Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah set to return to French national team


It’s not a real EuroBasket without Joakim Noah.

Okay, it’s going on with or without him. Two spots in the London 2012 Olympics will be decided whether or not he plays. But the chances of the French landing one of those two spots (or one of the play-in spots in next summer’s pre-Olympic tournament) goes up with him there.

And he will be there, reports the French team’s official Web site (via the Associated Press).

‘After seeing the conclusions from the two specialists, the franchise (Chicago Bulls) doctor should give his accord for Joakim Noah to return to the France team, without having to go to Chicago,” the FFBB said Monday on its website….

‘There’s been good progress, and Joakim seems to have recovered well from the little problem he had,” France team director Patrick Beesley said. ”I am optimistic that he will be in Pau by the end of the week.”

Noah sprained his ankle in March and missed six games but came back for the stretch run and played through pain during the playoffs. After he reported to training camp with the French national team, they sent him to get more rest and treatment.

EuroBasket is going to be deep with good teams, but the French will put out a good squad. The likely starting lineup will be Noah, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum and Mickael Pietrus, with Ronny Turaif the first guy off the bench. EuroBasket tips off Aug. 31 with France facing Latvia in its first game.

Anthony Bennett moves around, dunks on Lakers’ Upshaw (VIDEO)

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If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.

Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.

Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.