FIBA Americas schedule features Canada vs. Brazil on Sunday

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The FIBA Americas tournament enters Day 3 on Sunday after a solid first two days of action. Sunday’s games don’t feature the marquee matchups that littered Friday and Saturday, but the first contest of the day should be worth watching.

Canada and Brazil are both in the conversation for the Final Four next weekend, a spot that would ensure them a spot in next year’s FIBA World Cup and a step closer to a 2016 Olympic bid. Both teams are coming off of a loss, but it’s not due to a lack of talent.

Brazil is missing the majority of its NBA players as Nene, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao and Leandro Barbosa all decided to sit this summer out. That leaves recent Utah Jazz draft pick Raul Neto as the team’s only NBA player, but he didn’t see action in the team’s first game and likely won’t find many minutes for the duration of the tournament. Brazil was led by 16 points and five assists from 30-year-old point Marcelo Huertas in their tournament-opening loss to Brazil, but his teammates will have to shoot better than 4-for-17 from beyond the arc to have a chance against Canada.

This year’s Canada team is missing future NBA All-Star Andrew Wiggins, top NBA Draft pick Anthony Bennett and Summer League star Kelly Olynyk, but they still boast four current NBA players in Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Tristan Thompson and Joel Anthony. Joseph was great in Canada’s victory over Jamaica, but struggled in Saturday’s loss to Puerto Rico. The bigs played well in Saturday’s loss, too, so it seems Joseph will be the key to Canada’s success this tournament.

Saturday’s other games include Mexico vs. Paraguay,  Michael Martinez’s Dominican Republic squad vs. Venezuela and Puerto Rico vs. Uruguay. All three will likely be blowouts, particularly since Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have looked dominant early.

The full schedule is listed below in Eastern Time (Venezuelan time is a half-hour between Central and Eastern time, making the conversion a bit difficult for some (me)). All games are available on ESPN3 where available.

11:30 a.m. – Canada (1-1) vs. Brazil (0-1)

2 p.m. – Mexico (1-0) vs. Paraguay (0-2)

5:30 p.m.  – Venezuela (1-1) vs. Dominican Republic (1-0)

8 p.m. – Puerto Rico (2-0) vs. Uruguay (1-0)

Damian Lillard’s goal in meeting with Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen: ‘Spark that urgency’

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Alleviating Paul Allen’s fear, Damian Lillard didn’t request a trade in his requested meeting with the Trail Blazers owner.

So, what did Lillard want to accomplish?

Lillard, in an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN:

It was just me showing urgency, spark that urgency, figure out, “OK, what do we have to do?” We’re a five, six seed. What do we got to do to make the jump? If you don’t have a line of communication with people who can make the changes or the people who can make impact for things happening for the better, then you’re just going out there playing.

Paralyzed by a huge payroll, the Trail Blazers have been going the opposite direction. They dumped Allen Crabbe and Noah Vonleh in their last two significant trades. Portland could let Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier walk in free agency this summer. Luxury-tax concerns aren’t vanishing. Evan Turner‘s, Maurice Harkless’ and Meyers Leonard‘s are major obstacles to upgrading the roster.

The Trail Blazers could be stuck.

That’d be rough news for Lillard, who’s already 27. I understand why he’s trying to push the envelope. His prime is ticking down.

I’m just not sure Portland can help him accomplish his championship-contention goals anytime soon, as hard as he presses.

Adam Silver jokingly thanks Magic Johnson for paying for All-Star Legends Brunch

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The NBA held its annual All-Star Legends Brunch last weekend. Jerry West, James Worthy, Bill Walton and Magic Johnson were honored.

And NBA commissioner Adam Silver delivered a great line while addressing the event.

Silver, via Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:

“Magic, thank you for paying for the brunch today.”

So, that’s why Johnson got fined for $50,000 for tampering for innocuous comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald reveals he’s living with incurable heart disease

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The National Basketball Players Association and NBA set up health screenings for former players.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who starred for the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics, took advantage. Unfortunately, he learned a difficult outcome.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

IT WAS DECEMBER 2016 when Archibald learned of his diagnosis, during a free screening at the New York offices of the NBPA. And now, more than a year later, he’s still reeling from the news.

“What I have is really rare,” he says. “There’s no pills, nothing they have found that works. I’m being tested all the time, just hoping, you know?

“My [heart] could go any minute. But I’m not ready for that. I want to be around for a long time.”

The medical community has had little success solving the riddle of amyloidosis. For those who suffer from it, aside from participating in clinical trials, or the possibility of a heart transplant, which at Archibald’s age may not be viable, there isn’t much that can be done.

We celebrated Archibald’s 69th birthday last fall with this highlight video. If you’re not familiar with the 6-foot-1 guard’s exciting game, get acquainted:

Hopefully, Archibald gets his wish and sticks around a long time.

Jeremy Lin: I believe J.J. Redick

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76ers guard J.J. Redick explained then apologized for saying what sounded like a slur for Chinese people, claiming he was tongue-tied.

Nets guard Jeremy Lin:

Lin’s Asian-American heritage helps make him very popular with the same people most offended by Redick. Lin vouching for Redick will likely go a long way in diffusing tension.