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Warriors’ Gary Payton II to receive MRI on right calf injury

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Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II will receive an MRI on his right calf injury today, per sources. The MRI will help the medical staff determine the grade of calf muscle injury, along with fluid collections and fascial defect. These factors can help trainers establish a timetable for his return.

Payton is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. If his injury is a calf strain, a Grade I strain requires 10-12 days of rest. Grade II is 2-3 weeks, and Grade III needs at least six months after surgery. With Grade III injuries, the affected individual cannot contract the calf muscle.

Per a couple of NBA betting sites, the Golden State Warriors hold fifth-shortest odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.

In Golden State’s 124-123 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, Chris Paul left during the first quarter with lower left leg soreness and Payton exited in the third after playing 17 minutes off the bench. The eight-year veteran finished with seven points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals, and a block.

Moses Moody stepped up amid Payton’s absence. The 6-foot-6 guard drained back-to-back 3-pointers to help Golden State remain in the game, but Sacramento went on to outscore the Dubs 29-19 in the final frame. Now the Warriors are 2-8 in their last 10 contests.

Golden State Warriors’ Gary Payton II to undergo MRI on right calf injury Wednesday, listed as questionable

Through 14 games off the bench this season, Payton is averaging 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 17.3 minutes per game. Plus, he’s shooting 47.9% from the field, 32.1% beyond the arc, and 66.7% at the foul line.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr opened up about Payton’s importance to his team last week.

“Very similar to what we’ve watched with Gary two years ago, because last year he was barely with us,” Kerr said, following last Friday’s 118-112 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

“One of the benefits of playing him is he knows how to play with Steph [Curry]. It’s not just his defense, which is excellent, but when he’s on the floor with Steph, that’s where some of the off-ball stuff just happens because Gary recognizes it as well as anybody.

“You’ll see him dribble at Steph and get him a hand-back, you’ll see him running free and he’ll go screen for him, he’ll set a screen and dive, and Steph will hit him in the pocket like he did for the one when he got the layup. There’s definitely a lot of value in playing Gary with Steph, and we’re trying to do that more.”

In Golden State’s 106-95 victory against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 29, Payton recorded a season-high 15 points, four boards, one assist, three steals, and one block in 19 minutes as a reserve.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Warriors hold a 62.3% chance of winning at home over the Clippers. Los Angeles is 4-2 in its last six games. The Clips are coming off a 113-104 loss to a Nuggets team that played without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon.





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How Much Do Teams Get Fined For Court-Storming?

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The injury suffered by Duke basketball star Kyle Filipowski during a court storming has reignited a national conversation about the dangers of college basketball’s popular practice. Filipowski was injured after a fan tripped him during a court storming at Wake Forest following the Demon Deacons’ 83-79 win over the Blue Devils on Tuesday night. It’s the second significant injury from court storming in this season after Iowa’s star guard Caitlin Clark got hurt in a similar situation in January.

The incident has also opened up a dialogue about whether to implement stricter penalties against court storming — especially in the ACC, which does not fine teams for the practice.

How Much Do Teams Get Fined For Court-Storming?

Different conferences have varying policies regarding fines for court-storming:

  • SEC
    • $100,000 for the first offense
    • 250,000 for a second offense
    • $500,000 for third offense
  • Pac-12:
    • $25,000 fine for first offense
    • $50,000 for second offense
    • $100,000 for subsequent offenses.
  • Big 12
    • Recently fined UCF $25,000 for a court-storming incident in January.
  • Big East:
    • Implements a $5,000 fine for court-storming.
  • Big Ten
    • No fines are imposed until the third offense.
  • ACC:
    • Currently, the ACC does not impose fines for court-storming incidents.

Filipowski Claims He Was Targeted

The lack of procedure in the ACC, which has led to the spotlight coming off Filipowski’s injury, is among the topics being widely discussed in the aftermath of Wake Forest’s victory. Wake Forest will likely face no discipline from the conference in terms of fines although with incidents like this becoming more commonplace, that could change.

Filipowski, who has enjoyed a standout season and was named ACC Rookie of the Year last season, called the incident “absurd” and feels he was an intended target.

Duke coach Jon Scheyer called for the banning of fans storming the court.

“I’m concerned about the well-being of my players,” Scheyer said when asked about the result and the incident. “When are they going to ban court-storming?”

While we don’t have the answer to that, maybe Duke could try winning to stop fans storming the court!





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Hawks are 750-750 in their last 1,500 games

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The Atlanta Hawks are 750-750 in their last 1,500 games played. Excluding playoff wins, Atlanta’s W-L record during this stretch dates back to the 2004-05 season. The Hawks scored 156,041 points in that span, per StatMuse.

According to the Basketball-Reference database, the Hawks’ all-time W-L record is 2,915-2,996. Atlanta has 49 playoff appearances and one championship (1957-58 St. Louis Hawks).

The Hawks won a franchise-record 60 games in the 2014-15 season. Atlanta’s Southeast Division title that campaign was the team’s first since winning the Central Division in 1994.

That was the club’s most successful season since finishing at the top of the Eastern Conference in 1993-94. It marked the first time since the Southeast Division was created (ahead of 2004-05) that the division title was not won by a team from the state of Florida.

Atlanta reached its first-ever Eastern Conference Finals since the NBA was divided into two conferences, but the club’s season ended with a four-game sweep against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Hawks returned to the conference finals in 2021.

However, they were defeated in six games by the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks, led by two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Atlanta Hawks’ longest win streak during their 1,500-game stretch was 19 games in the 2014-15 season

Furthermore, Atlanta’s longest win streak during that 1,500-game span was 19 games in the 2014-15 season as well. The team also won eight straight games in the 2020-21 season.

The Hawks lost 10 straight games in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

Through 56 games of the 2023-24 season, the club is 24-32 and sits 10th overall in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hawks are 13-16 at home, 11-16 away, and 14-24 against East opponents.

Additionally, Atlanta is 17-14 as a selected favorite, 7-18 as an underdog, and 17-39 against the spread this season.

The Hawks struggled Friday night in their first game since the All-Star break. In Atlanta’s 123-121 loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Hawks missed 13 straight shots after taking a 2-0 lead.

The Raptors led 15-2 before Dejounte Murray ended the brick streak with a layup. The Hawks shot 30% from the floor in the opening frame — going 1 for 9 from 3-point range and missing five free throws.

Atlanta is now on a three-game losing streak. The franchise’s longest win streak this season has been just four games (Oct. 29-Nov. 4 and later matched from Jan. 13-20).

The Hawks host Orlando on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.





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Warriors’ Steve Kerr signs 2-year, $35M deal as highest-paid coach

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Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is now the NBA’s highest-paid coach after signing a two-year, $35 million contract extension with the organization, agents Rick Smith and Dan Eveloff of Priority Sports announced Friday.

His current deal was set to expire at the end of the 2023-24 season. Kerr’s new extension, worth $17.5 million per season, takes him through the 2025-26 campaign. His .655 winning percentage is fifth in NBA history.

Kerr, 58, has coached the Warriors to four franchise championships (2015, 2017-18, 2022), six NBA Finals (2015-19, 2022), and seven playoff appearances (2015-19, 2022-23).

Golden State general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Kerr’s representatives have been negotiating a new deal for quite a while.

“I think it’s incredible,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said of Kerr’s extension. “Wouldn’t want to finish my time here with any other coach. What he’s meant to this franchise … the winning ways that he brought here, you can’t replace that. … He got what he deserved.”

More importantly, this was also a big day for Dunleavy and Warriors priority owner Joe Lacob, considering Golden State never reached an extension with former president and GM Bob Myers, who left after the 2022-23 season.

Green never had any doubt about Kerr receiving a new deal and becoming the league’s highest-paid coach.

“No, because I know Joe is going to do the right thing,” Green said of Lacob. “He’s done nothing but build that trust with us that he’s going to do the right thing and take care of those who take care of this organization.”

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr won his 500th career regular-season game in only 764 games

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich makes more than Steve Kerr annually. However, Popovich holds the dual title of president and coach. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also signed an eight-year extension worth $15 million per season.

During the offseason, Monty Williams signed a six-year, $72 million deal with the Detroit Pistons that could reach up to eight years and $100 million with incentives. By annual salary, Popovich ($20 million) leads all, followed by Kerr ($17.5 million), Spoelstra ($15 million), and Williams ($13.3 million).

On May 14, 2014, Kerr inked a five-year, $25 million deal to become the Warriors coach, succeeding Mark Jackson. Later that year on Dec. 10, he became the first NBA rookie coach to win 21 of his first 23 games.

The 2015-16 Warriors won 73 regular-season games, breaking the record for the most wins in an NBA season. Kerr went on to win NBA Coach of the Year that season.

Kerr won his 500th regular-season game on Feb. 15, 2024, against the Utah Jazz.

He accomplished the feat in 764 games, the fifth-fewest games needed to reach the milestone behind only Phil Jackson (682), Pat Riley (684), K.C. Jones (731), and Popovich (745).

Kerr joined Alvin Attles (557) as the only coaches in franchise history to win at least 500 games. Contrary to popular belief, he deserves to be the highest-paid coach.

Kerr is credited for coaching and maintaining the Warriors’ dynasty — built around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Green — for over a decade. He is the fourth coach in NBA history to win two championships in his first three seasons of coaching.

Additionally, he is Team USA’s national coach and will coach the Americans in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Now in his ninth season, Kerr is 502-264 during his tenure with Golden State.





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