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Chris Bosh and Ray Allen out Friday against Clippers, L.A. will have Paul and Billups back in the lineup


We told you this was a possibility earlier today, and now it’s official, according to multiple reports.

Both Chris Bosh and Ray Allen will miss Friday’s home game against the Clippers due to flu-like symptoms, according to multiple reports. The Heat, at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, don’t have anything to gain by playing guys through injury or illness at this stage of the season, so it makes sense to sit these guys down if they’re truly unable to go.

Dwyane Wade was said to be suffering from similar symptoms of illness, but he’s expected to play.

This doesn’t matter much to Miami, but it’s big news for the Clippers, considering they’re expecting to have their full compliment of players available for the first time this season.

The Clippers need this win more than Miami does, and they need to see what they have in Billups and Paul from a health standpoint at this stage in the season.

With LeBron James and Wade playing, it should still be an exciting contest. For a Clippers team that has lost seven of its last 10 games, they don’t care who is or isn’t playing, as long as they end up with the win when the final buzzer sounds.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.