NBA News and Notes June - 9

NBA News and Notes June - 9

NBA Today - June 9
Sat, Jun 9, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, June 9

No games scheduled.

LOW INTEREST

Game 1 of the NBA finals drew the lowest rating for an opening game in prime time, dropping 19 percent from last year. San Antonio's 85-76 victory over Cleveland on Thursday night earned a 6.3 rating and 11 share on ABC. The previous low was a 6.4/11 in 2003. Last year's Game 1 between Miami and Dallas earned a 7.8 rating and 14 share.

WELCOME BACK

Former NBA player Jerry Sichting was hired as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, his second stint with the team. Sichting was an assistant for the Wolves under coach Flip Saunders from 1995-05. After Saunders was fired, Sichting became an assistant at Marquette. Sichting played 10 seasons in the NBA for Indiana, Boston, Portland, Charlotte and Milwaukee.

SPEAKING

''We've been in this position before. We've been down 2-0 and came back and won a series. So it's nothing new to us. But we don't want to go down 2-0 against this team.'' - Cleveland's LeBron James after Thursday night's 85-76 Game 1 loss to San Antonio. The Cavaliers overcame an 0-2 deficit against Detroit to make the finals for the first time.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 9

Brown: No lineup change for Cavs
Fri, Jun 8, 2007
By Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Daniel Gibson has been Cleveland's leading scorer in the last two games.

That's not good enough to get him a spot in the starting lineup.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said after the Cavaliers' 85-76 loss to San Antonio in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Thursday night that he won't make a lineup change before Game 2.

''It's one game,'' Brown said. ''We're going to go back and take a look at the tape and we'll make some adjustments and I'm sure they'll make some adjustments, but one of them won't be a lineup change.''

Gibson has emerged as one of the Cavs' most important players because of his outside shooting. The rookie scored a career-high 31 points in the Game 6 clincher against Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals, and finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting Thursday night.

His quickness might be even more important since starting point guard Larry Hughes has been slowed by plantar fasciitis. Hughes was only 1-of-5 Thursday and struggled to defend speedy Spurs guard Tony Parker, who scored 27 points.

Still, Brown appears to view Gibson as only a reserve.

''He'll get some playing time,'' Brown said. ''He played well for us on both ends of the floor tonight, and ... he did shoot the ball well. He'll be out on the floor for us.''

Gibson doesn't seem to care what his stats are or role is.

''I just want to win and give ourselves the best chance to win,'' he said.


ADMIRATION FROM ADMIRAL: Former Spurs center David Robinson, who was with the team for its first two titles, said a San Antonio victory could elevate the franchise's place in history because of the presence of a high-visibility player like LeBron James.

''It's a nice change of pace,'' Robinson said before Game 1. ''LeBron is about as marketable a person as you will find in the league at this time. He brings a lot of energy and excitement to this, which I think has been needed the past couple of years.

''I love the energy that's been generated the last week about this finals.''

Robinson said he doesn't expect James to overshadow Spurs forward Tim Duncan. Robinson said Duncan's complete game during the playoffs is as good as he has seen it.

''Tim has been able to do whatever he's wanted to do,'' Robinson said. ''It's incredible. His numbers aren't what they have been in the past, but overall this is probably some of the best basketball I've seen him play.''


NO WINE GUY: Cavaliers coach Mike Brown can break down a 2-3 zone defense or design a full-court trap with the best of them.

But he can hardly tell the difference between a full-bodied California cabernet and a flavorful chardonnay.

When he was a San Antonio assistant, Brown tried to learn all he could about wines from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, an avid wine collector with a cellar containing thousands of bottles.

Brown wasn't much of a student.

''Even though I was here with him three years, I still don't know anything about wine,'' Brown said Thursday. ''I know there's a red wine and a white wine, but beyond that I couldn't tell you what else.''

Popovich, the connoisseur, couldn't coach Brown on the finer points of sniffing, tasting or drinking.

''He tried his behind off, to teach me how to be one of those proper young men that can sit at the dinner table and decide which wine I need with this food or that food and what year and all that,'' Brown said. ''I just say, 'Whatever you're drinking, Pop, I'll drink it with you.'''

Although he left the Spurs after the 2003 season for Indiana, Brown has maintained a house in San Antonio. His parents live there now.

''This is a nice city, a nice town,'' he said. ''People are friendly here. My kids have great friends here. As soon as my son got off the plane, the only time I'm going to see him is at the game because he's going to stay with his buddy the whole week.

''So it's a nice town, we really enjoy it.''


BIG BUSINESS: The NBA set two records in Game 1 of the NBA finals.

For the fourth straight year, the league set a total attendance record, with 23,362,721 fans attending regular season and playoff games. Last year, it was 23,347,135.

The current postseason attendance average of 20,016 would be the second largest ever. The NBA averaged 20,565 fans in 2001, when seven games were played at the much larger Alamodome.

The numbers made David Stern smile.

''You're looking at a pretty happy commissioner,'' he said before Game 1.

There were to be 128 television broadcasters, breaking the finals record of 112. The series was drawing plenty of overseas interest with both teams having a strong international presence.

The Spurs have Tony Parker (France), Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto (Argentina), Francisco Elson (Netherlands), and Beno Udrih (Slovenia). Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania), Anderson Varejao (Brazil) and Sasha Pavlovic (Montenegro) play for the Cavaliers.

There is TV coverage in all those players' home countries. In all, the finals were being shown in 205 countries and territories and 46 languages.


GET YOUR GLASSES: For Sunday's Game 2, Cavaliers fans will see LeBron James like never before.

The NBA is staging a live 3-D HD viewing of the game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, which will be open for Cavaliers fans to see for free. It's the first time the new technology has been used in the finals.

The NBA first used the 3-D imaging in Las Vegas at the All-Star game.

''We're taking another step now,'' commissioner David Stern said, ''and that's a very exciting technology that we think will ultimately have a place in the NBA.''

The league plans to erect four 40-foot-by-23-foot screens in the arena to show the enhanced picture and fans will be required to wear special viewing glasses.

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