Friday morning one liners (so long Brandon Roy)

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

If you read one thing today, make it the BlazersEdge look back at the career of Brandon Roy. This is spectacular stuff from Ben Golliver.

In case you missed it, PBT previewed all 30 NBA teams on Thursday. I expect you to read all of them. There will be a quiz.

Metta World Peace will be coming off the bench this season for the Lakers and Matt Barnes will be the starting three. Interesting. We’ll see how Ron-Ron (is that Metta-Metta now?) deals with that. But what really matters is who closes out games.

Chris Bosh drained a three in the Heat’s scrimmage last night. It’s something he’s been working on (after getting an up-close look at Dirk Nowitzki draining a bunch).

LeBron James is showing off his post game.

LeBron is also showing off the Heat’s new black alternate jersey. Embrace the dark side and together we shall rule the galaxy….

The Spurs are not going to amnesty Richard Jefferson after all. At least not this year. (When they said they were going to they Spurs thought they would get Caron Butler or Vince Carter or someone to fill Jefferson’s shoes. Didn’t work out that way.)

The Nets did use their amnesty on Travis Outlaw, as expected.

The Rockets desperately need a center (sorry Jordan Hill) and they are going hard after Samuel Dalembert.

Maurice Evans flirted with the Knicks and other teams, but has re-signed with the Wizards.

Bonzi Wells is getting a shot at an NBA comeback up in Timberwolves camp. To answer you next question, 2008 in New Orleans (the last time he stepped on an NBA court).

Andrea Bargnani says he is going to get more rebounds this year. I’m going to need to see proof of that before I begin to buy it.

Corey Maggettee missed practice in Charlotte with some lower back pain… yes, that was a little red flag you just saw go up. His back has long been an issue.

The Knicks are taking a look at Michael Redd and Troy Murphy. And maybe Eddie Murphy at this point.

The Pacers also are going after Redd.

David Thorpe — a player development specialist I really respect — loves the idea of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul together. Almost as much as Clipper Darrell.

The Nets signed Ime Udoka to a one-year deal.

No shock here, but Jerome Jordan is officially a Knick.

The Warriors picked up Dominic McGuire.

Five days after they got him in the Tyson Chandler deal, the Mavs waive Andy Rautins.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed their second round pick and Wisconsin favorite Jon Leuer.

Chris Kaman talks about being traded.

The Nuggets continue to have the best team in China.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.