Austin Rivers comes to Boston to take on Dad’s Celtics

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It has to be both a proud moment and a little bit surreal for Doc Rivers to be looking at the Celtics scouting report for the New Orleans Hornets game Wednesday and see his own son, Austin Rivers, right there in black and white.

Doc is pretty excited to see his son and have his team face off against him, he told CSNNE.com .

“I just thought they were way too nice in the scouting report today,” quipped Doc Rivers who added, “It’s a strange thing. As a father, it’s nice to see him. The only drawback of him being in the NBA is I haven’t been to a game. And I miss that a little bit, to be honest. But other than that, it’s really cool.”

The scouting report should say “attack Rivers when he is on the court, he is the weakest link in their rotation. Ball pressure can undo him.”

Rivers is having a historically bad rookie season. He is averaging 6.2 points a game on 32.8 percent shooting. He has turned the ball over too much and struggled on the defensive end. He has a PER of 5.4. All of that should have him learning his craft in the D-League but the Hornets are giving the No. 10 overall pick a chance to learn at the NBA level but he is struggling.

Not that it matters to supportive family members. Rivers said their rooting interests are torn.

“When Austin’s not playing, they’re Celtics fans,” said Doc Rivers. “When Austin is playing, they’re Hornets fans or Austin fans for sure.”

Boston has won six in a row and is starting to find their defensive groove. There are a lot of steps to take and a lot of season to go, but for a stretch they have started to look like the team many expected to be — a team that could push the Heat in the East.

But the Hornets are 4-1 in their last five as well, with Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon playing well in their backcourt. You can start to see just how special Anthony Davis can be.

And you will see very little Austin Rivers, who has gotten less than 10 minutes a game the last couple contests as he slides out of the rotation. With Gordon back, he is soaking up Rivers minutes and producing.

But that’s not what Doc will see. He will see his son.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?