Month: July 2017

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Tanner Ainge had been hinting on LinkedIn about a potential run

That can go tragically wrong. One of the great all-time examples of the ills of comparison shopping goes back 15 years to Georgian big man Nikoloz Tskitishvili, the No. 6 pick of the Nuggets in the 2002 draft. Back then, Nuggets honcho Kiki Vandeweghe was enthralled with the proposition that Tskitishvili would be the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki, a skinny European teenager who, with time, would blossom into a transformative star.

He was playing in the Italian League at the time, coached by Mike D’Antoni, who had been a Nuggets front-office employee and had yet to make his mark as an NBA coach. D’Antoni told the Associated Press, He’s two or three years away. Hopefully, Denver will have some patience because he could be something special.

Tanner Ainge had been hinting on LinkedIn about a potential run, and by Monday morning, he had filed paperwork to make his bid official, the Salt Lake Tribune reported . Also, the bios on his social media accounts were changed to say candidate for U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to his career in finance, Ainge has directed the African Equity Fund non-profit. He also volunteered in campaign finance for a year of Mitt Romney’s run for president in 2008, although that is the extent of his political background.

Deeper on Ainge’s resume, he speaks five languages, studied Chinese at Cornell University and earned his law degree at Northwestern University.

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NBA playoffs: J.R. Smith thinks LeBron James lacked confidence in Cavs loss

LeBron James had one of his worst games ever Sunday night when the Cavs lost Game 3 to the Celtics. Speaking Monday after practice, J.R. Smith made some interesting comments regarding his teammate, saying James needs to believe in himself a little more.

He’s close to becoming first in steals and free-throw attempts, and while those records aren’t as sexy as points scored, they too could become unbreakable standards. All that said, what James is doing is unprecedented and may never be repeated.

It’s unlikely Green had thoughts of stealing Durant away from Russell Westbrook and OKC the moment he wrapped his arms around Durant after the Warriors’ narrowly escaped a 3-1 series deficit in last year’s Western Conference finals. But what we do know is by the time they joined forces as teammates on Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, they both shared something in common — they knew what it was like to lose to a fully-staffed, James-led team in the Finals.

In 2012, Durant, then flanked by a young Westbrook and burgeoning James Harden, fell in five games to James as he led Miami to the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second time. Green had been to the mountaintop. He tasted a Finals victory in 2015 when James put up historic numbers (35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 8.8 apg) in a losing effort. Green hurt his team the next year with a suspension as the Cavs mounted a historic comeback behind LeBron’s signature Finals performance.

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Doc Rivers: ‘Tough’ to see Kevin Durant join Warriors ‘from a competitive standpoint’

When Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the offseason, everybody knew they would end up in the Finals. Now we’re here, and to no one’s surprise, Golden State reached the Finals for a third straight year and are considered heavy favorites to win it all.

Boston, an underdog in the Eastern Conference finals despite being the No. 1 seed, followed up an embarrassing 44-point trouncing in Game 2 with an inspiring 111-108 win against the defending champion Cavaliers on Sunday without its two-time All-Star floor general, Isaiah Thomas. Afterward, Stevens could’ve passed out game balls indiscriminately. Avery Bradley hit the game-winner, rolling in a 3-pointer from the wing on a beautifully executed play that left the Cavs with no time to counter. Marcus Smart had an out-of-body experience, knocking down seven 3-pointers, something he’d only done once in his career and never at a 70 percent clip. Kelly Olynyk, a hero in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, awoke from hibernation having scored a combined two points in Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland to drop 15 points off the bench.

But none of them impacted the game in quite the same way as Jerebko, a 6-10, 231-pound Swede with six years’ experience under his belt.

Jerebko, a healthy scratch in four straight games before logging 16 minutes in Game 2, was one of six Celtics to finish in double figures in scoring. He added 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field, including five in the fourth quarter, two of which came on a game-tying 22-footer from the corner with 30 Cheap Jerseys America seconds remaining to help set the stage for Bradley’s big Cheap Jerseys And Hats From China shot. Jerebko also pulled down five rebounds to go along with a block and an assist.

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Durant and Stephen Curry lead the Warriors with 10 points each.

Andre Iguodala has been strong off the bench. He is already a plus-9 in 11 minutes and is playing tenacious defense all over the floor.

Something to keep an eye on: Golden State had eight offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone. Cleveland won’t survive if that continues.

Durant and Stephen Curry lead the Warriors with 10 points each. James has already posted 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Hey, it’s a close playoff game!

We’re right where we want to be, Kerr said. Disappointed that we didn’t play better the other night, but aware that we are playing a great team. And they were desperate, and they outplayed us. So we’re where we need to be. We would love to take care of business. We’re planning on playing a lot better (Monday), and we’ll see what happens.

There are, too, the fans. The faithful in Oakland have a bad rap around the league, and part of that goes back to that 1974 World Series. Fans in the stands bombarded Dodgers left fielder Bill Buckner with shrapnel, beginning innocently enough with streamers but graduating to an apple that hit Buckner in the back of the head and a whiskey bottle that landed near his feet.

Said Buckner: Terrible people. Most of them weren’t here all year — and now, all of a sudden, they are big A’s fans.

Such an accusation cannot be leveled against this year’s Warriors and their backers. They’ve been there all year — and beyond. Give me our fans any day, Warriors forward Draymond Green said. Love those people. It would be amazing to win it at home for them.

It’s only been 43 years.

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