Wednesday morning one liners (now with extra rumors)

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Our morning look around the NBA with stories that are not their own post here at PBT.

In case you didn’t get it in your inbox, here is David Stern’s letter to fans sent out yesterday.

After the lockout and months of talk of change, does the new NBA feel any different than the old NBA?

Travis Outlaw is 10 days away from being cleared for contact basketball due to his broken hand. That groan you just heard was Avery Johnson.

Rumors are out there that the Nuggets will make a big offer to Thaddeus Young, which the Sixers will have to match or let him go. And they don’t want to let him go.

Jared Jeffries is all but formally signed with the Knicks.

The Celtics are willing to roll the dice with Chris Paul and the new CBA.

Mike Miller talking about his situation in Miami. He is staying, not being waived.

Shannon Brown’s agent has talked to the Heat about his client. Same with Kwame Brown.

Miami being over the salary cap is making it very hard for them to land the free agents that they want.

Conventional wisdom is Jason Richardson is leaning Bulls, but the Magic would like to bring him back.

Is this the year Tyreke Evans makes the leap? Or does he trip up again?

Talking Washington Wizards rookies.

Reggie Williams and the Bobcats are flirting with each other.

Looking more and more like Tracy McGrady ends up in Atlanta.

Things are “awkward” around he Magic facilities right now. Ya think?

Michael Redd to the Dallas Mavericks? They do like shooters (who will take a one-year deal).

Here is one vote against Caron Butler as a Clipper — the wise D.J. Foster questions the fit. To me, Tayshaun Prince needs to be the Clips primary target.

There have not been a lot of Kris Humphries rumors out there, and while he comes with that Kardashian baggage the guy can play. So what is up?

Another guy flying under the free agent radar: Mario Chalmers.

And what about Rodney Stuckey?

If they will not keep Tyson Chandler (and it looks like they will lose him) the Mavericks may try to get Jeff Foster.

The Hawks Marvin Williams says he is feeling good after June back surgery.

Visa issues have Rudy Fernandez stuck in Spain, for now.

Kwame Brown met with and could return to the Bobcats.

Leon Powe would like to return to the Celtics. He is working out at the Lakers facilities right now, however.

The Hornets reportedly have interest in Aaron Gray.

Kobe Bryant’s new Canvas video is brought to you by the letter O (for Obsession)

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Kobe Bryant’s Canvas series returned to our television screen on Saturday. The Sesame Street-like videos center around finding a place to draw motivation from in order to, as the most recent video says, dominate the will of your opponent.

They’re … weird.

They are also extremely Kobe-ish in that they stay true to the former Los Angeles Lakers great’s internal vision of how to play basketball.

The last one we saw was all about finding a musecage, and using your dark thoughts to propel you to win. This one is all about obsession, and how that emotion separates those who like to win from true competitors.

I’m personally all for these videos. They are maybe a little cheesy, or single-minded, but that’s sort of the point. It accurately reflects Kobe, which is something you don’t often see from retired players trying to transition their brand from player to former player.

Isaiah Thomas scores 33, Celtics beat Bulls 104-95 to tie series

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CHICAGO (AP) Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 104-95 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-all.

Boston blew a 20-point lead, but Thomas keyed a third-quarter run that put the Celtics back on top after Chicago briefly went ahead.

Gerald Green made four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points, helping the top-seeded Celtics return the favor in Chicago after dropping the first two games at home. Al Horford added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Boston.

Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with 33 points and nine assists. Nikola Mirotic and seldom-used Isaiah Canaan each scored 13 points, but Dwyane Wade finished with just 11.

Canaan made his first appearance since April 10, with Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg searching for help at point guard with Rajon Rondo missing his second straight game because of a broken right thumb.

The Celtics led by 20 in the second quarter and were still up 10 in the third when Chicago scored 12 straight. The Bulls went ahead 65-63 on Robin Lopez‘s hook shot with 4:35 left in the quarter.

Thomas answered with back-to-back layups and scored 10 points in a 12-0 run that gave the Celtics a 75-65 lead, and they withstood a push by the Bulls early in the fourth.

With Thomas and Green each scoring 16 in the first half, the Celtics carried a 57-46 lead into the break.

Butler led the Bulls with 17 in the half. But the offense struggled in a big way with Rondo unavailable. Jerian Grant started and went to the bench after about five ineffective minutes. Michael Carter-Williams then picked up two quick fouls, forcing the Bulls to go with Canaan in the first quarter.

The Celtics, meanwhile, led 41-21 early in the second quarter. But things started to turn after Canaan stole the ball from Marcus Smart and scored on a layup.

Smart feigned throwing the ball at Butler. The two came nose to nose, resulting in technical fouls for both players, and the Bulls started to shoot their way back into it.

Mirotic hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight in the quarter. Bobby Portis cut it to 52-42 with his basket late in the half, and Butler hit two free throws with 22.6 seconds left to make it 57-46.

RONDO FINED

The NBA fined Rondo for attempting to trip Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder from the bench in Game 3. Crowder jawed at the Bulls’ bench after hitting a jumper and Rondo extended his leg as Crowder walked by.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Thomas was just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers but made 12 of 13 free throws.

Bulls: Butler made 19 of 23 foul shots after failing to get to the line in Game 3. … Canaan was inactive for the first three games.

LeBron James swats Thaddeus Young on yet another chasedown block (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is The King, but he’s also the king of chasedown blocks in the NBA. During Sunday’s Game 4 matchup with the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers star dropped the hammer yet again on an unsuspecting opponent.

The victim this time was Pacers forward Thaddeus Young, who was out on a 2-on-2 break with LeBron trailing.

To be honest, Young should have known better than to try this.

Via Twitter:

Cleveland completed the series sweep on Indiana with the win, 106-102.

Robin Lopez helpfully stopped to tie Jae Crowder’s shoe (VIDEO)

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Why did Robin Lopez tie Jae Crowder‘s shoe during Sunday’s Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls? We may never know. Perhaps he was just helping the Celtics forward after he tossed him to the ground? Or maybe he’s just doing weird Robin Lopez things?

In any case, Lopez helpfully stopped to tie Crowder’s shoe after it came off during a battle down low early in the third quarter at United Center.

Here’s how it went down.

Via Twitter:

I still have no idea.