Baseline to Baseline recaps: Injuries or not, Dallas just keeps rolling along

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What you missed while contemplating that Elton John is now a father

The Bobcats winning their first game under Paul Silas is our game of the night.

Mavericks 103, Thunder 93: Dirk Nowitzki went down in the second quarter — the Mavs are saying it is not serious but he is going to have an MRI anyway — however that didn’t slow Dallas. Shawn Marion scored 20 on 10 of 15 shooting in Dirk’s spot, and Jason Terry hit some key shots late. Their zone defense gave the Thunder some fits late.

Magic 104, Nets 88: Hedo Turkoglu looked terrible in the first couple of games after the trade to bring him back to Orlando, but he now has shot better than 50 percent three straight games and had 20 in this one.

Grizzlies 96, Raptors 85: Memphis won this game at the free throw line — their 28 attempts were twice what Toronto had. They got to the line because the Griz were more aggressive getting to the rim (learn that lesson kids — good things happen when you are aggressive).

Hawks 95, Bucks 80: Another day, another Hawks win over a below .500 team. Atlanta shot 55 percent in the first quarter compared to the Bucks 37, putting Atlanta up big early and they never looked back.

Timberwolves 113, Hornets 98: Just one of those nights for the Hornets — Chris Paul and David West (45 points between them) did their thing but everyone else was ice cold. Marcus Thornton was 3-11 missing shots he can hit. Meanwhile the Wolves were hitting shots easy and hard. Wesley Johnson was 6 of 8 from three for 24 points. Just that kind of night.

Rockets 100, Wizards 93: I don’t know who won the fight these two had but Andray Blatch brought his fight to the court with 17 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. JaVale McGee on the other hand was 1-of-5 for 2 points. The Rockets won this one with 12-2 and 8-0 runs in the fourth quarter to come from behind.

Trail Blazers 96, Jazz 91: There was a time not so long ago where the Jazz were almost unbeatable at home. Those days are long gone, apparently. The Blazers did this without Marcus Camby who rolled his ankle and left the game, but tweeted afterwards that his ankle “should be good” and he “should be back soon.”

Clippers 100, Kings 99: Up three with 5 seconds left, the Clippers substituted in Ryan Gomes for defensive purposes — and with one second left he fouls Tyreke Evans who is in the process of shooting a three. So we have Evans with three free throws to send the game to overtime. Makes the first. Makes the second. Misses the third, DeMarcus Cousins had a shot at a tip in that missed, Evans grabbed that rebound and had a little 10-footer that missed. The Kings find another heartbreaking way to lose.

Warriors 110, Sixers 95: Monta Ellis can pass, too. He had 12 dimes on top of his 22 points.

Report: Detroit Pistons become latest team with jersey ad deal, link up with Flagstar Bank

Darren Rovell on Twitter.
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Those new Nike NBA jerseys will have a little more flair and style than the Adidas ones — and I like that teams now can choose what color to wear at home, rather than be forced to don white.

Those jerseys also will have ads on them for a lot of teams.

Detroit is going to be one of them, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN. They will announce a deal Wednesday with Flagstar Bank.

When the season starts and people start to see the ads on jerseys during games… there will be a national shrug.

Sure, some curmudgeon will write a complaining newspaper column about how this is just greed, and that will get him spots on talk shows and networks to spout his “get off my lawn” rant. Fans, however, will shrug. It’s a small patch on the shoulder. In person at games, nobody will notice. On television, you will be able to see it when a guy takes a free throw and they do a close up of him, but you’ll have to look for it. Younger fans, and rational fans, will move along.

If the owners make a few more dollars — half of which goes to the players — then fine. It’s not a big deal. Will people also complain about the Nike swoosh on the other shoulder? Of course not. Of the ad deals, 25 percent goes to the team, 25 percent is shared with other owners in a revenue pool (that has numerous other sources), and 50 goes to the players through contracts (it is part of the “basketball related income” that helps set the salary cap number).

It’s progress. Times are changing, and a rose-colored glasses view of the past will not change that, in sports or anywhere else.

Magic sign 2nd-round pick Wesley Iwundu

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The Orlando Magic have signed second-round pick Wesley Iwundu to a contract.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman announced the deal on Tuesday. Reports from Iwundu’s agent, Austin Walton, said the deal was worth $4.1 million over three years, with a partial guarantee on the final season.

Iwundu was selected No. 33 overall in last month’s draft. In the Orlando Summer League he averaged 5.6 points per game on 30.3 percent shooting.

In college, he played in 132 games, with 124 starts, in four years at Kansas State where the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds a game.

Watch the top 100 dunks of the last NBA season (VIDEO)

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Like you’ve got something better to do on a Wednesday morning than watch 22 minutes of dunks.

Every night on the NBA calendar — from opening night through the NBA Finals — there are impressive dunks. NBA players are insane athletes who need only the smallest gap to create memorable plays, and occasionally they don’t even need a gap. It’s a fun watch.

Although, with all due respect to Victor Oladipo, I don’t know how Larry Nance Jr.’s throw down over now teammate Brook Lopez came in second.

 

Anthony Davis says he is tired of losing, Pelicans look good on paper

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis says a New Orleans Pelicans are “tired of losing” and have the roster to do something about it.

That is, if they can find a new offensive scheme that suits their mixture of incumbent starters and recent acquisitions.

“We can’t wait for the season to come and try to make some noise here in the loaded West,” Davis said Tuesday afternoon while promoting a youth camp he’ll host in early August.

“We’re doing everything, whether it’s signing players, trading players … whatever it is to just try to make sure that we try to be a winning organization,” he added. “We have the tools right now to be successful. … Right now, I think we look good on paper. So we’ve just got to figure it out.”

The Pelicans will likely need the right scheme, good chemistry and good health to contend in the Western Conference, which features defending champion Golden State as well as Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Davis is optimistic that could happen. He’s been working out this offseason with fellow All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, and he fully endorsed the recent signing of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.

Davis said Rondo’s savvy play-making and defensive acumen will strengthen the New Orleans on both ends while also allowing Jrue Holiday to become more of a scoring threat from the shooting guard spot.

When the Pelicans re-signed Holiday to a five-year, $126 million contract to open free agency, general manager Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry mentioned the possibility of playing Holiday off the ball more, and the acquisition of Rondo should allow that, Davis said.

“When I first heard about Rondo, I thought it was a good situation for us,” Davis said. “He knows when to get guys involved, when to make that pass.”

Davis said Rondo and Holiday also will be a formidable defensive tandem along the perimeter, meaning the Pelicans’ All-Star big men should have more chances to protect the rim and rebound. He said Rondo’s long arms and big hands help him disrupt drives and passes as well as rebound.

“They’re going to give a lot of guards, this year, problems,” Davis said. “It’s always good when you can add a guy who knows how to play defense.”

By the time Davis hosts his clinic for kids Aug. 7-8 at the University of New Orleans, he’ll have spent a considerable portion of the offseason working out with Cousins, who was acquired in a trade after last season’s All-Star game.

As the fellow All-Stars prepare to enter their first full season together, Davis said Cousins is trying to adapt and further develop his game. Coaches and teammates have complemented Cousins this summer on how he looks after committing to a conditioning program than has helped him shed some weight and improve his endurance.

“We know we’re going to be the big focal points on every team’s scouting report, so we just wanted to get together and work at it together and figure out the things we like to do,” Davis said. “He’s trying to adapt. He wants to win for sure and we didn’t have that much time last year. … He’s trying to do whatever the team asks him to do.”

Davis said he’s supposed to meet with new assistant coach Chris Finch soon to start discussing the offensive scheme he envisions when New Orleans’ top two front-court stars are playing together. Finch could be a good fit because of his recent experience on Denver’s staff helping versatile young big men Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic play effectively as teammates.

Davis said the Pelicans want to emulate “how they ran their offensive package with those two bigs who are very skilled.