Chris Bosh is just chillin’, getting ready to play center

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Chris Bosh is a pretty chill dude. Even at media day.

After coming back sooner than he should have to be a key part of the Heat’s title run last season (he changed the Boston series and was key against Oklahoma City), he had to spend the rest of the summer getting over the abdominal strain he suffered dunking a ball against the Pacers in Round 1.

How did you do that, Mr. Bosh? (Via Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.)

“I chilled a lot, that’s about it.”

He then said he was the best at being chill. I’m not really going to argue that. He chilled while Team USA was winning gold in London without him. He was chill while other players were grabbing headlines. He was just himself.

He’s not expected to be chill on the court for the Heat, he’s expected to be a center. Which wasn’t the plan when he came to Miami — he was going to be a four. But, turns out the Heat had LeBron James and he dominates at the four, so in the free-flowing Heat system Bosh slid over to the five.

He says he’s accepted it (again via Winderman).

“I made my peace with it, I want to be one of the best fives in the league.”

“My advantage is my quickness against other 5s. I’m not going to bang down low, play like Shaq. Because I’m not.”

Playing the five for the Heat is not quite the same, anyway. They play a “positionless” system where anybody can take any role in the offense — you can post up a guard and have Bosh out at the three-point line. Bosh likes that (Winderman).

“Not only does it work, but it’s a fun style to play.”

It does work, and until somebody figures out how to stop it the Heat they remain the team to beat in the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.