Tuesday night against the Lakers, Gregg Popovich sat his three big stars and there were people saying that he was just tanking to make sure the Spurs avoided the Lakers in the second round.
He played them Wednesday night, to get them some run, and showed why it’s a good idea to sit them.
MRI results on Manu Ginobili’s right elbow show a sprain and he is now doubtful for Game 1 Sunday against the Grizzlies, according to a tweet from Mike Monroe in San Antonio.
The second game in that series is Wednesday.
San Antonio expects a tough first round match up against a Grizzlies team with a strong front line — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol — as well as some talented guys playing well on the wings, like Tony Allen. San Antonio will need Ginobili to get comfortably through this round.
Ginobili injured himself on a fall after colliding with Grant Hill just 2:14 into the game.
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.
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 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.