Gerald Green only has part of his ring finger on his right hand. Wait, what?

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Things slip by you when you try and cover the entirety of this league. There’s this just so much to go on, so many stories, so many unbelievable events, personalities, and stories. Like the fact that Nets guard-forward Gerald Green is missing a significant portion of the ring finger on his right hand.

Wait, what? From the New York Daily News:

Green was in the sixth grade when a freak accident left him with half of his ring finger. Wearing his mother’s class ring, the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk champion tried to jam on a makeshift hoop attached to a doorway. The ring caught on a nail and his finger was ripped to the bone.

Amputation was the only option.

“All you saw was nothing but white bone, like a skeleton,” Green said. “They said my tendons, all my ligaments were ripped out.”

via Gerald Green puts insecurity over childhood injury in the past as he develops into a top scoring threat for the Nets  – NY Daily News.

What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah. GAH!

That’s just horrifying.

Now, the crux of the Daily News’ article is how Green has really struggled through his life with the impediment and doesn’t like to talk about it. That’s totally understandable. But I’m really glad that he came forward and was willing to talk about it with the Daily News. There are other kids out there with conditions like that, people with similar impediments. Having someone being willing to talk about it helps. It just does. Good on him for taking that step.

The league seems like a brighter, more hopeful place with Green in it. He’s not a star, not a heavy-minutes player. But he’s producing and living up to his potential after being bounced from the league and having to spend time in the D-League. A player of that potential translating to production through hard work is the kind of story we need to talk about more. As opposed to, you know, Dwight Howard and whatever nonsense he’s going through this week.

In conclusion, if you need me, I’ll be wearing protective mittens and rocking in a corner crying for the rest of the day.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

AP Photo/Phil Long
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Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

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The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

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Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

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In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.