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Holiday Says No Thought Given to Future With Pelicans

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As the New Orleans Pelicans filed out of the team practice facility Monday for what was likely the final time this season, one topic emerged, with all eyes pointed toward the future:

Was this the last time Jrue Holiday would wear a Pelicans jersey on Airline Drive?

“I haven’t thought about it,” Holiday said.

Source: Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate

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2018 NBA All-Star Starters Announced

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players and media to start in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.  James and Curry will serve as team captains after finishing as the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference.

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NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2018 – The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players and media to start in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.  James and Curry will serve as team captains after finishing as the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio.  The midseason classic from Staples Center will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Under the new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, James and Curry will choose the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.  The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.  Each captain’s first four selections must come from the pool of eight remaining starters.  As the top overall finisher in fan voting, James will make the first pick.

In addition to James (frontcourt), who has been named an All-Star for the 14th consecutive year, the starters from the East player pool are the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (frontcourt), the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (guard), the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (frontcourt) and the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (guard).

Joining Curry (guard) as starters from the West player pool are the New Orleans Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis (both frontcourt), the Warriors’ Kevin Durant (frontcourt) and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (guard).

The starters – two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference – were announced tonight during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.  The network will unveil the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET during TNT NBA Tip-Off.  The team rosters will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. ET in a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.  James (2,638,294 fan votes) edged Antetokounmpo (2,530,211) as the top overall vote-getter among fans, while Curry (2,379,494) led the West.  Durant (2,238,406) and Irving (2,170,833) also had the highest fan totals in their respective position groups.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.  Fan voting served as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.  This year, the tiebreaker was not needed to determine a starting spot.

ALL-STAR GAME STARTER POOL

Eastern Conference

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (2nd All-Star selection): After starting last year’s game in his All-Star debut, Antetokounmpo will become the first Milwaukee player to start consecutive NBA All-Star Games since Marques Johnson in the 1979 and 1980 midseason classics.

  • DeMar DeRozan, Raptors (4th All-Star selection): Toronto’s all-time leading scorer will start the All-Star Game for the second year in a row after earning his third straight selection.

  • Joel Embiid, 76ers (1st All-Star selection): A first-time All-Star in his second season, Embiid will be the first 76ers player to start an All-Star Game since Allen Iverson in 2006.

  • Kyrie Irving, Celtics (5th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the fifth time in seven seasons, Irving was the MVP of the 2014 All-Star Game as a 21-year-old in his third season.

  • LeBron James, Cavaliers (14th All-Star selection): The four-time Kia NBA MVP will make his 14th All-Star Game start, one behind Kobe Bryant (15) for the most in NBA history.  James has tied Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Jerry West with his 14th All-Star selection, trailing only five players: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19 All-Star selections), Bryant (18), Tim Duncan (15), Kevin Garnett (15) and Shaquille O’Neal (15).

Western Conference

  • DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans (4th All-Star selection): This marks the fourth straight All-Star berth for Cousins, who made it with the Sacramento Kings in each of the previous three seasons.

  • Stephen Curry, Warriors (5th All-Star selection): The two-time Kia NBA MVP will be the first player in Warriors history to start five consecutive All-Star Games.

  • Anthony Davis, Pelicans (5th All-Star selection): Davis, who scored a record 52 points in last year’s All-Star Game, has passed Chris Paul for the most All-Star selections in Pelicans history. Davis joins Cousins to give New Orleans two All-Star starters for the first time.

  • Kevin Durant, Warriors (9th All-Star selection): The 2012 All-Star Game MVP has been named an All-Star for the ninth season in a row.

  • James Harden, Rockets (6th All-Star selection): His six All-Star nods have all come in his six seasons with Houston, putting him third behind Hakeem Olajuwon (12 All-Star selections) and Yao Ming (eight) for the most in Rockets history.

Below are the overall scores – based on results from all three voting groups – for the top finishers at each position.  Each player’s score is weighted based on 50 percent for fan vote, 25 percent for player vote and 25 percent for media vote.  The formula to determine a player’s score is (Fan Rank * 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank)/4.  For complete voting results and a list of media voters, please visit pr.nba.com.

Eastern Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *#LeBron James (Cleveland)

     1

     2

     1

     1.25

2. *Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)

     2

     1

     1

     1.5

3. *Joel Embiid (Philadelphia)

     3

     4

     3

     3.25

4. Kristaps Porzingis (New York)

     4

     3

     4

     3.75

5. Kevin Love (Cleveland)

     5

     6

     7

     5.75

6. Al Horford (Boston)

     7

     8

     5

     6.75

7. Andre Drummond (Detroit)

     9

     5

     6

     7.25

8. Jayson Tatum (Boston)

     6

     12

     8

     8.0

9. Enes Kanter (New York)

     8

     9

     8

     8.25

10. Dwight Howard (Charlotte)

     10

     13

     8

     10.25

Eastern Conference Guards

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *Kyrie Irving (Boston)

     1

     1

     1

     1.0

2. *DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)

     2

     2

     2

     2.0

3. Victor Oladipo (Indiana)

     4

     3

     3

     3.5

4. Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)

     3

     6

     6

     4.5

5. John Wall (Washington)

     6

     4

     4

     5.0

6. Bradley Beal (Washington)

     9

     5

     4

     6.75

7. Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland)

     7

     9

     6

     7.25

8. Kyle Lowry (Toronto)

     8

     7

     6

     7.25

9. Dwyane Wade (Cleveland)

     5

     15

     6

     7.75

10. Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee)

     12

     10

     6

     10.0

 *–Voted to start
#–Team captain

Western Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *Kevin Durant (Golden State)

     1

     1

     1

     1.0

2. *Anthony Davis (New Orleans)

     3

     2

     2

     2.5

3. *DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans)

     4

     3

     4

     3.75

4. Draymond Green (Golden State)

     2

     7

     6

     4.25

5. Paul George (Oklahoma City)

     5

     6

     7

     5.75

6. LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)

     8

     4

     3

     5.75

7. Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota)

     9

     5

     4

     6.75

8. Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)

     6

     8

     9

     7.25

9. Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City)

     7

     9

     9

     8.0

10. Kyle Kuzma (L.A. Lakers)

     10

     12

     9

     10.25

Western Conference Guards

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *#Stephen Curry (Golden State)

     1

     1

     2

     1.25

2. *James Harden (Houston)

     3

     2

     1

     2.25

3. Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)

     4

     3

     3

     3.5

4. Manu Ginobili (San Antonio)

     2

     8

     7

     4.75

5. Klay Thompson (Golden State)

     5

     9

     5

     6.0

6. Chris Paul (Houston)

     7

     7

     5

     6.5

7. Damian Lillard (Portland)

     8

     4

     7

     6.75

8. Jimmy Butler (Minnesota)

     9

     6

     4

     7.0

9. Devin Booker (Phoenix)

     10

     4

     7

     7.75

10. Lonzo Ball (L.A. Lakers)

     6

     13

     7

     8.0

 *–Voted to start
#–Team captain

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Kawhi Leonard Out Indefinitely Due to Lingering Pain from Quadriceps Injury

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The San Antonio Spurs will hold All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely due to lingering pain from a quadriceps injury that caused him to miss the first 27 games of the season.

“He didn’t re-injure it or anything. But you know he was having pain, not right after games but maybe the next day,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Wednesday. “… The pain wasn’t dissipating; it wasn’t going in the right direction, it was going the other way.”

Popovich quickly dismissed the idea that Leonard could be out for the remainder of the season due to the tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Popovich described the Spurs’ decision to sit Leonard as “conservative.”

“You’ve got to be confident in your body to go out there and play at the level that he’s expected to play,” the coach said. “… We didn’t feel he was ready; his confidence level wasn’t there, so we just decided to give it some more time.”

The Spurs initially announced during training camp that Leonard would miss the preseason because of the quadriceps issue, but the recovery process lingered into December, with Popovich admitting in November that the forward was “coming along more slowly” in rehabilitation than the club had hoped.

The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has appeared in just nine games this season, as the Spurs have restricted his playing time to ensure a full recovery from the condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee.

Source: Ian Begley and Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Report: Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green Suspended Two Games

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Trevor Ariza said nothing happened. The NBA strongly disagreed.

Ariza and Gerald Green will both be suspended for Houston’s next two games, with the NBA coming down hard on both players Wednesday for what the league said was their “hostile, verbal altercation” in the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room earlier this week.

No other players were disciplined, including Rockets guards James Harden and Chris Paul – both of whom left the Houston locker room with hopes of defusing the situation, the league said.

“You guys had a lot of different stories about what happened, none of them which were true,” Ariza said Wednesday in Houston, before the league announced the suspensions. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. The people that were there know exactly what happened and know exactly what did not happen.

Ariza and Green will miss games against two of the best teams in the Western Conference – Minnesota on Thursday and Golden State on Saturday. Ariza has started all 40 of his appearances with Houston this season, and Green has played in 10 games with the team as a reserve.

The league said the investigation included more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel.

Source: Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press via NBA.com

 

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