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NBA News

Rookie of the first trimester posted by NBA News

The NBA's much-hyped Class of 2014, as a collective, is in the midst of a thoroughly forgettable and deflating introduction to the pros. Only two rookies -- Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker -- are scoring in double figures. And that's with Wiggins leading all rookies at a mere 12.6 points per game, with Parker, after going No. 2 overall, suddenly out for the season after a knee tear that has sadly shelved him just like No. 3 pick Joel Embiid (foot), No. 4 Aaron Gordon (foot) and No. 7 Julius Randle (leg). 

So you could make the argument, in this climate, that we should have skipped this category entirely for Trimester purposes. The problem there is that some youngster is eventually going to win Rookie of the Year honors in late April or early May, no matter how underwhelming his production might be, so we're somewhat duty-bound to try to identify a leader at the one-third stage. 

Which brings us to Nikola Mirotic. 

Perhaps he's not a rookie in the truest sense after spending more than half a decade in Real Madrid's system before finally matriculating to Chicago, but what qualifies as big league production from Mirotic in the month of December -- averages of 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and .419 shooting from 3-point range -- is enough to put him in the lead. 

Who else could we conceivably propose here? Wiggins and Nerlens Noel have shown occasional flashes, as has Noel's Philly teammate K.J. McDaniels, but none of those more celebrated recent draftees is clearly on an upward career arc at this juncture. 

Continue reading "Rookie of the first trimester"

Jazz Fan

Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz past Grizzlies posted by Jazz Fan

After losing to Eastern Conference foes Chicago and Cleveland over the weekend, Memphis showed signs of fatigue in not being able to counter Utah's youth, allowing the Jazz to beat the Grizzlies 97-91 on Monday night.

Alec Burks scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward added 21 to lead the Jazz, who withstood a late push by hitting eight of 10 free throws down the stretch for their third win in the last four.

Derrick Favors finished with 15 points, while Enes Kanter added 13 points and nine rebounds. Rudy Gobert had a career-best 16 rebounds as the Jazz dominated the boards 49-34.

"I think our offensive game started with our defense," Hayward said. "We have a goal of not letting teams score over 24 points per quarter, and we won on three of four quarters."

Utah connected on 9 of 19 from outside the arc to create a buffer from Memphis. Another factor, beyond the rebounding margin, was the Jazz converting 20 of 27 free throws, while Memphis went to the line only nine times in the game, making eight.

Utah led through much of the second half until Gasol connected with 5:32 left for a 77-75 Memphis lead. Burks answered with a 3-pointer, and Utah never let go of the lead the final 5 minutes in rebounding from a 104-86 loss Saturday at Charlotte.

"It was big for our confidence to be able to come back and get a road win here in Memphis after a poor performance in Charlotte," Jazz guard Trey Burke said.

The Jazz pushed the lead to six points in the third quarter, and managed to keep the Grizzlies at bay through most of the period as Hayward had nine points and Kanter added seven.

Continue reading "Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz ..."

Lakers News

Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant posted by Lakers News

The 36-year-old Bryant missed his second consecutive game in the Lakers’ 113-93 loss on Thursday to the Chicago Bulls at United Center after reporting soreness in his knees, both Achilles tendons and metatarsals as well as back tightness.

“I just need to kind of hit the reset button,” said Bryant, who watched the game from the bench. “What happens is my body realizes how messed up it is. Then everything starts hurting. It’s an opportunity to treat everything.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers provided more than enough evidence to refute an inaccurate statement after pulling a surprising win over Golden State, the Western Conference’s best team. The Lakers (9-20) are not better without Bryant.

After supposedly benefitting from Bryant’s absence thanks to more ball movement and more shots, Nick Young and Jeremy Lin combined for nine points on a 3-of-14 clip. The Lakers shot 39.1 percent overall.

“Teams seem to focus more on me, and it showed tonight that they wouldn’t leave me,” Young said. “We can joke around and all that. But we’re always going to need Kobe out there.”

That partly explained why Bryant has averaged 24.6 points per game (third in the NBA), albeit on a career-low 37.2 percent clip. None of his teammates consistently produced enough to leave Bryant with open shots or entice him enough to pass.

“Ball movement is great when guys are making shots,” Bryant said. “You don’t hit shots, I try to take the load myself and we have a lot of standing around. In games they hit shots, I sit back and let them hit shots.”

Continue reading "Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant"

Bulls Fan

Mirotic still has more to offer Bulls posted by Bulls Fan

Nikola Mirotic has demonstrated proficiency his rookie season. Yet  being a member of the Bulls does mean having to play for a coach who takes a gradual integration approach with rookies; however, a litany of frontcourt injuries have provided Mirotic with ample chances to crack the rotation.

Mirotic could be one of the more consistent Bulls contributors if given the proper chance, and therein lies the challenge. His designated position, along with the roster depth, presents more problems than solutions for finding a stable spot in the rotation.

Mirotic is listed as a power forward, and that is the reason why playing time will be hard to come by for him; his positional superiors are Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson. When those guys are healthy, along with starting center Joakim Noah, playing time becomes horribly scarce for the rookie forward.

Mirotic has clearly demonstrated that he can produce when given the time. Considering the injury issues that the front-line grouping has endured over the season’s first few months, it suffices to say that increasing the former European sensation’s playing time by slightly reducing minutes for Gasol, Gibson and Noah would serve the team well in the long run.

So many more things would also open up with Mirotic on the floor. He would minimize low-post double teams and create driving lanes for guys like Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.

There may be a concern with his ability to guard more athletic wings, but he has the length and the footwork to build a satisfactory defensive presence on the perimeter.

Continue reading "Mirotic still has more to offer Bulls"


Bulls Fan

Chicago Bulls Preseason Report 2014 posted by Bulls Fan

Chicago Bulls were able to show great promise even with some of the worst disasters the team had to face. With Luol Deng being dumped in January, and Derrick Rose suffering a debilitating injury, the prospects looked very bleak. However, the Bulls managed to turn it all around, and even though they lost five games to Washington Wizards in the playoffs first round, it seemed surprising. The team managed 69 points in its last game, even with a great defense. However, this shows that having a fantastic defense is not enough for winning.

The requirements of the Chicago Bulls were obvious, as they needed shooters who were good at spacing and creating shots. Derrick Rose was supposed to deliver, but the team did not expect everything from him after he came back. The team badly needed new talent, and they were playing very hard for each win. Therefore, in the postseason, Washington Wizards found it very easy to prepare against the Bulls.

Chicago Bulls had to trade two of the first-round choices, to take Doug McDermott who has great shooting skills, but lacks defense. The team also took Cameron Bairstow who had performed impressively in the summer league. However, the team has put considerable faith in McDermott, and it hopes this strategy produces much better results than the experiment with Erik Murphy.

Considering trades and free agency, Pau Gasol would be a great inclusion for improving the offense of Chicago Bulls. Noah and Gasol will be formidable in the frontcourt, and Kirk Hinrich who is a favorite of the coach Thibodeau is back as well. The decision about Anthony might have been disappointing for some Chicago fans, but the team requires firepower, and it has clearly drawn its strategy. With McDermott, Gasol, and Rose coming into the equation, the Bulls have much better chance in the championships next year.

Continue reading "Chicago Bulls Preseason Report 2014"


NBA News

NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams and their Prospects for 2013, 2014 Season posted by NBA News

In the 2012, 2013 prediction of the NBA game seven, Miami Heat were the favorites to win according to basketball sports betting sites. They went ahead to win against the spurs. Miami Heat were defending their title for the second time. Spurs were not the favorites but they had raised hope in many people that they had a chance to take the title. Most odd makers had put odds in the fact that the game will be close. This prediction also came to be true with the final 95, 88 score. There are those that are looking for Miami Heat’s prospect for the 2013-2014 season.

Defending the Title

Miami Heat are favorites to win again in early predictions for this season. The Lebron James magic is expected to play out again as he leads his time to another victory and defend their title. Some predict that Lebron may retain his Most Valuable Player of the year title this coming season. He has consistently shown his skills in shooting, defending and attacking.

On the other hand it may be too early to judge. What are the real prospects of defending the title? Defending the title for the third time will not be that easy. There is talk of Dwayne Wade’s knee injury. Whether he will be part of the action next season and whether Lebron can do without him, is another important factor that will determine the prospects for the team this coming season.

Westbrook’s Return to Oklahoma City

Another team to watch is Oklahama City Thunder. Some odds place it second for the title after Miami Heat. Their prospects are also good. The team up of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is going to be interesting to watch this season. The two are expected to help lead the team towards the title. However Russell has been on crutches and is widely expected to recover in time but how well he recovers and the level of his game remains to be seen.

Continue reading "NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams ..."


Bulls Fan

Are Chicago Bulls a Good Contender for NBA Basketball Wagers posted by Bulls Fan

The Chicago Bulls, who have always been one of the most successful teams and therefore favourites for people looking to place bets at the local bookies, received a major setback recently when they lost to Charlotte Bobcats with ten points, with a score of 91-81. This was quite unexpected, as the Bobcats had lost 18 games in a row before playing the Bulls. It is obvious that the team desperately needs Derrick Rose; however, this seems to be a distant possibility. The shooting by the Chicago Bulls was not only quite poor, but the defending play was also much below normal. Even though, Luol Deng made determined efforts, he was quite inefficient with 14 rebounds and only 19 points during the play quarter. The Chicago Bulls seemed to be trailing by 10 points from the beginning, which the home crowd found quite upsetting. The loss to Charlotte Bobcats has made the Bulls drop to 16-13 this season.  
Looking at the winnings, Chicago Bulls have managed five wins out of seven that were away from home. The Bulls in their home ground defeated Orlando Magic with a score of 99-93, in the first season game between the two. After that, Bulls have won the remaining four games with Orlando; however, they need to be much more aggressive if they want to stay in the season, after the surprising loss to the Bobcats. At the start of the season, Chicago Bulls stood at 6/1 odds on winning the NBA championship, but now it all seems to depend on Derrick’s comeback and how well he is able to perform. If the odds have reduced for Chicago Bulls for the championship, then it could also mean a good opportunity for confident fans to make a large profit by the end of the season.It may be worth doing a little more homework before making your choice but the opportunity has never been so great for placing and winning bets in recent years due to online gambling.  The gambling and betting industry as a whole has undergone a huge revolution with the advent of the Internet. For example people are now able to play any game at an online casino or place a bet on any game from the comfort of their homes. The aspect of security is also no longer an issue, as most of these websites are governed by some authoritative body, and all online money transactions are fully secure. For betting on favorite sports teams, people now have access to numerous online sports books, which are legally regulated and licensed. This means there is no longer any worry about receiving the winnings promptly, which used to be a big issue with underground bookies. 
Continue reading "Are Chicago Bulls a Good Contender ..."


Richard Kagan

Step Up White Sox posted by Richard Kagan

I grew up watching and rooting for both the Cubs and White Sox.  Call me funny.  I am a die-hard Chicago fan.  I've cheered on the Bulls, Bears, and Hawks.  When the Sox won the Series in '05, I thought it was a mirage, till I woke up.  They really did win. 

Now, it's close to money time.  The ChiSox have won 2 straight fron New York.  I used to go see the Yanks and Sox play in old Comiskey.  Where the park was sold-out like some festival.  Everyone wanted to see Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard, and Roger Maris.  Those were real Yankees.  Mickey was past his prime, but he stirred everyone when he came to the plate.  I  can't remember seeing Phil Rizutto, I am not sure he was playing, but they wre loaded.  And, still are offensively.  Now is the time to make a statement, because the Sox have power at the plate, and a good pitcher starting tonight. The Sox play well at home.  I am surprised they are not drawing bigger crowds.  Is there construction near the Dan Ryan? 

Continue reading "Step Up White Sox"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Fall in Philly, 79-78 posted by Richard Kagan

I am a long-time Bulls fan.  I looked at the score in disbelief after not having seen the game tonight.  I saw a brief low-light of how Asik missed two FT's late in the game, and how Iguodala hit 2 FT's with 2.2 ticks on the clock to win the game.  Never mind the C.J. Watson's desperation heave at the buzzer was close---this was a game the Bulls should have won.  Even without Rose and Noah.  From what I can see, if you out-rebound a team by a lot, which Chicago did, you should win the game.  The Bulls owned the boards. Luol Deng played like an All-Star.  He had a double-double and came up big tonight.  Carlos Boozer had a 1-11 night and that hurt.   Why did Richard Hamilton see so many minutes?  Ok, he had 19 points, but 37 minutes is a lot for a guy who has not played that long in a game in many weeks.  That may be his most mnutes of the year.  I know, he's had the big game experience.  But if he's huffing and puffing, that's not going to score points.  I like the Bulls so much.  And it hurts to see a terrific team run into bad luck and bad games, particularly in Philadelphia.  Kyle Korver did not score at all.  Why?  There needed to be more effort in getting a man who can shot the three in rhythm, in a flow, where he can do some damage. 

Again it came down to misses and makes on the chariity strike line.  The Bulls could have wrapped this game up with a make by Asik.  But the 76'ers crushed the Bulls with their two makes. You can't play this game again---no do-overs.  This is not how I thought the Bulls would end their season.

Continue reading "Bulls Fall in Philly, 79-78"


Richard Kagan

C'mon Bulls Win a Game posted by Richard Kagan

C'mon Chicago, win a home game in this crazy first-round matchup vs. the 76'ers.  The injury bug has submerged this team which is taking on water fast.  I hope they can step on a dry dock and salvage a game to extend this series. 

This Bulls miss Rose obviously, and without Noah, they look ordinary.  Joakim Noah is a heck of a player who does some big things like get offensive rebounds, play post-up defense, and creates screens for his teammates.  Oh, he has a ton of double-doubles if you want to check.  Every night it seems he scores 14 points and grabs 13 boards.  Some nights, it's 17 rebounds.  He is relentless on the glass and the Bulls miss that energy.  It will be tough to win against a young, hungry team that has some talented quick guys, but "tonight's the night", as Phil Collins once sang.  You have to win this game to move on to the next. I'd hate to see the season end on homecourt.

Continue reading "C'mon Bulls Win a Game"

Chicago Bulls News

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Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant backin the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a greatheart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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