NBA players go nuts after Kevin Durant hit the most amazing shot of the year

Leave a comment

The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 111-105 in overtime in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs, but they only managed to get that far because of Kevin Durant, who hit the most ridiculous shot of the year in the fourth quarter.

With 13.3 seconds left in regulation and down 98-93, Durant found himself in the corner to catch a pass from Russell Westbrook. With Marc Gasol draped all over him, Durant lost balance and was on his way out of bounds, but somehow managed to get a shot off in the process. Here is what followed:

One video-game 3-pointer made. And one.

It was an unbelievable conversion, and it darn near broke twitter in the process. Here are some notable reactions from players around the league:

Thunder-Grizzlies Playoff Preview: Five Key Factors

1 Comment

bealeA certain someone made a bold prediction prior to the season that the Memphis Grizzlies would be facing the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals. OK, it was me. Which means you can guess which way my prediction is going to go, for better or worse.

You do not get to divorce yourself from your preseason predictions unless something crazy happens along the way, such as a team trading away its best player of something similar (that was the case last year when  the Grizzlies shed Rudy Gay). So a warning is in order: I am looking at this series with a rooting interest in the team from Beale Street, though I will try not to let that impact my coverage.

Sheridan’s Postseason Awards Ballot: Durant is MVP, Thibodeau is Coach of the Year

Leave a comment

voterIn a break with tradition, I am casting my NBA awards ballot after the 81st game, not the 82nd. It’s a rarity, but this season I will not hem and haw and sleep on it until the afternoon after the final day of the season. You’re welcome.

I have been an official NBA postseason awards voter for nearly a decade, and it would have been longer if not for a rule at the Associated Press, where I worked from 1987-2005, forbidding beat from voting for postseason awards (It is OK for them to declare the national champion in college football, but it is not OK for them to vote in other sports. Does that make sense?).

It is a privilege that I do not take lightly.

Chris Bernucca’s Postseason Award Choices

1 Comment

Image.AdamSilverTransparency is a two-way street.

For years, NBA media members – echoing the sentiments of its passionate fan base – wanted more transparency from Commissioner David Stern and his executive staff. Whether it was a lottery drawing, a suspension in the playoffs or a referee scandal, folks felt like they were entitled to an explanation. And they were.

Stern grudgingly came around. He arranged for the media to meet with referees prior to the season about rules changes. He allowed the media into the lottery drawing. He okayed press releases that admitted, Yes, we blew that call.

Since replacing Stern as commissioner less than three months ago, Adam Silver has taken the NBA’s transparency up a notch. He declared that there will be an open dialogue about officiating and is walking the walk by making internal memos available to the media.

But Silver is getting something back, too. At All-Star Weekend this year, the media presented the notion of transparency with regard to how its members vote on postseason awards, and the commissioner bought in. 

Pages: 1 2

Mark Heisler’s Postseason Award Choices

Leave a comment

Heisler_125Now for the annual post-season awards no one else has, by whatever means necessary.

Kill this page if you’re looking for the Blue Plate Special featured everywhere else with Michael Carter-Williams as Rookie of the Year, Gregg Popovich as best coach, DeMar DeRozan as Most Improved, Joakim Noah as Defensive Player of the Year, etc.

All are deserving… but it’s not as if the other candidates are chopped liver, as it seems these days when everyone compares picks over the internet and— Moooooo! –joins the herd.

All of these categories are close. In all of them, voters can use whatever criteria they choose.

In other words, it’s a meaningless popularity contest. How much good did the second of LeBron James’ back-to-back MVPs in 2010 do him after he flamed out in the postseason while playing hurt, then left Cleveland for Miami?