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Monty Williams trying to cut back Chris Paul’s minutes a little

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When Chris Paul returned from injury last season, he averaged 38 minutes per game. He has played at least 36 minutes a game every year he has been in the league.

New Hornets coach Monty Williams wants to cut that back to below 35 minutes a game, resting his star a little bit and saving him as the season moves on. He told the Times-Picayune that may be hard as Paul does not like to come off the floor.

It’s preseason, every coach wants to keep his stars minutes down now. The reality of wins or losses changes that.

The biggest issue with CP3’s minutes is that Willie Green is the backup after the Hornets traded away Darren Collison this summer. Green has to keep things close, keep the Hornets in games so that Paul does not have to come back in, for this plan to work.

Green put up solid backup numbers in Philadelphia last season but that was a team struggling in the first place so when they fell behind nobody was shocked. Here the goal is the playoffs. CP3 might get them there. Green has to be better to keep it close for Williams to reach his 35-minute goal.

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.