Tag:Kevin Durant
Posted on: February 7, 2012 4:45 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 4:58 pm
 

NBA admits referee blew late goaltending call

Posted by Ben Golliver

Oops, we did it again.

The NBA has publicly admitted once again that one of its officials made an incorrect call on a game-deciding possession.

In a statement posted to NBA.com/official on Tuesday, the NBA acknowledged that referee Scott Foster made an "incorrect call" when he whistled Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge for a goaltending violation with six seconds remaining in regulation of a Monday night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Rose Garden. Aldridge, who was defending Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant, blocked the shot into the backboard, but was still whistled for a violation, as Foster apparently thought he had pinned the ball on the glass.

Here's the league's statement.

With six seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge was called for goaltending on a shot attempted by the Thunder's Kevin Durant (shown below). With the benefit of slow motion replay following the game, it has been determined that Aldridge made contact with the ball just before the ball hit the backboard. Therefore, this should have been ruled a good block and goaltending was the incorrect call. (As determined by the NBA's Competition Committee, referees may not use instant replay on goaltending calls.)

The basket pulled Oklahoma City even in regulation and the Thunder went on to win in overtime, 111-107.

Following the game, Blazers coach Nate McMillan disputed the call and told the media that he would send video of the play to the league office for review. 

Aldridge disputed the call and was upset that the referees did not offer him an explanation.

"They act kind of sensitive sometimes," Aldridge said when asked if the referees had given him any explanation of their call. "He just told me the call was done and walked away... I timed it perfect, I put it on the glass, it didn't hit the glass first. I figured it was a clean block. The ref who called it was the furthest one from the basket so that's pretty interesting."

Back on Jan. 21, the NBA admitted its referees blew a no-call on a fourth-quarter kick ball by Pacers guard George Hill, which helped push Indiana to a late win. The NBA also admitted this season that their referees blew a late no-call on a traveling violation by Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James.

Here's a video replay of the blown goaltending call during a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder.


Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 3:45 pm
 

EOB Roundtable: Best dunks of all time

Posted by Ben GolliverMatt Moore and Royce Young

Earlier this week, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James and Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin treated the NBA worlrd to two of the best dunks you'll ever see.

James completedly hurdled Chicago Bulls point guard John Lucas III to finish a one-handed alley-oop pass from Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Griffin flew up and over Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins to throw down one of his power/speed/brute force specialties.

That got the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Staff thinking: What are the best dunks of all time? We kicked it around in a panel discussion.

Matt Moore:

So Griffin's abject demolition of Perkins and his dignity has set off a huge discussion of dunks this week. The big debate of course is how this one stacks up against Vince Carter over Frederic Weis. (Via YouTube user Supra2K8)



Everyone keeps coming back to the fact that he cleared a seven footer, which is obviously impressive. But for me, there are a number of things that make Griffin's RIPerkins better. Most importantly, Weis was trying to take the charge. Carter clears him (kind of, with some manipulation of Weis' head with his hand between his legs), but Weis isn't defending. On the other hand, Perkins is full-on trying to block, and if not block, foul Griffin. The dunk is a monumental clash of an elite shot challenger and the offensive player driving straight through his soul.

I always think a dunk being completed through a challenge is better than just dunking over a tall dude. If I wanted props I'd go to the dunk contest. That's why I tend to like this one as my second favorite of all time. (Via YouTube user DJNajeem)  

I mean, come on, now. That's Anderson Varejao, an annual defensive player of the year candidate. Weis was a fine defender... but not at the NBA level. I'd still put Carter as the best dunker of all time (in-game, dunk contest, your mom's house, anywhere). But Griffin's abject annihilation of Perkins has to be considered the best. In a related story, Amar'e Stoudemire over Anthony Tolliver. (Via YouTube user TheBrosBros
 


Royce Young:

You know what dunk gets criminally overlooked? J.R. Smith's two-handed "We just saw a man fly!" finish over Gary Neal. Three things that make that dunk amazing: 1) It was with two hands 2) It was darn near a buzzer beater and 3) Kevin Harlan's call. (Via YouTube user Huff99)



See, I think that's the type of stuff that can distinguish one great dunk from another -- the little things. Because all dunks over someone are pretty incredible when you think about it. But the details like how good the call of it was, how the ball went through the net (was it a splashing flush or did it rattle in, like Griffin's?), who it was over, the significance of it and stuff like that.  On that, you've got to have Pippen's destruction over Patrick Ewing. It has all of the above. Great call, major significance and it was over a seven-footer. For my money, it's the best ever. I mean, that's a total humiliation of Ewing. Pippen took Ewing's manhood and disrespect his family tree. He didn't just dunk over Ewing, he dunked through him. (Via YouTube user Funk2Dunk)
 


One more that I have to mention is LeBron's over Kevin Garnett in the 2008 playoffs. "With no regard for human life!" might be the all-time best dunk call. And it was over KG, which is big time. (Via YouTube user Marszall87)
 
Ben Golliver:

Reading your responses, I basically was just nodding continuously. I guess I'm not wired for the "Best Dunk" debate. I approach YouTube more like a wine collector approaches his cellar: collect all the greats, then keep collecting, then collect some more and then collect even more. I care more about experiencing all the greats than about ranking the cream of the crop.

Similarly, I'm partial to the classics. The first one that comes to mind when I think of a dunk is Michael Jordan over Ewing.(Via YouTube User ESPN)



This one just wraps up Jordan the offensive weapon so perfectly. Incredible handle, vision, instincts, quickness, power, fearlessness and total authority. The physicality at the end is just icing on a flawless cake.

You probably guessed that Julius Erving's cradle dunk over Michael Cooper would be next on my list. (Via YouTube user diegoris23)



It didn't quite have the man-on-man violence of some of these other dunks but the beauty is in how natural and in-the-flow this one came about. It was as if Dr. J was just walking down the street, saw a basketball lying on the ground, didn't even stop to bend over and picked it up, scooped it in rhythm and then tossed it on a very good defender's head in one brilliant, swooping motion. Iconic.

Last but not least, I think Kevin Durant's dunk over Brendan Haywood during the 2011 Playoffs will wind up standing up to the test of time. It's more recent than my other two picks but I predict massive staying powero on this one. (Via YouTube user NBA).



I see this as a future classic because Durant is on track for true greatness and because this dunk shows his amazing length, probably his most obvious stand out physical attribute. It shows his handle, his hops and his swagger. This will be the dunk that Durant enthusiasts point to in 30 years when detractors try to argue that Durant was "just a shooter" or that his slim frame held him back him from becoming a top-20 type of player. The extension on this one was amazing. The replays just make it better and better.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:16 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:16 pm
 

Bosh, Love the big All-Star starter snubs

Posted by Royce Young

Despite leading the West in rebounds and sitting third in points, Kevin Love wasn't named a starter. (Getty Images)

The starting fives for the Eastern and Western Conference were announced Thursday night
and while there weren't any surprises from the fan vote, the question is, should there have been?

By default this season, the fans weren't afforded the opportunity to really mess this up as Yao Ming retired and wasn't on the ballot. But I'm sure he's still somehow going to be named the Western reserves anyway. It wouldn't be a proper All-Star Game without him.

But let's figure it out: Did the fans get it right?

EAST

Obviously Derrick Rose is the right choice at point guard. The alternative option would be Deron Williams I suppose. Or Rajon Rondo, who finished second. Or if you wanted to get clever, maybe Jrue Holiday or Kyrie Irving. But Rose is the obvious correct choice despite him missing a handful of games with an injury. You don't snub the reigning MVP.

But at shooting guard, there's a case to be made for someone else here. Wade is the obvious top 2 in the East, but he's only played in 13 of Miami's 22 games this season. His numbers are good and he's as much a superstar as you can be, but if you want to give it to a deserving player, you could point to Joe Johnson who is leading the Hawks to the top of the East despite Atlanta having lost Al Horford. Still, Wade's the choice. Just the way it is.

Dwight Howard, check. Moving on.

The two forward spots is where I'd point to a mistake by the fans. LeBron James is obviously the right pick, but Carmelo Anthony is not. Not only has he missed a good chunk of New York's season, but he's not even playing that well. His team stinks and Melo's putting up near career-low numbers. You know who deserves that spot? Chris Bosh, believe it or not. Bosh has quietly had a terrific season for Miami. A 21.0 PER, 20.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Bosh deserves to start. Melo absolutely does not. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure if he's a reserve at this point.

WEST

If I wanted to have things thrown at me, I'd say Russell Westbrook deserves to start ahead of Chris Paul. CP3 missed a number of the Clippers' games and Westbrook has followed up last season's breakout with another terrific start. But I won't go there. CP3 showed Wednesday in Utah why he's not just the best point guard in the West, but the entire league.

Kobe Bryant, not going to argue with that. Honestly the only player that you could even recommend right now with Manu Ginobili being hurt is James Harden. And that's not at all reasonable.

Kevin Durant, check. He's not just scoring the ball well again this year while averaging career-highs in rebounding and assists, but his team sits atop the West and he's a solid MVP candidate.

Andrew Bynum gets the starters nod almost by default of being the best center in the West, but you could try and make something for Marc Gasol or Nene. Clipper fans want to point out DeAndre Jordan's defense, but come on. Bynum is averaging career-highs with 16.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. Bynum is the right selection, but not by too much.

Where the fans whiffed was at the 4 again. Yes, that means I'm going to tell you why Blake Griffin, even with his detonation of the Internet by posterizing Kendrick Perkins, is not the choice. Griffin's had a terrific season thus far, but I don't see how you deny Kevin Love. He doesn't have the highlight resume and doesn't have an arena oohing over a good offensive rebound, but Love leads the West in rebounding, is actually third in the West in scoring and has a PER of 25.87.

Griffin's numbers are great and you could even try and say LaMarcus Aldridge or Pau Gasol are deserving of mentions. So there they are. But that spot is owed to Love. His numbers are just too good to deny and there's not the excuse that his team is terrible anymore. The Wolves are nipping at that eight spot and are playing good basketball.

Plus, Love did this to Griffin, which should count for something, right?
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:15 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:55 pm
 

2012 NBA East, West All-Star starters announced

Posted by Ben Golliver 

Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade will square off in another NBA All-Star Game. (Getty Images)

The NBA officially announced the starting lineups for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, as voted by the fans on Thursday night, and there were no surprises.

The Eastern Conference starting lineup: Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Heat forward LeBron James, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

The Western Conference starting lineup: Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

The league's coaches will vote to the rest of the rosters and their decisions will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 9.

All 10 players were on pace as leading vote-getters during the first and second rounds of balloting that were released during the last two weeks.

2012 marks Rose's third selection, Wade's eighth selection, James' eighth selection, Anthony's fifth selection, Howard's sixth selection, Paul's fifth selection, Bryant's 14th selection and Kevin Durant's third selection. Bynum is the only first-time All-Star selection among the starters. Griffin, making his second appearance, joins Bynum as the only other first-time starter. 

Aside from Bynum and Griffin, the other eight players were all selected as starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Anthony represented the Denver Nuggets and played for the Western Conference team last year. Paul represented the Western Conference as a member of the New Orleans Hornets.

Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire are the two 2011 All-Star Game starters that did not return this season.

Here are the final vote tallies for the 10 All-Star starters. Howard was the overall leading vote-getter and Bryant led the way out West.
East: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,600,390; Derrick Rose (Chi) 1,514,723; LeBron James (Mia) 1,360,680; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,334,223; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 1,041,290

West: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,555,479; Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,345,566; Chris Paul (LAC) 1,138,743; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 1,051,945; Blake Griffin (LAC) 876,451
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando on Feb. 26. Bryant will look to repeat his performance as the 2011 NBA All-Star Game MVP. Here's a look at the jerseys that will be worn during the game.

For more coverage of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, check out CBSSports.com's NBA All-Star Game hub.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:49 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 3:57 pm
 

Durant on Griffin's dunk: 'It was a layup'

Pretty much everyone freaked over Griffin's dunk over Perkins. Kevin Durant? Not so much. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Did you see Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins? Of course you did. And you probably did one of a few things. You said, "OHHHHH!!!!" you shook your head or you passed out in terror.

It was an amazing play.

But one guy wasn't impressed and he has a better look than any of us.

"I have no appreciation for it at all," Thunder star Kevin Durant told reporters Wednesday, via the Oklahoman.

You shouldn't be surprised by that though. Durant's also a guy that when asked if he was happy for Dirk Nowitzki to get to the NBA Finals last year, he said, "I'm not happy for him at all." Durant isn't going to play the game where he says all the right things just to be nice. He didn't like Griffin cramming on his guy Perk and he didn't like all the attention it got either.

"It was a layup, I think," Durant said. "He threw the ball in and got fouled and made a free throw. So it’s three points at the end of the day."

It was in fact a dunk, by definition, but that's not the point. Durant came away unimpressed by the Blake Show's poster of his teammate. But is that the problem? Because it happened to Durant's teammate?

"If it wasn't against us, maybe I would have said it was a good play," he said.

I love Durant but that could've been over my grandmother and I would say it was a good play. But I understand that Durant doesn't want to wave the pom-pons for Griffin. That's what being a good teammate is. He's not going to gush about something that likely embarrassed his boy Perk.

But it definitely wasn't a layup. If that's the case, so was Durant's nasty poster of Brendan Haywood in the Western Conference Finals. I don't want to live in a world where those aren't dunks.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:04 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 12:18 pm
 

New NBA commercials go 'BIG' and are awesome

By Matt Moore

The NBA had a huge amount of success four years ago with the "Where Amazing Happens" commercials. They were dramatic, subtle, and just overall cool. Since then, however, they've struggled with an effective marketing approach for commercials. The big heads series last year comprised a particular disaster. Funny for a second but overall, they fail to excite fans or provide a sense of drama.

But earlier this month, the NBA debuted the following commercial which was much more in line with what the NBA needs to be using as their approach. And I swear, I'm not just saying that because it uses a Primus riff. 

 

Not bad, right? I pleaded on Twitter for the NBA to make more of these types of commercials. And they listened. OK, that's not true at all, they were doing it anyway, but it makes me feel special. The point is that the newest commercials hit yesterday (via IAmAGM.com) and they're pretty awesome. Here's one on Kevin Durant being a phenom. 

 And a goosebump-causing, chill-creating, downright mystical one on Dirk Nowitzki and rising to the occasion. Suspiciously absent: LeBron James

 


Now that's more like it.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

Durant wants everyone to know he's cool with his buddy Russell Westbrook. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Typically, it's the reporter asking the player the questions. That script got flipped Saturday night before the Thunder took on the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant decided to go on the offensive about the whole supposed Russell Westbrook rift. Matt Steinmetz CSN Bay Area tells an interesting story about an encounter he had with Durant:

I had just finished doing a television segment from the floor of Oracle Arena a little after 5 p.m., while some Thunder players shot in the background. I was a guest on Chronicle Live, and was talking about Durant, Russell Westbrook and the game itself. After I was done with the hit, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Durant, whom I’d never met.

“Hey my man, I’ve got a question for you,” Durant said. “Why does everyone want to talk about who the best player is on our team, whether it’s me or Russell? Why does everyone worry about that?”

Naturally, I was defensive and told Durant that’s not what I was talking about on television.

“I know,” he said. “But you’re in the media so maybe you know why some writers and guys like that do it. I just don’t get it.”

“I’m not sure,” I answered.

“I mean, we’re on the same team, Russell and me, so what does it matter?” Durant said. “Who cares whether he’s better than me or I’m better than him?”

Here's who cares: Media and fans hungry for a fun conflict story. That type of stuff is what's fun to talk about, fun to argue about and fun to read about. It sells. It's a classic teammate vs. teammate story and it's something that's easy to run with.

The question is, what made Durant want to bring this up on his own? Why did he feel the need to talk about it at all? Potentially it had something to do with ESPN's Ric Bucher declaring Westbrook better than Durant in a rankings a couple weeks ago. Who knows.

Some kind of see the over-defensive behavior from Durant and Westbrook as a sign they're trying to hide something. But what I see, as a person that's pretty close to the team, is a group of guys frustrated with the negative attention.

It doesn't surprise me at all Durant did that, because he's completely annoyed. Nobody wants quiet synergy and togetherness more than Durant. He wants everyone happy, everyone getting along and the more the noise builds, the more chance it has to shake the walls.

There's no getting around it: Russell Westbrook is an emotional player. He's easily upset, easily excited. He's a ridiculously competitive person and Durant knows all this better than anyone. So I think Durant doing this type of thing is more to try and defend and cover for Westbrook. He wants to deflect everything.

The answer is that it doesn't matter who is better, as long as the team wins. That's the right answer. But that's not really reality. With Durant the team's alpha, Westbrook is supposed to take a back seat to Durant. He's supposed to defer. Durant is attempting to make Westbrook his equal, which is something Westbrook certainly would appreciate. They know this story won't die despite the fact both have signed extensions to play together for five more years.

Whether they like each other or not, the Thunder have a terrific duo and one that says and does all the right things. So from that perspective, Durant has a decent reason to be frustrated. He knows the real story, what's actually going on. Kevin Durant is a very real individual. What you see is what you get. There's no show. So it's not shocking that he'd let down his guard and speak directly to a reporter like that. He's being the Thunder's leader, their spokesman and most importantly, himself.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Howard leads second returns for All-Star 2012

Posted by Royce Young

The second batch of All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league again in votes is Dwight Howard with 1,161,797 votes with Kobe Bryant still second with 1,110,379. Second in the East is Derrick Rose (1,040,210), who jumped LeBron James (972,580) and second in the West Kevin Durant (973,152).

If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.

And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk was close to Griffin in the last voting, but Griffin has opened up a 300,000 vote lead).

So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. I still take a little issue in that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 26-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start.

In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league. Injuries have played a role early in the season though, so you have to wonder if everyone will be healthy for the All-Star Game.

If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com