2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The season concluded with the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP. Chicago's Derrick Rose was named the 2010–11 NBA MVP.
- On May 21, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Doug Collins as head coach, replacing Eddie Jordan who was fired on May 15.
- On June 7, the New Orleans Hornets hired Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams as head coach, replacing interim head coach Jeff Bower who returned to his original position as general manager.
- On June 10, the New Jersey Nets hired Avery Johnson as head coach, replacing interim head coach Kiki Vandeweghe whose contract expired at the end of the 2009–2010 season.
- On June 13, the Atlanta Hawks promoted assistant coach Larry Drew, replacing head coach Mike Woodson whose contract expired at the end of the 2009–10 season.
- On June 23, the Chicago Bulls hired Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau as head coach, replacing Vinny Del Negro who was fired on May 4.
- On July 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Byron Scott as head coach, replacing Mike Brown who was fired on May 24.
- On July 7, the Los Angeles Clippers hired Vinny Del Negro as head coach, replacing interim head coach Kim Hughes who was fired on April 15.
- On September 27, the Golden State Warriors promoted assistant coach Keith Smart to head coach, replacing Don Nelson who resigned after his contract was bought out.
- On December 22, 2010, Larry Brown stepped down as the Charlotte Bobcats head coach. Paul Silas took over on an interim basis. On February 16, 2011, Silas was named as full-time Bobcats head coach.
- On January 30, 2011, Jim O'Brien was fired as the Indiana Pacers head coach. Assistant coach Frank Vogel took over on an interim basis.
- On February 10, 2011, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and long-time assistant Phil Johnson resigned. Assistant Tyrone Corbin took over as head coach.
The 2010 off-season had one of the most talented free agent pools in recent NBA history. The list of free agents included All-Stars LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer and Amar'e Stoudemire, as well as other veteran players such as Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce. Below are the major free agency signings, including the sign and trade agreements, that occurred during the off-season.
- Joe Johnson re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
- Paul Pierce and Ray Allen re-signed with the Boston Celtics, while Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal signed with the Celtics.
- Carlos Boozer signed and traded to the Chicago Bulls.
- David Lee signed and traded to the Golden State Warriors.
- Dirk Nowitzki re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
- Ben Wallace re-signed with the Detroit Pistons, while Tracy McGrady signed with the Pistons.
- Luis Scola re-signed with the Houston Rockets.
- Rudy Gay re-signed with the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Dwyane Wade re-signed with the Miami Heat, while Chris Bosh and LeBron James signed and traded to the Heat. James announced his decision on an ESPN special called The Decision. Many Cleveland fans considered his departure a betrayal.
- Amar'e Stoudemire signed and traded to the New York Knicks.
NBA Europe Live 2010 was played October 3, 2010 – October 7, 2010, featuring the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers and teams from Europe (Armani Jeans Milano and Regal FC Barcelona) The Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns played in Indian Wells, California, on October 9 for their outdoor special. The Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets played in the fifth annual NBA China Games on October 13 in Beijing, and October 16 at Guangzhou. The preseason schedule was released in August.
The regular season began on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, and ended on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. The Opening Day schedule on TNT had the Miami Heat face the Boston Celtics, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers' championship ring and banner ceremony and their game against the Houston Rockets. The opener began at 7:30 p.m. ET. On Christmas Day, ABC and ESPN had a five-game set, with ABC broadcasting the game between the Celtics and the Orlando Magic, and the Heat against the Lakers, which started at 2:00 p.m. ET. On Martin Luther King Day, ESPN aired the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Memphis Grizzlies at 1:00 p.m. ET, while NBA TV aired the Sacramento Kings–Atlanta Hawks matchup at 4:00 p.m. ET. TNT capped off the holiday with a doubleheader, beginning with the Magic facing the Celtics, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder facing the Los Angeles Lakers, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. The full schedule was released on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.
Other much-anticipated games include: on October 28, 2010, John Wall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, made his NBA debut as the Washington Wizards visited the Magic on TNT. On December 2, LeBron James returned to Cleveland for the first time since the Decision as his Heat faced the Cavaliers on TNT. The Celtics–Lakers rivalry renewed on January 30, 2011 (at Los Angeles on ABC) and on February 10, 2011 (at Boston on TNT) in a rematch of the 2010 NBA Finals. On March 4–5, 2011, the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors faced off in two regular season games held at London's O2 Arena.
- z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
- c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
- y – Clinched division title
- x – Clinched playoff spot
- The Los Angeles Lakers clinched #2 seed over Dallas upon winning the Pacific Division.
- New Orleans clinched #7 seed over Memphis based on winning percentage in the Southwest Division (the Hornets' 0.563 to the Grizzlies' 0.500).
The 2011 NBA Playoffs began on Saturday April 16, with the Conference Finals concluding on Thursday, May 26. The NBA Finals began on Tuesday, May 31 due to both Conference Finals ending in five games. ESPN began their playoff broadcast on April 16, and continued every Friday and Saturday thereafter, with the Sunday-Thursday schedule reserved for TNT (some Saturday first-round games apply) and NBA TV. ABC continued broadcasting early-round playoff coverage every Sunday afternoon, with select Saturday afternoon broadcasts. The first round playoff coverage was non-exclusive except for ABC-covered games, in which local sports networks (e.g. Fox Sports Net, Comcast SportsNet) still aired the game in their home market. TNT aired the Eastern Conference Finals while ESPN aired the Western Conference Finals. The NBA Finals were shown on ABC. Nationwide radio coverage was on ESPN Radio for select playoff games, the entire Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
|First Round||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage
- Adidas introduced the Revolution 30 technology, to be used on all NBA team uniforms. The uniforms are 30% lighter than before and also enable moisture management.
- The New Jersey Nets played their first home regular season game at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on October 27, defeating the Detroit Pistons 104–101. Prudential Center serves as the interim home for the team while the Barclays Center is being constructed in Brooklyn, New York.
- The Orlando Magic played its first regular season game at Amway Center on October 28, defeating the Washington Wizards 112–83. Wizards guard John Wall made his NBA debut.
- Golden State Warriors guard Jeremy Lin became the first Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA when he debuted in the Warriors' 109–91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on October 29.
- The fines accounted for technical fouls were doubled in an effort to reduce excessive complaining.
- A record 84 international players made the opening day rosters for 30 NBA teams, including rookies Greivis Vásquez of Venezuela and Kevin Seraphin of France. This includes players born in insular areas of the United States, such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (with the most notable example being Tim Duncan, a USVI native), but does not include U.S.-born players who represent other national teams (such as Kosta Koufos, born and raised in Ohio but representing his parents' homeland of Greece).
- Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Lucas died on October 31 of bladder cancer.
- The New Orleans Hornets were sold by owner George Shinn to the NBA, becoming the first team to be owned by the league.
- Yao Ming suffers another season-ending stress fracture injury. He only appeared in 5 games this season.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers lost All-Star forward LeBron James to the Miami Heat via free agency. After having the league's best record for two straight seasons, they lost an NBA record 26 straight games, furthering their turnaround from one of the league's best to one of the league's worst.
- Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan resigns, ending a 22-year coaching tenure, the longest in any of the four American major professional sports leagues. Deron Williams would also later be traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and 2 first-round picks.
- Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen broke the record for most career 3-point field goals previously held by Reggie Miller.
- 2011 NBA All-Star Game: Kobe Bryant joins Bob Pettit as the only four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP awardees; Blake Griffin became the first rookie since Yao Ming to play in the All-Star Game. LeBron James became only the second player to have an All-Star Game triple-double. Amar'e Stoudemire became the first Knick to start in an All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game.
- The New York Knicks agreed to a blockbuster 13-player deal with the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves which brought Carmelo Anthony to New York on February 22. The Knicks sent Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, 1 first-round pick and 2 second-round picks to the Nuggets in exchange for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. The Timberwolves sent Kosta Koufos to Denver, Corey Brewer to New York, and received Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from New York and a second-round pick from Denver.
- In their February 25 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Detroit Pistons played only six players. Tracy McGrady, Chris Wilcox, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace, Rodney Stuckey, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko, and Terrico White did not play in the game. Jerebko and White were injured, while the others sat out in protest of head coach John Kuester. Kuester called the situation "an internal matter."
- On April 1, the Detroit Pistons retired the #10 jersey number in honor of Dennis Rodman in a ceremony held during halftime of a game against the Chicago Bulls at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
- 2010–11 marked Shaquille O'Neal's last pro season, as the 15-time All-Star, who played with the Boston Celtics this season, announced his retirement on June 1, 2011, one day after one of his former coaches, Mike Brown, was introduced by one of his former teams, the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The Chicago Bulls earned the top overall seed for the first time since the 1996–97 season. The Bulls lost to the Miami Heat 4–1 in the conference finals.
- The Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA championship by defeating the Miami Heat 4–2 in the NBA Finals.
- Phil Jackson announced his retirement as head coach after the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers were swept 4–0 by the eventual champion Mavericks in the conference semifinals. This marked the first time that Jackson had been on the wrong side of a playoff sweep.
- The Memphis Grizzlies won the franchise's first playoff game and series in a 4–2 victory over the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round. They became the fourth team (and second in the seven-game first round era) to topple the top seed in the first round of the playoffs.
- October 29: 1,100 coaching wins. Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson won his 1,100th game in the Lakers' 114–106 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
- November 3: 36th player in history to 20,000 points. Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th career point in a 105–102 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Pierce became the third Celtic to reach the mark after Larry Bird and John Havlicek.
- November 11: Youngest player to 26,000 points. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to score 26,000 points in a 118–112 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Bryant achieved the mark at the age of 32 years and 80 days, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain by 34 days.
- November 12: Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record; most rebounds in a game. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love scored 31 points and grabbed a franchise record 31 rebounds in the Wolves' 112–103 win over the New York Knicks. The last player to have a 30–30 game was Moses Malone on February 11, 1982.
- November 12: Second player in history to 11,000 assists. Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd reached the 11,000th assist mark in the Mavericks' 99–90 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Kidd became only the second player to achieve the mark after John Stockton.
- November 19: San Antonio Spurs franchise records; career points and games played. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan became the Spurs' all-time leading scorer and all-time leader in games played, passing his former "Twin Towers" teammate David Robinson in the Spurs' 94–82 win over the Utah Jazz. Duncan played in his 988th game, surpassing Robinson's 987 career games, while also surpassing Robinson's career total of 20,790 points.
- November 20: Charlotte Bobcats franchise record; first triple-double. Charlotte Bobcats's Stephen Jackson recorded the franchise's first triple-double in a 123–105 victory over the Phoenix Suns. It was also Jackson's second career triple-double.
- November 27: Golden State Warriors franchise record; most three-pointers in a game. In a 104–94 road victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors guard Dorell Wright set a franchise record with nine three-point field goals made, surpassing Jason Richardson's record of eight three-pointers set on March 29, 2007.
- November 30: 34th player in history to 10,000 rebounds. In a 79–90 loss at the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace became the 34th player in NBA history to surpass the 10,000 rebound mark for his career.
- December 10: Seventh coach in history to 1,000 wins. Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl became the seventh head coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games in the Nuggets' 123–116 road victory over the Toronto Raptors.
- December 12: 94th player in history to 1,000 games. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 94th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
- December 12: New York Knicks franchise record; consecutive 30 point games. In a 129–125 home victory against the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire set a franchise record with eight consecutive 30 point games, surpassing Willie Naulls's record of seven set from February 22 to March 4, 1962. He would end up with nine straight 30-point games.
- December 22: 95th player in history to 1,000 games. Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 95th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
- December 22: 3rd coach in history to win 1,211 games. Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan has won his 1,211 games in his career of coaching after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the victory Jerry surpasses Pat Riley for the third all-time in career wins.
- December 25: 4th Christmas Day triple double. In a 96–80 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat forward LeBron James became the 4th player in NBA history to achieve a triple double on Christmas Day and the 1st in 40 years, other players are Billy Cunningham, John Havlicek, and Oscar Robertson.
- December 29: Los Angeles Clippers franchise record; consecutive double-double games. In a 95–103 home loss against the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin set a franchise record with 20 consecutive double-double games, surpassing Michael Cage's record of 19 set from December 10, 1986, to January 16, 1987. He would end up with 27 straight double-double games.
- January 16: 37th player in history to 20,000 points. Phoenix Suns guard Vince Carter scored his 20,000th career points in a win over the New York Knicks. Carter finished the game with 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.
- February 8: Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record; consecutive double-double games. In a 112–108 home win against the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love set a franchise record with 38 consecutive double-double games, surpassing Kevin Garnett's record of 37.
- February 10: Most three-pointers made in a career. In a 92–86 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen surpassed Reggie Miller as the all-time leader in three-point shots made with 2,562. Allen did this in three fewer seasons and with 300 fewer games.
- February 15: 96th player in history to 1,000 games. Chicago Bulls center Kurt Thomas played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 96th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
- March 9: NBA record; consecutive double-double games. Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love set the NBA record for most consecutive games with a double-double since the NBA-ABA merger, besting Moses Malone's record of 51. He recorded his 52nd consecutive double-double in a 101–75 win over the Indiana Pacers.
- April 6: Golden State Warriors franchise record; most three-pointers in a season Golden State Warriors guard Dorell Wright made a Warriors franchise record of 3 pt shots made in a season with 184 in a home win versus the Los Angeles Lakers, beating Jason Richardson with the previous record of 183 in the 2005–06 season.
- May 17: NBA record; Most free throws made in a game Dirk Nowitzki made 24 free throws without misses.
- November 3: Boston Celtics became the first team in NBA history to have four active players with at least 20,000 career points after Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th point in a win over Milwaukee Bucks, other players are Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
- November 3: Orlando Magic franchise record: most points in first half. In a 128–86 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Orlando Magic set a franchise record for most points in the first half with 78. On the other hand, the Timberwolves suffered their worst loss in franchise history.
- November 9: Indiana Pacers franchise record: most points in a quarter. The Indiana Pacers scored 54 points in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets, the most points scored by a team in a quarter since the Phoenix Suns scored 57 in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets on November 10, 1990. The team was also one field goal short of recording a perfect third quarter (the Pacers shot 20–21).
- November 14: Phoenix Suns franchise record: most three-pointers in a game. In a 121–116 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns set a franchise record with 22 made three-point field goals in a game, one shy of the NBA record 23 in a game by the Orlando Magic on January 13, 2009.
- December 12: New Orleans Hornets franchise record: fewest assists in a game. In a 70–88 loss at the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Orleans Hornets set a franchise record low with four assists, one shy of the NBA record of three.
- NBA record: consecutive road wins in a calendar month, Miami Heat franchise record: most wins in a calendar month. The Miami Heat set a league record when they recorded 10 straight road wins in the month of December. The Heat also set a franchise record for most wins in a calendar month with 15.
- January 7: Second team to win 3,000 games. The Boston Celtics became only the second team after the Los Angeles Lakers to win 3,000 games in a 122–102 win over the Toronto Raptors.
- January 30: Cleveland Cavaliers single-season franchise record. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost their 20th straight game in the same season, breaking their old record of 19 straight within the same season in 1981–82. Their streak would end after 26 straight losses.
- February 5: NBA record: longest single-season losing streak. With a 111–105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Cleveland Cavaliers now hold the longest single-season losing streak with its 24th consecutive loss (streak ended at 26).
- February 7: NBA record: longest losing streak. With a 99–96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Cleveland Cavaliers now hold the longest losing streak with its 25th consecutive loss (streak ended at 26).
- March 11: NBA record: Most combined three-pointers in a game; Golden State Warriors franchise record: Most three-pointers in a game. The game between the Golden State Warriors and the Orlando Magic, a 123–120 overtime win by the Warriors, saw a combined 36 three-point shots made in an NBA game. The Warriors also set a franchise record by connecting 21 three-point shots.
Individual Statistic Leaders
Individual game highs
Team Statistic Leaders
- Most Valuable Player: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
- Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
- Rookie of the Year: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
- Sixth Man of the Year: Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers
- Most Improved Player: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls
- Executive of the Year: Pat Riley, Miami Heat & Gar Forman, Chicago Bulls
- Sportsmanship Award: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: Ron Artest, Los Angeles Lakers
Players of the week
The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.
Players of the month
The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.
Rookies of the month
The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month.
Coaches of the month
The following coaches were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month.
The following is a list of notable players who played their first NBA game during the 2010–11 season, listed with their first team.
NBA All-Star break
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. This game was the 61st edition of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s annual basketball festivities, and was also the fifth All-Star Game held in Los Angeles; the city previously hosted in 1963, 1972, 1983 and 2004. As with the 2004 event, it was jointly hosted by the Lakers and the Clippers. The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference 148–143, with the Lakers' Kobe Bryant named as MVP for the fourth time, tying the record of Bob Pettit.
On July 7, the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2010–11 season would be $58.044 million, an increase of $0.344 million from previous season's $57.70 million, and would go into effect on July 8 as the league's "moratorium period" had ended and teams could begin signing free agents and making trades. The increase came as a surprise as the league initially predicted a decrease in the salary cap. On March, before the playoffs, the league projected that the salary cap would be around $56.1 million. The tax level for the season was set at $70.307 million, with each team paying a $1 tax for each $1 by which it exceeds $70.307 million. The mid-level exception was $5.765 million for the season and the minimum team salary, which was set at 75% of the salary cap, was $43.533 million. The maximum salaries for players are set at $13.604 million for players with zero to six years of experience, $16.324 million for players with seven to nine years of experience, and $19.045 million for players with more than 10 years of experience.