Pau Gasol has paparazzi?

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Thumbnail image for Gasol_game.jpgGetting the paparazzi to follow you around in Los Angeles is about as hard as attracting pigeons at a park with a loaf of bread.

Pau Gasol — not exactly known as one of the beautiful people in Los Angeles — has the right bread now with a glamorous Spanish girlfriend. So the Spanish media is on his tail… and it freaked him out, according to the story at the Los Angeles Times.

Gasol, a Redondo Beach resident, called a Lakers security official and was told to drive to the police department, where he provided a description of the car that was following him. Officers found the car parked nearby and questioned its two inhabitants, who were Spanish (credentialed media). They provided the kicker to the story.

“The shot of him alone was not what they were looking for,” Keenan said. “What they were looking for were shots with him and his girlfriend.”

Gasol’s girlfriend is famous in Spain, having made it to the final cut of a reality show called Circus — basically an American Idol looking for a circus performer — that was a huge hit in their native land. I have no idea why, as I can’t sit through a circus with the people that made it, let alone wannabes. But whatever. Famous people ballroom dancing is huge here, we are in no position to mock Spain on this one.

Famous athlete, hot reality television show star couple living together near the sand in Los Angeles — that will attract some pigeon paparazzi. But I still can’t see Gasol as one of LA’s glamour people. At least not until he does something that lands him on TMZ.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

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Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

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The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

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Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

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In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.