NBA News and Notes June - 13

NBA News and Notes June - 13

NBA Today - June 13

Wed, Jun 13, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, June 13

No games scheduled.

STAR

Tuesday

-Tony Parker, Spurs, scored 17 points to lead San Antonio to a 75-72 victory over Cleveland.

LOW SCORING

San Antonio's 75-72 victory over Cleveland in Game 3 Tuesday night tied for the second-lowest scoring game in NBA finals history. The mark is 145 set in 1955 by Fort Wayne and Syracuse.

COOLING OFF

Cleveland rookie guard Daniel Gibson started for the first time in Game 3 of the NBA finals Tuesday night after shooting 13-for-21 in the first two games, but went just 1-for-10, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, as the Cavaliers lost to San Antonio 75-72 to go down 0-3.

CRUNCH TIME

San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili, scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting through the first 47-plus minutes, hit three free throws in the last 10.4 seconds, as the Spurs held off Cleveland 75-72 Tuesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA finals.

DOWNTOWN

San Antonio was 10-of-19 from 3-point range, including a combined 7-for-9 from Bruce Bowen and Brent Barry, while Cleveland shot just 3-for-19 from downtown in Game 3 of the NBA finals, won 75-72 by the Spurs on Tuesday night.

SWINGS

Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had 10 total rebounds in the first two games of the NBA finals, had 10 offensive and 18 total Tuesday night in Game 3. But the result was the same as San Antonio took a 3-0 lead with a 75-72 victory.

SITTING OUT

Cleveland point guard Larry Hughes was inactive for Game 3 of the NBA finals against San Antonio on Tuesday night after hobbling throughout the first two games - and much of the past few weeks - with a sore left foot. The Spurs won 75-72 to take a 3-0 lead.

NOT TUNING IN

Game 2 of the NBA finals lost nearly one-third of its television audience from last year. San Antonio's lopsided victory over Cleveland drew a 5.6 national rating and 10 share on ABC on Sunday night. The ratings for Game 1 fell 19 percent from last year.

STEPPING DOWN

Rick Carlisle, fired in April after four years as Indiana coach, told the Pacers on Tuesday he will not return as the team's executive vice president. Carlisle told The Associated Press on Monday night that working in television, coaching or taking time off are all immediate possibilities.

MOVING ON

Buzz Peterson resigned Tuesday as coach at Coastal Carolina to become director of player personnel for the Charlotte Bobcats. Michael Jordan, Peterson's former college roommate and teammate at North Carolina, is part-owner of the Bobcats and has final say on all basketball decisions. Peterson was 35-25 in two seasons with the Chanticleers, who hired him after he was fired as Tennessee's coach in 2005. Peterson also coached at Tulsa and Appalachian State.

SPEAKING

''Offensively we could not get the ball in the basket. Nobody for us was having a good game as far as Tim, Tony and Manu are concerned offensively. But we kept getting stops and getting in there and we know it was ugly but we are up 3-0 at the end of the day and that's all that counts in the series.'' - San Antonio reserve swingman Brent Barry after a 75-72 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 13

Hughes wishes he could have helped struggling Cavs
June 13, 2007

CLEVELAND (AP) -Larry Hughes' heart told him one thing. His mind and body told him another.

Hughes said that while sitting on the sidelines with a hurting left foot during the Cleveland Cavaliers' 75-72 loss Tuesday, he believed that if he had played he could have done something to help his team.

``It's a point where you want to be out there and you want to be in the mix but if you're out there I probably couldn't have gave much,'' he said Wednesday. ``It's just a fact, really.''

The Game 3 loss put the Cavs down 0-3 to the San Antonio Spurs.

Hughes, who has plantar fasciitis and a tear in his foot, said he wanted to play but knew that the ``running and the cutting and the stopping was just too much.''

Hughes has been bothered by the foot and was hobbled during the first two games of the NBA finals. He said it's yet to be decided whether he'll play Thursday to try to help the Cavs avoid a sweep.

``I really couldn't put percentages on it,'' Hughes said. ``Because I am taking it day-to-day and I am doing treatment. Same as I was doing while I was playing. So it's just a matter of how we feel as a team and what's the best way for us to win a game.''

Hughes, who described the pain as running barefoot on concrete and said it's ``like I have no cushion,'' said that the game off helped.

``I'm feeling better,'' he said. ``Obviously, without the pounding, it's definitely going to feel better.''


LATE-NIGHT STUDYING: Tony Parker learned all about championship basketball while most of his countrymen were sleeping.

The San Antonio point guard said Wednesday he used to wake up at 3 a.m. while growing up in France to watch the Chicago Bulls play in the NBA finals. That helped Parker, who made his NBA debut at 19, get a feel for the league long before he played in it.

``You learn a lot watching that,'' Parker said. ``When I first came in the league, a lot of people were surprised by my knowledge about the history of the game. You can ask me any question and I'll try to answer it the right way because I watched a lot of tapes and a lot of games.''

He often did it without permission. Asked if he had to get his parents' OK to stay up so late, Parker said: ``I didn't tell them. I was sneaking and watching them.''

Parker recalled that Michael Jordan was the NBA finals MVP when the Bulls won all of their six championships. Tim Duncan has been the MVP in all three San Antonio victories, but Parker is playing well enough that he may beat out Duncan for the award this time.

And if he does?

``That would be unbelievable,'' Parker said. ``I still think Timmy is going to get it because he's our franchise and he's a superstar. But if they want to change, why not?

``I'm joking. But still, there's one more game, and if we win the championship, I'll be very happy with that. And if it happened, I'd be the first one to be very happy.''


BILL WHO? In a room filled with NBA legends that included Bill Russell, Julius Erving, Bob Lanier and Bill Walton, it was Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao who received the loudest applause.

Maybe that was because the room was filled with Cavaliers fans born years after those greats had already hung up their sneakers.

The legends, along with a few Cavaliers players, gathered at the west side Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland to dedicate a new Learn and Play center. It's the 174th center created by the NBA and the sixth in northeast Ohio.

The league helped renovate the center and provided laptop computers, educational software and thousands of books. NBA commissioner David Stern and Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden grabbed a couple books to read with some youths.

``All of this is for you because we know you have dreams to be somebody,'' Lanier told the children.


GROWING PAINS: LeBron James may have to chalk up this trip to the finals as an educational experience. He wouldn't be the first superstar to do so.

It took four trips for Hall of Famer Julius Erving, who won the NBA title in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers after losing three times in the finals.

``It's the first time for the franchise, period,'' Erving said. ``So I think it's a learning experience for everyone involved with the franchise even though they've got management and coaching staff who've got championship experience.''

Erving could tell by listening to the news conference after Game 3 on Tuesday night that the Cavaliers still need some educating.

``I heard more of a defense of what everybody was doing,'' Erving said. ``Everybody was kind of defending their own position. Everybody was saying, 'I did what I needed to do.' It's not really about what I need to do. It's about what we need to do.''

Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who won NBA titles with Portland (1977) and Boston (1986), said the Cavaliers have a long way to go mentally.

``San Antonio has been the smarter team and Cleveland has to learn to play on the mental level of the championship teams,'' Walton said.

He also said James needs a better supporting cast.

Walton wouldn't count the Cavaliers out to at least make the series interesting, recalling how Seattle, trailing 0-3 in the 1996 finals came back to win two games against the Chicago Bulls.

``They are learning how hard it is to be the champions and how much of your life it takes,'' Walton said.

``They are realizing how much further they have to go.''

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