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Marcin Gortat to play for Polish national team at Eurobasket

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Marcin Gortat suffered a foot injury in March that left him in the same situation as his Phoenix Suns — broken and unable to compete by the time the regular season was finished.

Gortat planned to spend the summer with the Polish national team preparing for Eurobasket, which tips off in September. He recently returned to the states to have the foot checked out as a precautionary measure, but it now appears that he’ll be good to go by the time the tournament begins.

From FIBA.com:

Now the squad has been heartened by the news that their most important player, Marcin Gortat, is to join Poland on Sunday in Belgium, where they are facing Israel, the hosts andItaly in a warm-up tournament for the EuroBasket in Slovenia.

The 2.11m pivot had been with Poland in July but travelled to the United States earlier this month so doctors could examine the metatarsal injury that he suffered in March while playing for the Phoenix Suns.

The Polish federation said: “Gortat will on Sunday, 18 August, fly to Belgium where on 17-19 August the Poles will play in a tournament with Israel, the hosts and Italy.”

Plenty of internationally-born players take the responsibility of suiting up for their country extremely seriously, and Gortat is no exception. He just needed to make sure that his foot was healing properly and that he wouldn’t be exposed to a setback that could cost him more playing time in the NBA next season.

The rebuilding Suns selected Alex Len with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, which led to early speculation that Gortat might become expendable. But while the team’s new GM Ryan McDonough will of course listen to offers, he’s said repeatedly this summer that the plan for now is to retain him for the foreseeable future — which essentially means through the end of next season.

The Suns can simply let Gortat walk after this season, of course, but he has just one year at $7.7 million remaining on his contract. And those expiring deals can be of great interest to teams as the midseason trade deadline approaches.

Baron Davis figured out why Russell Westbrook isn’t starting All-Star Game: Russian hackers

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When the starters for next month’s All-Star Game in New Orleans were announced this week, there was a mini-uproar on Twitter because Russell Westbrook — the guy averaging a triple-double this season — wasn’t picked. It’s hard for me to get worked up over two-time MVP Stephen Curry getting the nod, but if you want someone to blame it was the fans’ call — they voted Curry first overall, James Harden second, Westbrook third. The players and media had Westbrook first, Harden second, but the tie is broken by the fan vote.

Enter Baron Davis with the timely joke.

We just need to tie in a Zaza Pachulia joke and it will be perfect.

Report: Bucks brought Jabari Parker off bench for discussing with media team’s meeting

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker, center, looks for an open teammate as he is surrounded by Miami Heat players during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bucks 109-97. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Associated Press
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The Milwaukee Bucks had lost four in a row and had slid out of a playoff slot in the East. It’s not one end of the court — in their last five games, the Bucks had the second-worst defense and fourth-worst offense in the NBA. After that fourth loss, the team held a players’ only meeting, one where Jabari Parker reportedly ripped his teammates for a lack of togetherness.

In the postgame media sessions that followed, Parker told the press he confirmed there was a meeting and said he had been “thrashed” by his teammates for what he said.

It was that speaking to the media that got him benched for a game — as decided by his teammates — reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker did not start in Saturday’s road loss to the Miami Heat for violating a team rule that prohibits disclosing locker room discourse to the media, league sources told ESPN…

Parker’s teammates deliberated and decided the appropriate punishment for the violation was to bring him off the bench against the Heat, league sources told ESPN. It was the first time this season that he did not start.

The meeting and the benching didn’t help, the Bucks fell to the lowly Heat 109-97. (Team/players meetings are overrated in how often they help teams turn things around.)

The good news for the Bucks is that in a tight East they remain just a game out of the playoffs and three games out of the five seed. It’s going to be a tough week to turn that around with the Rockets, resurgent Sixers, Raptors, and Celtics on the schedule.

 

Denver’s Kenneth Faried gets up, blocks DeAndre Jordan dunk attempt (VIDEO)

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Without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers don’t have much going for them offensively. However, there is one thing: DeAndre Jordan can still run to the rim and dunk with authority.

Denver’s Kenneth Faried took that away Saturday.

Faried hustled back in transition, showed he still had some hops and swatted away a Jordan dunk attempt.

The Nuggets went on to win the game comfortably, 123-98, behind 19 points and 10 boards from Nikola Jokic.

Suns’ Devin Booker sinks three that defeats Knicks (VIDEO)

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The Knicks last three losses have come by a total of six points. The team is not good, a little banged up, and doesn’t play any defense, but New York also has just had a run of bad luck.

The latest example: Phoenix’s Devin Booker draining a three to knock off New York, 107-105. It was a mistake by Derrick Rose, who sagged down to the free throw line watching Eric Bledsoe with the ball coming off the pick, which led to the open pass. Also, notice that Booker set up three feet back of the three-point line — this is a trend a lot of teams and good shooters are following (watch a Rockets’ game) because it makes the closeout harder. Rose would have contested a shot at the arc, but Booker gets a clean look from where he spotted up, and drills it.

Carmelo Anthony got a shot to win it for the Knicks, but his rimmed out.