Chicago Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau yells out during the first quarter of their NBA pre-season basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Chicago, Illinois

Thibodeau wants to know how restricted area will be officiated this season

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Each year about this time, the NBA coaches get together for a series of meetings in Chicago — consider it a little meeting where the coaches just talk shop for a few days with their guard down. Relatively.

Part of it is fun — you can get fitted for a suit, the coaches all go out to dinner together.

Another part of it is work, such as going over the league’s officiating “points of emphasis” for the upcoming season. That’s when the NBA tells the coaches what rule they are going to start to really enforce this season (something that often kind of reverts to form halfway through the season). For example a couple years ago it was the quick technical for anyone seen as showing up an official (something that is now inconsistently enforced).

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told NBA.com what he wants to talk about is play in the restricted area.

“After a summer of watching our games [from last year], watching how the restricted area’s being officiated is always something I’m concerned with. I think initially the offensive player was getting the benefit and they were throwing themselves into the defensive players and getting to the free-throw line.

“Then I think the officials adjusted to that – but now maybe going the other way. There are a lot of guys who are fouling in the restricted area and the defense is getting the benefit of the doubt. So I’m curious to see how that changes.”

That will be one thing to watch, but you can bet there will be others. It will be interesting to see the league’s new focus, we just know it’s not flopping.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.