Brewer not shut down for the season…yet

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The “end” of the Memphis’ Grizzlies season just relies on a few mathematical kinks. The Grizz currently sit at ninth in the West, putting them just outside the post-season crowd. That’s an impressive feat given Memphis’ preseason projections, but the 6.5 games that stand between Memphis and the impressive Portland Trailblazers might as well be an ocean. There just isn’t enough time for the Grizzlies to make a serious run at the eighth seed, and Portland has shown no sign of letting up.

It’s just a matter of time until the Grizz are mathematically eliminated, rendering their season more or less over. Nobody told that to Ronnie Brewer, though, who still hopes to return from a hamstring injury to play again this season. From Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

“I’m still working my way onto the team in practice and trying to
get stronger,” Brewer said. “I’ll come back when it feels closer to
normal.”

Brewer returned to action March 16, a little more than three weeks
after he suffered a partially torn right hamstring. The 6-8
guard/forward insists he didn’t come back too soon. “No. I don’t think so,” Brewer said. “The first game, it felt really
good. The second game, it was weaker. I really couldn’t do the things
I’m capable of doing, so I decided to take a step back.”

Brewer, a restricted free agent this summer, still sounds as if he’s eager to carve out his place on the Grizzlies. “My goal is to get back on the floor,” Brewer said, “because I feel like I can help this team.”

Power to him, though I’m sure no one would blame Brewer for working on resting and recovering instead of getting back on the hardwood. There’s no need to risk aggravating the injury, after all, if the Grizzlies don’t have any tangible gains to play for. The free agency angle is certainly an interesting wrinkle in this scenario, although I wouldn’t doubt Brewer’s sincere desire to return to the court in a season where he’s only played 58 games.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.