Khloé Kardashian and her family were all on hand Friday night at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena to cheer on their favorite Cavaliers player, Tristan Thompson.Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian as well as her kids, Mason, 7, and Penelope Disick, 4, were front and center supporting Khloé’s boyfriend of nearly one year. The Kardashian sisters were twinning, wearing leather leggings and proudly wearing Thompson’s gold #13 jerseys. Even Penelope donned Cavaliers colors in a yellow shirt. Momager Kris wore a bedazzled black and white sweater with black pants. Khloé, 32, has been linked to Thompson, 26, since September, when they were spotted out celebrating Labor Day weekend together in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. During the first quarter, NBA commentator Jeff Van Gundy slammed people cheap jerseys who blamed Kardashian for Thompson’s poor performances in games 1-3. “The debate about why Tristan Thompson has not played well, and he hasn’t played well, but the debate about whether his significant other, Khloé Kardashian — and the Kardashian curse — is the reason, to me that’s downright low rent,” Van Gundy said. “No, this Kardashian shaming is because she’s an easy target. I don’t know her or her family but I do know this: she deserves an apology from anybody who participated in that type of debate,” he continued. There certainly was no curse on Friday night, as Tristan and the Cavs won with ease, 137-116.
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he 2016-17 Spurs were one of the few teams to buck the small-ball trend. That should change next year.While the league continued its march towards greater pace, space and lineup versatility, last year’s Spurs were an evolutionary atavism, the NBA’s ornery champions of the long two. They leaned on one of the deeper (and more effective) big-man rotations, ranked 27th in pace and took the 25th-most three-point attempts. That all made sense given their personnel and the system they were moving on from, but circumstances have changed. This summer’s roster moves make a shift to small ball almost inevitable, with the team suddently short on bigs and stocked with positionless, cheap jerseys nba multi-skilled players who could be sharing the floor more than ever.
There aren’t enough big men to soak up all the PF/C minutes There are 96 total minutes between the power-forward and center positions every game. Last year, LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 32.4 minutes, and Pau Gasol averaged 25.4. It’s doubtful Aldridge’s numbers go up as he recently turned 32, while 37-year-old Gasol has at least two more years in San Antonio and will be coming off of Euro 2018 play, giving Pop all the more reason to manage his playing time. Penciling them in for 57 combined minutes seems generous for the purposes of this exercise. Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee are both gone (although Lee still hasn’t signed anywhere), and Joffrey Lauvergne, the last big on the roster, has never even averaged 18 minutes per game. If you project him at that (again, generous), that leaves roughly 21 big-man minutes left on nights when all three suit up. Now, you could overlap those three so that the Spurs always have two traditional big men on the floor, but that would still mean 11 minutes per game where they would be rolling out someone like Kyle Anderson or Davis Bertans at center, which would seem less than ideal. It’s likelier that Pop staggers those three out, which could mean pushing small-ball time close to that 21-minute total on many nights, with multiple wings on the floor and Bertans, Anderson, Kawhi Leonard and new Spur Rudy Gay all getting reps at the four.
We saw a little of this last year The key word here is ‘little’ and most of it involved the Latvian rookie. Almost all of Bertans’ minutes last season were as a small-ball four, whether that was because Pop valued his ability to pull power forwards away from the basket or was reluctant to have him guard threes on the perimeter. The results were largely mixed. Offensively, Bertans looked far more comfortable than your average rookie, showing off range that extends comfortably to the BIG3 four-point spots. He fit in well with many of the bench lineups thanks to both the spacing he provided and his high basketball IQ, and good things tended to happen whether he was firing away or simply making the right play. Defensively, though, he had trouble contesting shots without fouling, and he gave up twenty or thirty pounds to traditional bigs who regularly knocked around his Vincent Adultman-like frame. He posted the same rebound rate (6.9%) as 39-year-old Manu Ginobili and the team’s overall rebound rate dropped from 51.7% to 50.3% when he was on the floor. Bertans may or may not end up an effective small-ball four, but where I like the idea of him the most is in positionless, three-wing lineups, where his strengths shine and his weaknesses are shored up by guys like Leonard and Anderson.
Oh, the possibilities This opens things up for some intriguing lineups that would play into San Antonio’s already-free-flowing style, and Pop may dedicate a large chunk of the season figuring out what combinations work best. Play Leonard and Gay together and you’ve got two big wings that can post up the smaller man anytime they like, or attack the rim off the dribble. Gasol has already extended his game beyond the arc, leading the entire league in three-point percentage last season. Aldridge has that range, as well, shooting 41.1% last year on 56 attempts. If he trends away from his low-efficiency fadeaways and towards more threes, the Spurs’ offense could look as modern as any team’s.
There will be new challenges It’s known that Aldridge has (or at least had) an aversion to playing the five. But even if you get past that (the position has, after all, evolved from the days where every center was a banger that had to get X low-post touches per game), there are other obstacles the Spurs will face. All lineups, big and small, may suffer from a lack of off-the-dribble creation with Tony Parker sidelined and swing man Jonathon Simmons in Orlando. The Spurs offense relies foremost on ball movement, but the ability to get past defenders or create when chased off the three-point line is also important to keep defenses honest. Rebounding is another area of concern. The 2016-17 Spurs were the league’s 6th best rebounding team in both overall and defensive rebound rate, a strength which no doubt contributed to their league-best defensive rating. Dedmon was the most proficient rebounder of the group, pulling down 21.1% of all available rebounds, and Lee (16.9%) was third. New Spur Lauvergne (14.9% over his three-year career) won’t likely be a force on the boards, and could be a liability in units he’s anchoring. As mentioned with Bertans, the Spurs have options to shore this up. Anderson, Leonard and Gay are all strong rebounders, and Murray projects to be one as well for his position.
Gay is the X factor here The more I read about Achilles injuries, the less optimistic I am about the former King’s chances to be the kind of player many hope he can be in San Antonio. And being on the wrong side of 30 certainly doesn’t help. But the Spurs likely wouldn’t have signed him if they believed he couldn’t make an impact. He may end up minus a step, but given his transition to playing more minutes at the four, that may not be that big a concern anyway. If health is on Gay’s side, he fixes a lot of issues the small-ball lineups and the roster in general have. He’s not only a solid rebounder, with experience playing power forward from his time in Sacramento, but he’d also be one of the better shot creators on the team. He’s a good spot-up shooter and probably undervalued as a defender (he ranked 8th among small forwards in defensive real plus-minus last year). PATFO may have gone after Gay regardless of their wider roster plans — he is, in a vacuum, a relatively low-risk signing with high upside. But he also makes a lot of sense both on this roster and on a team that could be moving towards more dynamic, smaller lineups.
Early in February, just when the Milwaukee Bucks thought they were getting back on track, they suffered a cruel twist of fate. On Feb. 8, the night Khris Middleton played his first game of the season, Jabari Parker went down with a torn ACL. Now, instead of spending a full offseason healthy and preparing for a return to the playoffs, the Bucks will once again have to figure out how to get along without a key member of their core. Itâs a tough blow for a young team that has seemed to be on the brink of a breakthrough for a few years now.Parker, however, is thinking positive. The third-year forward, who was averaging over 20 points and six rebounds this season before he got injured, spoke to the media for the first time since suffering the knee injury, and he told reporters that he thinks he can come back better than ever. via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel âItâs going to be fun, to tell you the truth,â Parker said of his recovery program. âI love challenges. I love being in the position I am. I cheap jerseys authentic didnât really feel like talking, but I feel like God has given me this for a reason, because He knows I can handle it. âSo I take that burden, because I know a lot of people canât go through this.â Parker said he believes he can surpass the form he showed this season. âI donât want to be the same player,â Parker said. âI wouldnât be myself if I donât challenge myself to do better things, bigger things. âI know I can be better.â If Parker, who was averaging career-highs in scoring, rebounding, assists and 3-point percentage this year, can come back even better, that will be more than welcomed by the Bucks. Unfortunately, due to the 12-month timetable on the injury, we likely wonât see Parkerâs return until sometime around next yearâs All-Star break. And since it will take him the rest of the season to get reacclimated, the 2017-18 season might already be shaping up to be another rebuilding year in Milwaukee.
It was no secret Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler were close teammates on the Chicago Bulls, but now that they’re rivals, Wade said he isn’t holding back.Wade and Butler will likely face off against each other when the Bulls and Timberwolves play during the upcoming season, but Wade doesn’t appear worried about the challenge. “I get 6 fouls and I’m not afraid to use them in the first 6 mins!” he wrote on Twitter in response to a fan’s tweet about the upcoming battle. Wade, who agreed to pick up his 2017-18 contract option with the Bulls last month, will likely now be the star of the team following the blockbuster Butler trade that left many fans questioning. Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first round of the NBA Draft in exchange for the seventh overall pick, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn. Wade signed with the Bulls prior to the 2016-17 season, and he was looking to form a strong trio with Butler and point guard Rajon Rondo. The three looked good at times during the season, but injuries and poor play derailed the group as they were knocked out in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Butler had long said he wanted to stay in Chicago despite numerous trade rumors leading wholesale nba jerseys up to the event. After news of the trade broke, Wade took to Instagram to share his feelings on the deal, posting a photo of him with Butler.
Like most NBA players, Bradley Beal is spending this summer working on adding elements into his game for the 2017-18 season. If there’s one part of his game that he isn’t known for, it’s his dribble.So far this summer, he’s been working with his trainer, Drew Hanlen on just that. For those of you who aren’t familiar cheap nba jerseys with Hanlen, he is a nationally renowned basketball development trainer. He also trains Kelly Oubre Jr. by the way. In addition to working on his skills on the court, Beal is also developing his chops as a coach.