PBT Friday Morning One Liners

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I am not a fan of the franchise tag for the NBA. Danny Nowell at Magic Basketball does a great job explaining why this is a bad idea.

The Timberwolves are going to offer Kevin Love a lot of money. This story says $70 million, but that is this CBA’s number. However, whatever the max is they can offer him under the new CBA, you can bet Love will get that or close to it.

The Celtics officially signed Sasha Pavlovic. He brings some depth at the wing, but if they end up needing him to really do much they are in trouble.

Speaking of Boston: Can they re-sign Jeff Green (who may cost as much as Perkins)? If not, is the trade a big net loss for them?

Zydrunas Ilgauskas pitched his New York pad to Carmelo Anthony during a game… and it worked.

Clippers send Willie Warren down to the D-League.

Brendan Haywood is back to starting at center for a few games for Dallas while Tyson Chandler rests his sore ankle. Now we get a look at what Dallas almost looked like for this season (hint: it’s not nearly as good).

The Spurs are expected to sign
swingman Othyus Jeffers to a 10-day contract. You don’t know who he is, but do you doubt he’ll work well for the Spurs?

Baron Davis makes his Cavs debut Friday. Count me among the non-beleivers (but for Cleveland’s sake I hope he proves me wrong).

The fall of Andris Biedrins.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?