Next stop for Derek Fisher is Big D


Next stop for Derek Fisher is Big D

DALLAS (AP) Derek Fisher shed a little blood in his first practice as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

Maybe it's a sign of commitment.

The veteran point guard who signed with Dallas as a free agent this week took blow to the face Friday.

``It was an exciting first day. There was a little bit of a minor setback when I took a nice elbow to the nose, I had some nice leakage, so right back into the mix on the first day,'' laughed Fisher, who at 38 has not played since he helped Oklahoma City sweep the Mavericks in the first round of last spring's playoffs before falling in the NBA Finals to Miami.

``He had a little spark of blood out there, so I said, `Welcome to full contact again,''' joked Dallas forward Shawn Marion. ``But he's a solid point guard, he knows how to control the tempo of the game, he takes what the defense gives him and he's poised out there. And that's what you expect.''

Proving to be a good teammate already, Fisher would not disclose who elbowed him. He seemed happy just to be on the court with his new squad.

``I've been working hard, just keeping myself ready for this moment, not really knowing where it would be,'' Fisher said.. ``Just to be back out here with a group of guys with everybody working hard is good.''

The Mavericks are 3-8 in their last 11 games and could use leadership from the 16-year veteran. Dallas will be without star Dirk Nowitski for another several weeks and starting point guard Darren Collison is questionable for Saturday night's home game against Detroit.

``For a guy that's been sitting out, he's obviously been working hard and taking care of himself,'' said coach Rick Carlisle. ``It'll take a little while to get game legs, but he did a great job today and he's going to help us. He's going to be involved, he's probably going to be our starting point guard. We're not looking at him as a cure-all for anything, but we feel he can help us. He strengthens our team and experience is something that is invaluable in this league.''

Fisher's experience includes 229 playoff games, eight trips to the NBA Finals and five championships with the Lakers (2000-02, 2009-10). Still, it was difficult waiting to find out his next destination.

``I was always planning to play again this season. I've been training hard, preparing myself for this moment,'' said Fisher, who has also played for Golden State and Utah. ``Nothing prepares you for playing in a game, so there will be some moments where I'll have to push through, but overall, I feel great. It was very tough on certain days to be patient and really wait for that right opportunity, but there were a lot of days where having extra time with my family and my kids, I enjoyed that as well.''

Carlisle feels his presence will only help Collison, who missed Wednesday's 23-point loss in Chicago with a sprained right middle finger.

``We got a great situation with him and Collison, because we got two great players,'' Carlisle said. ``Darren's still one of our best players and I've made that clear to him. I see him as a guy that's still developing and I can't imagine a better situation for a young point guard than being at practice every day with Derek Fisher. This is going to be a great situation for him and it's going to help our team.''

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NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division


NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Atlantic Division...

Toronto Raptors, B+

2017-18 finish: 59-23, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Kawhi Leonard, G Danny Green, C Greg Monroe
Out: G DeMar DeRozan, C Jakub Poeltl, C Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors had one of the more consequential offseasons of any NBA team this year. First, they fired Dwane Casey, the 2017-18 NBA Coach of the Year, following a season in which they won 59 games. Then, they pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a deal that featured two perennial All-NBA players. They let go of DeRozan and brought in Leonard in return. If they hadn't parted with DeRozan and Casey, they may have gotten an A. But it's hard to tell how much better they will be following the deal and Leonard does bring with him some concerns based on his quadriceps injury and the fact he has only one year left on his contract. The Raptors do, however, also get points for re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet.

Boston Celtics, C

2017-18 finish: 55-27, conference finals
In: C Robert Williams, G Brad Wanamaker
Out: C Greg Monroe

One year ago, the Celtics flipped nearly their entire roster and brought in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they mostly stood pat and didn't add much of anything in free agency or trades. Their biggest acquisition was Williams, who they took 27th overall in the first round of the draft. The Celtics will hope they improve from within. They re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes, and should get Irving and Hayward back from injuries. They should have plenty of talent to compete for an NBA Finals berth, but as far as this offseason goes, they didn't do much.

Philadelphia 76ers, D+

2017-18 finish: 52-30, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Wilson Chandler, C Mike Muscala, G Zhaire Smith, G Landry Shamet
Out: G Marco Belinelli, F Ersan Ilyasova

Where do we begin? This summer was about as dramatic and bad as it could get for the Sixers. First, they had to fire their general manager because of a burner Twitter account scandal. Then, they struck out miserably in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George, and in trade talks for Leonard. After that, Smith - their first round pick - hurt his foot. And along the way, Ben Simmons has been dating a Kardashian, flirting with the curse that has claimed many pro athletes before him. Philly did re-sign J.J. Redick and Johnson, and the Chandler trade was nice, but all in all it was an offseason that fell way short of the Sixers' expectations. That said, they can still get way better next season based solely on their young players taking another step.

New York Knicks, B

2017-18 finish: 29-53, missed playoffs
In: F Mario Hezonja, F Kevin Knox, F Noah Vonleh, C Mitchell Robinson
Out: F Michael Beasley, G Jarrett Jack, F Kyle O'Quinn

It's been a while since the Knicks had an offseason to write home about and this one is no exception. There was nothing they did that would flirt with an A-grade. However, the early returns on their draft are excellent. Knox and Robinson were both standouts in the Summer League and offer fans a little bit more hope about the team's future. As long as Kristaps Porzingis can return this season safe and sound from his ACL tear, the Knicks could take a step forward in 2018-19.

Brooklyn Nets, C+

2017-18 finish: 28-54, missed playoffs
In: F Ed Davis, F Kenneth Faried, F Jared Dudley
Out: F Dante Cunningham, G Nik Stauskas, C Jahlil Okafor

The best news about the Nets' offseason is that their trade with the Celtics, the one that stripped them of years of first round picks, is finally over. Next year, the Nets will have a first round pick. This summer, they once again didn't add any major pieces in the draft, but seemed to make some smart moves in free agency. The Davis deal is solid and Faried may benefit from a change of scenery. More baby steps for Brooklyn.

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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

Friday featured Dmitry Orlov and his jam-packed schedule with the coveted Stanley Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Russia decided to take the Cup to Novokuznetsk (located in the southwest region of Siberia) for a meet and greet with fans by the Ferris wheel at Gagarin City Park.

It should be mentioned that Orlov's day with the trophy was nearly derailed after a travel glitch that sent the Cup to Novosibirsk instead of his hometown. 

Thanks to the ultimate assist from a helicopter, the Cup arrived in style and set up one memorable entrance for the defenseman. 

Orlov released this hype video which highlights his entire day on Instagram: 

Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Talk about a banner weekend for the Washington Capitals. The Ovechkins welcomed their new son, Sergei Aleksandrovich, into the world and Orlov pulled off yet another spectacular day with the Cup.



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