Good vibrations (or a smokescreen) out of Chris Paul's meeting with the Hornets

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cpaul_sits.jpgChris Paul had a meeting today with representatives from just about every important aspect of the Hornets’ operations, with the intent to iron out exactly why Paul wants to be traded and what he wants the Hornets to do about it. The meeting could easily be seen as a formality while Paul takes strides towards the door, but the meeting appears to be surprisingly positive for New Orleans.

Here was Chris Paul’s response to the meeting via Twitter:

“The meeting went well.  It was great to get an opportunity to sit down
with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new General Manager Dell
Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the
direction that they want to take the team.  I have been a Hornet my
entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state
of Louisiana for many years to come.”

As Marc Stein of ESPN.com noted, it’s silly to think that Paul’s perspective has completely changed as a result of one meeting. Hornets GM Dell Demps claims that Paul didn’t demand a trade during the meeting. Maybe that’s the case. Or maybe any public trade demands would get Paul fined, even if channeled through the team first.

This could be perceived as something vaguely resembling progress for the Hornets, who aren’t going to give up the league’s top point guard without a fight. Even if today’s events are only delaying the inevitable, New Orleans has possibly bought themselves some time as they attempt to smooth things over with Paul.

Then again, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, nothing has changed. So we don’t really know anything now that we didn’t know before: Paul seems interested in a trade, the Hornets want to keep him, and the two will continue to play this game until things are decided one way or another.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.