Hornets: Anthony Davis (Nov 2 8:41 ET ) Davis, the overall No. 1 draft pick of the New Orleans, has left Friday night's game against Utah and is being tested for a possible concussion and will not return.
The Scoop: Davis had eight points - all on dunks in the first half - six rebounds and two blocks. He was injured with 4:51 left in the first half. The Hornets released an official statement that he will be out for the rest of the game. The Hornets trailed 41-40 at halftime.
It’s a pat routine that, thankfully for Team USA and its fans, has played out to perfection in the years since its 2006 World Championship embarrassment. The squad starts slow, it questions its own offensive decisions and relies on defensive gambles to make an impact, and eventually overcomes its lacking opponent with superior execution, intelligence, quickness and athleticism. Team USA didn’t look like world-beaters in the first half of its eventual 119-76 win over Slovenia on Tuesday, but that hardly mattered in the long run. The team was literally too big to fail. The outcome was never in question, not even after coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the face of a game Slovenian opponent. The same bugaboos continued to haunt each of its players in what at times resembles a type of All-Star game. Team USA’s scorers doubted their shots early on, sometimes falling victim to Slovenia’s matchup zone, wondering if one high percentage look was more valuable than the one it decided against. That lack of confidence added to a slow offensive start, but Slovenia was unable to create distance between themselves and its opponents despite all those back-rimmed gifts. Slovenia’s Dragic brothers – Goran and Zoran – were the clear stars for their country on Tuesday, combining for 24 points on 27 shots alongside nine boards and four assists (all from Goran), but their feints and finishes weren’t enough to stand in the way of a withering offensive attack from Team USA. With Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried manning the paint, coach K’s squad stuck like glue to Slovenia’s perimeter attack, forcing the team into a 30 percent shooting night from behind the arc. Slovenia didn’t help its cause by missing nearly half of its free throws, and the squad’s 25 turnovers were the biggest reason behind the eventual blowout. Team USA, after that touchy start, went on to make 9-19 three-pointers of its own, working toward a 47 percent mark, and everyone seemed to get a taste. Klay Thompson led the team with 20 points, but some of his digits were chalked up during an extended garbage time run – garbage time that resulted in the team scoring the most points of its World Cup turn. Davis and Faried were brilliant on both ends, combining for 27 points, 21 rebounds and three blocks, and Slovenia never threatened the Team USA lead in the second half. And then there was Derrick Rose, who finished with 12 points and five assists. Oh, there was Derrick Rose: This is how things work for this outfit. Pressed into immediate duty, Team USA is never going to develop the sort of chemistry needed to make quick and appropriate decisions on either side of the ball. This isn’t quite a ramshackle outfit, and these aren’t exhibition games, but these World Cup paces fall closer in line with an All-Star Game in February than they do, say, San Antonio extra-passing its way toward paydirt in mid-June. That’s not to the discredit of the players nor the coaching staff, it’s just the nature of the context at hand. For Team USA to let itself down in relative terms during a 49-40 first half before exploding in the second half is par for the course at this point. Even with the compressed FIBA World Cup schedule, the team is still learning how it likes to work together, and where the ball and the bodies need to move to. A teetering 70-34 second half advantage makes this knowledge go down a whole heck of a lot easier. The plan won’t change. Sound, winning basketball is usually forged through unyielding defensive principles and endless offensive movement on the other end of the floor. Those orthodox standards won’t consistently occur with Team USA, because the quickest and smartest way to get from Point A to Point B is to take chances defensively and improvise offensively. Coach K is not going to create an All-Star version of the Spurs in a short amount of time, he has talents to attend to, and Lithuania to deal with on Thursday. Lucky him. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
The bags were already packed and the Americans had already checked out of their rooms. The only thing standing between them and Barcelona was a game against Ukraine, and it took them a little while to get into it. Once that was over, the Americans could truly turn their attention where they wanted it. Anthony Davis finished with 12 points for the Americans, who will face Mexico on Saturday night in the round of 16.
It's been a strange road for Kenneth Faried. From the moment he arrived in the association, his dichotomous nature as high-energy Manimal on the court and soft-spoken son of two mothers off it made him a media darling. And yet even as his star rises as Team USA's starting power forward, Faried's value as a once traditional player at a position that's evolving further from the basket remains in question. Drafted 22nd overall by the Nuggets, Faried earned a 2011-12 First Team All-Rookie selection and Rising Stars Challenge MVP honors upon collecting 40 points and 10 boards as a sophomore. The 6-foot-8, 228-pound Morehead State product averaged a double-double per 36 minutes each of his first three NBA seasons, and has replicated those numbers in the opening three games of the FIBA World Cup. While Faried has emerged as a perfect frontcourt pairing to Anthony Davis in the absence of Team USA stalwarts Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin — all of whom bring their own set of skills to a position increasingly populated by stretch-4's — the criticism leveled at the Class of 2015 restricted free agent remains. We'll let Zach Lowe explain, as he did both fairly and pointedly for Grantland last month. Faried conceives of himself as a max-level player, but he can’t shoot and he has struggled defensively. He can’t protect the rim in the half-court (his chase-down blocks in transition kick major ass, though), and he’s never been an intuitive pick-and-roll defender. Lowe rightly noted Faried's tireless work ethic around the rim and in transition, skills that earned Kenyon Martin $91.75 million over seven seasons in Denver, but the Nuggets are determined not to hamstring themselves with the same contracts that ultimately left them Western Conference also-rans last decade. So, Denver general manager Tim Connelly has shopped Faried at every turn — for a first-round pick last year and more understandably for Kevin Love this summer — and if all of this seems like a strange way for a 36-win team in need of elite talent to court a 24-year-old All-Star-caliber player, then join the club. Speaking about last season in Denver last night, Team USAer Kenneth Faried said trade rumors "affect you when you want to stay somewhere" — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 3, 2014 Faried clearly wants to stay with Nuggets and is mounting quite a contract drive as negotiations continue on extension to keep him in Denver — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 3, 2014 Nuggets and Faried have until Halloween to finalize extension or Team USA's emerging energizer will become restricted free agent next summer — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) September 3, 2014 Restricted free agents experienced mixed results this summer. The Jazz matched Charlotte's four-year, $63 million offer to Gordon Hayward. The Mavericks snatched Chandler Parsons from Houston for three years and $46 million. Greg Monroe seems willing to sign Detroit's $5.5 million qualifying offer in hopes of cashing in as an unrestricted free agent next summer. And who the hell knows what's happening with Eric Bledsoe . All these options are on the table, as is a five-year extension worth eight figures annually. Given the history of stars using USA Basketball as a springboard to NBA success, the Nuggets may be wise to meet Faried's demands sooner rather than later. Granted, he's played three blowout wins against Finland, Turkey and New Zealand, but Faried's World Cup averages of 14.3 points on 80.8 percent shooting and 8.3 rebounds are impressive, and count Mike Krzyzewski among his growing list of fans. "Overall, from the start of training camp, he's been the biggest and best surprise and has turned out to be a very, very important player for us," USA Basketball's coach told ESPN.com . "He’s made that happen." That endorsement alone should have suitors lining up for Faried's services next summer. Then again, if rumors are to be believed, Denver couldn't find a team willing to part with a first-round pick for him last summer. The NBA sure is a strange road, even for a kid forever plowing full-speed ahead.
Holders United States and dark horses Slovenia eased into the basketball World Cup knockout stages with two games to spare but eastern European giants Lithuania left themselves with work to do after a surprise defeat by Australia on Tuesday. Unfancied Ukraine produced the day’s other upset with a 64-58 defeat of Turkey while the Dominican Republic boosted their own hopes after a 74-68 success against Finland. The Americans looked a little fazed as New Zealand’s Tall Blacks performed their traditional pre-game haka, but showed no nerves in a one-sided contest as Anthony Davis led the charge with 21 points and nine rebounds in a 98-71 rout.
American players paused from their warmups to stand and face their New Zealand opponents as they performed the haka, their traditional war dance challenge. Anthony Davis had 21 points and nine rebounds, Kenneth Faried added 15 and 11 boards and the U.S. James Harden scored 13 points for the Americans, who will play two more games in Bilbao before moving on to Barcelona for the round of 16. BJ Anthony scored 11 points for New Zealand, which fell to 0-3.
The Scoop:Davis lead Team USA in scoring against the Kiwis and has looked like the best player on the team thus far at the World Cup of Basketball. He's reportedly put on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and has solidified himself as Top 5 fantasy pick with Top 3 upside entering fall drafts.
Team USA survived a scare from Turkey on Sunday, led by a 22-point game from Kenneth Faried and a second-half surge from Anthony Davis.
The Scoop:The U.S. trailed by five points at halftime as Turkey's zone defense initially gave them fits. They pounded the ball inside in the second half and quickly regained control of the game before cruising to a 98-77 victory. It was a good test for Team USA, which will return to action vs. Group C opponent New Zealand on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis had 17 points, four rebounds and zero blocks in Saturday's easy Team USA 114-55 win over Finland.
The Scoop:Davis was great, despite the yawner of a stat line, and he's been going at No. 2, over LeBron James, in many of the early drafts we've taken part in. Klay Thompson was great with 18 points and four 3-pointers to lead the team in scoring, while teammate Stephen Curry struggled, hitting just 1-of-6 shots, missing all five of his 3-pointers and scoring just four points in the blowout.
Aug 30 12:00 ET
News (various sources)
Pelicans downplay pressure to make playoffs (The Associated Press) (1 Day Ago | courtesy: The Associated Press) METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Anthony Davis doesn't see the point to thinking about what might happen to the only NBA coach he's had if the New Orleans Pelicans fail to make the playoffs again this season. More...