Baseline to Baseline recaps: The Magic need a little more practice together.

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What you missed while wondering what happens when architects play too much Tetris…

Dallas beating the Heat again — hey, have another team meeting! — is our game of the night.

Hawks 91, Magic 81: It’s going to take some time for the Magic to figure this all out. They started Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard, brining Gilbert Arenas off the bench. They looked like a team just thrown together, the Hawks looked like a team that has been together for a while.

One quick note on Arenas, who was 2-11 on the night: He is a player that falls into the Kobe Bryant corollary — the higher his shot attempts, usually the worse it is for the team because he is forcing shots. There seemed to be moments of that here. He and the Magic may well find a balance.

Wizards 108, Bobcats 75: The trade that sent Arenas out and brought Rashard Lewis in (Lewis did not play) seems to have energized the Wizards. Call it the Ewing Theory (as John Wall is still out and will be for at least another week) but there is something there.

Pacers 94, Hornets 93: When these two teams get together it is just going to be good. In this one there was 30 seconds left when David West’s old-school three pointer  put the Hornets up two, followed by a James Posey three to put the Pacers up one with 16 seconds left. Then there was Chris Paul recognizing the double and hitting West again for a jumper that put the Hornets back up by one with 3.9 left. There was Danny Granger getting a good look, his shot rimming out and Michael Dunleavy being there for the game-winning tip in as the clock expired. These teams should play more often.

Jazz 101, Cavaliers 90: Welcome back Raja Bell, we missed you. He had 19 and was 5 of 6 from three.

Spurs 118, Suns 110: 40 was the big number for the Spurs in this one. As in they scored 40 points in the third quarter alone to pull away. Or they dominated inside as evidenced by the fact the Spurs grabbed the offensive rebound on 40 percent of their missed shots.

Gary Neal scored 22 points off the bench for the Spurs. Jared Dudley started for the Suns and had 27.

Trail Blazers 106, Bucks 80: The Bucks search for offense may have gone from desperate to futile with the news Brandon Jennings is out. The Bucks shot 38 percent on the night and floundered despite a good game from John Salmons (23 on 8-of-13 shooting). LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 for the Blazers.

Rockets 119, Warriors 112: Defense be damned, these two teams combined to score 77 points in the fourth quarter alone. Monta Ellis made fantasy owners happy with 44 points on 15 of 20 shooting, but the Rockets were just deeper.

Clippers 113, Timberwolves 90: Yes, there were a couple of the obligatory Blake Griffin dunks in this one. But what really had to impress is that he drew the double team from the Wolves and he recognized it and hit the open man leading to seven assists. They guy is more than just an athlete, he’s a basketball player.

Rumor: NBA executives think Rockets have shot at signing LeBron James

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LeBron James is now rumored to be headed to about 29 NBA teams this summer when he can opt out of his current contract and become a free agent. Earlier this week, we heard rumblings that LeBron could be interested in sharing a Los Angeles Lakers roster with Dallas Mavericks center-at-large Nerlens Noel.

Now we’re hearing that NBA executives think the Houston Rockets have a chance of nabbing The King in the summer of 2018.

All aboard the Banana Boat.

According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, both the Rockets themselves and rival execs think Houston is a real landing spot for James thanks in part to how well they are playing this season. James Harden is having another MVP-caliber year, and Chris Paul has played beautifully in his return.

Via USA Today:

While James has made it clear that he won’t deliberate his uncertain future until the Cavs’ season is complete, there is strong belief in Rockets circles that they’ll have a legitimate shot at landing the four-time MVP this summer. Rival executives also believe the Rockets will have a real chance. And once you really look at it, when you get past all the noise about the Lakers and even the compelling case for the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers, it makes all sorts of sense.

The only team we haven’t heard connecting rumors about is the Cleveland Cavaliers themselves. LeBron — whose family lives in LA — recently bought a new house there and all signs point to James heading to the Western Conference. Well, unless he goes to the Philadelphia 76ers, of course.

Then again it felt like a certainty that LeBron would head to the New York Knicks nearly a decade ago, an idea that seems hilarious in retrospect. The NBA is weird, and if LeBron dips from Cleveland expect it to get even weirder.

Sixers’ Robert Covington to miss at least one game after crashing into stands

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NBA fans love hustle from their players, but sometimes things go awry.

That’s what happened on Saturday night after Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington dove into the stands to try to save a loose ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The play came in the fourth quarter with under two minutes left and the Sixers down by just one point. Covington leapt into the far sideline just near the Cavaliers bench. He appeared to turn his ankle and land awkwardly on his back. The Cleveland floor has a small lip after the first row of seats that may have played a part in the injury.

Cleveland would go on to score on the play, and Covington had to be helped off the floor. The Cavaliers went on to win, 105-98.

Meanwhile, the 76ers will play Sunday in New Orleans against the Pelicans. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Covington will miss the game with a lower back contusion.

Via NBCSN Philadelphia:

X-rays and a CT scan came back negative. Covington is with the team in New Orleans and is doubtful for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.

Covington tumbled out of bounds and over courtside seats while he tried to save a possession during a Sixers comeback attempt. There is an approximate four-to-five inch drop between the court and the area where Covington landed. Many of his teammates were unaware of Covington’s injury at first because it was out of their vision.

“It’s scary to see your teammate like that,” guard JJ Redick said. “They said he fell on his back. I wanted to make sure he’s walking and not in too much pain. But I just wish the best for him and hope he’s OK.”

Back injuries can be a complete hassle to recover from, especially when you’re deep in the middle of the season. Let’s hope the Sixers get Covington back soon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked all over Rudy Gobert (VIDEO)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks a lot. The Milwaukee Bucks forward is big, strong, and aggressive when it comes to attacking the rim.

But he doesn’t typically dunk this hard or this emphatically over perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidates like Rudy Gobert.

That’s what made this one special.

As time was winding down in Milwaukee’s eventual 117-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, Antetokounmpo put the exclamation point at the end of the sentence for the Bucks.

Gobert took the brunt of it. Via Twitter:

Goodness.

Gordon Hayward on playing this season: “It’s definitely in the back of my mind”

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Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has been going through some grueling physical therapy to aid his recovery from a horrible leg injury he suffered during his first game with the team back in October. Hayward wound up breaking his ankle, likely putting him out for the season.

Meanwhile, whether Hayward plays or not during the 2017-18 campaign is still up for debate. Hayward is making progress in his recovery — he recently was able to take his walking boot off and go for a smaller ankle brace.

For his part, Hayward has said that he is still thinking about the possibility of returning this season to the Celtics, who have earned themselves the top spot in the Eastern Conference in his absence.

Speaking to Adam Himmelsbach over at the Boston Globe, Hayward detailed not only his recovery routine but his thinking when it came to planning his return.

Via The Boston Globe:

“It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Hayward said. “I’m definitely pushing to get back as fast as I can, while making sure that I still have a lot of good years of basketball in me. And coming back early and hurting something else is not part of that plan. So I’m making sure that if I come back, I’m 1,000 percent confident in myself and my leg. I hope more than anything I can play this season. That would be awesome. But that’s not something I’m stressing about. I’m stressing about what I can do today to help myself get better.”

That’s smart thinking on Hayward’s part. Too often it seems like guys are jonesing to come back, and when they do it’s cause for concern that they’re damaging their long-term playing health.

Hayward is making some real progress — the Globe story details him doing tasks like picking up marbles with his toes and shooting baskets from a chair as part of his PT — but whether he’ll be ready this season is doubtful.

It doesn’t sound like Hayward wants to rush things, but you never know. His agent did say that his return this year is unlikely, but another report has said that his earliest return would be March. Just in time to make a run for an Eastern Conference Finals showdown against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers?

We’ll have to wait and see.

UPDATE: Shortly after this story and the Boston Globe one was published on Sunday morning, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the team isn’t planning for Hayward to come back. The plot thickens!