Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
The Erie Times-News sports staff delivers in-depth coverage of the Erie BayHawks and pro and college basketball   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘San Antonio Spurs’
Posted: December 29th, 2012

D.J. Kennedy scored 22 points to lead the Erie BayHawks to a fifth consecutive win, 105-91, at Erie Insurance Arena on Friday night. The BayHawks (7-4) have the longest active winning streak in the D-League.

Demonte Harper had a season-high 18 points off the bench for the BayHawks, who shot 10-of-20 from 3-point range. Cory Joseph led the Toros (7-6) with 21 points. Last season, Austin eliminated Erie in the first round of the D-League playoffs.

The BayHawks play Fort Wayne tonight at 7 at Erie Insurance Arena. The Indiana Pacers have sent down Miles Plumee and Orlando Johnson to the Mad Ants (4-10), who have added former Clevleand Cavaliers forward Luke Harangody. Fort Wayne also has the top pick from the 2012 D-League draft in JaJuan Johnson.

Posted: November 2nd, 2012

Here’s a quick look at who the Erie BayHawks picked in Friday’s 2012 D-League Draft. The BayHawks drafted Jack McClinton III in the first round. The BayHawks start training camp Nov. 10.

First round — Jack McClinton III (6-1, 185, SG, Miami)
Date of birth: Jan. 19, 1985
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Background: Has played overseas the last three years. Averaged 19.3 points his senior year at Miami. McClinton was a second-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs in 2009. Was released on the eve of training camp. Worked out for the defending NBA champion Miami Heat this season.

Posted: June 20th, 2012

Russell Westbrook's 43 points was not enough to lead the Thunder past Miami in Game 4 on Tuesday night in Miami./AP Photo

Just a week ago, Oklahoma City had won its fifth consecutive playoff game to take a 1-0 series lead in the NBA Finals.

The Thunder had taken four straight against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals and disposed of the Miami Heat in Game 1 by 11 points, 105-94.

Now they’ve lost three straight to Miami by a total of 16 points.  The Heat beat them in Game 4 on Tuesday night, 104-98, despite having a 17-point, first-quarter lead and Russell Westbrook going bonkers with 43 points.

If the Thunder lose Thursday night in Miami, their season will end on a four-game skid just San Antonio’s did at their hands.

Wouldn’t that be ironic.

Can OKC avoid this early of an elimination and force a Game 6 at home? Sure, but this franchise is going to through the same process great teams had to do before signing free agents to win now, not later.

The Detroit Pistons had to get through the Boston Celtics before winning back-to-back titles (1989-90). The Chicago Bulls had to get through the Pistons before winning three straight championships. (1991-93).

The Thunder’s time will come as they will learn from these 2012 finals:

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: June 12th, 2012

Has the time come for 3-time MVP LeBron James to win his first R-I-N-G? OKC doesn't think so./AP Photo.

Got to stick my with pick.

Before the season started, I picked the Miami Heat as one of the five favorites to win it all.

Before the NBA playoffs, I picked them to win it all.

Now with Game 1 of the NBA Finals about to start in a few hours, the Heat are right where they’re supposed to be, but face the team I picked they’d meet in the finals – the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oh boy.

The Thunder are serious, folks.

They play fast, can score as will, defend the paint and their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are not only shot makers, but shot takers.

None of them are afraid to launch when all is on the line.

It’s hard to beat a team like that.

The Heat have the team to do it, but are they up to the challenge?

This isn’t the New York Knicks, who had talent, but couldn’t put it together in time to really challenge them.

This isn’t the Indiana Pacers, who although physical and tough, lacked the experience to put a team way.

This isn’t the Boston Celtics, who are savvy vets that ran out of gas.

This is Oklahoma City. The Thunder have the NBA’s best fans, just beat the league’s best team in San Antonio four straight times after the Spurs had won 20 games in a row.

However, this is LeBron James’ time.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: May 22nd, 2012

Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs have won 18 consecutive games. Will the Thunder challenge them?/AP

18 wins in a row. The San Antonio Spurs are rolling.

Unbeaten in this year’s NBA playoffs, the Spurs swept the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers to reach the Western Conference finals. They’ve been unstoppable.

They haven’t been tested, either, but that’s all about to change Sunday.

Here come the Thunder. The Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Spurs have the best team, but the Thunder have the two best players in the series in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in James Harden.

So make no mistake. The Spurs will lose a game in this series, but will they lose the series?

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: May 15th, 2012

San Antonio's Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich may be the NBA's best point guard-coach duo./AP Photo

The debate is finally going to be settled where it should be settled – on the court.

Chris Paul and Tony Parker are considered two of the top five point guards in the NBA along with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo.

Some say they’re the top two. They’re generals in their own way.

Paul leads and motivates the Los Angeles Clippers with an iron hand, is the mayor of Lob City and closes games with great decision making and precision.

Parker leads and motivates the San Antonio Spurs with flair and creativity, gets to the rim at will and leads an offense that is arguably the most potent in the NBA.

The question is which one will do more to help their team get one step closer to the NBA Finals?

Will that ultimately determine who’s better? No, but people can use the results of this series as a barometer to pick one over the other.

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: May 14th, 2012

Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies couldn't come back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the L.A. Clippers./AP Photo.

Not bad. Not bad.

With the Los Angeles Clipppers beating the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 Sunday to advance to the Western Conference semifinals, all the first-round series are complete. I finished 6-2 in predicting the first round.

Eastern Conference

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers.
Prediction: Bulls in 5
Outcome: Sixers in 6.
What happpened: Derrick Rose got hurt. Joakim Noah got hurt. Bulls didn’t have enough.

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks
Prediction: Heat in 6
Outcome: Heat in 5
What happened: Knicks not ready as a team to seriously challenge Miami.

(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic
Prediction: Pacers in 5
Outcome: Pacers in 5
What happened: Without Dwight Howard, Magic had no shot to win this series.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: May 11th, 2012

Ivan Johnson's first NBA season ended with the Boston Celtics beating the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but he'll be remembered for more./AP Photo

Ivan Johnson is out.

So is Mike James. Include Blake Ahearn as well.

The three former Erie BayHawks are on NBA teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs. Last night, the Boston Celtics escaped the Atlanta Hawks, 83-80, to win Game 6 and the series, 4-2.

Johnson has been with the Hawks all season. Not playing in Game 6, Johnson gave a fan the middle finger as he left the TD Garden court in Boston.

There were better ways for him to end the season.  After having a great year with Erie in 2010-11, Johnson, for the most part, took advantage of his first NBA season, but didn’t end it graciously.

Before the Celtics eliminated the Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers pulled out a miraculous 79-78 win in which Andre Iguodala hit a game winning free throws with 2.2 seconds left.

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Posted: May 4th, 2012

Rookie power forward Ivan Johnson (44) is averaging five points for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Playoffs./AP Photo

Three former Erie BayHawks – PF Ivan Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), PG Blake Ahearn (Utah Jazz) and PG Mike James (Chicago Bulls) – are still flying in the NBA Playoffs.

How long will their teams stay in postseason flight is the question.

The Hawks are tied 1-1 in their best-of-7 series against the Boston Celtics. Had they won Game 2 at home with Boston not having Rajon Rondo, the Hawks would be in good shape to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Boston already the edge in experience and resolve. Now they have home court advantage and Rondo is back from his one-game suspension for bumping a referee. This isn’t looking too good for the Hawks.

As for Johnson he’s averaging five points, five rebounds and a steal in this series, but is shooting just 36.4 percent from the field. Johnson shot 51.3 percent during the regular season.

Game 3 is today at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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Posted: February 14th, 2012

The Erie BayHawks are hoping forward Frank Hassell (with ball) can give them a stronger inside presence./AP Photo.

On Monday, the Erie BayHawks added forward Frank Hassell, a 6-9, 246-pound power forward who averaged 10.1 points and 7.8 rebounds in 20 games for the expansion Canton Charge.

From Chesapeake, Va., Hassell had played overseas in Turkey before the San Antonio Spurs invited him to training camp. Hassell, who played at the same high school as former NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning in Indian River, was the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament MVP while playing at Old Dominion.

The BayHawks got Hassell, 23, in a trade when they acquired Sharrod Ford out of the D-League player pool and traded him to Canton for Hassell. From Suitland, Md., Ford, 30, played for the Phoenix Suns in 2005-06 after playing college ball at Clemson.

Ford also played professional in Turkey, Russia and Italy. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds in 2010-11 with Sutor Montegranaro in Italy.

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