Clippers’ Harrell wins Sixth Man of the Year

LA Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell has been named the 2019-20 NBA Kia Sixth Man of the Year, the league announced today. This marks the third straight year and the fifth time overall that a Clippers player has won the award, which is the most for a franchise in NBA History.

Harrell, who was named a finalist for the award last year, averaged career-highs in points (18.6) and rebounds (7.1) this season, while also leading the league with the most double-doubles off the bench (11) and tying for the most 30+ point games off the bench (4). Harrell and teammate Lou Williams, fellow Sixth Man of the Year finalist and three-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner, became the first duo since the NBA started designating starters in 1970-71 to each average 17+ points per game off the bench. Harrell also ranked second in the NBA in bench scoring (18.4 points per game) and tied for fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage (min. 600 FGA, 58.0%).

The Clippers finished the 2019-20 regular season with a 49-23 (.681) record and earned the second seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. The NBA Kia Sixth Man of the Year award is voted on by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters based on games played from the start of the regular season through March 11 and did not include “seeding games,” which took place from July 30 – August 14.

Listen to Go4it! Guest: Tim Hardaway Sr.

Listen to Go4it! Guest: 5x All-Star Tim Hardaway Sr.

Hardaway talked the following:

  Luka Doncic’s 43, 17, and 13,

-Mavericks chances against Clippers, Damian Lillard,

-The future of the 76ers(Embiid and Simmons)

-Raptors-Celtics

-Heat-Bucks

-Why he is not in the Hall of Fame

-Run TMC

-Heat-Knicks rivalry

-Tim Hardaway Jr future in Dallas

-Who will win the NBA title this season

-watch collection, more

Listen below:

Doncic on Kawhi Leonard: ‘He is hard to stop, almost impossible to stop’

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers were finally able to put the Dallas Mavericks away and advance to the Western Conference semifinals, but it wasn’t without a fight. The Clippers led the game by as much as 23 points in the second half, but the Mavericks were able to cut the lead to six in the fourth quarter. Then, Kawhi Leonard took over.

The two-time Finals’ MVP would score on four consecutive possessions for the Clippers in the fourth quarter. He would go 4-4 with 8 points in the final quarter and finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals in 40 minutes, as the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 111-97 in Game 6 to win the series 4-2. With the victory, the Clippers will play the winner of the Jazz-Nuggets series.

This was Leonard’s fifth straight playoff game with at least 30 points, marking a new career-long. According to the Clippers, Leonard is the first player in franchise history to notch at least 30 points and five steals in a playoff game.

“You can tell he was the one guy that shoots to close out a series,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He was calm. He got us in place.”

Leonard is a great player, and at times, he can be unstoppable, which Luka Doncic noted after the game.

“He is an amazing player,” Doncic said. “He shows up every game. He is hard to stop, almost impossible to stop. Like I said, he is an amazing player, and a lot of people look up to him.”

Paul George struggled at times in the series against the Mavericks, but Leonard was able to pick up the slack for the Clippers, and now Los Angeles is one step closer to an NBA title.

“You always celebrate,” Leonard said about winning their first-round series against Dallas. “You could be going home right now. It’s one step closer to where we want to get to, so it’s a good accomplishment that we got out of the first round. We enjoy it tonight, and we get ready for the next thing tomorrow.”

From top to bottom, the Clippers probably have the most talented team in the NBA. Their depth is impressive, and they have maybe the best player in the game in Leonard, so with Leonard and George leading the way, anything short of an NBA title would be a disappointment for the Clippers.

Twitter reacts to NBA players’ boycott

In a surprise to many, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA teams decided to boycott today’s game. After the Bucks and Magic decided not to play, the NBA postponed the rest of Wednesday’s slate of games(Thunder-Rockets, Blazers-Lakers). 

The boycott was in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

There is no word on what’s next for the players. However, they were scheduled to meet tonight to discuss further plans.

After the cancellation of games, Twitter reacted.

Here’s a sampling:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luka on Morris: ‘He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me in all the games’

On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers showed why many believe they can win an NBA title this season. Behind Paul George’s 35 points and Kawhi Leonard’s 32 points, Los Angeles routed the Mavericks 154-111 in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series to go up 3-2.

However, after the game, the talk was about Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris Sr. In the third quarter, Morris stepped on Doncic’s injured ankle, which he sprained in Game 3. 

Was it done on purpose? 

You be the judge:

“I’ve seen it, yeah, of course,” Doncic said after the game about the replay of Morris stepping on his ankle. “I have my own thoughts. I hope it wasn’t intentional. Tell me, what do you think? I just hope it wasn’t intentional. Every person is going to have their own thoughts.”

Doncic has no plans of talking to Morris moving forward.

“I don’t want to talk to him,” Doncic said. “He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me in all the games. I don’t want to talk to him. I’ve just got to move on. Like I said, everybody is going to have their own opinion. I just hope It wasn’t intentional. If that was intentional, that was really bad.”

According to Morris, stepping on Doncic’s ankle was not purposely done. Here’s what Morris wrote on Twitter concerning the play:

 

 

It’s hard to say if it was intentional, and in reality, the only person that would know is Morris. This series is getting chippier by the game and should be interesting to see how Dallas responds in Game 6.

Mavs’ Carlisle compares Luka Doncic to Larry Bird, Jason Kidd

Luka Doncic is becoming a legend right before our eyes. With a bad ankle and all in Game 4 of their first-round series against the Clippers, Doncic hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavericks a 135-133 victory in OT. The second-year guard becomes the youngest player in NBA history to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in the playoffs, and with the win, the Mavericks tied the series up at 2-2.

Dallas came into the game without Kristaps Porzingis, who was a late scratch due to knee soreness. However, Doncic carried the load. The 21-year-old recorded his second-straight triple-double with 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists in 46 minutes.

After the game, Doncic explained what happened on the game-winning shot.

“I was just trying to make it,” Doncic said. “I can’t explain the emotions I had, not only when the ball goes in, but when I see the whole team running toward me. That was something special, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a player. Just something special.”

Doncic, who was a game-time decision after injuring his ankle on Friday, gave credit to the Mavericks’ training staff for getting him ready for the game. 

“The guys here you don’t hear about did an amazing job with me yesterday,” Doncic said. “We were working almost the whole day. They were helping me out the whole time with whatever I needed. Obviously, it wasn’t 100 percent, but I think it was good.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlise, who played with Larry Bird and coached Jason Kidd, was impressed with Doncic’s performance on Sunday and thinks Doncic is similar to the two Hall of Famers.

“I mention Kidd and Bird,” Carlisle said. “I think both of those guys are from the same fabric competitively, in terms of their will to win and their resourcefulness to impact the game in unique forms. It’s not just about putting the ball in the basket. It’s about giving teammates confidence. It’s about knowing how to channel your emotions. Luka has gone through a lot here. Early on, we were having a lot of discussions with officials; it was draining all of our energy, and our team has grown through that stuff. We understand more and more that distractions are things that we control.

“I thought the second half, particularly Luka, did a great job of channeling his energy toward his teammates and giving them energy. Otherwise, you wear yourself out. This, today, is a game that will go down in history in some form as one of the best games a second-year player has ever played. I asked this question earlier today, when is the last time a rookie of the year was up for most improved the following year? I don’t think that’s ever happened. The work he has put in has been phenomenal as well, I don’t think there has been enough talk about that.”

Being compared to Bird and Kidd is high praise for Doncic. He is playing at an elite level right now. If he continues to play at this level, the comparisons to Bird and Kidd will continue. However and more importantly, after Doncic’s game-winner on Sunday, the Mavericks are right back in this series with the Clippers.

Luka on Kawhi: ‘He’s always in the zone’

The Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard for the situation we saw on Friday night. Leonard, who came to the Clippers after leading the Raptors to an NBA title last season, had 36 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, as the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 130-122 to take 2-1 lead in their best of seven first-round series. 

When he is flowing, Leonard is tough to stop. On Friday, he set a franchise record by scoring 100 points in the first three games of the playoffs, and after the game, the Mavericks reacted to Leonard’s greatness.

“He’s always in the zone. He’s a top-three player in the league,” Luka Doncic, who had a triple-double on Friday night, said after the game. “It’s really tough to stop him. He’s an amazing player, amazing defender. It’s really hard to stop him. I think Maxi [Kleber] is doing an amazing job, DoeDoe[Dorian Finney-Smith]. It’s just hard. He’s an amazing player.”

Tim Hardaway jr. on Leonard:

“Kawhi is going to do what Kawhi does out there on the floor, but we have to give their supporting cast a pat on the back. They did a great job of knocking down their shots, open or contested, and taking advantage of their matchups and just being aggressive out there on the floor. So the difference between last game and this game is when the bench came out and when the other players got involved, they made the most of it, and they took advantage of the opportunity.”

Seth Curry on Leonard:

“It is just tough. We were playing good defense, and he was making shots over us. When we played even better defense and felt like we got to the front of him, he got to the foul line. It was tough. We have to make adjustments, come back next game, stick our game plan, and try to be even better. Tonight, it was just going in; we have to take something away. Tonight we didn’t take anything away from him. He got everything he wanted, and they put him at the foul line.”

With the uncertainty of Doncic after he left and returned and left again due to an ankle injury, the Mavericks could be in trouble moving forward. Still, Friday was  all about the greatness of Kawhi Leonard. 

 

Cavs’ Altman: ‘We are excited about the depth of this year’s draft class’

The Cleveland Cavaliers tonight received the number five overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft which was conducted virtually and aired live on ESPN. The 2020 NBA Draft will be held on Friday, October 16. 

Cleveland finished the 2019-20 season in the second-place position entering the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, with the following odds: 14.0% chance of No. 1, 13.4% of No. 2, 12.7% of No. 3, 12.0% of No. 4, 27.8% of No. 5 and 20.0% of No. 6.

This draft is an opportunity for Cleveland to add more talent to a roster that won only 19 games last season, and according to Cavaliers GM Kody Altman, Cleveland should be able to get a very good player at five. 

“We are excited about the depth of this year’s draft class,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman. “We are confident that this draft position will allow us to acquire talent that will complement our core mix of young players and established veterans. We look forward to welcoming someone who embodies everything we are building here in Cleveland from a culture, work ethic and commitment to development standpoint, both on and off the floor. We will also continue to explore opportunities that could be impactful for our team both now and in the future as we build toward sustainable success.”

Cleveland held the fifth pick in last year’s draft and selected Darius Garland, who was the only NBA rookie in 2019-20 with at least 700 points, 225 assists and 100 three-pointers. 

The Cavaliers were represented in the lottery by Cavaliers Legend and five-time NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty, who was selected by the Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft and played his entire eight-year career with Cleveland.

With teams not having the ability to meet with these prospects in person due to COVID-19, this will be one of the most interesting drafts in a long time, so it should be interesting to see how Cleveland and other teams handle the draft.

The full results of tonight’s Draft Lottery are as follows:

  • Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Golden State Warriors

  • Charlotte Hornets

  • Chicago Bulls

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Atlanta Hawks

  • Detroit Pistons

  • New York Knicks

  • Washington Wizards

  • Phoenix Suns

  • San Antonio Spurs

  • Sacramento Kings

  • New Orleans Pelicans

  • Boston Celtics

Mavs’ Burke: ‘We feel like we have the pieces to win this series’

On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks were playing well against the Clippers in Game 1 of their first-round series. However, with the Mavericks up five in the third quarter, Kristaps Porzingis would get ejected, and from there, Dallas would struggle and fall to the Clippers.

On Wednesday in Game 2, Luka Doncic, who finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, ran into foul trouble in the second half and had to sit on the bench. However, the Mavericks’ bench played well, and Dallas would defeat the Clippers 127-114 to even up the series 1-1

Due to the foul trouble, Doncic, who recorded the most points (70) in his first two playoff games of anyone since the NBA/ABA merger, would play just over nine minutes in the second half.

“I was frustrated for like 15 seconds, and then I was focused,” Doncic said after the game. “I supported my teammates. They did a great, great job. Being on a bench is hard for me when I have my team playing. But we won the game. Maybe if I don’t take that foul, we don’t win the game. So it’s OK.”

Mavericks backup G Seth Curry came to his rescue and went 6-9 from the field for 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Also, Mavericks backup center Boban Marjanović had 13 points and nine rebounds in 10 minutes on Wednesday night. 

“We brought our full energy from the beginning to the end,” Marjanović said after the game about the team’s bench. “They played well, but I think we played better in this game. Next game, we need to play super hard and give the same energy, the same spirit, and we need to believe in ourselves.”

G Trey Burke also was cooking and had 16 points on 7-11 shooting in 18 minutes off the bench, and according to Burke, the Mavericks have the talent to win this series.

“Stay together. Stay together,” Burke said about how the team reacted with Doncic on the bench. “We know he’s our go-to guy. But things happen. So we knew we had to stay together. We knew we had to continue to huddle up at all the dead balls. That’s a tough team over there with more experience than we have, but we feel like we match up great with them. We feel like we have the pieces to win this series, so tonight was a big night for us.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was delighted by what he saw from his bench.

“The guys off the bench did a tremendous job,” Carlisle said. “Trey Burke was great, Seth Curry was great. Boban [Marjanović] gave us great minutes tonight. It’s a group that’s had some time together during the year, during some stretches, particularly when Luka was out. They know how to play together. The other thing was we were scoring, but we were also scrappy defensively. I thought Delon Wright’s game tonight was really huge. He didn’t put up big scoring numbers, but he made a lot of influential plays defensively with deflections, making things happen offensively. Happy for him. He really didn’t get into it in the first game, but his minutes tonight were really important to us.”

The Mavericks’ bench stepped up on Wednesday night, and based on what we have seen in the first two games, this will probably be a long series.  

Twitter reacts to Damian Lillard’s performance against Lakers

Damian Lillard continues to dominate in Orlando. After being named the MVP of the NBA bubble on Saturday, Lillard put on a show against the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Lillard had 34 points, including 6-13 from downtown and 10/10 from the free-throw line, five rebounds, and five assists, as the eighth-seeded Blazers defeated the number one seed, the Lakers, 100-93 to take 1-0 lead in their best of seven first-round series.

Dame was incredible, and after the game, Twitter reacted.

Here’s a sampling: