NBA Finals 2015 – Best Players Ranking

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Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers are the last 4 teams in the NBA Conference Finals, fighting for their respective title and also for two of the tickets to the NBA Championship 2015 final game. Here, we list the top 3 NBA players in the entire league. Continue reading

James Can Learn From Nowitzki’s Lessons

 Dirk Nowitzki had just turned 28 — oLebron Jamesr one and a half years older than LeBron James is now — when the Dallas Mavericks lost the 2006 N.B.A. finals to Dwyane Wade and a Miami team they couldn’t put away after leading by 2 games and 13 points with six minutes left in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

And so it was that the Mavericks wound up losing four straight, three games by a total of 6 points, with Nowitzki missing a game-tying free throw with 3.4 seconds in one, punting the ball into the stands after another and later being called out by Wade as a poor leader and finisher and something of a whiner.

Forget for the moment that Wade would not have bared such feelings about another team’s star if that player had not been viewed as somehow less authentic, a European wannabe. The criticism wasn’t without merit. It took five long years for Nowitzki to return to the stage of his failures, to prove that he had heard the criticism and taken it to heart.

In leading the Mavericks to their first title in Miami on Sunday night, claiming the finals’ most valuable player trophy after the 105-95 closeout in Game 6, Nowitzki was a more versatile player, a more confident closer and a much better leader. Continue reading

Heat Gains Finals as Stars Rally LateMiami Heat v Chicago Bulls

There are perhaps a thousand ways to seize a conference title, but none more emphatic, more authoritative or more vehement than the method LeBron James chose Thursday night to send tMiami Heat v Chicago Bullshe Miami Heat to the N.B.A. finals.

Derrick Rose elevated for a series-saving shot at the arc. James leaped with him, then swatted the ball and the Chicago Bulls into oblivion. The buzzer sounded on an 83-80 Miami victory, and James and his teammates began a subdued celebration, having claimed the Eastern Conference crown in five games.

“There’s no sense of relief right now,” James said. “We still got work to do.”

The Heat will battle the Dallas Mavericks in the finals, in a rematch of the 2006 series, which Miami won. The series begins Tuesday in Miami.

For a team that for months seemed incapable of closing games, the Heat now stands as a collection of experts. James punished the Bulls in one fourth quarter after another for the final four games of the series, all of them Heat victories. In the finale, James and Dwyane Wade alternated big shots and suffocating stops as they crushed the Bulls’ spirit and ruthlessly erased a 12-point deficit in the final 3 minutes 2 seconds.

For the fourth straight game, the young Bulls were incapable of matching the Heat’s steadiness down the stretch, or its awesome star power. Continue reading

Knicks Reach Milestone

New York KnicksFor a team that has not finished above .500 since 2001, the Knicks reached a milestone of sorts Wednesday night. They have reached the starting point of respectability in the N.B.A. again.

The Knicks are a .500 team once more at 8-8, the first time they have had an even record this late in a season since 2008-09. It took a five-game winning streak to pull it off — their longest since 2006 — but the Knicks managed it with a 99-95 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Point guard Raymond Felton, in his first game back at the arena where he played for five seasons before signing with the Knicks in the off-season, had 23 points and 13 assists in front of as many as 100 family members and friends.

Amar’e Stoudemire added 20 points and 6 blocked shots for the Knicks, and Wilson Chandler came off the bench to contribute 21 points and 8 rebounds. Tyrus Thomas led all scorers with 26 points for Charlotte.

“It’s good,” Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni said of the team’s success in evening its record. “Like I told them: ‘We have good news and we have bad news. The good news is we’ve got a five-game winning streak. The bad news, we’re .500. So let’s be real and try to get the win on Saturday.’ ” Continue reading

NBA Season

Tipping off one of the most anticipated seasons in the league’s history, TNT’s exclusive doubleheader coverage of opening night of the 2010-11 NBA season delivered record-setting ratings and audience for the network, averaging a 3.5 US rating, 5,493,000 total viewers and 4,025,000 households. NBA The opening game, featuring the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, earned a 4.6 US rating and delivered 7,433,000 total viewers and 5,339,000 households, making it the most watched regular season NBA game on cable of all-time (topping the Chicago Bulls vs. LA Lakers on Feb. 2, 1996).

Game two of the doubleheader, featuring the Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. (ET) delivered a 2.4 US rating, 3,719,000 total viewers and 2,823,000 households, making the doubleheader the most watched NBA Opening Night doubleheader in Turner’s 27 years of tipping off the season.

Other highlights from TNT’s exclusive doubleheader include:

• TNT’s opening night doubleheader saw double digit growth in ratings, total viewers, households and all key demos over last year’s record setting exclusive openers (Celtics/Cavaliers, followed by LA Clippers/LA Lakers).

• Locally the games delivered huge audiences in their home markets of Miami (15.5 HH rating), Boston (17.1 HH rating), LeBron James’ former home market of Cleveland (10.6 HH rating), Houston (7.4 HH rating) and Los Angeles (9.7 HH rating).

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the NBA continues on Thursday, Oct. 28, with a doubleheader featuring the debut of the league’s 2010 overall #1 draft pick John Wall and the Washington Wizards visiting four-time All-Star Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic (8 p.m. ET), followed by a showcase of two of the league’s best point guards as Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns take on Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET). Continue reading