The Sword and the Shield — Dante Exum and Donovan Mitchell sealed the final win in Utah Jazz Summer League

 

UTAH JAZZ, MALAYSIA — My first thought before this last Utah Jazz Summer League tips off, who is going to guard Jayson Tatum? He is NBA-ready and he played so well in the past two summer league games, averaged 22.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.0 steals, with 51.4 FG% and 25 3P%. My first option was Dante Exum, but Donovan Mitchell is the one who guarded Tatum. And the good news is, he did a good job.

 

 

Tatum had 12 points and 12 rebounds during a 65-68 loss to Utah Jazz on Thursday in Utah Jazz Summer League’s last game. Although his shooting form did not go well, but he proves that he has too much for Jazz to handle. When it came down to Iso-Tatum moment, Tatum used his size and height to score at the low post. He has a lot of tools with him and his fade-away shoot would let you think of Dirk Nowitzki. Tatum’s footwork is fundamental and I believe he can contribute a lot for the Boston Celtics when the season is coming up.

 

But Tatum was struggling and frustrating. Facing someone higher than you, Mitchell never quit but keep trying to lock Tatum down. Not to mention he got a pretty steal and Tatum was called for foul, trying to stop Mitchell from behind. Mitchell wasn’t take much shots in this game, but his defensive plays are big, and he can become much more better in defending opponents in future.

 

 

 

The Jazz used a late fourth-quarter rally to erase a Celtics lead and capture a victory, before all of them head to Las Vegas to start the big summer league. Exum had 16 points and 4 assists, while Mitchell, Julian Wright, Tony Bradley and Eric Griffin finished with 8 points apiece as Jazz won the final summer league game in Utah.

 

Abdel Nader led the Celtics with 17 points, while Jabari Bird and Ante Zizic scored 9 points each.

 

TIP-INS:

Jazz: Mitchell can average 3.3 steals per game…Jazz got 7 offensive  rebounds…Jazz shot 3 of 15 on 3s for total.

 

Celtics: Celtics made 19 turnovers…Zizic had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

 

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Utah Jazz’s young men still OK after losing Gordon Hayward, extend winning streaks in Summer League

 

UTAH JAZZ REPORT, Malaysia, — The first night, losing Gordon Hayward didn’t hurt so bad, although it is just a Summer League game. Utah Jazz might not losing Hayward at no cost. According to Adrian Wojnarowski (who else do you think?), Jazz and Boston Celtics discussed on Wednesday the possibility of including Jae Crowder in a sign-and-trade agreement for Hayward, which could be a win-win situation.

 

While waiting further details being bombed by Wojnarowski, Jazz Summer League team is going to be OK after all.

 

After 87-74 win over San Antonio Spurs in the first game of Utah Jazz Summer League, the Jazz stunned the Philadelphia 76ers 100-94 in the second game at Jon M. Huntsman Centre, a win that gave Jazz fans perhaps just a little bit heartbreak comfort.

 

 

Life will be fine, I believe, after watching Dante Exum and Donovan Mitchell delivered another big performance for Jazz. Exum scored 26 points, Mitchell added 15 and thanks for Mitchell made clutch shots in the closing seconds to hold off the 76ers.

 

Joel Bolomboy scored 10 points and Eric Griffin had 14 points and 8 rebounds for Jazz, which led by 13 points in the second half. Markelle Fultz put up extraordinary performance with a fantastic fourth-quarter performance, trying to will the 76ers to victory after the Jazz slowed down, finishing with 13 points in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Mitchell made the shot with 29.2 seconds left in the game.

 

Exum did just about anything he wanted to offensively early on, since he is playing for Jazz Summer League team, his shooting form is good and he has a smooth release, shooting 56.2% from the floor and 60% beyond the arc.

 

 

Mitchell wasn’t in the offensive flow early on like first game on Monday, but he had an impact at the defensive ends. The issue of lacking communication when switching defence is getting better in this game, and he was defending aggressively. Running up and down, making spectacular defensive play, had two games with at least three steals.

 

TIP-INS:

Jazz: Great dunk from Eric Griffin…Despite Fultz scored 23 points, Exum played defensively well against Fultz…Jazz shot 11 of 22 on 3s for total.

 

76ers: Fultz finished 9 of 16 from the floor, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range…76ers’s losing streak extends to 2 games.

 

Dante Exum and Donovan Mitchell shine in first game of Utah Summer League

 

UTAH JAZZ REPORT, Malaysia, — Like what Alex Jensen told us before, Dante Exum is too talented and too good to blend in Summer League. Coming to his fourth year as a pro (although he did not play in 2015-16 season due to a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee), he shines in today’s game against San Antonio Spurs, as expected but way too surprise.

 

 

Exum is everywhere, taking charge during every deadball. He is talking, teaching, directing and leading. We know that Exum’s shooting has rooms for improvement, but his shooting form is well today. Pull-up shot used to be Exum’s problem in last season, where his FG% is only 18.8%, but in today’s game he proves that his pull-up shot is improving and his performance is just awesome.

 

 

Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto got a front seat for today’s Summer League game, and they should be happy enough to see these young kids performed well just in the first game of the summer for Utah Jazz. Gobert and Neto watched their Utah Jazz grabs the victory by downing the San Antonio Spurs 87-74.

 

Donovan Mitchell was playing like he is the 1st pick of the 2017 draft class. He was spectacular with 23 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds, nailing beyond the arc in a few plays. He has rooms for improvement, especially in defence. When the Utah Jazz switched defence, sometimes Mitchell would just turn around without knowing who is the one he should guard with.

 

 

Mitchell has a good vision of passing but in today’s game he did not pass a lot even some are easy hoops. For a rookie and especially in a summer league game, I won’t say this is bad, at least he is getting all the points. He never let the scoring opportunities run away from him. He was solid and aggressive and he is building a great bonding with the others in Utah Jazz. Exum talked with him, teammates celebrated his plays. He makes me smile when he ran towards Exum to pull him up from the ground.

 

Quite surprise to see Julian Wright and Eric Griffin to appear in Utah Summer League. Wright who was playing for Italian club Pallacanestro Reggiana for 2016-17 season came back looking for a chance in Summer League. He was a 13th overall pick in 2007 draft. Eric Griffin signed with Pallacanestro Cantu of the Series A as well on 1st of July 2017 which I think he is trying to maintain his condition through these Summer League games.

 

TIP-INS:

Jazz: Joel Bolomboy won his rebound battle against Tony Bradley…Jazz shot 10 of 26 on 3s for total.

 

Spurs: Derrick White scores 13 points in his first game for Spurs…Spurs shot 7 of 23 on 3s for total.

 

捐衣服行善,夏洛特黃蜂隊總教練Steve Clifford一直都在參與慈善回饋社會

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America

夏洛特黃蜂隊總教練Steve Clifford對於人們如何去整理衣櫥有個想法,而這與他近日參與的慈善活動有關。這活動的宗旨是為那些失業人士在預備下一次的面試時籌集適合供給他們穿上的衣服,無論是穿過的襯衫、裙子、領帶、女裝辦公服都適合捐獻給該慈善活動。過去,這慈善活動成功地收集了月130萬件衣服。

 

「這是一個提供給所有教練們的機會,幫助那些沒有像我們這樣幸運的人們。」Clifford說。「我們應該要幫助那些有需要的人們,協助他們取得任職機會或者是重新回到職場。」

 

其實,這並不是第一次Clifford積極地參與慈善活動。早在今年初,為了回饋給夏洛特社區人們,以Kemba Walker、Marvin Williams和Clifford為首的黃蜂隊成員籌備了兩個大約六萬美元的大學獎學金,並且準備了輔導課程給予這兩個獎學金的獲獎者。

 

「在發生一些示威活動後(抗議黑人Keith Lamont Scott被警察射殺事件),以及全國所發生的事情,我們聯盟裡有著一些討論,關於球員們以及教練們,甚至整個球隊組織如何去幫助社區人們。」當時Clifford這樣說。

 

「他們找上了我——Kemba是這活動的領頭人,告訴我他們有個概念,或許會有效果的。那就是從提供獎學金開始。他們能夠為這個社區人們貢獻,找到那些符合資格的學生,希望這獎學金可以改善他們的生活。」Clifford接著說。「我真的為他們感到驕傲。這是件非常偉大的事情。」

 

Williams深深地體會讀書的重要性,進入NBA後,有十個休季期間Williams會回到校園完成他的文憑課程。因此他也特別看重這個活動。「這件事情最棒的地方在於:我們能夠和那些準備上大學的孩子建立關係。幫他們付學費,這很棒,但是我們當中很多人想要更親自地去協助他們。Cliff,他也是這活動最重要的一份子。他說,他很愛幫助這些孩子們去習慣大學的環境。」Williams說。

 

很多球員本身在達到如今的優渥環境前,其實也經歷了一番艱苦的生活。所以他們能夠體會發生在周遭不幸的事情,而最讓人感到欣慰的,還是他們都非常願意的去回饋給這個社會,幫助有需要的人們。

 

喜歡籃球,並不只是發生在球場上的事情,還有許多場外的故事,也值得我們去學習以及體會的。

Chris Paul離開洛杉磯快艇隊後的後續效應:因為Austin Rivers而離開?|屬於Doc Rivers掌權的時代進入倒數時刻

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Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America

「他離開,是因為他想要和James Harden在一起。」Doc Rivers說。「但請不要把扭曲我的意思。我由衷地祝福他更好。對此我完全沒有任何問題。」今日凌晨,洛杉磯快艇隊與休斯頓火箭隊達成了交易,Chris Paul執行球員選項,然後快艇隊透過交易取得Patrick Beverly、Sam Dekker、Montrezl Harrell、Darrun Hilliard、DeAndre Liggins、Lou Williams、Kyle Wiltjerh和2018年前三順位保護首輪選秀權,另外再加現金。而Paul則與Harden連線,組成火箭隊全新的強大後場組合。

 

Rivers會這麼說也是有原因的。在Paul離開之後,一連串的後續效應開始發酵,關於Paul為何離開快艇隊的傳聞也不脛而走。「他離開是因為DJ(DeAndre Jordan),他離開是因為Blake(Blake Griffin),然後現在他離開是因為Austin(Austin Rivers)」Rivers說。「我們都很清楚,他離開並不是因為這些事情。」

 

根據SportsCenter的Michael Eaves的報導,隨著Austin的加盟,Paul與Rivers的關係也逐漸的惡化,球隊裡的一部分人認為Rivers在對待Austin以及其他快艇隊球員有著不同的對待方式,而Austin也持著父親是快艇隊總教練以及籃球執行總裁而耍性子。「根據過去幾任快艇隊球員的透露,Austin沒有嘗試過去融入快艇隊的體系裡。當其他球員向他反映這個問題時,他還是沒有給予球隊任何回應。這在更衣室裡製造出球員之間憤恨的感覺,也反映在比賽中。」Eaves寫道。

 

「最讓Paul更加地堅定他對於Rivers的不滿,是在上賽季一宗牽涉到Carmelo Anthony的交易案。紐約尼克隊願意以Anthony和Sasha Vajacic來換取Jamal Crawford、Paul Pierce和Austin,但是最終Rivers拒絕了這宗交易提案。這讓Paul覺得,對Rivers而言,把自己的孩子維持在陣容裡比起提升整支球隊的實力還來得重要。」Eaves寫道。

 

 

Rivers試圖澄清這件事情,他表示他並不喜歡這樣的結束方式,因為總還有可以更好的方式如勝利式的分道揚鑣。而Austin則在自己的推特上表明這些推測性質的說法都是人們編織出來的。

 

Eaves是長期駐守洛杉磯的ESPN廣播員,曾主持《富士體育》在洛杉磯關於快艇隊的賽前賽後節目。記得當時Rivers被問到是否會交易自己的孩子時,他表明任何人都可能被交易,但他當時不會交易任何人,因為他喜歡目前的整個團隊。若追尋回當時Austin的表現,其實他當時正打出上賽季最佳的表現,交易傳聞浮現的一月份,Austin場均17.5分和4.5助攻,而三分命中率也是上賽季最高的43.1%,該月份快艇隊取得8勝4負。以此來看,當時Rivers所說的並非完全沒有道理。雖然Eaves所說的可能不一定完全正確,但我總相信事出必有因。

 

 

能夠獲得Anthony的加盟,對任何球隊來說都是相當有誘惑性的事情,但是Rivers會拒絕總有他自己的顧慮,然而他又是否妥當地與球員們在這件事情上進行溝通,尤其在當時還牽涉了Rivers自己的兒子。

 

隨著Jerry West入主快艇隊擔任顧問一職,我認為快艇隊在Rivers掌權下的時代已步入尾聲。他是個好教練,但不一定能夠兼顧好籃球執行總裁的位置。Paul的離開不完全是因為與Rivers或者是Austin的隔膜,快艇隊這樣的陣容那麼多年仍然無法在季後賽繼續提升,拆散已是不可避免的結局。

 

這宗交易案只是快艇隊和火箭隊對自己陣容進行改造的起點而已。

Together, We Defend The Land — Cleveland Cavaliers

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Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

盡管那畫面隔了幾年,但是震撼感依舊,印象也十分的深刻。LeBron James與Kyrie Irving、Tristan Thompson等人擊掌,在球場上圍繞起來,聆聽James的精神喊話。然後克里夫蘭騎士隊的球迷如同潮水般,慢慢的走向球場中央,一個個把手搭前方人群的肩膀。然後一個接著一個的,把騎士隊球員們圍繞成圈,一直延伸至球場外,擴大至整座克里夫蘭市。James激昂地喊話,眾人仔細地聆聽,眼神中散發著充滿了希望的氣息。

 

Together.

 

面對來勢洶洶的金州勇士隊,雖然有著聯盟第一人James的坐鎮,但是除了騎士隊球迷以外很多人都不認為騎士隊能夠在勇士隊面前占了多少的便宜。即使去年總冠軍賽他們奇跡般地從1-3的劣勢翻盤奪冠,然而大家都清楚的知道,本賽季的勇士隊是和上賽季完全不一樣的一支球隊。當兩強在總冠軍賽的舞臺碰撞,火花四射,留給騎士隊的卻是戰火連綿的殘酷戰場。2-0,勇士隊的強大火力在甲骨文球場狠狠的壓制著騎士隊。Stephen Curry的三分攻勢、Kevin Durant在攻守兩端強悍表現所帶給騎士隊的壓力。

 

James在這兩場戰役的歇息間止步喘氣,他一直都沒有放棄,但是體內的能量在他不斷的奔跑中持續消耗。騎士隊就像James那樣,在猛烈炮火的追擊下試圖反擊,然而周遭的戰火燃燒也也不斷地襲向自己,傷勢遍布全身,回到克里夫蘭市,準備迎接勇士大軍的邁進。

 

始終,騎士隊總算回到了屬於自己的這座城市。這裏他們有著最強大的後盾,那是整座城市球迷的支持,無論是怎麽樣的情況,他們都緊緊相依。Together,這裏聚集了整座城市的信念,他們也會一起肩並肩地對抗勇士隊的攻勢浪潮。迎接本賽季的季後賽,騎士隊有個口號,叫做『Defend the Land』,這也是在總冠軍賽第三戰的唯一信念,together, we defend the land。

 

在這裏,騎士隊從來都不是一個人作戰。在這裏,他們曾經打響了反撲的第一聲戰鼓。在這裏,他們無所畏懼。在這裏,他們更相信自己可以。Together,他們從來都不會忘記這一點。

 

最終的結果會是如何,沒有人會預料得到。但是回到這裏,騎士隊已無退路,敵人的邁進就意味著家園的侵入。所以騎士隊眾人能夠做到的,就是拼盡全力地打好每個球,沒有保留地去反撲。

 

Defend the land,把侵入者趕出去,然後展開反擊,這場戰役還沒到結束的時候。

 

Together,我們無所畏懼。

本賽季的火熱表現足以證明一切,Dion Waiters準備執行球員選擇權進入自由市場

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America

這是很大可能的。如果Dion Waiters不是在常規賽最後的沖刺期受傷的話,邁亞密熱火隊真的可以自LeBron James離開後再次回到季後賽的舞臺。過去外人對於Waiters生涯初期的評價其實並不太好,在克利夫蘭騎士隊不服從總教練David Blatt的指令、認為球隊更偏愛Kyrie Irving等等。

 

兜兜轉轉,經歷被騎士隊交易以及俄克拉荷馬市雷霆隊不獲新約後,Waiters在熱火隊重新找到職業生涯的新起點。Waiters不僅在場上交出漂亮的成績、努力參與防守,在場外也積極的投入訓練。沒有怨言,只有再加把勁的埋頭苦幹。熱火隊總裁Pat Rily曾經這樣說過:「他現在才了解要怎麽做才能夠成為一位偉大的球員。」

 

Waiters在熱火隊上陣46場,場均15.8分、3.3籃板和4.3助攻,命中率42.3%和三分命中率39.4%。其中Waiters的場均籃板數、助攻數和三分命中率都是生涯新高。本賽季,Waiters好幾次交出了十分精彩的表現,先在1月23日與金州勇士隊的比賽續上一場與密爾瓦基公鹿隊的比賽轟下33分後再次交出33分的表現,還包括了一顆三分絕殺球,後來Waiters更在與布魯克林籃網隊的比賽中第四節攻下14分,帶領熱火隊從落後18分的情況下反超籃網隊最後取得勝利。

 

對勇士隊轟下33分

 

對勇士隊的制勝一投

 

對籃網隊反超比分

 

「Dion可以運球後急停跳投,可以制造空間讓自己在最後讀秒時候順利地投籃。他將會成為一個非常棒且命中率高的終結者,因為他總是可以讓對手陷入毀滅之鏡。」Riley繼續說。

 

Waiters在2017-18賽季擁有球員選擇權,因此根據《ESPN》的報導,Waiters會在6月29日前執行球員選擇權,在7月1日進入自由市場試水溫。對Waiters來說,這是肯定自己的表現並且為自己爭取一份大合約的時候,因為他在下賽季熱火隊的薪資只不過三百萬美元而已。而對熱火隊來說,Waiters會跳出合約並不意外,但是熱火隊準備提供給Waiters他應得的新合約。

 

盡管Waiters和熱火隊都有重聚在一起的意向,但是熱火隊必須準備程咬金出現的可能性。根據《邁亞密先驅報》的消息指出,現為洛杉磯湖人隊的總管Rob Pelinka,過去曾經擔任Waiters的經紀人,很可能會以一份大合約來招攬Waiters。且不論這是否是空穴來風,肯定的是Waiters真的可以憑借著他在本賽季的努力,爭取到一份屬於自己價值的合約。

 

對Waiters而言,這不僅是對自己的肯定,更是讓他徹底地擺脫過去人們放在自己身上的標簽,重新讓大家看到,他在球場上的努力。