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BDL 25: Al Horford, the Celtics and building from the NBA middle (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:30:13 PDT)
The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it’s time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2016-17.

Raptors' DeMarre Carroll hopes injury woes behind him (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:42:50 PDT)
DeMarre Carroll is ready to start over. A prized free-agent acquisition for the Toronto Raptors last year, Carroll played only 26 regular-season games because of a right knee injury that had to be surgically repaired in January. The small forward worked hard to rejoin the club in time for Toronto's run to the NBA's Eastern Conference finals, but wasn't the same player the Raptors signed to be difference-maker from the Atlanta Hawks.

Miami experience gives new Grizzlies coach instant respect (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:22:47 PDT)
Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has known his new coach since he was 19 and brand new in the NBA. Point guard Mike Conley sums it up nicely: David Fizdale is not a typical first-year head coach. ''If you sit down and talk to him, it seems like he's been there, done that,'' Conley said.

At NBA media day, concern for country over concern for team (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:57:54 PDT)
NBA players aren't just worried about their teams as they start a new season. Anthony was among the highest-profile and most outspoken players following the killing of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota in July, joining friends and fellow stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul in a powerful opening to the ESPY Awards and continuing to speak out while playing for the U.S. Olympic team. ''Obviously, I know things don't happen overnight, but it doesn't seem like there is any change,'' James told The Associated Press.

Horford addition brings optimism for Celtics entering camp (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:52:23 PDT)
Boston's Isaiah Thomas is feeling like a new man. ''I'm now listed at 6-1,'' the 5-foot-9 point guard joked when he sat down at Celtics media day on Monday. While Thomas was speaking in jest, there's nothing at all fake about his excitement entering this season.

Howard calls Atlanta homecoming 'a blessing and an honor' (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:26:00 PDT)
Dwight Howard beamed Monday as he posed for photos, finally wearing his hometown ''ATLANTA'' in big letters across his broad chest. ''I was placed in situations that weren't really the right situations for me,'' Howard said. Howard came out of Southwest Atlanta Christian School to become the No. 1 overall pick by Orlando in 2004.

Harden focused on helping Rockets improve after tough season (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:59:25 PDT)
HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden was second in the NBA with 29 points per game last season and his 7.5 rebounds were a career high.

Hawks' Paul Millsap has procedure to reduce swelling in knee (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:25:34 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap will be rested for three weeks and will miss the first two preseason games following a procedure to reduce swelling in his right knee. The Hawks say Millsap recently had ''a preventative procedure'' and will have ''phases of rest and recovery'' for the next three weeks before returning to full basketball activities. Hawks coach and president of basketball operations Mike Budenholzer says the procedure was timed to make sure Millsap is ready for the regular season.

Expectations low, but Nets no longer worry about winning now (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:35:33 PDT)
Jeremy Lin will be urged to become a better leader. Brook Lopez will be challenged to rebound and defend better. Kenny Atkinson believes in being direct and honest with his players, but there's one thing the new Brooklyn Nets coach won't discuss with them.

The 10-man rotation, starring how the Bulls make it work (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:26:13 PDT)
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.

Ranking Rosters: Measuring depth and continuity on all 30 NBA rosters (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 16 Sep 2016 08:52:40 PDT)
In the 1980s, teams climbed for years to reach the NBA mountaintop. Isiah’s Pistons built from within, developed together and added pieces to the puzzle, ascending a playoff round each season, until they eclipsed Bird’s Celtics atop the East in 1998 and unseated Magic’s Lakers for the title a year later.

AP Source: Hawks C Howard OK after brief hospitalization (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 12 Sep 2016 14:47:35 PDT)
A person familiar with the situation says Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard is recovering from a likely case of dehydration after becoming ill on a flight from China, leading to a brief hospitalization. The person says Howard became sick Sunday on the long flight back to Atlanta, which followed a promotional tour of the Asian country. WGCL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, first reported Howard's hospitalization.

How Isaiah Thomas made a young Celtics fan's day ... twice (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:13:51 PDT)
It sounds like something out of a pluck-the-heartstrings commercial, but for young Robbie McNulty, the fantasy became reality last week … and the dream just keeps getting better. After finishing his first day of high school, McNulty, a 14-year-old who lives in Cambridge, Mass., was out at a park near his home shooting hoops. Yes, that’s Isaiah Thomas — NBA All-Star, starting point guard for the Boston Celtics and, as luck would have it, McNulty’s favorite player — who just happened to be strolling by and decided to take a few minutes to turn a solo mission into a team activity.

Dwight Howard treated for dehydration, released from hospital after China trip (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 12 Sep 2016 08:01:32 PDT)
Dwight Howard is looking to rebound with the Hawks. Howard, 30, has recently been in China on a 10-day promotional tour with shoe manufacturer Peak. Last week, the Chinese company and Howard unveiled his DH2 shoe which features the colors of the Hawks.

Zelmo Beaty, and the rest of the 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame inductees (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:54:57 PDT)
Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson will headline the 2016 crop of Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, but those superstars aren’t alone in the list of new members. If you were left wondering “who the heck is Zelmo Beaty?” last spring when the Hall of Fame inductees were announced, you probably weren’t alone. The Basketball Hall of Fame actually misspelled Beaty’s last name as “Beatty” in its initial press release, an unfortunate slip-up in the presence of a deserved induction for one of the great underrated centers in pro basketball history.

BDL 25: The Trail Blazers, and the promise and peril of 'pretty good' (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:52:16 PDT)
For the Portland Trail Blazers, everything revolves around Damian Lillard (center) and C.J. McCollum. The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. Two seasons back, we clanged away on the Atlanta Hawks, whom we expected to finish at .500, but wound up producing the most successful season in franchise history.

BDL's Ranking Rosters: Measuring depth in the Southeast Division (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:28:46 PDT)
Stars guide the NBA. Set your watch by LeBron James contending in June. Kevin Durant joined Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in Golden State, and we all know how that will turn out. (Hint: Pretty good.) Fill out the rest of that roster with 11 Mark Madsens, and they’ll still vie for a title.

Twitter crowdsourcing helped an NBA player find his lost puppy (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:24:30 PDT)
Thanks to some help from fans on social media, worried pet owner and Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore was reunited with his lost puppy on Wednesday, offering a brief and warming reminder that, as chaotic and distasteful as it can often be, the Internet can sometimes be used for good. Twitter fam- MY PUPPY is LOST in FAIR OAKS.

Dwight Howard is shooting 19-footers to better his free throws (Video) (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 30 Aug 2016 14:55:28 PDT)
Dwight Howard takes in the fights. Dwight Howard hit a career-low 48.9 percent from the free throw line in 2015-16, a pretty significant millmilestone for someone who entered the league in 2004, and someone whose free throw work has been endlessly scrutinized for over a decade. Howard, then working for the Houston Rockets, was also a repeated target of the ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ defensive philosophy, fouled purposely throughout contests in order to send his sub-standard stroke to the charity stripe in hopes for a pair of clangs.

Milwaukee Bucks sign free agent guard Jason Terry (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 22 Aug 2016 17:28:19 PDT)
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent guard Jason Terry.

LeBron James would like to own and run an NBA team someday (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:47:38 PDT)
LeBron James recently admitted that he’s chasing the figurative “ghost” of Michael Jordan, meaning MJ’s six NBA championship and Jordan’s acknowledged presence as the greatest to ever play the sport of basketball. In the ‘Open Run’ podcast on James’ own Uninterrupted channel, James revealed that he shares a sentiment with everyone from the leader of the free world to the college sophomore that you just traded a few Wizards-related Twitter @ replies with – he’d like to own an NBA team, and run the show from up top.

Grizzlies hire Bender assistant coach, Thate shooting coach (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Aug 2016 09:49:01 PDT)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Bob Bender as an assistant coach and Bob Thate as a shooting coach on David Fizdale's staff.

Ex-NBA forward Travis Outlaw arrested on felony marijuana charge (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:53:00 PDT)
Former NBA forward Travis Outlaw was arrested last Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him on a felony marijuana charge. The Starkville, Miss., native turned himself in, according to Jim Gaines of the Starkville Daily News, was arrested and quickly released on $10,000 bond. The indictment, issued July 15, states the Starkville native possessed an amount of the drug greater than 250 grams but less than 1 kilogram on July 23, 2015.

The self-aware Stephen Jackson rips players who choose money over winning (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:38:51 PDT)
Stephen Jackson, a man who played 14 seasons in the NBA with eight different teams (one of them, whom we’ll discuss later, twice), is attempting to make a comeback after failing to latch on with any squads following a nine-game stint with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013-14. “There’s a lot of guys in the NBA right now that are making money but they really don’t care if they win or lose as long as they are getting the paycheck and I’ve never been like that. “That’s the sad part of the NBA right now, that there are some players that are making a lot of money but they don’t really care about winning games and bringing the championship or a winning season to the organization, and that’s what the fans are complaining about.

Brook Lopez praises the rebuilding Nets' 'abnormal' offseason (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 05 Aug 2016 11:45:45 PDT)
Brook Lopez has seen some stuff. Not just because we’re comparing these Nets to the absolutely ridiculous run that Billy King dragged the team through for season after season (ending earlier in 2016), but because no NBA team has ever had to drag itself out of a death sentence like this. This is why Nets center Brook Lopez, the longest-tenured player on the franchise (since 2008) and a 20-points per game scorer last season, still called the team’s offseason “abnormal” upon reflection of new general manager Sean Marks’ first few months on the job.

Fantasy Basketball Breakouts (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:00:00 PDT)
Ethan Norof looks at some potential breakout candidates ahead of the 2016-17 fantasy basketball season.

Report: Jerry Stackhouse is about to become a D-League head coach (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 02 Aug 2016 13:28:45 PDT)
Coach Jerry Stackhouse of Team USA gives instructions to players during adidas Eurocamp on June 8, 2015 in Treviso, Italy. Just three years after his final pro game, former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse is reportedly about to become a head coach. League sources have informed Upside & Motor that the Raptors 905 are expected to name Jerry Stackhouse as their new head coach for the 2016-17 season.

Ben Gordon and Flip Murray are looking for their next shot at the NBA (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 02 Aug 2016 11:05:32 PDT)
Ben Gordon and Flip Murray are taking a less frantic approach than Von Wafer came through with earlier in the offseason, but both would like to be back in the NBA if you wouldn’t mind. At ages 33 and 37, respectively, both are undersized shooting guards that can handle the ball in a pinch (Murray produced a solid assist rate at one point), but prefer to do their work as scorers and shooters while pining for that extra two inches of height that Jamal Crawford (still chugging along at age 36) was blessed with. Murray hasn’t played in the NBA since his Chicago Bulls lost to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James’ old Cleveland Cavaliers – in 2010.

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