Category Archives: NBA JERSEYS

Rockets’ James Harden says double-teams mean ‘I’m pretty good’

Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone considers his preferred defensive strategy of double-teaming Houston Rockets star James Harden, sometimes as far as 40 feet away from the basket, to be a form of flattery.

“I know it’s probably frustrating for him,” Malone said before Tuesday night’s game at the Toyota Center. “But he should take it as a sign of huge respect because people are game planning to get the ball out of the [hands] of the best scorer in recent memory.”

Harden agreed, saying he takes it as a compliment that teams are double-teaming him, often in areas of the floor that are virtually unprecedented for NBA defenses.

“For sure,” Harden said after scoring 35 points on 10-of-17 shooting in the Rockets’ 130-104 win over the Nuggets. “Me and Coach [Mike] D’Antoni talk about it all the time. That means that I’m doing something right, [that] I’m pretty good.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The strategy certainly didn’t frustrate Harden and the Rockets on Tuesday night. Houston shot 52.9% from the floor and 47.1% from 3-point range in the rout of the Nuggets, a stark contrast to the first meeting between the two Western Conference powers this season.8

Houston’s 105-95 road loss to the Nuggets on Nov. 20 is the Rockets’ lowest-scoring game this season. Denver was the first team to employ frequent double-teams against Harden from the opening tip and held the NBA’s leading scorer to 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Several Houston opponents have followed suit since.

Denver doubled Harden for the majority of the first half Tuesday night — sometimes bluffing but usually sending a second defender at him — and the Rockets picked apart the Nuggets’ defense. Houston scored 69 points in the first half despite Harden attempting only seven shots from the floor.
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“We were just more prepared,” said Harden, who also had six assists and showed no signs of being slowed by a sprained toe that caused him to sit out Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. “We’ve seen that so many times now, so guys know what to do.”

Russell Westbrook had 18 of his 28 points in the first half, frequently exploiting Denver’s double-teams on Harden by attacking the paint once Harden gave up the ball. Crisp ball movement repeatedly generated open looks for the Rockets’ shooters, with Houston making 9 of 16 3-point attempts in the half.

“We’ve seen it a thousand times. Every game,” D’Antoni said of doubles on Harden. “Guys were making some shots. We’re getting more comfortable with it. Russell was really good. It shouldn’t work in theory. If you just double [Harden], he throws it to Russell and it’s 4-on-3. We should score every time. … We’re not surprised by it. They don’t rush. You know, you see something that’s kind of odd. Now it’s not odd, so we should be able to handle it.”

Sources: Darren Collison mulling February return, likely to an LA team

Veteran guard Darren Collison, who stunningly retired before free agency, is considering a February return to the NBA — with the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers emerging as his preferred destinations, league sources told ESPN.

Collison, 32, exited the league abruptly in late June despite an expectation that he would attract multiple contract offers in the neighborhood of $10 million-plus a season.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Collison’s interest in a return and his focus on the Los Angeles teams sets up another possible recruiting showdown between the Lakers and Clippers, two of the NBA’s primary championship contenders.

Many of the league’s contenders have monitored Collison’s interest in returning and have stayed in contact with his agent, Bill Duffy of BDA Sports, and others close to Collison, league sources said.7

It is unlikely that a Collison comeback would come before the NBA’s trade deadline on Feb. 6. The Lakers and Clippers are also competing to acquire Andre Iguodala, who is waiting for Memphis to trade him.

In an interview with The Undefeated and ESPN’s Marc Spears on June 28, Collison cited religious reasons for retiring.

“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith. I am one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me.

“I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched.”

Collison averaged 11 points and six assists with the Indiana Pacers last season. He’s become a progressively better 3-point shooter in his career, including shooting 47 percent in the 2017-18 season with the Pacers.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Collison played one season for Doc Rivers with the Clippers in 2013-14, including 13 playoff games as a backup to Chris Paul. Collison also had stops with New Orleans, Sacramento and Dallas.

Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (ankle) practices, could return Thursday vs. Spurs

Luka Doncic was a full participant in the Dallas Mavericks’ Christmas Eve practice — his first since spraining his right ankle almost two weeks ago — and could return as soon as Thursday’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs.

“He seems to be doing better every day,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “I don’t know what his status will be for Thursday, but he’ll certainly be upgraded. He’s doing well. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and then Thursday we’ll see what’s what, but things are looking better and better.”

Doncic moved well during the practice, but the Mavs want to monitor how his ankle responds before determining his status against the Spurs.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I’m feeling good,” said Doncic, who has emerged as an early MVP candidate by averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game. “Just taking care of it. [There’s] a lot of things that we have to do, and we’re just taking care of it. We’ll see how it progresses, and we’ll see if I play.”8

Doncic injured the ankle when he stepped on the foot of Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn while driving to the basket in the opening minutes of the Mavs’ double-overtime loss on Dec. 14. The ankle rolled over so far that it touched the hardwood, and the Mavs felt fortunate that X-rays were negative and Doncic was diagnosed with a lateral ankle sprain.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Mavs managed to win two of the four games that Doncic sat out despite facing Eastern Conference powers, pulling off road wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers with Jalen Brunson replacing Doncic in the starting lineup. It would have been a 3-1 week for the Mavs, but on Sunday they became the first NBA team in a decade to blow a 30-point lead as they lost the Toronto Raptors.

“We have a great team and had some tough matchups,” Doncic said. “They played great. Like I always say, we have a deep team.”

After staying home when the team traveled to Milwaukee immediately after his injury, Doncic joined the Mavs for their weekend road trip to Philadelphia and Toronto and ramped up his rehabilitation process. He went through extended workouts under the supervision of Casey Smith, Dallas’ director of player health and performance, before both games. Doncic worked at close to full speed Sunday in Toronto, going through a series of one-on-one moves against the defense of assistant coach Jamahl Mosley.

“I just want to go back on the court to play, because I’m competitive,” Doncic said. “I just wanted it to get better quick, get back as soon as possible.”

Sources: Lakers’ LeBron James, Anthony Davis expected to play vs. Clippers

The Los Angeles Lakers will have their stars on the court for a Christmas Day showdown with the LA Clippers.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are expected to play on Wednesday, league sources told ESPN. James missed a game for the first time all season Sunday with a thoracic muscle strain and discomfort in his groin; Davis tweaked his right knee during that game, a loss to Denver.nfl nike jersey cheap

James and Davis encouraged an impromptu early-morning practice on Christmas Eve, sources told ESPN, in preparation for the Lakers’ first game against the fully formed Clippers with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George available to play.

The Lakers, who recently completed a stint of 12 out of 15 games on the road, also practiced Monday, but both James and Davis were held out of on-court participation.7

With an early 5 p.m. PT tip on Christmas making it too much of a time crunch to hold a morning shootaround on game day, the two Lakers leaders brought the group in on Tuesday so they could join their teammates in the walk-through to prepare for the Clippers.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel lamented his team’s overall lack of practice time and conceded that it could be a contributor to the three-game losing streak L.A. is mired in.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“We went a 10-day trip without a single practice, really,” Vogel said Monday. “One shootaround, I think. Sometimes that benefits your legs, but usually it leads to a little bit of slippage in your execution and togetherness, particularly on the defensive end.”

The Clippers beat the Lakers 112-102 on opening night in a game that the Lakers admit did not feature their best execution. “I think we were super emotional in the first game, and it showed,” Dwight Howard said this week, looking back at the loss.

James and Davis’ extra practice time would seem to be a step toward drilling down the game plan to have that knowledge to fall back on when the atmosphere gets charged at Staples Center for Lakers-Clippers, Part 2.

“It’s a little bit like the playoffs,” Vogel said. “You want to be jacked up. But sometimes the best mental approach to the playoffs is managing your adrenaline and managing the edge. But let’s start with the edge first. Bring the juice first. If we’re overboard with it, we can always pull back. But you don’t want to be it the other way around. And it won’t be.”

For Giannis and Bucks, a challenging week is only beginning

Their 18-game win streak was snapped two wins shy of the franchise record of 20 set during the 1970-71 championship season. Now Milwaukee’s focus shifts to Thursday, when the Eastern Conference leaders will welcome the West-leading Los Angeles Lakers to town.

“Yeah, obviously. It’s gonna be a good game, gonna be a test for us,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored a game-high 48 points to go with 14 rebounds and four assists Monday against the Mavericks. “The Lakers are one of the best teams in the league.

“We’ve gotta bring it, gotta play good basketball, gotta move the ball, but obviously as a team, we don’t wanna lose two in a row,” he added. “We’ve just gotta go out there and try to get a win.”

The Bucks have lost consecutive games in the regular season just once since Mike Budenholzer took over as head coach entering the 2018-19 season. To avoid doing so a second time will mean beating a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“They’ve got two of the top-five players in the world, so …” Antetokounmpo said.8

The Lakers have a top-five offense, but they’re average at taking care of the ball, ranking 17th in turnover percentage entering Tuesday’s road game against the Indiana Pacers. Only the Bucks and Mavericks shoot better, but the Lakers aren’t nearly as potent from 3. They’re more about interior offense.

That actually fits the Bucks’ strengths defensively. The Bucks allow 12.9 field goals made per game inside the restricted area and only 54.5% in that zone, both league-wide lows.

However, for the Bucks to beat the Lakers will require more than the one-man show that was on display Monday. Antetokounmpo is capable of stuffing the stat sheet, as he showed in the loss. But he got little help. Against Dallas, he scored or assisted on 59 of Milwaukee’s 82 points (72%) when he was on the floor, per ESPN Stats & Information research. He scored 48 points, and the rest of the starters scored 23.nfl nike jersey cheap

The Bucks can’t afford to shoot 41.9% from the field and 26.8% from 3 again. Some of the poor shooting Monday can be attributed to missing good looks. According to Second Spectrum tracking data, the Bucks had an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 47.1, despite a quantified shot quality (qSQ) of 54.1, meaning Milwaukee had an eFG% much worse than expected given the quality of the attempts.

Still, even if the open looks start falling Thursday, the Bucks can’t rely as heavily on Antetokounmpo versus James and Davis. They’ll need a total team effort. 2019 All-Star Khris Middleton, former Laker Brook Lopez, Wesley Matthews and Donte DiVincenzo (stepping up in the absence of the injured Eric Bledsoe) have to make an impact.

Anthony Davis sits with ankle sprain in Lakers’ loss to Pacers

Anthony Davis did not play in the Lakers’ 105-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday due to a mild ankle sprain.cheap nfl nike jersey

It was the second game Davis has missed this season. He is leading the team in points (27.4), rebounds (9.3) and blocks (2.6) per game.

In Davis’ absence, Jared Dudley made his first start of the season for the Lakers (24-4), who are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA’s best record.7

Davis tweaked the ankle during Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Hawks. He grabbed at his right ankle when fouled on a layup in the closing minutes, but he was able to finish the game.

He was listed as questionable on the injury report leading into Tuesday’s game.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Davis has dealt with rib and shoulder soreness this season.

Kyle Kuzma (ankle) was also out for Los Angeles, as previously announced.

Anthony Davis says Lakers trio urged 50-point effort

It wasn’t Anthony Davis’ idea to score 50 points Sunday in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Avery Bradley first suggested it to him at halftime, when Davis was already up to 27 points. DeMarcus Cousins then encouraged him to keep chasing it during second-half timeouts. And finally, Rajon Rondo instructed Davis to go get one more bucket when his point total was up to 48.

“The team was telling me, they weren’t telling me how much I had, but they were saying, ‘Get 50,'” Davis said after logging the fourth 50-point game of his career. “Usually I don’t really pay attention. I just go out there and play and try to get the win. But it’s hard when your teammates are constantly reminding you, ‘Go get 50! Go get 50!’ So they made sure I was constantly reminded.”

James finished with 32 points (including a 6-for-8 mark from 3-point range) and 13 assists. He assisted on eight of Davis’ field goals, including setting up the one that gave Davis the half-century mark with a 7-foot floater over the Wolves’ Jordan Bell.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

It was the most assists James has had to any one teammate in a game this season and the second most to any teammate in a game in his 17-year career, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. (Last March, he dished 10 assists to JaVale McGee.)

“For me and AD, we just, it starts with us,” James said. “If we’re on the same page it makes it a lot easier for the rest of the ballclub, and that’s both on and off the floor. So we’re just trying to lead by example, lead by command, lead by our voices, lead by our play and see where it takes us. It’s been pretty good for us so far.”8

Davis became just the second teammate of James’ career to score 50 in a game. Kyrie Irving did it twice for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season. James didn’t play in one of those games, and the other went to overtime.

Davis did his damage in 39 minutes, going 20-for-29 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line.

“Just keep feeding him,” James said. “He was efficient all night. Getting the ball exactly where he wanted it: midpost, low post, perimeter. He can do it all, so it’s our job to continue giving him the ball.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

It was Davis’ third game with 40-plus points this season, and it came on the heels of a 39-point effort at Portland on Friday. He and James became the first pair of Lakers teammates to combine for 70-plus points in back-to-back games since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

“The first thing that sticks out to me is that he has four steals, a block and great defense for all 39 minutes he was out there,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of Davis. “He played strong on that end of the floor and anchored us, and to still go for 50 in what I feel like is an old-school, smashmouth way of getting 50 — no 3s? Right? [He shoots] 20-for-29 and then living at the free throw line. Post-ups, offensive rebounds, crashes, all those types of things. Just an old-school performance and one for the ages.”

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma out with sprained ankle

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma missed Wednesday night’s 96-87 win against the Orlando Magic because of a sprained left ankle.

The three-year veteran injured his ankle nearly two weeks ago against the Washington Wizards but had continued to play on it through soreness and discomfort, the team said.

The Lakers’ medical staff stepped in to hold him out against the Magic as the Lakers begin a five-game road trip, hoping the ankle can heal fully before Kuzma plays more games. His status is considered day-to-day.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

It’s been a difficult season thus far for Kuzma, dubbed the third member of the Lakers’ big three alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, after the team was able to hold on to him during negotiations for its blockbuster deal with New Orleans in the offseason.7

A string of injuries, starting with a stress reaction in his left ankle suffered during USA Basketball training camp in the summertime — the same ankle that is currently injured — has slowed the 24-year-old’s progress as a young star on the rise.

Through 20 games, Kuzma is averaging 11.1 points on 43.3% shooting while playing 23.1 minutes per night. Last season he averaged 18.7 points on 45.6% shooting while playing a bigger role on a lesser team, logging 33.1 minutes per game.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Kuzma has repeatedly spoken to the media in recent weeks about his patience being tested this season. A team source told ESPN that he has experienced more upheaval in his role than the team anticipated; Davis is playing fewer minutes at the 5 because JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard have filled that role so well. When Davis plays the 4, it pushes Kuzma out of the ideal stretch role he provides (he has lifted his 3-point percentage from 30.3% a year ago to 36% this season) and challenges him to make the most of playing out of position.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks rout Clippers for 14th straight win

Doc Rivers emerged from the locker room Friday night and tried to come up with a clever reason for the LA Clippers’ worst loss of the season.

“It was Giannis’ birthday, and we searched all over the city to find a gift, couldn’t find one, so we gave him this one,” Rivers said.

On Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 25th birthday, the Milwaukee Bucks celebrated by stomping the Clippers 119-91 to win their 14th straight game, the franchise’s longest winning streak since 1973.

The Bucks have won by a total of 137 points over their past four games, which is the second-best point differential over a four-game span in a season in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The Bucks (20-3) beat the Clippers 129-124 in Los Angeles earlier this season, but neither Kawhi Leonard or Paul George played in that game. On Friday night, it didn’t matter as Leonard, George and Lou Williams combined to shoot 15-for-39 while each turned the ball over five times.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

The Clippers came into this game having scored 130 or more points five times, reaching 150 twice. But Rivers wanted everyone to know the Clippers’ offense isn’t nearly as good as the statistics indicate as he tries to integrate Leonard and George amid disruptions due to injuries and little to no practice time.8

“We have not maximized them offensively yet,” Rivers said of Leonard and George. “We keep looking at our offensive numbers, and I’ve been saying it: It’s fool’s gold. We’re not ready offensively yet. And our numbers say different. But this is where analytically, I’m right. I can see it.”

With just under 10 minutes left in the fourth, Rivers began clearing his bench with the team falling behind 101-67. The Clippers felt the Bucks wanted this game more, and it showed.

“Sometimes you just get your ass kicked,” said Williams, who called the loss humbling. “It won’t be the last time we get our asses kicked this season.”new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Williams added, “Sometimes teams play better than you, they want a game more than you. I think tonight they showed that we just showed up to play and they showed up to kick our ass, and they did that.”

Before Friday night’s blowout loss, in which the Clippers trailed by as many as 41, their largest deficit was 23 against the Jazz on Oct. 30. They also had their worst night of the season on uncontested shots, with 38 percent from the field and 21 percent from 3.

“Obviously, one of our best efforts on both sides of the ball,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “To do what we did defensively, offensively and just getting closer to 48 minutes of what we want to be.

“I think to come out and throw a great punch in the first quarter, kind of take one in the second quarter, then respond in the third was really impressive. I think lots of guys played well.”

Leonard led the Clippers with 17 points and five turnovers on 5-for-14 shooting in his first matchup against Antetokounmpo since last season’s Eastern Conference finals, when Leonard was a member of the defending champion Toronto Raptors.

While Antetokounmpo celebrated his birthday in style, the reigning MVP remained focus, even turning down his mother’s homemade birthday cake before the tip-off.

Meanwhile, Leonard left Milwaukee with the Clippers’ worst loss of the season as he says the Clippers are still learning their playbook.

“We’re just a work in progress,” Leonard said. “This team is just really kind of put together this year. We’ve got to figure it out. Some of us don’t know the plays coming down, and it’s hard to get in our sets. We’ve just got to keep striving.”

Giannis and the Bucks clearly had something waiting for Kawhi

On any given night, Giannis Antetokounmpo succeeds at suspending fans’ disbelief and completing the unthinkable.

Antetokounmpo has levitated on blocks. He has spiked balls into the Fiserv Forum stands with superman strength.

On Friday night, Antetokounmpo came as close to flying as most can get — soaring over LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac and clobbering him with a gasp-worthy dunk to highlight a 119-91 Bucks win to improve to 20-3, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for best in the NBA.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

These are the games in which the “Greek Freak” revels.

“Now he is eating players,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, cracking a smile. “Great players do that. They understand when someone gets the best of them or a team gets the best of them, they don’t cry about it. They look at it and say, I’ve got to get better.”

On the court, Antetokounmpo believes in serving piping hot platters of revenge. He was determined to seek retribution over Kawhi Leonard — the player most responsible for sending Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks home in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals as a member of the Toronto Raptors.7

Antetokounmpo already used his animus to overpower the Raptors on Nov. 2, scoring a then-season best 36 points. After that game, he said he had “a lot of motivation” to beat the defending champions, but they were “obviously a different team.” Toronto was missing the man Antetokounmpo craved to play against the most: Leonard.

Friday wasn’t the first time the Bucks had faced the Clippers this season. Milwaukee had already gone Los Angeles to beat the Clippers at Staples Center. But at the time, Paul George had yet to debut after offseason shoulder surgery, and Leonard was taking the night off for load management, returning to action the following night in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In some ways, Zubac was a surrogate for his teammate, Leonard. Antetokounmpo and Leonard did not go head-to-head often, so instead, Antetokounmpo unleashed in other ways. Essentially, Zubac was just a guy in Antetokounmpo’s way. Don’t get in Antetokounmpo’s way.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

The first half lacked the razzle-dazzle expected of a matchup between two of the best players in the league. Antetokounmpo scored only 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, and Leonard’s first six shots were from at least 12 feet. Milwaukee’s first-half lead wasn’t built by Antetokounmpo manhandling defenders and skillfully bullying his way to the rim, but rather by Milwaukee’s second unit.

With just over five minutes left in the first quarter and the Clippers leading by two, Antetokounmpo sauntered over to the bench. Without him, the Bucks went on a 17-4 run and built a double-digit advantage. He returned with a minute and a half left and the Bucks up by 11. Overall, the Bucks were outscored by 10 points in Antetokounmpo’s 16 first-half minutes, and the Bucks outscored the Clippers by 19 in the 8:44 that Antetokounmpo was off the floor.