J.R. Smith says series with Celtics would be over if he hadn’t been suspended for Game 4

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The Celtics managed to extend their first round playoff series with the Knicks for at least one more night after gutting out an overtime victory in Game 4 on Sunday.

J.R. Smith was suspended for that one due to the elbow he threw at Jason Terry in Game 3, and speaking to reporters after practice on Tuesday, he wasn’t exactly in the mood to give Boston too much credit for taking down the Knicks while he was forced by the league to sit on the sidelines.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

J.R. Smith thinks the New York Knicks would have swept the Boston Celtics if he had been playing in Game 4 of the division rivals’ playoff series.

“Oh yeah, it would’ve been over,” Smith said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’d have been playing golf today.”

“It was very tough to watch,” Smith said. “Especially that first half. I mean, from the turnovers to missing shots. … It wasn’t the easiest thing ever.

“I wasn’t pleased with it. My teammates wasn’t either. I’ll get the chance to make up for it tomorrow.”

In the previous three games that the Knicks won in the series, Smith scored 15, 19, and 15 points respectively, in games his team won by 14, 16, and 17 points.

Smith isn’t wrong, here. But pointing out the obvious so brazenly to a prideful Celtics team may needlessly make him a target for Game 5.

Jaylen Brown’s #drivebydunkchallenge video is awesome

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I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.

But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.

 

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.