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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Watch the NBA Cats in the Playoffs this weekend

Watch the NBA Cats in the Playoffs this weekend

catsplayoffs

The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend, and eight former Cats will participate. Here’s this weekend’s schedule (all times Eastern):

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

12:30 p.m., ESPN: (6) Brooklyn Nets (Marquis Teague) vs. (3) Toronto Raptors (Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes)

3:30 p.m., ABC: (6) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Los Angeles Clippers

7 p.m., ESPN: (8) Atlanta Hawks vs. (1) Indiana Pacers

9:30 p.m., ESPN: (7) Memphis Grizzlies (Tayshaun Prince) vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

1:00 p.m., TNT: (8) Dallas Mavericks vs. (1) San Antonio Spurs

3:30 p.m., ABC: (2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Charlotte Bobcats (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist)

7 p.m., TNT, CSNC: (5) Washington Wizards (John Wall) vs. (4) Chicago Bulls (Nazr Mohammed)

9:30 p.m., TNT: (5) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (4) Houston Rockets (Terrence Jones)

Will you be watching?


(Photo by Garrett Ellwood /NBAE via Getty Images)

Proposed plan would extend age limit to three years in college and expand the D-League

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood /NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood /NBAE via Getty Images)

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said ending the one-and-done rule is a priority this summer, and there are several possible solutions on the table, including extending the age limit so that players would have to stay in school two years, which John Calipari endorses.

According to The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney, another proposal that is currently making the rounds is extending the age limit to three years in college while also expanding the D-League with higher salaries so that players who want to come to the league immediately have a proper training ground, and be able to make a decent living. So, go to college for three years or straight to the D-League.

The sources said that, in order to pave the way for raising the age limit, the league would be willing to expand salaries in the D-League, giving each team a salary cap and allowing executives with each team to sign players as they wish. Not only would that allow D-League teams to sign good young players, it would allow NBA clubs to size up young executives and player evaluators.

Deveney says the problem is the NBA Players’ Association hasn’t been able to find an executive director to work with Adam Silver on the matter. Once they do, Deveney notes, finding a solution to the one-and-done problem will be a priority.

[The Baseline: D-League could be major part of NBA raising age limit, sources say]


Anthony Davis in Louisville Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

Anthony Davis in Louisville Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

anthony davis

pic by Getty Images

The NBA Playoffs are just beginning on Saturday and I am actually excited. There are a number of solid matchups and this year we will see more UK guys in the playoffs than in recent years, including the first appearances by guys like John Wall, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Patrick Patterson. But next year, Anthony Davis and Darius Miller are headed to Louisville for a preseason game that you probably would like to see. The Pelicans are playing the Heat in the Yum Center and the chance to see Davis, Miller and Lebron is certainly worth your time. Tickets actually GO ON SALE TOMORROW as part of a pre-sale code that is for basketball fans in the area. You can buy tickets tomorrow at the link below, using the code “NBAYUM” from 10 am to 10 pm. The seating chart is below the link and the best tickets are available now. So go ahead and get them and go see Lebron, Anthony and the boys and bring some blue to the Yum Center:

PELICANS vs HEAT TICKETS TOMORROW

BlTw8QdIAAAznt5


Eight former ‘Cats to compete in NBA Playoffs

Eight former ‘Cats to compete in NBA Playoffs

NBA 'Cats

 

The first-round matchups of the NBA Playoffs are set, and eight former players from the University of Kentucky will be part of the action. In the Western Conference, the 4th seeded Houston Rockets and starting power forward Terrence Jones will be taking on the 5th seeded Portland Trail Blazers. Game 1 will tip off Sunday, April 20 at 9:30 p.m. on TNT. Former NBA Champion Tayshaun Prince and the 7th seeded Memphis Grizzles will face the 2nd seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Game 1 begins Saturday, April 19 at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

 

In the Eastern Conference, the 3rd seeded Toronto Raptors and teammates Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes will meet Marquis Teague and his 6th seeded Brooklyn Nets. Game 1 starts Saturday, April 19 at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN. Nazr Mohammed’s 4 seed Chicago Bulls will face the 5th seeded Washington Wizards, led by superstar John Wall. Game 1 tips off Sunday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. on TNT. Lastly, former No. 2 overall draft pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the 7 seed Charlotte Bobcats will take on the defending champion 2 seed Miami Heat in only the Bobcats’ seconds playoff appearance in franchise history. Catch Game 1 on Sunday, April 20 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

 

The complete bracket for the 2014 NBA Playoffs looks as follows:

 

Image via /u/LinuxUser4Life

Click image to zoom | Image via /u/LinuxUser4Life

 

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@Condre3000_KSR


Photo @tvabby

Rajon Rondo honored victims of the Boston Marathon bombing with his shoes last night

@rajonrondo

@rajonrondo

Rajon Rondo sat out last night’s game against the Washington Wizards with a strained hamstring, but he did find an unique way to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. To honor the one-year anniversary of the bombing, Rondo wore a custom pair of shoes printed with the date and “Boston Strong” embroidered on the tongue, and the victims’ initials printed on the body of the shoe. He said he’ll donate the kicks to One Fund, a charity designed to help the victims.

Good on ya, Rajon.


Jodie Meeks set to graduate from UK in May

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

One of the things Cal prides himself and the program on is the number of players who leave early, but return to finish their degrees. Although he didn’t play under Cal, Jodie Meeks is one of those players. According to Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell, Meeks is on track to graduate from UK in May after working towards his degree during offseasons.

Meeks is now a free agent, but told Trudell he hopes he’ll be back in LA next season: ”I’m not sure. I want to be back. I loved playing here. We’ll see how the draft and free agency goes.” Meeks was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season, averaging a career-best 15.6 points per game, almost double his average last season.

Keep making us proud, Jodie.


Photo Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Archie Goodwin scores a career-high 29 points in win over the Kings

Photo Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

While the rest of us were watching Twitter for the latest updates on the players’ decisions, Archie Goodwin made them eat they feet in Sacramento, scoring 29 points in the Suns’ 104-99 win over the Kings. It was a career-high for Archie, who started the second half and scored 12 of those 29 points in the fourth quarter. The highlight? This ridiculous dunk:

Side note: Drew Franklin, currently on his California adventure, was in the stands. Does this make Drew Archie’s good luck charm?


Photo by Barry Gossage | NBA.com

Eric Bledsoe with the best comeback ever?

Photo by Barry Gossage | NBA.com

Photo by Barry Gossage | NBA.com

We now take a break from the Calipari media tour for an afternoon laugh. Athletes have to deal with trolls on Twitter everyday, and most of the time, they ignore them. Former Cat Eric Bledsoe couldn’t resist yesterday, delivering one of the funnier and classic comebacks to a fan who called him the worst player in the NBA:

Bonus points to that guy for using the correct “you’re,” though.


Cal jokes that the only way he’d go to the Lakers is if Anthony Davis went with him

coach-cal-davis

One last funny bit from Cal’s appearance on KSR this morning (which you can listen to here), then we’ll move on. When asked about Rex Chapman’s tweet about the Lakers, Cal said that the team didn’t hear about it until after the game, at which point, he wondered why Rex would do that. Cal said he went up to Anthony Davis, who was with the team in the back, and joked that the only way he’d go to LA is if Davis came with him:

“The second thing I said to Anthony Davis, he was in the back, I said ‘the stuff with the Lakers isn’t true,’ and then I looked at him and said ‘unless you’ll come with me, maybe I would go.’ But I was only teasing, and he knew I was teasing.”

Haha, hilarious, Cal…now, can we please get the one-and-done rule changed??


Image via Facebook.com/DeMarcusCousins

Watch full highlights of DeMarcus Cousins’ latest double-double effort

Image via Facebook.com/DeMarcusCousins

Image via Facebook.com/DeMarcusCousins

 

Former Kentucky fan favorite DeMarcus Cousins notched another monster double-double last night for the Sacramento Kings. In other news, the sky is still blue.

 

Cousins, in a 101-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, recorded 32 points (including 8 from the free throw line in 9 attempts), 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 43 minutes of playing time before eventually fouling out of the game. In his 4th NBA season, Cousins has blossomed into a bona fide superstar and an unstoppable offensive force. The 6’11″ Alabama native has incredible offensive awareness for a post player, allowing him to do many things on the basketball court that other big men simply cannot. As showcased in the video below (courtesy of GD’s Latest Highlights), specifically around the 3:00 mark, DeMarcus not only thrives on the block, but he is able to take his defender off the dribble and get to the basket exceptionally well. Cousins is 3rd in the NBA in double-doubles, with 52 on the season.

 

 

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@Condre3000_KSR


Watch Highlights from Eric Bledsoe’s 30-Point Game

As KSR’s own Connor Link reported earlier, some of our NBA Cats had themselves quite the night on Friday evening. Out of the bunch, Eric Bledsoe had the brightest when he dropped 30 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals on the league leading San Antonio Spurs. Luckily, some video of Bledsoe’s performance has finally surfaced and you can see the highlights for yourself.

I miss this guy.


Like a sun, Eric Bledsoe controls his own gravity

NBA ‘Cats have stellar Friday night

Like a sun, Eric Bledsoe controls his own gravity

Like a sun, Eric Bledsoe controls his own gravity

 

Kentucky’s postseason run may have come to an end, but several former Wildcats are continuing to make a name for themselves as the NBA regular season draws to a close and the playoffs are set to begin. Four NBA ‘Cats in particular had outstanding Friday night performances, while one 2012 NCAA champion found himself on the losing end of a professional sibling rivalry.

 

Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns had a career night in a 104-112 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, owners of the league’s best overall record. The 6’1″ point guard nearly messed around and got his first career triple-double, but instead settled for a modest 30-point, 11-rebound, 9-assist, 3-steal stat line, on 11-16 (.688) shooting.

 

Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz recorded a double-double of his own in a 99-111 loss to the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers. In a starting effort, the Turkish big man scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, including 6 off the offensive glass.

 

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Knight poured in 24 points in a 119-116 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Knight also pulled down 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.

 

Lastly, a big congratulations is in order for Darius Miller– a teammate of Bledsoe, Kanter, and Knight while at Kentucky– who scored a career high 18 points in 31 minutes as a starter in a 94-116 New Orleans Pelicans loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

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Unfortunately for Marquis Teague, National Siblings Day ended when the clock struck midnight Friday morning. If it hadn’t, maybe his older brother Jeff would have taken it easy on him when the two faced off Friday evening in a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks. Instead, as shown in the video below, Jeff treated his younger brother to a lesson on crossovers that Marquis won’t soon forget.

 

 

To add insult to injury, Jeff’s Hawks defeated Marquis’ Nets 93-88. Marquis recorded 4 points and 2 assists in 25 minutes off the Brooklyn bench, while Jeff dropped 22 points in 34 minutes as a starter.

 

@Condre3000_KSR


My Top 10 Favorite Nerlens Noel Moments

My Top 10 Favorite Nerlens Noel Moments

Photo by Chris Reynolds, CoachCal.com

Photo by Chris Reynolds, CoachCal.com

Happy 20th birthday to one of our favorite Cats, Nerlens Noel. While Nerlens had hoped to make his NBA debut this season, it looks like the 76ers are in no rush to get him on the court, especially with only a handful of games left in the season. However, Nerlens told reporters on Tuesday that his knee is back to 100%, and he’s added three inches to his vertical leap, an astounding feat after tearing his ACL last year. He added that he’s “very encouraged” by the progress he’s made this week, and is trying to be patient with his return:

“I am very encouraged,” Noel said. “Through the past year since I had my injury, I have pushed myself through thick and thin and I’ve had some struggles and I’ve just stayed with it.

To honor Noel, I came up with my 10 favorite Nerlens moments:

10. Dancing with the campers at Cal’s Pro Camp

Nerlens came back to campus in July to help out with Cal’s pro camps, and because he’s Nerlens, couldn’t help but cut up with the campers.

9. His suit at the Draft

Nerlens told UK fans he’d have a surprise for them at the draft, and once his name was called, he opened his suit jacket to reveal his jersey sewn inside the lining. What an awesome way to honor the Cats.

8. The time he put his you-know-whats on that poor Auburn kid’s head

7. When he did it again vs. Alabama 

6. The hair

NoelCommitment

With most of us thinking he was headed to Georgetown, Nerlens shocked the BBN by committing to Kentucky in a way only Nerlens could: by shaving the school’s logo into his hair.

5. The Nerlens Noel Christmas Carol

Nerlens didn’t make this, but it’s still awesome.

4. All of those good deeds

noelwithgrandmothers

If I listed all of Nerlens Noel’s good deeds individually, this would look even more like one of those ridiculous BuzzFeed articles. So, for brevity’s sake, I’ll round most of them up here. Whereas most kids his age like to spend their free time playing video games, chasing girls, or buying shoes, Nerlens goes to nursing homes, children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, etc. to give back to the community. What 20-year-old kid does that??

3. His 12 blocks against Ole Miss

Nerlens set a single-game record for blocks with 12 against Ole Miss. He finished third in the UK record book for the most blocked shots in a season with 105, behind Anthony Davis and Willie Cauley-Stein. Remember, he only played 24 games.

2. His recreation of Anthony Davis’ commercial

While in town for the UK/Florida game, Nerlens made a detour from Rupp and recreated Anthony Davis’ Kids Foot Locker commercial with some area kids. Love.

1. When he took 7-year-old Kelly Melton to the Derby

I’ve already mentioned how often Nerlens gives back to the community, and the most touching of these moments for me was when he took 7-year-old Kelly Melton to the Kentucky Derby. Melton is diagnosed with leukemia, and got the red carpet treatment at the Derby thanks to Nerlens. Even thinking about it makes me tear up.

Happy birthday, Nerlens. They don’t make many like you.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, so add your favorite Nerlens moment in the comments section.


Photo @UKCoachCalipari

The Cats left Dirk Nowitzki a present

Photo @UKCoachCalipari

Photo @UKCoachCalipari

Even though the Dallas Mavericks were out of town last weekend, the Cats visited their locker room and posed in front of Dirk Nowitzki’s locker. Dirk is a self-proclaimed UK fan who says that had he gone to college, he would have gone to Kentucky, and had he been in town, he said he would have been at UK’s games cheering for the Cats.

Well, it turns out the team left him a present. Check out this picture John Calipari posted of Dirk wearing his very own “Succeed and Proceed” t-shirt:

Photo @UKCoachCalipari

Photo @UKCoachCalipari

As someone who loves Dirk, this made me go…

kRhkY


MKG supports former teammate and best friend Derrick Gordon

Jeff Brown | Inside Hilltopper Sports

Before he won our hearts and a national championship at the University of Kentucky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played high school basketball in New Jersey with NBA star Kyrie Irving and UMass guard Derrick Gordon, who became the first openly gay player in Division I men’s college basketball yesterday.

Prior to MKG’s Wednesday night contest against the Wizards, he released this statement regarding Gordon’s announcement through the Bobcats organization:

“Derrick was a great teammate and is an even better friend. I admire his courage and willingness to share his story. Just as we supported each other on the court, I am proud to support him now. He is a basketball player, a teammate and a friend, and that’s all that matters.” [source]

Kidd-Gilchrist and Gordon described each other as “best friends” and “brothers” prior to their meeting in the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Louisville, when Kentucky defeated Western Kentucky, Gordon’s former school. After that game, Gordon said he would be pulling for the Wildcats to bring the title back to Lexington in the tournament. Now he’s playing under Derrick Kellogg, a former Calipari point guard and Memphis assistant.

Current Kentucky center Dakari Johnson also played with Gordon and Kidd-Gilchrist at St. Patrick.

 


New Orleans shuts down Anthony Davis for the season

With lingering back pain and only four games left in the season, the New Orleans Pelicans decided it’s best to sit Anthony Davis for the remainder of the season.

Davis finishes his sophomore NBA year with averages of 20.8 points per game (16th in the NBA), 10 rebounds per game (10th), and 2.82 blocks per game (best in the NBA).

He currently ranks 12th in the league in double-doubles with 36 in 67 games played, and he has the fourth best Player Efficiency Ranking at 26.59, behind only Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kevin Love.

The NBA is officially on notice in Year 3.


Big nights from DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall last night

Best friends and KSR favorites DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall had huge nights in the NBA last night. Out west, DeMarcus set a new Sacramento single season record for double-doubles after recording his 51st in Portland, a 30-point, 12-rebound outing in a 100-99 loss. He surpassed 2000-01 Chris Webber for the Kings’ new high mark.

And in Washington, Wall recorded his third career triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a loss to MKG’s Charlotte Bobcats. Wall’s big night came one day after a report that he is still an option at point guard for Team USA. Jerry Colangelo told Yahoo, “[Wall] is still on my radar.”