January 12, 2017
This week's NBA News and Notes report looks at the monster week of the Bulls' Jimmy Butler, as well as the upcoming Cavs-Warriors game. For these stories and other league news, read below:
Jimmy Butler and Stephen Curry earn NBA Player of the Week honors
The Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, January 2 through Sunday, January 8.
Butler led the Bulls to a 3-0 week, averaging a league-leading 38.0 points to go with 9.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He opened the week by scoring 52 points in a 118-111 win over the Charlotte Hornets, the second 50-point game of his career and the first by a Bull at the United Center since Michael Jordan in April 1997.
Butler was prolific at the free throw line, making 21-of-22 against the Hornets and closing the week by shooting 18-for-20 from the stripe on his way to 42 points in a 123-118 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 7.
Curry led the Warriors to a 3-1 week behind averages of 31.8 points (third in the West), 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds. He scored at least 30 points in three of his four games and logged his second 40-point outing of the season when he finished with 40 points in a 128-119 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 6.
Curry, who became just the seventh player in Warriors history to score 12,000 career points, shot 50.0 percent from the field, 89.5 percent from the free throw line and 39.1 percent from three-point range.
Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Dennis Schröder, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s Paul George and Jeff Teague, the LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, Portland’s C.J. McCollum, and San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge.
Dan Bickley, Arizona Republic: “[T]he NBA … has become the standard-bearer for globalization among professional sports leagues in North America. … The growth spurt is obvious in Latin America, where the NBA stakes claim to 50 million casual fans and 17 million avid fans in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Columbia.”
Mike Conley, Grizzlies guard: “It’s amazing seeing all the people that have helped you get to where you are. All the coaches, all the camps. Your parents, family members. I mean everybody who’s invested in you. And it’s really neat to see that all of their sacrifices to help you have paid off. And that now you can continue to help other people along the way.”
Ananth Pandian, CBS Sports: “Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, one of the surprises of this season's rookie class, has already established himself as the steal of the 2016 NBA Draft.”
LeBron James and Stephen Curry lead All-Star voting
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead their respective conferences in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon.
Fan voting continues to surge as more than 21 million votes have been cast, a 142% increase from the same time period last year.
In the second fan returns, James totaled 1,066,147 votes to maintain the top spot among all players and increase his lead in the East frontcourt over the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (963,110). Cleveland’s Kevin Love (473,328) edges the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (457,300) by 16,028 votes for third place in the East frontcourt.
Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (971,362) and the Chicago Bulls’ Dwyane Wade (514,866) continue to set the pace among East guards, while the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (453,538) remains in third place.
In the West, Curry (990,390) has pulled ahead of teammate Kevin Durant (987,479) as the conference’s leading vote-getter. Curry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (961,685) remain the front-runners at guard, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (899,024).
Durant, Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (823,376) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (630,766) continue to lead the frontcourt, with the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (567,201) in fourth place.
Cleveland and Golden State meet for the second time this season on Monday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, one of four nationally televised games on the NBA schedule on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In the first matchup of the season between the NBA’s last two title-winning teams, the defending champion Cavaliers rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Warriors 109-108 on Christmas Day in Cleveland.
The scene now shifts to Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have a 33-2 regular-season record against Eastern Conference teams since 2014-15. (Golden State hosts Detroit tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.) Here are a few notes about Monday’s matchup:
• Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Kevin Durant have each scored 499 points in their 17 head-to-head games during the regular season (29.4 ppg).
• Five of the 16 active players with multiple 50-point games in the regular season are set to play in the game. James leads with 10 games of at least 50 points, followed by Golden State’s Stephen Curry with five, Durant with four and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Golden State’s Klay Thompson with two each. (The Cavaliers’ Kevin Love has one 50-point game.)
• Curry and recent Cleveland addition Kyle Korver are the only players in NBA history to make a three-pointer in at least 100 consecutive regular-season games. Curry holds the record with 157 games, followed by Korver with 127 games.
Lakers Clarkson fined
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson has been fined $15,000 for throwing a forearm above the shoulders to Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 5:29 remaining in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 127-100 win over the Heat on Jan. 6 at Staples Center.
Atlanta Hawks: The NBA’s longest active winning streak belongs to the Hawks, who put their seven-game streak on the line against Boston on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Hawks trail the Celtics by 1.5 games for third place in the Eastern Conference.
CJ McCollum, Trail Blazers: The red-hot guard is the first Portland player to score at least 25 points in seven consecutive games in a single season since Clyde Drexler during the 1987-88 season.
Philadelphia 76ers: Wednesday’s dramatic win over the Knicks gave the Sixers four victories in their last five games. During the 4-1 stretch, Philadelphia’s victories over New York and Minnesota featured game-winning shots in the final second, while the team’s win over Denver was by two points.
Montrezl Harrell, Rockets: The second-year big man has stepped up in the absence of Clint Capela, averaging 14.8 points (on 69.6 percent shooting) over his last 12 games.
Isaiah Thomas, Celtics: In Wednesday’s win over Washington, Thomas registered his third 20-point fourth quarter of the season; no other player has more than one. Thomas leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring at 9.8 points per game.
Enes Kanter, Thunder: Kanter is averaging 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in 24.2 minutes over his last five games. His season averages are 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 21.0 minutes.
NBA Chinese New Year Celebration
NBA Chinese New Year Celebration 2017 will feature the NBA’s biggest stars, a record number of live game broadcasts, the debut of a new television spot, and specially designed uniforms as the league celebrates the holiday with millions of Chinese fans around the world from Jan. 26 to Feb. 11.
The sixth annual NBA Chinese New Year Celebration will feature the launch of a new NBA Chinese New Year television spot, “Secret Envelope,” starring the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Jeremy Lin.
A highlight of the celebration will include Hall of Fame center Yao Ming having his No. 11 jersey retired by the Rockets during halftime of the Rockets’ Feb. 3 matchup against the Chicago Bulls.
Additionally, fans will be able to watch a record 60 games and all 30 teams over 17 days, with broadcasts across Greater China on CCTV, Tencent, BesTV, Guangdong TV, GreatSports, Videoland, Fox Sports, ELTA, Eleven Sports and LeSports (HK).
Four NBA teams – the Warriors, Rockets, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards – will wear special Chinese New Year uniforms, and nine NBA teams will host Chinese New Year Celebration activities in their home arenas.
Chinese New Year Highly Anticipated Matchups:
• Jan. 27 – Rockets vs. Sixers: On the first day of Chinese New Year, James Harden and the Rockets will wear their Chinese New Year jerseys against rookie sensation Joel Embiid and the 76ers (CCTV)
• Jan. 27 – Nets vs. Cavaliers: Jeremy Lin will take on Kyrie Irving and LeBron James as the Nets play the defending champion Cavaliers (Tencent)
• Jan. 28 and Feb. 2 – Warriors vs. Clippers: Pacific Division rivals, the Warriors and L.A Clippers, will play twice in the span of six days in a home-and-home matchup (CCTV and Tencent)
• Feb 3 – Rockets vs. Bulls: Yao Ming Jersey Retirement Ceremony: Hall of Fame center Yao Ming will have his No. 11 jersey retired during halftime of the Feb. 3 matchup between the Rockets and Bulls (CCTV and Tencent)
• Feb 11 – Thunder vs. Warriors: Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Warriors as Kevin Durant returns to Oklahoma City for the first time since joining Golden State (CCTV and Tencent)
Knicks O'Quinn fined
New York Knicks center/forward Kyle O’Quinn has been fined $25,000 for striking and pushing New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis from behind, it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which O’Quinn was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 110-96 loss to the Pelicans on Jan. 9 at Madison Square Garden.
Mavericks Justin Anderson fined
Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Justin Anderson has been fined $25,000 for striking Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kris Dunn in the head, it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, which was called a Flagrant Foul 1 on the floor and upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 upon league office review, occurred with 10:45 remaining in the second quarter of the Timberwolves’ 101-92 victory over the Mavericks on Jan. 9 at Target Center.
Shawn Long named D-League Performer of the Week
Shawn Long of the Delaware 87ers today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 2, through Sunday, Jan. 8.
Long (6-9, 248, Louisiana-Lafayette) led Delaware to a 3-1 week, averaging 24.5 points on 53.5 percent shooting to go with a league-leading 13.5 rebounds. He registered a point-rebound double-double in each of his four games. On Jan. 6, he scored a career-high 45 points on 19-of-26 shooting to go with 14 rebounds in a 129-105 victory over the Erie Bayhawks. On Jan. 7, he scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 116-88 win against the Westchester Knicks.
Long is averaging 19.1 points on 52.5 percent shooting and 10.3 rebounds (fourth in the league) on the season. Long is one of four players in the league averaging a double-double on the season.
Other top performers considered included Austin’s Dejounte Murray, Canton’s Quinn Cook, Erie’s Anthony Brown and Gabe York, Grand Rapids’ Jordan Crawford, Maine’s Jalen Jones, Northern Arizona’s Askia Booker, Oklahoma City’s Josh Huestis, Raptors 905’s Axel Toupane, Reno’s Lamar Patterson, Rio Grande Valley’s JP Tokoto, Santa Cruz’s Dennis Clifford, Sioux Falls’ Keith Benson, Texas’ Manny Harris and Windy City’s Alfonzo McKinnie.
About the NBA Development League
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services