Rick Adelman to meet with Timberwolves Tuesday

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Last we heard from Rick Adelman, he didn’t sound like a guy that eager to coach next season. (If there is a next season. Man I’m sick of writing that phrase.)

But that seems to be changing. Maybe it’s time away from the game. Maybe it’s the Ricky Rubio effect. Maybe he’s willing to do anything to get Kevin Love off the volleyball court.

Whatever the reason, Adelman will meet in person with the decision makers of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are still going to have to sell him on taking the job, but at least he’s willing to listen now.

Adelman is the front-runner for this gig as far as Minny is concerned. For one, if owner Glen Taylor is trying to see if the issue has been the coaches or general manager David Kahn, this will answer the question — Adelman can coach. He’s been in the league 20 years, been to the playoffs 16 years and had some contending teams in Portland and Sacramento. He will not be the problem.

Also, Adelman comes in with an established, strong relationship with Kevin Love. Finally, his former teams in Sacramento and elsewhere did run, one of Kahn’s requirements for his new coach.

Minnesota has taken its time with its coaching search, starting with letting Kurt Rambis twist in the wind for a couple months before firing him. Then they have interviewed seven coaches, including Don Nelson and Mike Woodson for the gig.

Adelman would be a good hire for Minnesota. The fact he is coming to interview shows he is interested, too. The question may be money — Adelman should make upwards of $4 million a year. Maybe a million or two upwards. Will the Timberwolves pay that?

2017 NBA playoffs have been historically uncompetitive

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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The NBA Finals so many wanted to see – Cavaliers-Warriors III – is here.

At least it will be.

Today is the first of six off days before the 2017, which begin June 1 in Oakland.

The lengthy delay is the product of an underwhelming postseason featuring few competitive series and numerous blowouts.

Golden State swept its way through the West, and Cleveland dropped only one game (to the Celtics in the conference finals) while winning the East. There have been only two Game 7s, but considering the magnitude, neither felt that compelling. Blake Griffin‘s injury undercut the Clippers against the Jazz, and Celtics over Wizards felt inevitable with home teams winning each game of the series. Between, there have been several lackluster games and series.

There have been just 74 playoff games this year – the fewest before the Finals since since the NBA instituted a best-of-seven first round in 2003:

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That’s 74 of a possible 98 games – 76%, the lowest since 1999 and seventh-lowest ever.

Even if the Finals go seven games, it will be the fewest games in a postseason since 2007. If the Finals go five or fewer games, it’ll be the shortest postseason in this playoff format.

And it hasn’t just been quantity. The quality of games has been lacking, too.

Though there were more blowouts last year by nearly any measure, the 2017 postseason’s average margin in pre-Finals games (13.5) is fifth-highest all-time and second-highest since 1959 (behind 2016, 14.2).

Combine the two factors, and these are the drabbest playoffs in nearly 50 years. Here’s each postseason plotted by average margin in pre-Finals games and percentage of possible games pre-Finals:

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This probably just confirms what you’ve seen: The 2017 playoffs have been in a rut.

We’re all counting on the Cavaliers and Warriors to salvage this postseason, but considering how deep the hole is, anything less than an epic Finals probably won’t cut it.

Kyrie Irving crosses over Avery Bradley, hits 3-pointer (video)

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Avery Bradley got around one screen then, thanks to Kyrie Irving‘s excellent ball-handling, lunged at another that wasn’t coming as Irving hit a 3-pointer.

LeBron James beautifully pass-fakes, makes layup in transition (video)

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LeBron James is a treasure.

Shaquille O’Neal’s big toe is seriously jacked up (PHOTO)

shaq o'neal
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Remember how we we all freaked out when we saw pictures of LeBron James‘ feet back in 2013?

You probably didn’t want to be reminded that it existed, but it does. Still. And apparently jacked up feet is the consequence of a lifetime of playing professional basketball. Once can only assume it has something to do with tight shoes and constant, hard changes of direction in said tight shoes.

We got yet another vision of what basketball shoes can do to feet on Thursday when TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal showed off his, er, little piggies.

Much to the horror of the Internet in general, it was Shaq’s right big toe that took social media by storm. Mostly because it’s not even close to pointing in the right direction.

I’m going to show you what it looks like. Be forewarned, it might just be NSFL.

Via Twitter:

Oh. Oh … why?

Social media reacted appropriately and proportionately:

Shaq did have issues with that toe during the course of his career, and at one point it was so bad that he had to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the toe in 2002.

That still doesn’t explain why it’s all over your TV and the Internet, but here we are. I am sorry.