George Karl cleared by doctors, will be back on Nuggets bench

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Thumbnail image for George_Karl.jpgThis may be the best news we’ve heard all summer.

From the Denver Post comes the official word from coach George Karl.

“It’s official,” George Karl said Thursday just before taking off for a long Labor Day weekend with family. “I’ve been cleared to go for it. My PET scan came back great.”

Karl will be back on the Nuggets’ bench come the fall. That had been expected, even by Karl, as reports on his recovery had been good all summer. But there needed to be the final, official word. Now it’s here.

As anyone who has dealt with cancer in their family can tell you, the road is not over for Karl, who has fought off cancer twice now. There will be a lot more tests and monitoring.

“In three months, I’m going to have another PET scan,” he said. “I’ll probably have three or four more PET scans in the next year. And then the second year it won’t be that many, it might be only two, but you’ve still got to go through them.

Not everything is right in Karl’s world, however. This was throat cancer he was fighting, so the chemotherapy and treatments were aimed there. That affected his ability to eat and drink severely, he’s still on soup and cottage cheese and other softer foods.

And then there is the other thing it took away.

“I’ve had a beer and it tasted awful,” he said. “It tasted so bad that I actually had to ask, ‘Are you sure the beer is good?’ It tasted like I was drinking Alka-Seltzer. So that was disappointing. I’m going to wait a little longer, because the taste of beer is really important to me. I want that one to get back.

Damn cancer.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.