James Johnson to be a game-time decision

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According to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Bulls rookie James Johnson will be a game-time decision for Tuesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Johnson participated in a Tuesday morning shootaround, but has been hampered by a partially torn fascia. 

The game against the Bucks will be an important one for the Bulls. Chicago is currently one game behind Toronto for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, which makes each of their final six games crucial. 
Johnson didn’t get much time on the court early in the year, but exploded in March; Johnson averaged 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 21.4 minutes per game over the course of the month. Johnson got off to a slower start than some of his fellow first-round picks, but has been able to contribute as an athletic swingman with length and three-point range. He isn’t the Bulls’ most important player, but Chicago will want to get everything they can out of all their players as they head into the stretch that will make or break their playoff hopes.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.