Metta World Peace says he likely sits out Game 4 because of knee. Sure he does.

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At this point, what’s another injured Laker having to sit out?

Metta World Peace tried to give it a go Friday night against San Antonio — he’d had fluid removed from his knee less than 24 hours before but tried to get out on the court. He was moving stiffly and shot 0-6 in the first half. Coach Mike D’Antoni sat him in the second half.

Now World Peace says he may sit out Game 4 Sunday as well (a literal must-win game for a Lakers team down 3-0 to the Spurs in a best-of-seven).

“I’ll probably sit out Sunday,” World Peace said after the game. “Then these guys will be at full strength and they’ll be a strong five for a consistent game. We lacked that tonight. I was the weak link tonight, I missed defensive assignments and went short on a lot of shots. I couldn’t hustle on defense.”

I bet Mike D’Antoni talks to him and we hear a different story by Sunday. What is MWP saving himself for?

If he sits Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison likely would get more minutes (more good reasons D’Antoni should push him to play). And I don’t know who else because Mike D’Antoni is running out of bodies.

Kobe Bryant and Steve Blake are both out for the Lakers Sunday as well, while Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks missed Game 3 and are doubtful for Game 4. Jordan Hill is playing but is limited off hip surgery.

Also doubtful for Game 4 are the Lakers chances of extending the series against a team that beat them by 31 Friday night.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.