NBA Draft: Where is the Evan Turner train at now?

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Evan Turner had a rollercoaster season. Started out with a dominant run that opened eyes. Then he broke his back on a dunk gone bad. Literally. Kid broke multiple vertebrae. He actually came back from that injury, and not only did he come back, he came back in half the time he was supposed to. He then picked up where he left off, locked up Player of the Year with absolutely absurd numbers, and headed into the NCAA tournament with a team that wasn’t that good outside of him, but locked as a No.2 seed.

But then in the tournament, teams discovered that was the case. That if they built their defense to give Turner trouble, there wasn’t much the Buckeyes could do. They managed to break through based on Turner’s persistence and a talent differential, but last night, the brick wall smacked them in the face and painted them volunteer orange. Evan Turner goes home. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins move on.

So where is Turner now? He came into the tournament as the overall likely #2 prospect, and there were those that felt with his maturity and size, that was worthy of the #1 overall. No one who really had watched John Wall up close, but whatever. Good hype for the young man. This tournament, though, may have shaken up his status.

DeMarcus Cousins has been an abject beast. He’s showing not only the athletic potential that make him such an attractive big, but leadership, touch, refinement, and an ability to take over games when called upon. The pick between he and Turner should be a spirited debate as we head towards June.

As David Thorpe points out, the X-Factor in this is each team’s needs. The Wolves obviously don’t need a big man or another point guard (or so we THINK), the Kings need a legit two-guard, and if the Knicks somehow win the lottery with Utah getting their pick, Turner is the only real option, despite the great play of Wesley Matthews this year.

Turner’s rollercoaster continues, and the only guarantee is that Turner will wind up in the top five, which isn’t bad at all.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).