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Hornets-Magic Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 01 Mar 2015 08:44:03 PST)
It hasn't taken long for Mo Williams to make an impact on the Charlotte Hornets, but they're still struggling. Williams will try to continue doing his part as the Hornets try to win for just the second time in eight tries Sunday night against the Orlando Magic. In an effort to improve their playoff chances in the tight Eastern Conference race for eighth, Charlotte (23-33) acquired Williams in a trade with Minnesota earlier this month, and he's fitting in rather nicely so far. He poured in 31 points with seven rebounds while making 6 of 13 from beyond the arc Friday, but the Hornets lost 106-98 at Boston despite putting together a 25-1 run during the game.

NBA-Highlights of Saturday's NBA games
(Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:14:57 PST)
Highlights of Saturday's National Basketball Association games: - - - Hawks 93, Heat 91 The Atlanta Hawks opted to rest four players, including two All-Stars, but were still strong enough to defeat the Miami Heat 93-91 on Saturday. Coach Mike Budenholzer benched All-Star point guard Jeff Teague, starting small forward DeMarre Carroll, All-Star center Al Horford and reserve power forward Pero Antic. Still, Paul Millsap scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth and the Hawks (47-12), who have the best record in the Eastern Conference, won their fourth straight game. Center Hassan Whiteside had 14 points and an equal career-best 24 rebounds for Miami (25-33), who also got 22 points from guard Dwyane Wade.

Hawks give 4 players rest, still top Heat 93-91 (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:05:27 PST)
Even without four players, the Atlanta Hawks had more than enough. Paul Millsap scored 22 points, Dennis Schroder added 16 points and 10 assists and the intentionally depleted Hawks held off the Miami Heat 93-91 on Saturday night. Kent Bazemore scored 15, including a big 3-pointer with about a minute left that gave the Hawks an 89-80 lead. John Jenkins scored 12 for Atlanta, which turned 23 Miami turnovers into 31 points.

Hawks-Heat Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:38:13 PST)
Paul Millsap is back on track and so are the Atlanta Hawks, though Mike Budenholzer would still like to see his team commit fewer turnovers. They seek a fifth straight victory over the Miami Heat for the first time in more than 23 years Saturday night. The visiting Hawks (46-12) have won three in a row after their first back-to-back defeats since November. Millsap had 20 points in Friday's 95-88 win against the Magic and has averaged 19.3 on 50.0 percent shooting over his last three.

NBA-Highlights of Friday's NBA games
(Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:47:54 PST)
Feb 27 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Basketball Association games: - - - Warriors 113, Raptors 89 Guard Klay Thompson scored 25 points as the Golden State Warriors demolished the Toronto Raptors 113-89. The Raptors (37-21) trailed by a massive 41 points after three quarters en route to their fourth successive loss. They shot 1-for-19 from the field in the opening stanza, the poorest shooting quarter in Raptors history. Festus Ezeli of the Warriors and Toronto's Tyler Hansbrough were ejected late in the third for an altercation. ...

Hot start by Millsap helps Hawks beat Magic 95-88 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:55:41 PST)
The Hawks led 19-3 about 3 minutes into the game and appeared headed toward an easy victory over the Magic. Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter and Atlanta recovered after losing the early 16-point lead to beat Orlando 95-88 on Friday night. The Hawks hit their first eight shots - including three 3-pointers from Millsap - before Orlando recovered to lead 45-42 at halftime. ''Maybe sometimes when it comes easy early, you don't keep the sharpness, the crispness, you need,'' Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Derrick Rose out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery; return this season expected (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:46:47 PST)
Derrick Rose had successful surgery  to remove the damaged portion of the torn medial meniscus in his right knee , Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman told reporters Friday morning. Forman termed the surgery "minor" — Rose reportedly walked out of the hospital bearing his full weight on his own following the outpatient meniscectomy — and estimated the star point guard's recovery timeline at four to six weeks. "We expect Derrick to be playing this season," Forman said . The short side of the four-to-six-week timeframe would peg Rose's estimated return at March 27. At that point, the Bulls will have nine games remaining on their regular-season schedule. The far end brings us to April 10, three games before the end of the Bulls' season and eight days before the start of the 2015 playoffs. The Bulls have one of the conference's friendlier slates for the balance of the season, according to  NBA.com's John Schuhmann's strength-of-schedule measurement . But the next month of the schedule does feature some tough tests, including United Center visits from the Chris Paul-led Los Angeles Clippers, John Wall-fronted Washington Wizards and Russell Westbrook-helmed Oklahoma City Thunder over the next week. Chicago carries a 36-22 record into Friday's action, putting the Bulls a half-game behind the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Central Division and slotting them in fourth place in the East's playoff chase, 9 1/2 games behind the conference-leading Atlanta Hawks.  Rose will begin "aggressive" rehabilitation on Saturday. "I know Derrick is anxious to attack this rehab,” Forman said, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune . “We anticipate a full return to activity. He’s full weight-bearing today. In about a week, he’ll be able to do basketball-related drills and increase his strength and go from there.” Where Rose goes from there, of course, stands as an open, fascinating question. Rose is just 15 months removed from his first surgery to repair a tear in this same meniscus, and less than three years removed from the April 2012 tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee , a devastating injury that completely altered the career arc of the explosive lead guard who in 2011 became the youngest player ever to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player trophy . The physical circumstances surrounding this particular injury and procedure seem significantly less troubling than the two previous situations, with a far shorter recovery time associated with removing the damaged piece of the meniscus than attempting to repair it. But there remains the potential that removal could, as our Kelly Dwyer wrote Wednesday , "leave Rose far more prone to the sort of pain and 'minor procedures' that have plagued post-snip players like Dwyane Wade as they’ve grown older," or, in the worst-case scenario, the brand of cartilege-free, bone-on-bone agony that led to the early end of Brandon Roy's career. Forman downplayed the likelihood of immediate pain issues related to the meniscectomy: Bulls GM Gar Forman: "In the short term, (arthritis) is not a concern." — K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 27, 2015 There's another nettlesome short-term issue, though — the reintroduction of the problematic dynamic that Rose and the Bulls fostered during the 2012-13 season as he rehabilitated from his ACL tear. Forman has now made it clear that the Bulls are confident that Rose will be 100 percent before the end of the season and that they expect him to play in regular-season games . In past rehabilitation situations, Rose has shown a clearly conservative bent, waiting to return until he feels "110 percent" right. Two years back, the separation between the timelines of team and player led to serious static, with Rose demonized in some quarters for wanting to feel totally confident in his body before returning to the fray, Chicago's front office looking like ogres for wanting him to return after he was medically cleared, and everyone in the Bulls locker room having to answer the same questions about their fallen comrade over and over and over again. Already dreading the revival of the "Should Derrick Rose play now?" debate — J.A. Adande (@jadande) February 27, 2015 The specter of a Rose comeback that never came enveloped the end of the Bulls' 2012-13 season. With such clear public proclamations of what's expected, Chicago could be inviting another messy battle here. The Bulls, unsurprisingly, don't seem particularly concerned about that, and are staying the course: Gar: "We'll be as transparent as we can be [in regards to Rose's rehab]." — Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 27, 2015 ... which, unsurprisingly, has engendered a bit of cynicism among some Bulls observers, including our Fearless Leader: Read: "We'll make him look like the bad guy." RT @NickFriedell : Gar: "We'll be as transparent as we can be [in regards to Rose's rehab]." — Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) February 27, 2015 But we are, perhaps, getting ahead of ourselves. For now, let's breathe a sigh of relief that the injury that sent our hearts sinking back down to the pits of our stomachs doesn't appear to be as severe as we initially feared. For now, let's be thankful that our chances of seeing Rose suit up for a playoff game remain alive, as do the Bulls' chances of making their way past the Hawks and Cavaliers into the NBA Finals. For now, there's hope that we'll see Derrick Rose on the court again before we close up shop for the summer. It's not everything, but for now, that's enough. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Dose: Bledsoe bests Westbrook (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:20:00 PST)
Eric Bledsoe and Russell Westbrook put on a show, and LeBron James led the Cavs over the Warriors on Thursday night. Dose breaks it all down.

LeBron dominates with season-high 42 points, Cavs handle Warriors (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:02:02 PST)
Thursday's matchup between the league-best Golden State Warriors and red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers was billed as a potential NBA Finals preview. As with so many high-profile games before it, the night was dominated by LeBron James. The Cavs superstar scored a season-high 42 points on 15-of-25 shooting as Cleveland beat Golden State 110-99. The Warriors got out to a hot start in a high-scoring first quarter but were handled by the Cavaliers over the final three quarters in a game whose result rarely seemed in doubt. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball ] In addition to his impressive scoring total, James added 11 boards, five assists, and three steals over 36 minutes. Take a look at some of his highlights below: Cleveland's win ran their current home winning streak to 11 games, their best mark since LeBron's final pre-Miami season in 2009-10. In all, the Cavs have won 18 of their last 20 games, good enough to make them the hottest team in the league and the ostensible favorite in the East despite holding third place in the conference at nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Hawks. While Cleveland's offense gets much of the attention, their defense arguably impressed more vs. Golden State. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 30 points on 10-of-30 shooting. MVP candidate Curry especially struggled when guarded by taller wings and looked off most of the game. It's awfully early to predict what will happen over the next several months, but the Cavaliers look increasingly like a team that can adjust its lineups to frustrate many different kinds of opponents. The additions of Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith, and Iman Shumpert have given them balance, and Kevin Love (16 points and eight rebounds) looks more comfortable even he continues to influence the offense overwhelmingly from the perimeter. It took a bit, but this squad resembles the juggernaut many expected. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric

Magic-Hawks Preview (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:50:14 PST)
Balanced scoring from their starters is a key reason the Atlanta Hawks have a comfortable lead atop the Eastern Conference. Dennis Schroder will try to build on another strong showing Friday night, when the Hawks attempt to continue their home success against the Orlando Magic. Atlanta (45-12) is atop the conference by eight games on Atlantic Division-leading Toronto. The Hawks are trying to squelch any doubts that the lead is about to dwindle following a recent 1-3 stretch, as they were held under 90 points in each of those losses.

Mavericks suspend Rondo, fall to Hawks
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:03:59 PST)
With point guard Rajon Rondo suspended for one game for a heated argument with coach Rick Carlisle, the Dallas Mavericks fell 104-87 to Atlanta. Dallas had won three straight NBA games coming into the contest, but they were without three starters. Chandler Parsons missed his third straight game with an ankle injury, Tyson Chandler was out with a hip injury and Rondo was serving his one-game ban by the team for a shouting match with Carlisle during the third quarter of Tuesday's win over Toronto. Recently acquired reserve forward Amare Stoudemire was also missing.

Hawks charge past short-handed Mavericks 104-87 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:17:38 PST)
Atlanta backup point guard Dennis Schroder again shined against a Dallas team that was missing its starting point guard. Led by Schroder's 17 points, the Hawks took the lead with a 13-0 run in the third quarter and went on to a 104-87 victory Wednesday night over the Mavericks, who were without suspended guard Rajon Rondo. He also led Atlanta with a career-high 22 points in a 105-102 win at Dallas on Dec. 22. ''People are going to start learning he can shoot the ball and do a lot of things,'' Atlanta's Al Horford said.

Mavs suspend Rondo for game after exchange with Carlisle (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:06:21 PST)
The Dallas Mavericks suspended Rajon Rondo for their game Wednesday night in Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team, a day after the point guard had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched. ''The incident last night was born in large part from poor communication between him and I,'' Carlisle said before Dallas' 104-87 loss. We had a long talk about the situation today and we both agreed we need to communicate more frequently and we need to work on the solution of making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the most successful one possible.'' Rondo came out with 8:10 left in the third quarter of Dallas' 99-92 home victory over Toronto. The Mavericks were trailing by nine when Rondo was pulled and rallied with backups Devin Harris and J.J. Barea running the offense along with leading scorer Monta Ellis, who sometimes handles the ball.

Leak in roof delays Mavericks-Hawks game (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:24:42 PST)
A leaking roof at Philips Arena has caused a short delay in the first quarter of the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks. The status of Wednesday night's game had been in doubt much of the day due to a winter storm that brought snow to north Georgia.

Rajon Rondo suspended for shouting match with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:59:43 PST)
When the Dallas Mavericks traded for enigmatic point guard Rajon Rondo in December, they must have known that they were getting a fairly difficult player to coach. Rondo is hard to figure out, performs his best when he has freedom to improvise, and can get ornery. The Mavs knew they were making a gamble in adding a stylistically unique player to the NBA's best offense (at the time), but they believed that the potential gains were worth it. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball ] The final results of that decision won't be known until the postseason and when Rondo becomes when free agent this summer, but they experienced some of the bad that comes with his good in the third quarter of Tuesday night's home game against the Toronto Raptors. As the Mavericks headed back to the bench just a few minutes into the third quarter, head coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo began to engage in a shouting match. Take a look at the video: Rondo was benched for the duration of the game, and Monta Ellis and Devin Harris performed ably in his stead to lead the Mavericks to a 99-92 victory. The verbal altercation resulted in the Mavericks suspending Rondo for Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavericks have suspended guard Rajon Rondo one game for “conduct detrimental to the team." — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 25, 2015 Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported that Rondo and Carlisle also had an "emotionally charged dispute" in the locker room after the game. MacMahon has more details on what went down during the game : The incident occurred with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter, when Carlisle stormed out on the American Airlines Center court to call a timeout and shouted at Rondo, who appeared to be ignoring a play call from the bench as he brought the ball up the floor. Rondo responded by shouting back at Carlisle. They exchanged heated words for much of the timeout, with assistant coach Jamahl Mosley stepping in front of Rondo at one point to prevent the point guard and coach from getting in each other's faces. "Well, it's an emotional game, and we had a difference of opinion," Carlisle said. "There was an exchange, and then in my mind it was over." [...] "Discuss with Rick," said Rondo, a four-time All-Star whom the Mavs acquired in a blockbuster trade from the Boston Celtics on Dec. 18. Team sources told ESPNDallas.com that friction had been building up between Carlisle and Rondo over play-calling responsibilities, the majority of which the coach has handled. Former Mavs point guard Jason Kidd had similar frustrations during his first season playing with Carlisle, although it never resulted in a public outburst. It's an understandable argument given the personalities involved. Carlisle likes a certain amount of control over how his team runs offense, and his track record suggests that he has the team's best interests at heart. Yet it's also understandable why Rondo would take issue with that structure, especially when he's had considerable success working in other ways. It's hard to believe the Mavericks front office didn't anticipate this issue when they traded for Rondo, to the point where they must have assumed such matters would be resolved by the playoffs. There's obviously still plenty of time for that to become the case, and maybe Rondo will see re-signing with Dallas as the only logical move in July. Carlisle told reporters prior to Wednesday's game in Atlanta that Rondo will start the Mavericks' next game on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets. "He'll practice Friday and he'll be back in the starting lineup on Saturday," Carlisle said. "The events of [Tuesday] night are now in the past and we've got to move forward. I need to say this clearly: He is an extremely important part of our team. Our efforts to get to the highest possible level largely hinge on him playing and playing well with him. He needs to play well with us, and we need to play well with him. It's a two-way street. "The incident last night was born of poor communication between him and I. That's on both of us. We had a long talk about the situation [Wednesday], and we both agreed that we need to communicate more frequently. We need to work on a solution for making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the most successful one possible. We're looking at 23 games here. Right now, this is a critical time for us." While it's good to hear that the team has a plan for dealing with the dust-up, it's somewhat concerning that Carlisle and Rondo aren't seeing eye to eye more than two months into their partnership. For one thing, it's not the first time Rondo has been benched — he sat the final five minutes of a loss to the Chicago Bulls back on Jan. 23. That incident barely registered, in part because neither Rondo nor Carlisle made too big a deal out of it. You could say the same about Tuesday's interaction, too, except that we're now only one such event away from a third, at which point journalism students are allowed to refer to Carlisle benching Rondo as "a trend." Again, it's best to be wary of overreacting to all this when such an incident was well within the realm of possibility back when the Mavs dealt for Rondo. But this is an issue to watch, because minor spats between coaches and players could end up having bigger effects in a conference as competitive as the West. Sometimes things only don't matter until they do. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric

Mavericks-Hawks Preview (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:11:31 PST)
Mike Budenholzer's ball-sharing, pass-happy scheme has the Atlanta Hawks in terrific harmony. Despite their recent surge, the Dallas Mavericks aren't enjoying much tranquility, and they'll be without point guard Rajon Rondo as a result as the Hawks try to complete their first season sweep of the Mavericks in 11 years Wednesday night. Long known for isolation basketball, the Hawks (44-12) had to change their ways when Budenholzer was hired from the San Antonio Spurs prior to last season. The Hawks hold 7 1/2-game lead over Toronto atop the Eastern Conference, and Budenholzer smiled Tuesday when talking about players policing themselves when there is a "lapse" in his system.

What changes have led to Kyle Korver's unprecedented year? (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 07:21:48 PST)
ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin caught up with Hawks' guard Kyle Korver to discuss the support Atlanta has received from their fans this season, what he's doing differently this season and the Hawks' offensive system.

Hawks have embraced Budenholzer's ball-sharing system (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:37:32 PST)
The Eastern Conference standings are not the only proof the Atlanta Hawks are mastering Mike Budenholzer's ball-sharing, pass-happy scheme. Long known for isolation basketball, the Hawks had to change their ways when Budenholzer was hired from the San Antonio Spurs. The Hawks hold a big lead in the Eastern Conference, seven games ahead of Toronto before Tuesday's games. ''I think it stands out with our players when we are not moving the ball the way we expect to and the way we want to,'' Budenholzer said.

The 10-man rotation, starring the stats that really aren't all that hard to suss out (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:19:40 PST)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Nylon Calculus . Seth Partnow, in a must-read column, is here to remind you that having fun with numbers that might seem impenetrable at first are just numbers, slugger. This really isn’t complicated stuff. PF : ESPN the Magazine . The massive analytics feature that is adding a bit of fuel to this fire. This silly, silly fire. SF : New York Times . As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers are coming through with a top-ranked offense. It just took them half a season to find it. SG : Basketball Insiders . Nate Duncan dives in on the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are chasing down a luxury tax season for the first time and dumping draft picks in a furious effort to win right bloody now. PG : Hardwood Paroxysm . William Bohl echoes the same thoughts, as the Thunder reel happily from the trade deadline moves that were discussed on Monday . 6th : NBA.com . Shaun Powell does the same thing, reminding us of the fact that the 8th-seeded Thunder, winners of six straight and eight of nine, need to pounce in 2015. 7th : SB Nation . Russell Westbrook isn’t just gunning for the MVP in Kevin Durant’s absence; he’s gunning for the MVP full stop. 8th : Bucksketball . Assessing the Milwaukee Bucks’ financial future moving forward in the wake of the team’s trade deadline deal. 9th : Complex . Why the Atlanta Hawks aren’t unlike Southampton, an English football club. Both appear to be quite adept at finessing the competition, according to Justin Block. 10th : Blog-a-Bull . Taking an optimistic approach to the end of the somewhat-healthy Chicago Bulls’ season, including a surprising tidbit about the team’s inconsistent defense. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

NBA Power Rankings: Injuries taking toll on some playoff contenders (Yahoo Sports)
(Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:05:32 PST)
The Thunder, Warriors and Pelicans, now missing some key pieces, will be tested.

The 10-man rotation, starring how the Thunder reloaded for the present and future (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:29:23 PST)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : NBA.com and CBSSports.com . David Aldridge and Ken Berger go inside the Oklahoma City Thunder's thought process on the Reggie Jackson trade, with a particular emphasis on Sam Presti's willingness to trade future draft picks that are likely to come in the bottom third of the first round for recent draftees with top-five talent whose first NBA go-round might not have worked out so well. PF : Sports Illustrated . Chris Ballard with a characteristically fantastic feature on how the Golden State Warriors went from perennial laughingstock to championship favorite in just a few short years. SF : The Portland Tribune and Blazersedge . Kerry Eggers and Dane Carbaugh offer their memories of the late Jerome Kersey, "an armored car with a Ferrari engine" who "exemplified the way that Oregonians want to think of themselves, culturally and in athletic competition." SG : New York Times . Beckley Mason takes a stats-based look at how the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense has taken off over the past five weeks, going from just outside the top 10 in points scored per possession on Jan. 13 to by far the league's most potent offense since . PG : The Players Tribune . Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler offers an informative breakdown of the different things that make some of the league's best big men so tough to guard. 6th : The Cauldron . Jacob Eisenberg looks at a couple of strategic shifts that the Atlanta Hawks have implemented across the roster en route to dominating the Eastern Conference and entrenching themselves in the ranks of legitimate title contenders. 7th : TrueHoop . Kevin Arnovitz on how the Hawks got their read-and-react defense — yes, you read that right — back on track in Sunday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks. 8th : The Oregonian . Jason Quick takes a look at the Portland Trail Blazers' recent late-game struggles, including their 3-for-19 finish to Sunday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, with whom they're battling for playoff position in the Western Conference . 9th : The Hook . Tom Ziller celebrates the players who wear No. 0 and the ongoing relevance of Gilbert Arenas. 10th : Triangle Offense . A silly and fun look at how different teams and players perform when Rihanna shows up to watch them play. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Reports: Kevin Garnett wants to flush your phone, and buy your NBA team (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:57:21 PST)
Despite the team’s lack of on-court success, the Minnesota Timberwolves have enjoyed some significant highlights this season. Rookie Zach LaVine won the Slam Dunk Contest , Andrew Wiggins figures to be the runaway Rookie of the Year winner , and Shabazz Muhammad enjoyed a terrific turnaround campaign after a disappointing rookie season. Muhammad is out for the season after finger surgery , however, and the Wolves currently sit last in the Western Conference with a miserable 12-42 record. This leaves the return of Kevin Garnett as the lone thing for Wolves fans to cling to as they watch their team miss the postseason for the 11th straight season. Wolves players? They might have to watch out for the lives of their smartphones, at least according to Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders. From the Minnesota Pioneer Press’ Tom Powers : "As one of our veteran guys told our young guys yesterday, 'Hey, listen, when KG walks in the locker room your phones better be tucked away, because if they're not, they're going to get thrown in the toilet on game night,' " Saunders noted. Whoa. "He changed their culture," Saunders said of Garnett's time with the Boston Celtics. "Doc (Rivers) told me that. They had veteran players and everything else, but when he went in the locker room, the music was cut off and everything." That’s right, kids. Mind your beats. And get your nose out of that blinky-blink thing. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Saunders the president has put together a good group of guys, by all indications, but Saunders the coach could always use some help getting his message across. The Wolves are incredibly young, with LaVine, Wiggins, Glenn Robinson and Anthony Bennett (also out for two weeks due to a leg bruise) all ranking as part of the under-21 club. Bennett in particular could use some sort of guidance in what has been a lost two seasons following his selection as the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Wiggins, another top selection that was born some four months before the Timberwolves selected Garnett fifth overall in the 1995 draft, doesn’t appear to be the sort of that needs his phone flushed, but Garnett can help. The future Hall of Famer combined innate timing and out and out determination and hard work to act as perhaps the most destructive defensive player of the last quarter century, and this clueless bunch of Minnesota pups currently ranks last in the NBA on that end of the ball. Wiggins and LaVine have the natural ability to turn into defensive stoppers, but they’re too young to know what they’re doing at this point. We’re also too early in this particular game to know what Garnett, Saunders, and the Timberwolves’ front office and ownership group have in store for the next few years. This is the final year of Garnett’s contract, and while most assumed he would retire following this season, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press was the first to report that Minnesota was set to offer the legend a two-year extension. From there, the stakes may rise. Charley Walters at the Pioneer Press reports : The contract extension Kevin Garnett, 38, will sign with the Timberwolves this summer will be for two years. During that period, Garnett and Wolves president-coach Flip Saunders are expected to try to form a group to buy the team from Glen Taylor. Garnett has amassed more than $325 million in salaries during 20 seasons in the NBA. Saunders, who turns 60 on Monday, has made an estimated $40 million during 17 seasons as a NBA coach. Walters went on to say that current Wolves owner Glen Taylor wants no part of selling the team until he sees what the Atlanta Hawks go for in their eventual sale. The Wolves were valued at $625 million recently by Forbes , a massive uptick from last season but also one that could still run a little too conservative as franchise values spiral. Listing Garnett and Saunders’ career earnings, pre-tax no less, won’t cut it. Those two would have nowhere near the capital needed to buy the team even if it were for sale seven or eight years ago and for around $200 million. They would have to be part of a larger group that would have to include one or two significantly well-heeled partners taking the lead. If Taylor, who turns 74 in April, decides to move on? He could possibly make a $700 million profit on his initial $88 million investment in the team some 27 years ago. The move would also just about make Flip Saunders President For Life, something many Wolves fans would not be as keen on. Saunders has made some solid enough transactions in his time running the Timberwolves, and he has been a marked improvement over his incompetent predecessor , but he’s running without checks and balances even now and prior to reportedly attempting to take on an even bigger stake in the team’s ownership group. For now, and before things get hairy, let’s just get used to the idea of seeing Kevin Garnett in what will be his fourth new uniform in eight years. That’s not a lot by NBA standards, but for the guy that routinely passed on asking for a trade from Minnesota during the team’s post-2004 swoon, it’s been a surprising few years for KG. Garnett debuts on Wednesday against Washington. The story will only get more intriguing from there. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

A new playoff format for the NBA might add excitement (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:16:50 PST)
MIAMI (AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets are on pace to finish 34-48 this season.

Dose: Western Stars Falling (Rotoworld)
(Sun, 22 Feb 2015 22:52:00 PST)
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and LaMarcus Aldridge were all out on Sunday, leaving weekly owners in a pickle. Monday's Dose breaks it all down.

NBA-Highlights of Sunday's NBA games
(Sun, 22 Feb 2015 22:10:52 PST)
(Adds late games) Feb 22 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's National Basketball Association games: - - - - Pacers 104, Warriors 98 Rodney Stuckey, playing on a sprained left ankle, scored a season-best-tying 30 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a victory over the Golden State Warriors. Golden State got 39 points from Klay Thompson but played without its leading scorer, All-Star guard Stephen Curry, who has a sprained right ankle. A clutch three-pointer from guard C.J. Miles with 26.5 seconds left gave the Pacers a 101-97 lead and two Stuckey free throws with 4. ...

Bucks-Bulls Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 22 Feb 2015 19:20:26 PST)
The Chicago Bulls have often handled the Milwaukee Bucks in recent seasons, though this time they're facing a team that's making a considerable push in the Central Division. The Bucks will try to bounce back from just their second loss in 11 games while denying the division-leading Bulls their sixth win in seven contests Monday night. Chicago (35-21) has won 15 of 18 meetings with Milwaukee after Pau Gasol scored a career-high 46 points to lead the Bulls to their fifth consecutive victory in the series, 95-87 at United Center on Jan. 10. The Bucks - and Cleveland - were both 6 1/2 games back in the Central after that defeat.

Paul Millsap helps Hawks beat Bucks 97-86 (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 22 Feb 2015 16:32:58 PST)
A late-night study session worked wonders for the Atlanta Hawks. Paul Millsap had 23 points and 16 rebounds in Atlanta's 97-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, two days after coach Mike Budenholzer had his team in the film room following a 25-point loss to Toronto. ''It helps to see what you're doing wrong,'' Millsap said. Tonight, guys were playing well.'' Kyle Korver hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter after Atlanta squandered an early 16-point lead.

Millsap powers East-leading Hawks over Bucks
(Sun, 22 Feb 2015 15:27:47 PST)
Milwaukee (AFP) - Paul Millsap scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks snapped a two-game losing streak Sunday with a 97-86 NBA victory at Milwaukee.

Muhammad to miss rest of season for Timberwolves (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 21 Feb 2015 17:08:54 PST)
Just when the Timberwolves thought they were finally getting healthy after a rash of injuries to key players spoiled another season in Minnesota, Shabazz Muhammad and Anthony Bennett both went down. Muhammad was becoming a key cog off the bench for the Wolves in his second season. He was averaging 13.5 points per game and his aggressiveness was rubbing off on rookie Andrew Wiggins. Muhammad also had some time in the starting lineup when the Wolves lost starters Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic for most of the first three months of the season.

Hawks-Bucks Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 21 Feb 2015 12:51:06 PST)
The last time the Atlanta Hawks visited Milwaukee, they bounced back from a blowout loss to the Bucks a night earlier and began the longest win streak in franchise history. Now the Hawks return to the Bradley Center looking for history to repeat itself following their worst setback since the one that preceded their impressive run. In a matchup of two of the NBA's most surprising teams, the Hawks will try to avoid their first three-game slide since last March while denying the red-hot Bucks an eighth consecutive home win Sunday. Jared Dudley scored 24 points on 10-of-10 shooting and Milwaukee (31-23) shot 50.6 percent in a 107-77 win at Philips Arena on Dec. 26 that remains Atlanta's second-worst loss of the season behind a 33-point defeat at Cleveland on Nov. 15.

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