Revelations of Anthony Bennett having asthma come out… except we knew that before draft

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Anthony Bennett’s conditioning has been a concern this preseason — he has been sucking wind, which isn’t a huge surprise considering he was coming off shoulder surgery that kept in off the court from April until recently.

Then on Thursday night comes a story from the Associated Press talking about how Bennett suffers from asthma and sleep apnea, suggesting that contributes to his conditioning issues. The kicker is the line, “Bennett’s asthma was not widely known” before the draft.

Um, it was to anybody and any team paying attention. And if teams weren’t it is on them.

As noted by Ben Standig at CSNWashington.com, here is a paragraph from Sports Illustrated’s blog The Point Forward on Bennett from before the draft (emphasis added).

He’s a bit undersized, even though his 7-1 wingspan helps make up for the height deficiency, and he doesn’t have a terribly developed back-to-the-basket game. Combine that with the relative lack of fitness shown in this lone college season — exacerbated by asthma, which may limit his conditioning, ceiling — and you have a decision to make as a general manager. Do you think Bennett will round out his offensive arsenal beyond being a perimeter-oriented 4 in the halfcourt, and will he be able to get and stay in NBA shape and avoid nagging injuries that can derail a promising career?

There also are radio interviews where Bennett talks about his asthma. Draft Express talked about his stock falling pre-draft (which was the consensus, obviously a wrong one in hindsight) because of the asthma concerns. I could go on and on with other reports, but you get the idea.

While it may be fashionable to poke fun at Cleveland’s front office, I don’t think they are so incompetent to have missed what everyone else knew. They knew, they thought it was manageable. It may well be, there are others with asthma in the league. It’s just so far it has exacerbated an issue.

The reports of sleep apnea are not something I heard, but again as thorough as teams are it’s hard to believe they missed this.

So Bennett has asthma, it can be a story. Just not a new one.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek: “We can use some more defensive players”

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For all the flipping between the triangle and a more modern offense, despite ball stopping by Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks offense is 17th in the NBA for the season. Not good, but the middle of the pack, right around Oklahoma City, Miami, and Memphis — all playoff teams (or potential ones in Miami’s case).

The reason the Knicks season ends in seven games is their defense — 25th in the NBA. Put the triangle in (and get players who fit the system) or don’t, but that’s not the end of the court where the Knicks need to improve. And while system matters on defense, the fact of the matter the Knicks roster is loaded with poor and/or indifferent individual defenders.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek emphasized all this speaking to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

“I think if you look at our defense this year, we can use some more defensive players,” Hornacek said. “[Management] will look at that. [General manager] Steve [Mills] and [president] Phil [Jackson] and those guys will look at whatever can help us out. We know we need some help there.”

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Now comes the time for action.

The Knicks are going to have a Top 10 draft pick (currently sixth) plus max-player money in free agency. Also, they are looking to move Anthony this summer (he has a no-trade clause so he will have to agree to it). All of which is to say they have a chance to reshape this roster into one that will have more of a defensive focus. Or any defensive focus for that matter.

It will be interesting to see if the Knicks target more defensive minded free agents this summer, ones who might fit the triangle offense such as Thabo Sefolosha, or to a lesser extent Tony Allen. It’s going to be a fascinating summer in New York.

Master P says Pelicans should hire him as assistant coach: ‘I’m serious’

AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Did you know Master P had two NBA contracts?

Percy Miller was with the Hornets before the 1999 season and the Raptors before the 1999-00 season. But he was cut in the preseason both times.

These were mostly publicity stunts. Still, the rapper could actually play a bit. NBA quality? He long insisted yes, though his music career provided a convenient and lucrative excuse for sidetracking his basketball ambitions.

Yet, now, the New Orleans native says he wants back in the NBA with the Pelicans — in a different role.

Master P, via TMZ:

I think they need me to be an assistant coach.

I’m serious about coaching.

I don’t think he’s actually serious.

But if he is, would it be a good idea? Probably not. The Pelicans have real issues integrating Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and they need devoted coaches, not passing entertainers, to solve this.

Would it be fun? Heck yeah.

Pistons’ D-League team wins on buzzer-beater unlike any you’ve ever seen (video)

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Sending an inbound pass through the rim is, of course, a turnover.

But sending an inbound pass off the rim to a teammate who converts the shot? Sure, that counts.

Ray McCallum and Ramon Harris gave the Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive a win over the Pacers-affiliated Fort Wayne Mad Ants on a play the D-League amusingly dubbed a “put-back.”

Duke’s Harry Giles, once a potential No. 1 pick, declares for NBA draft

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About a year ago, Harry Giles looked like he could be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

But multiple knee injuries have added up and contributed to a lackluster freshman year at Duke, especially considering Giles started the season late due to his latest knee surgery.

Where does this leave him with the NBA?

We’ll find out.

Duke release:

Duke freshman forward Harry Giles has announced that he will enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft.

At his best, Giles is an athletic power forward who plays with skill and energy. But we didn’t see much, if any, of that player during 11.5 minutes per game in just 26 contests at Duke.

Medical testing will define everything for Giles. He’s projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but that’s a wide range with so much uncertainty about his knees.

Helping Giles: Joel Embiid‘s success after entering the NBA with major red flags about his health. Even though Embiid is again injured, he was so good while on the court for the 76ers. That’s a favorable recent comparison for Giles.