Here is the schedule to set your life — or at least your DVR — by for the next couple of weeks. Note that all times listed are Eastern. If you don’t live out East (and I don’t) then do the math in your head. It keeps you sharp.
Cleveland vs. Chicago Game 1 – Sat April 17 at Cleveland 3:00PM ABC Game 2 – Mon April 19 at Cleveland 8:00PM TNT Game 3 – Thu April 22 at Chicago 7:00PM TNT Game 4 – Sun April 25 at Chicago 3:30PM ABC Game 5 * Tue April 27 at Cleveland TBD Game 6 * Thu April 29 at Chicago TBD Game 7 * Sat May 1 at Cleveland TBD
Orlando vs. Charlotte Game 1 – Sun April 18 at Orlando 5:30PM TNT Game 2 – Wed April 21 at Orlando 7:00PM TNT Game 3 – Sat April 24 at Charlotte 2:00PM TNT Game 4 – Mon April 26 at Charlotte TBD Game 5 * Wed April 28 at Orlando TBD Game 6 * Fri April 30 at Charlotte TBD Game 7 * Sun May 2 at Orlando TBD
Atlanta vs. Milwaukee Game 1 – Sat April 17 at Atlanta 5:30PM ESPN Game 2 – Tue April 20 at Atlanta 7:00PM NBATV Game 3 – Sat April 24 Milwaukee 7:00PM ESPN Game 4 – Mon April 26 at Milwaukee TBD Game 5 * Wed April 28 at Atlanta TBD Game 6 * Fri April 30 at Milwaukee TBD Game 7 * Sun May 2 at Atlanta TBD
Boston vs. Miami Game 1 – Sat April 17 at Boston ESPN Game 2 – Tue April 20 at Boston 8:00PM TNT Game 3 – Fri April 23 at Miami 7:00PM ESPN Game 4 – Sun April 25 at Miami 1:00PM ABC Game 5 * Tue April 27 at Boston TBD Game 6 * Thu April 29 at Miami TBD Game 7 * Sat May 1 at Boston TNT
L.A. Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Game 1 – Sun April 18 at L.A. Lakers 3:00PM ABC Game 2 – Tue April 20 at L.A. Lakers 10:30PM TNT Game 3 – Thu April 22 at Oklahoma City 9:30PM TNT Game 4 – Sat April 24 at Oklahoma City 9:30PM ESPN Game 5 * Tue April 27 at L.A. Lakers TBD Game 6 * Fri April 30 at Oklahoma City TBD Game 7 * Sun May 2 at L.A. Lakers TBD
Dallas vs. San Antonio Game 1 – Sun April 18 at Dallas 8:00PM TNT Game 2 – Wed April 21 at Dallas 9:30PM TNT Game 3 – Fri April 23 San Antonio 9:30PM ESPN Game 4 – Sun April 25 San Antonio 7:00PM TNT Game 5 * Tue April 27 at Dallas TBD Game 6 * Thu April 29 at San Antonio TBD Game 7 * Sat May 1 at Dallas TNT
Phoenix vs. Portland Game 1 – Sun April 18 at Phoenix 10:30PM TNT Game 2 – Tue April 20 at Phoenix 10:00PM NBATV Game 3 – Thu April 22 at Portland 10:00PM NBATV Game 4 – Sat April 24 at Portland 4:30PM TNT Game 5 * Mon April 26 at Phoenix TBD Game 6 * Thu April 29 at Portland TBD Game 7 * Sat May 1 at Phoenix TBD TNT
Denver vs. Utah Game 1 – Sat April 17 at Denver 10:30PM ESPN Game 2 – Mon April 19 at Denver 10:30PM TNT Game 3 – Fri April 23 at Utah 10:30PM ESPN2 Game 4 – Sun April 25 at Utah 9:30PM TNT Game 5 * Wed April 28 at Denver TBD Game 6 * Fri April 30 at Utah TBD Game 7 * Sun May 2 at Denver TBD
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.
Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.
“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.
“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”
I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.
But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.