Tag: NBA

Warriors vs. Thunder Odds, Prediction & Preview

Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors battle for the ball during a game February 11, (Getty)

In the second meeting in Oklahoma City since Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder will play the game March 20 under a bit different circumstances.

With Durant sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury, the Thunder will look to continue staying hot as the playoffs approach.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know to watch, the odds and a prediction for the outcome:


Warriors vs. Thunder Preview

Note: All betting odds and numbers courtesy of OddsShark.com.

Date: Monday, March 20, 2017

Start Time: 8 p.m. EST

TV Channel: TNT

Line: Warriors (-1)

Moneyline: Warriors (-110); Thunder (+110)

Over/Under: 223


Prediction

A season-ending injury suffered by Durant gives this game a much different feel to it than it did the first time the two teams met in Oklahoma City.

Durant and the Warriors were booed mercifully by the Thunder fans, who held signs calling him a “cupcake” the first go-around in early February.

The first time the two teams met, Golden State and Durant got the upper-hand and held on until the end to secure a 130-114 road victory.

This time, the game has a bit more meaning, as well.

The Warriors are still in the process of learning to play without Durant, but have started to find their groove again. They enter the matchup winners of their last three straight games — all home games. Before that, Golden State had dropped three in a row.

The Thunder are trying to improve their playoff seed in the Western Conference. They are currently battling with the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 5 spot in the West, just one-half game back.

Oklahoma City has won each of its last five games and need to win the game to keep momentum moving forward heading into April. Look for Russell Westbrook, who’s still averaging a triple-double (31.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 10.3 APG) this season, to attack the rim early and often without the presence of Durant on the floor.

But in Durant’s absence, Stephen Curry has continued to heat up. Over his last nine games, he is averaging 26 points, 6.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds. If Curry and the Warriors’ shooters can get going early as they have been in the last three games, look out for another offensive explosion. But if the shots aren’t falling, count on Westbrook playing with a chip on his shoulder and taking full advantage on the fast break.

Prediction: Warriors 113, Warriors 106

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Warriors vs. Thunder Live Stream: How to Watch Online for Free

Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors battle for the ball during a game February 11, (Getty)

For the second time this season, the Golden State Warriors are back in Oklahoma City.

As the NBA Playoffs approach, the game has a different meaning for both teams. When the two met in early February, Golden State opened up the game in the second half and never looked back, cruising to a victory. But this time, the Warriors are without Kevin Durant, who is sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.

Golden State looks like it’s found its groove once again after taking a few losses as the team learned to play without Durant. The Warriors have won three-straight games — all at home — and hold a two-game edge on the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder, on the other hand, have won five-straight games as they battle with the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 5 seed in the West. They are currently one-half game back of the Clippers for the spot.

The game March 20 starts at 8 p.m. EST and will be televised on TNT.

Looking for a live stream of the game? There are a handful of options available, including a free trial from Sling TV.

Here’s a roundup of the options:


If You’re in the United States & Don’t Have a Cable or Satellite Log-In

On the Web:

If you’re in the United States and don’t have access to a cable or satellite log-in, you can watch the game through Sling TV, an online streaming service that provides access to select channels for a monthly fee. The service’s Orange package, which includes TNT, costs $20 a month. But if you’re looking for a way to watch the game for free, you can do so with Sling’s free 7-day trial.

To sign up for Sling, follow these steps:

1. Click here to sign up for Sling TV. You’ll need to enter your credit card information when signing up, but if you cancel your subscription before the trial period ends, you will not be charged.

2. When you sign up, select Sling’s Orange package, which costs $20 per month. You’ll also have the option of selecting Sling’s Blue, and/or selecting “add-ons,” all of which come with a monthly fee but are included in the free trial. The Orange package is the only one that includes TNT. Fortunately, it’s the default package on the Sling TV website.

3. Download the Sling desktop app, and navigate over to TNT to watch the game.

With an App:

If you sign up for the free Sling trial, you can watch the game on the Sling app, which you can download for free in the App store or the Google Play store. There’s also a Sling app for Roku, Chromecast, Nexus player, ZTE and XBox One. Click here for a full list of compatible devices.

The service’s Orange package costs $20 a month. But if you’re looking for a way to watch a week’s worth of games for free, you can do so with Sling’s free 7-day trial.

To sign up for Sling, follow these steps:

1. Click here to sign up for Sling TV. You’ll need to enter your credit card information when signing up, but if you cancel your subscription before the trial period ends, you will not be charged.

2. When you sign up, select Sling’s standard Orange package, which costs $20 per month. You’ll also have the option of selecting Sling’s Blue package, and/or selecting “add-ons,” all of which come with a monthly fee but are included in the free trial. The Orange package is the only one that includes TNT. Fortunately, it’s the default package on the Sling TV website.

3. Download the Sling mobile app or utilize the app on your connected TV, and navigate over to TNT to watch the game.


If You Have a Cable or Satellite Log-in That Includes TNT

On the Web:

If you have access to a cable subscription log-in and password — either yours or that of someone you know — you can watch the game online for free via Watch TNT. If you’re having trouble logging in or have questions about the service, try the site’s help page.

With an App:

Mobile users with access to a cable subscription can watch the game by downloading the Watch TNT app. It’s available in the App Store, the Google Play Store and the Windows Store.

Warriors vs. Thunder Odds, Prediction & Preview

The Golden State Warriors are in Oklahoma City once again to play the Thunder, though this time it’s without Kevin Durant. See the full betting odds.

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Kevin Durant Injury Update: When KD Will Play Again

Kevin Durant will not play tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Getty)

Last time the Golden State Warriors came to Oklahoma City, it was an epic showdown as Kevin Durant returned to play his former team. In the March 20 re-match, Durant will not play tonight. Durant is sitting on the Warriors bench in street clothes. Durant traveled with the team and was seen during the morning shoot around riding a stationary bike.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr told The Mercury News the decision was up to Durant, and he was unsure whether Durant would be on the bench.

I don’t know [if he’ll sit on the bench]. I haven’t asked him. It’s up to him. The last few games, he hasn’t been out on our bench at Oracle. He’s been getting treatment from the training staff. It’s not really a concern of mine, so I haven’t asked him. Sometimes if a guy’s hurt, we don’t want him on the bench. A guy can fly into him on a loose ball, if he’s not able to move out of the way. But I don’t think that’s a factor here. It’ll be up to him.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it is the first time Durant has traveled with the team since sustaining a grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise on February 28. While the team has not set a return date, there is hope Durant will be ready to return by the end of the regular season.

Although the Warriors have been just 5-5 in Durant’s absence, the team is not rushing him back. “You just try to let a guy rehab and do what he wants to do at his own pace. I feel like when you start talking to a guy — ‘Hey, man, how you doing?’ — then all of a sudden they want to rush back. … Take your time. Get right. When he’s ready, obviously, we want him back out there,” Draymond Green told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Mercury News notes Durant will be re-evaluated in a week. Here is the original statement the Warriors issued on March 1:

Durant was greeted with boos and different variations of cupcake jokes in his initial return to OKC. The term was an inside joke on the Thunder team that referred to a player that was soft. If Durant does decide to sit on the bench, he will no doubt receive similar treatment from his former fans.

The Warriors final regular season game is April 12 against the Lakers. Durant would need to be ready by April 15 in order to play when the playoffs start.

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Kevin Durant will be greeted in his OKC return with Koward shirts that have an image of a cupcake on the back. We explore the meaning behind the cupcake.

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Jerry Krause Dead: Former Players, Associates React to His Death

Former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause (Getty)

Former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause died at the age of 77 on March 21.

Krause was known as the architect of the Bulls’ dominance in the 1990s and was a Chicago native. He took over as the Bulls’ GM in 1985 and was responsible for bringing in the pieces to surround Michael Jordan the led the franchise to six championships.

He was responsible for crafting a trade in 1987 on NBA Draft day to bring Scottie Pippen to Chicago and then drafted center Horace Grant.

Because of his success, he earned the NBA’s Executive of the Year award twice. Before landing the Bulls GM job, Krause was an NBA scout for various teams and also an MLB scout for the Chicago White Sox.

Here are some of the reactions from around the league in regard to Krause’s passing:


Michael Jordan Released a Statement to TMZ Offering His Condolences to the Krause Family


Former Bulls Coach Phil Jackson Said It Was a ‘Sad Day’ For the NBA Community


Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf Said Krause Was 1 of The ‘Hardest Working Guys’ Around


Former Bull Jay Williams Offered His Condolences


ESPN’s Mike Greenberg Said Krause Should Be Forever Known as a ‘Key Component’ of the Bulls’ Six Titles


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Jerry Kruase, the Chicago Bulls GM who put together the Michael Jordan championship teams, died at age 77. He was married to Thelma Krause.

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NBA Standings 2017: Playoff Picture & Matchups

The Warriors are the top team in the entire league. (Getty)

With March Madness in full swing, it signals the NBA season is about to wrap up. The NBA Playoffs begin Saturday, April 16 with the final slate of games taking place April 12.

The Golden State Warriors have struggled without Kevin Durant but still sit at the top of the Western Conference standings. This also means the Warriors would get home court advantage in the NBA Finals if they are able to advance through the West. The San Antonio Spurs are still within striking distance of the Warriors for the number one seed.

In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a slight edge over the Boston Celtics for the top seed. The two teams play one more time on April 5 in a matchup that could have a big impact on the seeding.

Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the season were to end today. Teams in italics have already clinched a playoff birth.

Here’s a look at the current NBA standings and playoff matchups.


Eastern Conference Standings

nba standings, playoff matchup, latest, current

The Celtics and Wizards are battling atop the East standings. (Getty)

TEAM W L GB
1. Cleveland Cavs 46 23
2. Boston Celtics 45 26 2
3. Washington Wizards 42 28 4.5
4. Toronto Raptors 42 29 5
5. Atlanta Hawks 37 33 9.5
6. Indiana Pacers 36 34 10.5
7. Milwaukee Bucks 35 35 11.5
8. Miami Heat 35 36 12
9. Detroit Pistons 34 37 13
10. Chicago Bulls 33 38 14
11. Charlotte Hornets 31 39 15.5
12. New York Knicks 27 43 19.5
13. Philadelphia 76ers 26 44 20.5
14. Orlando Magic 26 45 21
15. Brooklyn Nets 14 56 33

Current Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups

nba standings, playoff matchups, current, latest

The Pistons are one of several potential first round opponents for the Cavs. (Getty)

8. Miami Heat vs. 1. Cleveland Cavs
The Pistons, Heat and Bulls are all battling to face the Cavs in the first round in what will be an uphill battle for the team that makes it into the playoffs.

7. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 2. Boston Celtics
This could be the matchup of the first round. Giannis Antetokounmpo and a young Bucks team face a talented Celtics roster.

6. Indiana Pacers vs. 3. Washington Wizards
Much of the conversation in the East centers around the Cavs and Celtics. However, the Wizards have a chance to upset either team if they are playing their best come April.

5. Atlanta Hawks vs. 4. Toronto Raptors
The trade for Serge Ibaka has not given the Raptors the immediate return they were hoping for, but it could be a different story come playoff time.


Western Conference Standings

nba standings, playoff picture, matchups

James Harden is in the running for MVP. (Getty)

TEAM W L GB
1. Golden State Warriors 57 14
2. San Antonio Spurs 54 16 2.5
3. Houston Rockets 49 22 8
4. Utah Jazz 43 28 14
5. LA Clippers 43 29 14.5
6. Oklahoma City Thunder 40 30 16.5
7. Memphis Grizzlies 40 31 17
8. Denver Nuggets 33 37 23.5
9. Portland Trail Blazers 32 38 24.5
10. Dallas Mavericks 30 40 26.5
11. New Orleans Pelicans 30 41 27
12. Minnesota Timberwolves 28 42 28.5
13. Sacramento Kings 27 43 29.5
14. Phoenix Suns 22 49 35
15. Los Angeles Lakers 20 51 37


Current Western Conference Playoff Matchups

nba standings, playoff picture, matchups

The Spurs are currently slated to face the Grizzlies in the playoffs. (Getty)

8. Denver Nuggets vs. 1. Golden State Warriors
The Nuggets are a young and exciting team. Their reward? They get to face the Warriors. Denver could give Golden State some trouble down low but not enough to have a chance to advance.

7. Memphis Grizzlies vs. 2. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are still in the running for the top seed and have a good chance to challenge the Warriors in the West.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 3. Houston Rockets
Houston has been the surprise of the season and should advance with little problem. This is a fun matchup between Russell Westbrook and James Harden, two players who will likely finish top two in the MVP voting.

5. L.A. Clippers vs. 4. Utah Jazz
The Jazz continue to get better while the Clippers are hovering where they have been for the past few seasons. If the Clippers get bounced out of the first round, this could be the end of the road for the core group of players.

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Jerry Krause & Michael Jordan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Former general manager Jerry Krause and coach Tim Floyd of the Chicago Bulls (Getty)

Former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause died March 21 at the age of 77.

Krause is known for being the architect of the Bulls’ dominance in the 1990s and was a Chicago native. He took over as the Bulls’ GM in 1985 and was responsible for bringing in the pieces to surround Michael Jordan that led the franchise to six championships. He made a trade on draft day in 1987 to acquire Scottie Pippen and then drafted Horace Grant. He also hired Phil Jackson as the Bulls’ coach.

During Krause’s tenure as the Bulls GM, Chicago won six NBA championships.

But Krause was often an afterthought in terms of being a key contributor to winning the championship rings. And his poor relationship with Jordan ultimately led to hostility and him being forced out of the organization in 2003 after 18 seasons at the helm.

Here’s what you need to know about Krause and Jordan’s testy relationship:


1. Fans & Analysts Blame Krause For Breaking Up the Bulls

After winning six NBA championships in eight years, Krause blew up the team.

One week after winning a title in 1998, Bulls coach Phil Jackson said he wouldn’t be back next season to coach the team and retired. Then in January 1999, Jordan announced that he would also be retiring — though both came out of retirement and eventually returned to the NBA. The Bulls haven’t won another title since.

Instead of saying that players and coaches play the biggest role in bringing the titles to Chicago, Krause was noted as saying “organizations win championships.” But Krause said in a 2003 interview with the New York Times that his remarks were taken out of context.

What I said was, ‘Players and coaches alone don’t win championships, organizations win championships.’ I was terribly misquoted. I am an organization man, but a wire-service reporter used the quote without the ‘alone’ and then everybody picked up on it. Including the team.

After Jackson, Jordan and Pippen left the team after the 1998 title, Krause started a rebuild project. He unloaded veteran players in favor of young talent, including Elton Brand, Ron Artest and Jay Williams. But the Bulls struggled, finishing 15-67 overall in the 2000-2001 season. They improved slightly in the season after, but Bulls ownership didn’t like the way the future was heading.

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2. Jordan Grew Upset Because Krause Failed to Consult Him on Acquisitions

In a February 2017 on Adrian Worjanowski’s “The Vertical Podcast,” Krause was a guest and spoke about how he was adamant about not consulting players, namely Jordan, before trades and drafts.

But Krause said that Jordan never ever came to him to ask for help. He said part of that was because Jordan thought he “was so darn good” that he would be able to succeed without other players.

He never came to me and asked for other players. He never came to me and asked me to draft a player. He never came to me to ask me to trade for a player. Never once did that happen. Part of it was he thought he was so darn good he could win without them, I’m sure of that, he would say, ‘That’s nuts, I’ll win without them. I don’t care.’ But, Michael was smart enough to understand the organization after the first time and understood what we had to do as an organization and he was great with it. He never complained to me.

According the the New York Times profile after he retired, Krause said that Jordan’s judgement on talent was lackluster. When trades and acquisitions were made, Krause said Jordan always seemed to have a differing opinion.

There were trades he wanted us to make and they were not good. Michael’s just not a good judge of talent. He argued, for one example, against the trade for Bill Cartwright, and later he said that without Bill we don’t win the championships. He said it, but grudgingly.


3. Jordan Strongly Objected When Krause Traded Charles Oakley to the Knicks

In 1986, Krause was very high on forward Brad Sellers and ultimately decided to select him in the NBA Draft that year. But Jordan strongly objected, instead clamoring for Johnny Dawkins out of Duke University. All the way up until draft night, it looked as if the Bulls would select Dawkins, but Krause changed course, ignoring differing opinions and selecting Sellers to join the team.

Jordan was very upset at the pick and was reportedly quoted as saying “it’s a hell of a lot easier to make Earl Monroe look good than it is Brad Sellers.”

During practice, Jordan would “go after” Sellers, who was traded from the Bulls after spending three seasons with the team.

But that wasn’t even the thing that irked Jordan the most.

Jordan strongly objected to the Bulls trading Charles Oakley to the New York Knicks in 1988 for Bill Cartwright. Oakley was reportedly Jordan’s best friend on the team and the transaction put a strain on Chicago’s rebounding and defense.

It wasn’t just seeing his friend move to New York that angered Jordan, it’s the fact that Krause never communicated the trade to the team. Jordan found out about it the same way everybody else did, on TV, according to a 2000 book titled Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made by David Halberstam.

Despite Jordan’s hatred of the trade, Cartwright worked out well for the Bulls and gave them a large presence in the lane. Jordan admitted in Halberstam’s book that he was perhaps incorrect and Krause’s instincts were right about the trade. Though he kept his same thoughts on Krause and his management style.

In an article by Sports Illustrated, Jordan was quoted as saying about Krause:

The trade of Oakley was good, and the best thing he did was to get Pippen and Grant. That’s it. His claim to fame is that he drafted Earl Monroe for the Bullets. And I say to him, ‘What pick was that?’ He says, ‘Two.’ And I say, ‘Hell! Earl Monroe was a real secret, huh? A real secret? If you hadn’t taken him, he’d have gone third!

Jordan developed the nickname “Crumbs” for Krause because of his obese body type and appearance, according to Forbes.


4. Krause Was Stingy When It Came to Contracts & That Angered Jordan

Even though Krause was noted as assembling perhaps the greatest team in NBA history in 1995, Jordan still had animosity toward him.

Another thing that angered Jordan about Krause was his reluctance to give players what he deemed they were worth on their contracts.

Jordan’s new contract in particular caused turmoil when Krause and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf were reluctant to pay Jordan almost $30 million in one season. Instead, they were thinking more in the range of $20 million.

In addition, there were multiple occasions where Krause thought players were worth less than what they wanted, including John Paxson. Krause told the Chicago Tribune that when Paxson’s contract was up, he requested the GM to do contract negotiations.

His contract was up and he came to me and said, ‘I’d like you to negotiate my contract.’ I said, ‘Whoa, what do you mean?’ He said, ‘Well, tell me what the number is and we’ll just do it that way.’ I said, ‘Pax, general managers don’t negotiate players’ contracts.’ He said he’d like me to do it and trusted me So I did it and gave him more than I should’ve. He probably knew that would happen. He’s smart as hell. Three years later, his contract was up and I told him he was making too much now for me to do it, so he needed an agent. He got David Falk.


5. Jordan Offered His Condolences In a Statement After Krause’s Death

Despite the history between the two, Jordan was one of the first to release a statement offering his condolences on the passing of Krause.

Jordan said in the statement that the city of Chicago experienced a great loss following Krause’s death. He added that his former GM was a “key figure” for the Bulls’ dynasty in the 1990s. In addition to Jordan’s statement, Jackson, who also had disputes with Krause, issued a statement that offered his condolences.


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WATCH: Serge Ibaka, Robin Lopez Throw Punches In Brawl

An unnecessary hip bump by the Toronto Raptors‘ Serge Ibaka on the Chicago Bulls‘ Robin Lopez led to quite the scuffled in a game March 21.

Watch a video of the fight above.

Lopez was reaching up to go for a rebound after a shot by Jimmy Butler. When he landed, he was bumped by Ibaka in his back. Lopez retaliated by trying to grab at the ball and throwing a right-handed haymaker, which just missed Ibaka’s head.

When Ibaka saw Lopez cocking up to throw a punch, he threw a right-handed blow of his own, which caught Lopez in the left temple area.

Both teams’ players stayed on the benches as teammates tried to break up the ongoing scuffle. Once the dust settled, both players were ejected from the game and figure to get quite the hefty fine from the NBA.

The Bulls were ahead of the Raptors 88-72 with 3:58 left in the third quarter when the fight broke out.

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Former Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause died at the age of 77 on March 21. Krause and NBA legend Michael Jordan notably didn’t get along.

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