With the kind of playoffs performance Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is having, it’s easy to forget how good he was in the regular season. He averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assist, and 4.3 rebounds in 2014-15, and he led the Warriors to a franchise-best 67 wins. He also hit 286 threes, which set a new NBA record. (The previous record holder? Steph Curry, when he made 272 in 2012-13.)
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Curry’s accomplishments this season. And for all of it, today he was named the NBA’s 2014-15 Most Valuable Player.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a brutal 2014-15 season, posting an NBA-worst record of 16-66. But there was one very bright spot in Minneapolis: Andrew Wiggins. The first-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft played all 82 games for the Wolves (after being traded by the Cavaliers before the start of the season) and averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 boards a game. And at the age of 19, Wiggins was a team leader in a locker room decimated by injuries.
Yesterday, his sterling debut season earned him Rookie of the Year honors. He received 110 first-place votes from the 124 sportswriters and broadcasters on the award panel. Nikola Mirotic of the Bulls was second with 14 first-place votes.
Wiggins the only Timberwolves player to win the award.
Back in December, we told you about ShotTracker, a cool system of sensors that gives players valuable intel on their basketball skills and an app that develops drills to improve them. What made the tech stand out was that it also allowed coaches to access that data to tailor workouts and practices to maximize every player's needs.
Now, there's an NBA superstar in the mix, too.
The Golden State Warriors headed to New Orleans up 2-0 in their series against the Pelicans. But in last night’s Game 3, the Pelicans put their series deficit aside and showed the Warriors they weren’t out of it. Not yet.
Heading into the fourth quarter, New Orleans had a 20-point lead on the best team in the league. It looked like the Pelicans had the game in their beaks.
But Warriors star Steph Curry wasn’t about to throw in the towel.
Want to perform in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans in an NBA arena? You could practice your basketball skills and hope for a massive growth spurt. Or you could skip that hassle and try out for the Nets Kids Dance Team.
First, you have to stand out in a crowd. Last year, more than 500 hopefuls hit the court at Barclays Center for the annual preseason tryouts. Gradually, coaches whittled the group down to 150 kids, then 50, then to the final 15, as they performed progressively harder routines. Kids that make the final cut have what coach Tanisha Scott calls "stardom."
The NBA playoffs began over the weekend, in the opening game of the Clippers-Spurs series, LA star Chris Paul went off. He put up 32 points in 38 minutes to lead all scorers in the Clippers 107-92 win. Not bad for the smallest guy on the court (Paul is 6’0”).
So we thought this would be a good time to give you a first look at Paul on the cover of our May issue, which is all about sports’ short guys:
The Philadelphia native earned a starting spot in his first NBA All-Star Game while leading his team to the top of the Atlantic Division for a second consecutive season.
Breaking down Kyle Lowry's free agency options from last summer is an exercise in "could haves." The point guard could have rejoined the Houston Rockets to form a terrifying trio, with MVP candidate James Harden and Dwight Howard. He could have settled into a supporting role with the Los Angeles Lakers (and possibly earned a bigger one when Kobe Bryant became injured). But those teams didn't offer the promise of a leadership role. The Toronto Raptors, with whom he'd grown as a player since 2012, did. "I ultimately wanted to be in a place where I could say, It's my team," he says of re-signing with Canada's sole NBA franchise.
And it is. Under Lowry's direction, the long-suffering Raptors have gone from cellar-dwellars to first place in the Atlantic Division, and through March 2 they had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (38--22). Lowry's doggedness on defense and career-high numbers (18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game this season) have pointed Toronto toward its second straight playoff appearance.