sweating on Aubameyang’s future s scored just two league goals in 2019, and has, like many of his teammates, seen his form dip after initially shining under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.However, his representatives, USFA Management, have sought to defend their client amid criticism – and hamid concerns a lack of Champions League football could push the Gabonese fsday’s 3-1 loss to Preston.”We are travelling on the bus and there’s a big story about Jack being left out of the England squad, it’s all unsettling,” he told Sky Sports.”Maybe he wants to play,” Rivers said. Garnett has been out the past seven games with inflammation in his left ankle.

ainst the Warriors, due to hamstring tightness. Pe


Thunder center was forced to head to the locker room early Thursday against the Warriors, due to hamstring tightness. Perng Ante Rebic for success with AC Milan.Rebic left Eintracht Frankfurt in a swap for Andre Silva.“(Milan director Zvonimir) Boban knew I’d been interested in Andre Silva for about a month, but the actual negotiations began just three days before thkins played 17 minutes in the game and would not be able to return during l feels they can have an exciting season finish after victory over Newcastle United. Palace are now on their best-ever points total in the Premier Leagual for Arsenal this week.Cudicini says former Blues No1 Cech will start for Arsenal in the Europa League final on Wednesday.“It’s a big match for Petr, it’s his last match at the end of an unbelievable career and his last chance to win a trophy,” Ce at this stage.And Cahill is not looking over the Eagles’ shoulder, he said: “Look at what’s in fthe second half. He finished with two points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks. His status moving forward is unknown.

rrent form at AC Milan.On-loan from Eintracht Fran


The Los Angeles Daily News reports that an MRI taken Thted with his current form at AC Milan.On-loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, the attacker has scored five times in six Serie A games since the winter break.“I finally have the opportunity to play regularly and show off my skills,” he told Dalmatinski Poursday afternoon revealed that Lakers guarArsenal will be without midfielder Dani Ceballos against Leicester City this weekend.The Gunners are traveling to the King Power Stadium for a must win game.They are in fifth ystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha.The Everton-chase-Wilfried-Zaha-plan-talks-Crystal-Palace-star-week.html”>Daily MailEverton-chase-Wilfried-Zaha-plan-talks-Crystal-Palace-star-week.html”> says Palace value Zaha at over £70million but Everton are place in the Premier League, while Leicester are third.But Unai Emery’s mend has a partial ligament tear in his sprained left ankle, according to a league source. The Lakers had listed Meeks as doubtful to play in Game 3 on Friday of their first-round series against the Spurs before he received the MRI. Meeks will continue to take anti-inflammatory medicine and receive treatment in hopes that he can play, according to the source. But that prospect appears unlikely. As of late Thursday night, Meeks couldn’t even wear shoes due to the swelling surrounding his left ankle, the source said.

2013 Offseason Report: Charlotte Bobcats


Over the next month, CBSSports.com’s Eye On Basketball will take a team-by-team look at the 201213 NBA offseason. We continue with the t.

How they finished 2013

Your standard Bobcats season?

That’s probably the best description of it. If 2012 was the “Oh My God Let Us Never Speak Of It Again” Bobcats season, this was more of the “Oh, Hey, How Was Your Day? Mine Was Fine, Thanks For Asking” kind of year. There was nothing exceptional about it, good or bad, which is kind of a good thing when it comes to the Bobcats.

I mean, it was bad, but there were bright spots. looked like a real player. can’t shoot, but he showed some promise. They had a few games where it was painful (there was a Thunder game that gets its own category), but overall, they were competitive enough to be non-descript. That’s a win in Bobcatland.

Needs entering the offseason

They were/are still very much in the “as much talent as possible.” They were pretty good at small forward, and point guard wasn’t urgent with Walker and . But everything else from combo guard to center, to power forward, shooting guard, and oh, hey coach, for what feels like the 10th year in a row.

They needed everything. That’s very Bobcats.

The Draft

Sometimes you start to feel bad for them. Could they really have known like processed sugars so much? Was there really a way to know Adam Morrison wasn’t able to do anything resembling a basketball skill?

But then they compound their history by things like this.

“Oh, there’s a gangly seven-footer who has serious question marks when it comes to aggressiveness, strength, lateral quickness and finishing ability who fell from being the consensus No. 1 pick to maybe being an end-of-the-lottery guy.”

And that’s how became a Bobcat.

Zeller has great size and a wide skillset. If he can capitalize on either element, he can be a quality starting center or power forward in the league. He has time to add some bulk with strength and conditioning work.

But there’s part of you that worries he becomes that guy who always seems to get dunked on, gets blocked, winds up on the wrong end of the highlight. That’s a non-factual description, so it’s probably crap. But their draft history is so full of disasters, you hate to see them take anyone with any risk.

Free Agency and Trades

When ‘s agent said he would take the Bobcats’ call, Charlotte backed up a dump truck full of cash and dumped it on his lawn. The Cats can’t get free agents because they’re the Bobcats, so they have to make extra efforts at players a lot of teams would pass on.

Jille has continued his tirade against Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku.He recently questioned the Belgian’s fitness while at United and branding him ‘unprofessional’.And Neville has now called on United to weed out any other players in the club who efferson plays poor defense, has never been able to transcend his team’s limitations,and comes with a huge number of other question marks. He’s also instantly one of the five best Bobcats players in franchise history. He’s also a wonderful scorer and the rare big man that you can trust with the ball in a scoring situation late. (Note: He’s so good in late-game situations I’ve nicknamed him the Cookie Monster of Clutch. Nom-nsays United are reportedly ready to hijack Chelsea’s move for Lyon star Moussa Dembele and sent scouts to watch the striker in the French side’s game against Bordeaux on Saturday.Despite the good form of Marcus Rashford, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjom-nom.)

So if you look at it like that signing Jefferson’s actually a pretty good move. It’s not ideal, but Jefferson really does have the ability to be a top-notch offensive player, and defense has to be a non-priority with a team this young anywa. They have size to pair him with to give him rebounding and shot-blocking hoffer from Liverpool as a teen.Lopez revealed he had big regrets after then coach Marcelo Bielsa, now in charge of Leeds United, ignored him.He recalled: “I was signing (his professional contract) when the coach Marcelo Bielsa arrived. And it was a telp. It makes sense, even at that price.

Restricted free agency is a small market team’s best friend (unless you’re OKC), and getting back at the price they did was a steal. Henderson was yet another free agent who never got another offer because GMs knew the Bobcats would match. So he fell through the cracks. He’s still developing, a smart, active defender who can shoot decently and has great athleticism.

is usually a punchline, but he gave some great highlights to the Cats last year and gives consistent effort. He’s a good player to have. can stretch the floor and is a good locker room presence.

And there’s an immutable law of the universe that says one of the Pargo brothers must be employed by an at all times. fulfills this prophecy for the Bobcats.

The best free agency news for Charlotte? is off the books. Finally, mercifully, he’s gone from the books, as is Tyrus Thomas. They cleared a lot of salary this year as part of the rebuilding effort

Overall grade and accomplishments: B

I expect so little from the Bobcats year after year that an offseason where they definitely did not get worse looks like a B to me. It’s true that they’re managing to not tank the one year with the draft class that validates such an effort, but they have a terrible lottery history anyway.

The Bocats have a recognizable best player in Jefferson, a roster of young, improving talent, cap room, and a new coach in Steve Clifford. There’s a lot to figure out and a long-term vision remains a question mark.

But the Bobcats made some progress. The bar is lowered for them, but at least they cleared it.

Kevin Love to have left knee surgery, done for the season


There will be no return for this year. 

In a season where he missed all but 18 games due to breaking his hand twice, Love had talked about wanting to come back at some point, but delays kept him from a return. Then Monday night, the on his left knee and . He’s done for the year. 

It’s particularly of note because Love had had no reported knee issues during the year, just the hand and some back problems. While the surgery is arthroscopic and minor, it’s still not something anyone expected. 

Love had talked about wanting to return and the Wolves had wanted the same, just to see what the team they actually assembled in preseason looked like, if even for a few games, to build momentum headed into next year. The Timberwolves ha89th minute winner at Bournemouth.There had not been a single shot on target fromfive-year deal with West Ham United.The Hammers are eager to fend off competition for the Argentine from Turkish side Fenerbahce. The playmaker missed most of the past season because of a knee injury suffered ahead of last summer’s World Cup. Lanzini either side until substitute Rodriguez headed in from close range following Ashley Westwood’s cross.Clarets boss Sean Dyche, who was celebrating his 50th Premier Leagueve been the most injury-beset against Europa League opponents Braga tonight.Nuno says the club is proud to have reached the group stage.He said, “It’s not just my question, everyone should be proud: the fans, the club, the staff, the players”We have all contributed to this. We ateam in the league, missing Love, , , , and for long stretches. 

The Timberwolves will have to evaluate whether to keep this core together now without seeing what it looked like whole, with Pekovic as a free agent this summer likely to demand big money.