Nets would draft John Wall with top pick, are already getting Devin Harris trade calls

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Thumbnail image for d harris.jpgAfter the season the Nets had, it feels like the only way the karmic scales balance out is if New Jersey wins the draft lottery, if they get the top overall pick in June. The Nets may only have a 25 percent chance at a top spot, but somehow it just seems fair if they get it.

Then they will draft John Wall, Nets President Rod Thorn basically told Dave D’Alessandro of the Star Ledger.

“I’d be shocked if anyone took anybody but John Wall number one,” Rod Thorn said, matter-of-factly.

Conventional wisdom then suggests that next the Nets would trade their existing point guard, Devin Harris. A guy who was All-Star caliber two years ago but struggled this past season. Thorn suggested that is not necessarily the case.

“Well, we have different things to consider, and we’re not there yet,” The Boss said. “Can they play together? We have to discuss it. I know this, we’ll have the fastest backcourt anywhere.”

You buying that? No. Neither are general managers from other teams.

We brought this up, of course, because the calls about Harris have already begun. All of them from friendly folks in need of a point guard if Thorn happens to get the top pick, all of them from peers who are certain the Nets are moving Harris between May 19 and June 24 if Wall drops into their lap.

“I can’t lie about it,” Thorn said. “I’ve had calls about that.”

What the Nets would take back in such a deal — they like your future picks, your underachieving players not so much — would be interesting.

But we have to get there first. Which means the Nets need to win the lottery next Tuesday.

Rockets bench hams it up over Andre Roberson missed free throw (video)

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Russell Westbrook might not want to talk about his supporting cast distinctively, but it’s a real issue for the Thunder, who trail the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series.

Even Andre Roberson, who has impressively defended James Harden, brings a glaring weakness: free throws. Roberson is 2-for-17 from the line in the playoffs, including 2-for-12 in Game 4 yesterday. Houston even repeatedly intentionally fouled him late.

It was agonizing for all but the most partisan Rockets supporters – though even Houston’s bench, while at least implicitly mocking Roberson, appeared put off that he missed yet again.

Isaiah Thomas: ‘Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here’

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Isaiah Thomas previously explained his emotions in a statement, but the Celtics guard spoke publicly yesterday for the first time since the death of his sister in a car crash just before the playoffs.

Thomas, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

“Mentally and emotionally I’m not here,” Thomas said after Game 4, the first time he has spoken publicly since his sister’s death. “So I just feed off of what the guys give me. They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me. Being here is what makes me sane and makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times.”

Thomas has played well for Boston, which won twice in Chicago to even its series with the Bulls, 2-2. It’s remarkable considering the heavy emotional burden and extra travel, going to Seattle for his sister’s funeral then joining the Celtics in Chicago.

His teammates have clearly rallied around him, and that surely helps. But I can’t even imagine how he’s simultaneously handling such a tragic family situation and the biggest games of his career.

Kyrie Irving knocks flamingo from Pacers fan’s hands (video)

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Pacers super fan Matt Asen brings his lucky flamingo to each game.

He also annoyed the heck out of Kyrie Irving by trying to hand it, rather than the ball, to the Cavaliers guard.

James Harden reveals he’s playing through ankle injury

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James Harden didn’t lead the Rockets in scoring in their Game 4 win over the Thunder yesterday.

He didn’t even rank second – or third.

Nene, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each outscored Harden, who scored 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting, including 0-for-7 on 3-pointers.

What happened to the Houston star?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Houston Rockets star guard James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3 of this first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden made the revelation to ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the Rockets’ 113-109 Game 4 victory on Sunday afternoon.

“It was pretty tough; we don’t make excuses,” Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. “We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there’s moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we’re going to have to get off to a really good start.”

Many players are grinding through injuries this time of year. Is Harden’s exceptionally bad? There’s no way of telling from the outside.

But he didn’t look quite right in Game 4, and if he’s hobbled, that opens the door slightly wider for Oklahoma City to come back from its 3-1 deficit.