NBA News 3/29/12: Silas on Love, Second-Year Sensations

NBA News 3/29/12: Silas on Love, Second-Year Sensations

Today's NBA News, courtesy NBA Media Central:

Stats & Stuff:

Dallas' Jason Kidd will appear in his 1,308 career game tonight at Miami, moving him past Buck Williams (1,307) and into 10 place on the NBA's all-time list ... Dirk Nowitzki ranks 32nd all-time in three-pointers made with 1,252. He needs two to pass Clifford Robinson (1,253) for 31st place and five to pass Vernon Maxwell (1,256) for 30th all time.

Since entering the league in 2003, Miami's Dwyane Wade has recorded 601 blocks, the most blocks by a guard during that span.

With a combined total of 52.0 points per game, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook form the highest scoring duo in the NBA. This season, the duo becomes the first pair of teammates in NBA history to each score at least 40 points on two separate occasions during a single season. On 10 occasions dating back to the start of last season Durant and Westbrook have each scored 30-plus points in the same game (9-1 record).

Each Thursday, NBA News highlights several second-year players that are having a positiveimpact on their teams. This week's look includes rising stars that have excelled in the second half (all stats courtesy of NBA.com/Stats):

DEMARCUS COUSINS (Sacramento) -- Cousins has injected himself into the best-post-player-in-the-NBA conversation by averaging 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds. Cousins is one of only six players with at least 30 point/rebound double-doubles. In 16 post-All-Star games, Cousins is averaging 19.8 points and 10.6 boards. Over the last five games, Cousins ranks third in scoring (27.2 ppg) and second in rebounding (13.2 rpg).

JORDAN CRAWFORD (Washington) -- Crawford's name appeared has popped up in the section in recent weeks and for good reason. Overall, Crawford ranks sixth among Sophomores in scoring, averaging 14.0 points on .403 shooting from the field. Over the last 20 games, only one second-year player (L.A. Clippers' Blake Griffin, 20.6 ppg) has averaged more points than Crawford's 18.2 (.444). Over the last five, however, Crawford is the leading scorer (20.8 ppg, .494) among second-year players.

GORDON HAYWARD(Utah) -- For the season, Hayward is averaging 10.6 points and 3.1 assists while shooting .445 from the field. In 19 games since the All-Star break, however, Hayward has averaged 12.5 points and 3.0 assists while shooting .480. Over his last five, he's averaging 15.6 points and 4.8 assists while shooting .455.

Revision to Playoff Tie-Break Criteria Approved
The NBA Board of Governors approved a revision to the playoff tie-break criteria for the current season only. Since teams aren't playing an equal amount of intra-division games during the 2011-12 season, the tiebreaker based on winning percentage within the division has been eliminated. All other tie-breakers for both playoff seeding and homecourt advantage remain unchanged for the upcoming postseason.

Today's Quote
PAUL SILAS, on Kevin Love, after the former posted 40 points and 19 rebounds in Minnesota's 88-83 win over Charlotte:

"If he continues to do what he's doing for a good portion of his career, he's going to be one of the best ever. He's just tenacious. That ball goes up and he's there. And he's strong ... The young boys we have are not ready for that. So that makes it difficult."
AP March 29, 2012

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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