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  1. Spurs complete sweep of Grizzlies to return to NBA Finals

    May 28, 2013, 12:52 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker celebrates after the Spurs eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies to win the NBA Western Conference final playoff basketball series in Memphis

    Before the Grizzlies were eliminated from the playoffs in a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins summed up his team’s talent disadvantage while praising the effort his team has displayed at the same time. “We have no room for making half efforts,” Hollins said. “We have…

  2. Mike Conley on verge of stardom as Grizzlies on verge of elimination

    May 26, 2013, 1:39 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

    Where is the line between the NBA’s stars and the league’s merely good players? Star is such a loaded term – full of reputation and production and marketing and talent and style – that, occasionally, it can be useful to sort through all the distractions and look at objective measures. Let’s examine players in order…

  3. Friday And-1 links: Conan’s NBA mascot’s that shouldn’t dunk

    May 24, 2013, 7:26 PM EDT

    Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls

    Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Jon Stewart loves Fox News gaffes… • Conan O’Brien gives us (fake, obviously)…

  4. LeBron, Durant, Kobe headline All NBA First Team

    May 23, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

    Even before the season tipped off you had a pretty good sense that LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul would be All-NBA First Team — they are dominant players at or entering their peak. But Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan continue to defy father time. The two veterans round out the All NBA Team…

  5. Spurs show they have too much offense for Grizzlies to handle in Game 1 destruction

    May 19, 2013, 10:01 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs guard Green shoots against Memphis Grizzlies guard Conley during the first half of Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference final playoff basketball game in San Antonio

    In getting to the Western Conference Finals, the Grizzlies played two teams that couldn’t put together solid execution on the offensive end of the floor anywhere near consistently over the course of those playoff series. A lot of the credit for that goes to the Memphis defense, of course. But in the first round, the…

  6. Thunder GM says team won’t amnesty Kendrick Perkins

    May 19, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

    Kendrick Perkins

    One of the more popular cries from the Thunder fan base after the dismal all-around postseason performance of Kendrick Perkins was that the team should rid themselves of his contract (two more seasons at nearly $19 million total) by using the amnesty provision on him this summer. In the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have…

  7. Western Conference Finals preview: Grizzlies vs. Spurs

    May 19, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

    Tony Parker, Zach Randolph

    SEASON RECORDS Memphis: 56-26, fifth seed in the West San Antonio: 58-24, second seed in the West PLAYOFF RECORDS Memphis: Beat the Clippers 4-2 in the first round. Beat the Thunder 4-1 in the second round. San Antonio: Beat the Lakers 4-0 in the first round. Beat the Warriors 4-2 in the second round. SEASON…

  8. George Hill injury jeopardizes Pacers’ identity

    May 17, 2013, 2:55 PM EDT

    George Hill, Roy Hibbert, D.J. Augustin

    The puzzle pieces have changed, but the picture of the sailboat they form has not. Under Frank Vogel, the Pacers have relied heavily on their starters. Between them, George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert excel in all areas of the court, offensively and defensively, and really balance each other. But…

  9. Kevin Durant says it was not a wasted year; has good perspective on hoops, life

    May 17, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant

    Kobe Bryant said a couple years back that every year he does not win another NBA ring is a “wasted year of my life.” Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder came into this season thinking NBA title. They had made it to Game 5 of the NBA finals last season and they wanted to…

  10. Thunder enter summer with one big goal: Get healthy

    May 16, 2013, 2:36 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant walks with his head down after a teammate fouled a Memphis Grizzlies player in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoffs in Oklahoma City.

    It’s this simple: If Russell Westbrook were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder would be on their way to the NBA Finals. Instead, there was disappintment as they fell in the second round to a very good Memphis Grizzlies team 4-1. This was not some blowout, Memphis was just +18 for the entire series. No game…

  11. Grizzlies advance to Conference finals for first time in team history after Game 5 win over Thunder

    May 16, 2013, 1:54 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant walks with his head down after a teammate fouled a Memphis Grizzlies player in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoffs in Oklahoma City.

    The Memphis Grizzlies have punched a ticket to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history, thanks to closing out the Thunder 88-84 with a Game 5 victory in Oklahoma City. The Thunder were going to need a superstar performance out of Kevin Durant in order to extend this series, and just…

  12. Who is more likely to force Game 6: Chicago or Oklahoma City?

    May 15, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant reacts after a missed point against the Memphis Grizzlies during overtime of Game 4 in the Western Conference semi-finals of the NBA playoffs in Memphis

    There are two teams on the brink of elimination Wednesday night: The Chicago Bulls at the hands of the Miami Heat, and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. Both the Bulls and Thunder are down 3-1 in their series, lose and they can make tee times for Thursday morning. Let’s…

  13. Monday And-1 links: Andre Drummond to work out with Hakeem

    May 13, 2013, 8:06 PM EDT

    Andre Drummond

    Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Chicagoans love to boo LeBron James… • Detroit rookie big man Andre Drummond…

  14. Preview: Durant can do more but will need more help for OKC to even series with Memphis

    May 13, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

    When you hear GMs — or sometimes television pundits or Internet bloggers — talking about a team needing an identity, this series is exactly why. The Thunder have had to scramble under pressure to develop a new identity without Russell Westbrook, to figure out how they can generate baskets outside Kevin Durant. The result was…

  15. LeBron James, Joakim Noah headline NBA All-Defensive team

    May 13, 2013, 2:26 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Three

    If you were anchoring your defense with one center in the NBA right now who would it be? For the past few years the answer was Dwight Howard, he was the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate (voted on by the media) and NBA All-Defensive First Team, voted on by the coaches. But if…

  16. Kevin Durant: ‘I can do a lot more’

    May 13, 2013, 12:41 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant falls to the floor against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen in the final moments in the second half of their Game 2 NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game in Oklahoma City.

    Anyway you slice it, Kevin Durant is doing a lot for the Thunder. Traditional stats say Durant is averaging 34.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals in 44.3 minutes per game since Russell Westbrook’s injury. Advanced stats say Durant has 2.2 win shares for a team that has won five playoff games, which means…

  17. Lionel Hollins expects he will be back as Grizzlies coach

    May 10, 2013, 7:23 PM EDT

    Lionel Hollins

    Watching the way the Memphis Grizzlies are playing these playoffs, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Lionel Hollins on the bench with them. But his contract is up this year. And the team’s new owner has put in a young, numbers-friendly group in the front office (remember, they hired John Hollinger from ESPN), while Hollins…

  18. Russell Westbrook says he hopes the play that injured him involving Patrick Beverley wasn’t dirty

    May 9, 2013, 10:34 PM EDT

    Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

    Russell Westbrook met with the media in Oklahoma City on Thursday for the first time since suffering the torn lateral meniscus injury that required season-ending surgery. Most objective observers of the play that caused the injury, where the Rockets’ Patrick Beverley aggressively tried to get a steal as Westbrook was preparing to call for timeout,…

  19. Mike Conley outshines Kevin Durant as Grizzlies take Game 2 from the Thunder

    May 8, 2013, 1:50 AM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

    There were multiple areas that the Grizzlies needed to focus on in terms of adjustments heading into Game 2 against the Thunder. The one they needed the most was made, in the form of point guard Mike Conley returning to, and then exceeding the stellar form he displayed for much of the second half of…

  20. Bulls win? Warriors in second round? Unpredictability has been hallmark of these playoffs

    May 7, 2013, 7:59 AM EDT

    Joakim Noah, Nate Robinson

    Legendary baseball statistician Bill James once said the big problem with the NBA is that the best team usually wins in the playoffs. He’s right, the NBA playoffs tend to follow form. And he’s right that we like unpredictability in the playoffs. Baseball has a long grind of a season, but in a seven game…

  21. LeBron James named MVP, misses becoming unanimous selection by a single vote

    May 5, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's LeBron James reads the label on his Most Valuable Player trophy during a news conference held by the NBA and Miami Heat in Miami

    The news we’ve known about for a few days now became official on Sunday, as LeBron James was named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in his career. There was no suspense surrounding the crowning of James, but there was some curiosity to see whether or not he might be a unanimous…

  22. James Harden says he’ll be active in recruiting free agents to join him in Houston

    May 4, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

    Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets

    The Rockets showed plenty of signs of being a legitimate playoff team for seasons to come, both with the way they reached the playoffs in James Harden‘s first year in Houston, and with the effort they gave in forcing their first round playoff series with the Thunder to reach six games before ultimately falling short.…

  23. PBT NBA Playoff Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    May 4, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

    Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Durant

    SEASON RECORDS Memphis: 56-26, fifth seed in the West OKC: 60-22, one seed in the West PLAYOFF RECORDS Memphis: Beat the Los Angeles Clippers 4-2 OKC: Beat the Houston Rockets 4-2 SEASON SERIES Grizzlies took two of the three meetings. KEY INJURIES Russell Westbrook is out for the playoffs after undergoing surgery for a torn…

  24. Thunder find a little of their magic, came from behind to close out Rockets

    May 4, 2013, 3:16 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Six

    For a night, Oklahoma City showed some progress, found a little of the old magic, and that was something to celebrate. And that was something that was too much for the Rockets. We all know the Thunder are not themselves right now, that their biggest tests lie ahead (started Sunday against Memphis). But for a…

  25. Thunder-Rockets Game 6 preview: Kevin Durant continues to dominate Oklahoma City offense

    May 3, 2013, 8:57 PM EDT

    In the last three games, Kevin Durant has scored 115 points, drawn 32 fouls and committed three charges. Not only is he carrying the Thunder’s offense, he’s taking a beating to do it. That probably won’t change in Game 6 with Russell Westbrook out for the rest of the playoffs. Reggie Jackson showed signs of…

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