Kentucky v North Carolina

NBA allows scouts to attend college practices after previous lockout ban

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The NBA wants its employees they’re still paying to pretend that the players don’t exist. But they’re totally fine with scouts examining the next generation of players the league doesn’t want to pay as much as they have been. Yup.

Yahoo! Sports reports:

After initially forbidding front-office executives from attending college basketball practices during the lockout, the NBA has changed course and informed teams they can now do so, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The league office relented on its original rules after team executives lobbied hard about how much of their player evaluation depends on the ability to attend practices, as well as games. When the NBA imposed the lockout, it instructed teams they wouldn’t be allowed into practices partially to avoid the possibility they could have contact with current NBA players who are on campus.

via NBA allows scouts to attend college practices – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

That’s a pretty fantastically stupid rule to begin with. If scouts want to contact players, they can use their personal phones or emails. It’s not like they’re going to run into players at these things, embrace in a big hug, and provide the player with inside information they don’t know because they’re scouts and not ownership assistants. Eventually the league will have games again, and a draft, and teams will need to scout that draft. Glad they came to their senses. Now if they’d just relax on the idea that mingling of any sort is going to cause a complete breakdown in the negotiation process.

We’re almost there, guys! You’re almost acting like adults!

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.