Friday morning one liners: Where Afflalo gets some love

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Our daily list of things you should know about that didn’t fit in our other posts.

Who is the most coveted free agent not over 6’11? Arron Afflalo of the Nuggets, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. He is restricted and Denver will match any reasonable offer.

Brandon Rush made some tweets that would have gotten him heavily fined if there was a CBA in place, but it doesn’t mean the Pacers are happy.

We’re still waiting on the details of the owners revenue sharing plan.

The Bulls need a two guard and are apparently interested in restricted free agent Marco Belinelli. Caron Butler would be a much better fit.

David Stern is not popular on twitter.

Derrick Rose says he is to blame for the Bulls loss to the Heat. That’s not true, we all know Benny the Bull is to blame.

The Jazz are apparently not showing a lot of interest in bringing back Andrei Kirilenko, but they are interested in Sebastian Telfair, Rasual Butler, and Roger Mason.

The Grizzlies owner reiterates that they will match any offer for Marc Gasol. As they should.

The Toronto Raptors are going hard after all the key bigs on the free agent market (Nene, Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol).

Corey Maggette is going to have to carry the offensive load in Charlotte.

Nicolas Batum is open to talking contract extension with the Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers have reached out to the agents of Carl Landry and Chuck Hayes.

What the Nets need to do to make Brooklyn hipsters feel at home next year.

Josh McRoberts not feeling the love from the Pacers.

Don’t be shocked if Samuel Dalembert stays with Sacramento… although he will have plenty of suitors.

The Hawks Josh Smith has reportedly dropped 30 pounds.

Martell Webster does not like the idea of the Blazers using amnesty on Brandon Roy.

Toney Douglas showed up at the Knicks facilities looking stronger and saying his shoulder was healed.

Josh Howard’s agent has had conversations with Chicago, Washington, Boston, New Jersey, Denver, New Orleans, Atlanta and San Antonio, reports ESPN.

The Bucks would like to re-sign Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Bostjan Nachbar is coming back to the NBA after a couple of years in Turkey and the Celtics, Knicks and Nets have spoken to the forward.

There’s a report that if the Trail Blazers use their amnesty on Brandon Roy he might just retire. I don’t buy this one in the least but passing it along.

Chris “Birdman” Anderson is showing his ink off to help PETA.

Sonny Weems shows the right way to end a game with the and-1 dunk in EuroLeague.

Check out Shaquille O’Neal on Jimmy Kimmel. Complete with an impressive feat of strength by his Shaq’s girlfriend.

Cavaliers, Warriors sweeps mean time to rest, get mental breather

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant can take some pressure off that tender left calf. LeBron James has extra time to recoup after barely leaving the floor in the first round.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr scheduled some medical appointments as he deals with debilitating symptoms still affecting him nearly two years after complications from a pair of back surgeries.

The two star-studded teams expected by many to face off once more in the NBA Finals each swept through their respective first-round playoff series in four games, leaving ample time for the Cavaliers and Warriors to rest up, heal up and prepare for the next opponent.

“It gives me a mental break. As far as physically, I am who I am,” James said. “I’ve played so many games over the years, the best break for me is probably when I’m done.”

Of course guys like James and Draymond Green are already eager to get back on the court.

Cleveland now knows its next opponent is Toronto, while the Warriors were still waiting out the Clippers-Jazz series.

“Definitely have gotten antsy to play,” Green said Friday. “But you see that break and you’re excited about it, just to get that time to rest and get everybody back as close to 100 (percent) as possible for the next round. At the same time you do get antsy to get back on the floor and back in the rhythm of things. I think it’s been a good week for us to sweep and get this time off.”

Durant, still receiving treatment on his left leg and knee, spent Thursday at a San Francisco Giants baseball game. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue threw a huge watch party Thursday night so players and members of the organization could see the Raptors close out the Bucks in six games.

Golden State scrimmaged Friday to stay sharp, while Cleveland players have competed in such ways as racing on cardiovascular machines in the weight room to stay fresh and motivated.

James led the league in minutes during the regular season then played nearly 44 per game in the first-round sweep of Indiana – familiar territory after the Cavs also swept Detroit in the first round last season, then followed by eliminating Atlanta in the minimum four games.

“I’m ready to get this thing going, but obviously I’m not going to rush the process,” James said. “… But, yeah, I don’t like the way I feel when we’re not playing.”

In 2015, when the Warriors captured their first championship in 40 years, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving suffered a freak Game 1 injury when he fractured his left kneecap, and Kevin Love was already lost to a dislocated left shoulder.

Last June, Stephen Curry had returned from a knee injury but never fully got healthy and the thought was the Warriors wore down after chasing and breaking the Chicago Bulls’ regular-season wins record with 73 victories.

“If you could sweep every series that would be perfect,” Durant said, “because you just want to play well and then you’ll worry about the rest afterward. That’s the situation we’re in. We’ve got a lot of guys banged up, so it’s good to have a few days to get your bodies right and your mind right and just get back to the drawing board in terms of individual work, team work.”

In the Warriors’ case, it also has meant more time working with Mike Brown as acting head coach while Kerr is away. The reigning NBA Coach of the Year missed Games 3 and 4 at Portland because he was in such discomfort, having dealt with headaches, neck pain and nausea that recently became worse.

While Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is most known for sitting several star players at once without regard to anything but his team’s best interest, others have caught on and replicated the strategy of spelling players in order to pace for the long haul.

In March 2015, the Warriors lost at Denver with Curry watching – along with Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut – in the first game of a back-to-back. Oh, did Kerr take heat for it, even personally answering a few emails. And the Warriors reached out to other upset fans and sent along care packages.

“As a coach your responsibility is to keep your players healthy and there are times when guys need a night off,” Kerr said.

In December, Cleveland caused an uproar by resting James, Love and Irving in a loss at Memphis. Lue then sat several starters for the final game of the regular season against Toronto, and the teams will meet again in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting Monday.

Now, the Cleveland coach insists, James can handle the heavy minutes when it matters most.

“His body can take it,” Lue said, “so I’m not worried about what outside people say.”

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

 

Chris Paul told Paul Pierce: “You’re not ending your career in Utah”

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When the Clippers lose their final game this season — maybe Sunday, maybe not for weeks — the Hall of Fame career of Paul Pierce will come to an end.

It’s not why Doc Rivers was leaning so heavily on Pierce Friday night, that’s more desperation on a shorthanded (and not that deep to start with) lineup. The Clippers got away with 20+ minutes of Pierce on Friday and still got the win.

He even served as an inspiration for Chris Paul, as CP3 said in his postgame press conference.

The best part of that video? DeAndre Jordan‘s reaction.

You can be sure Utah Jazz fans will take this comment as a slight and let CP3 hear about it next season. As for the Jazz players, they are heading into Game 7, how much more motivation do they need.

John Wall’s chasedown block of Dennis Schroder, layup saved game for Wizards (VIDEO)

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Washington had been up 22 points in the third quarter and seemed to be cruising to a win in Atlanta, and with it a trip to the second round… but it would not be that easy. The Hawks made their push back, knocking down threes and chipping away at the Wizards lead until it was all the way down to 93-90, a one possession game.

Then John Wall took over.

It started with the big play you see above — a chasedown block on Dennis Schroder, which turned into a Wall layup on the other end.

That play changed the momentum. Washington closed the game on a 22-9 run where Wall scored the final 13 points on his way to 42 for the night on just 25 shots. The end result was a 115-99 Wizards win to close the Hawks out 4-2.

Steve Ballmer loses control after Austin Rivers three, creates another meme

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Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer has been a meme machine this series. First, there was the sad face after the Clippers Game 5 loss at home.

Then Friday, there was his reaction to an Austin Rivers three.

Ballmer’s reactions may be the best part of the Game 7 between these teams Sunday.