Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo says he’d appreciate All-Star consideration from Eastern Conference coaches


The Magic are in a rebuilding mode, and as their 9-20 record will tell you, that means that wins have been hard to come by this season.

But a bright spot has been the play of Arron Afflalo, who has been consistently putting up big numbers — he’s posted his career high of 43 points this season, and has scored 30 points or more on four separate occasions.

Afflalo hopes his play might be good enough to get him noticed by the coaches in the Eastern Conference, who vote on the reserves for the All-Star team.

From John Denton of the Magic’s website:

Quietly, Afflalo is hoping that his play on the court will be enough to get him selected as a reserve for the Feb. 16 All-Star Game in New Orleans. To do so, Afflalo will need to earn a selection from the Eastern Conference coaches because he does not even rank in the top 15 of fan votes even though he’s in the midst of a career year. …

“For one, it’s obvious I’m not one to push for fan votes,’’ Afflalo said. “For me, it’s about team play, winning and it’s about the growth of my game and if I can get the respect of the coaches from that angle, it’s something that I would definitely appreciate.

“I’m not trying to outvote D-Wade and these guys who are constantly in the limelight,’’ Afflalo said. “I’m more of a basketball purist, I love the game and hopefully that will get appreciated from a different angle.’’

With all of the injuries in the East, and with the two most notable backcourt players in Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving being voted in as starters by the fans, it would appear that Afflalo has a shot.

The Pacers are going to have Paul George and Roy Hibbert on the squad, and if coaches want to place a third player from one of the league’s top teams in the midseason exhibition, Lance Stephenson would be a candidate. John Wall of the Wizards could get in, as could Deron Williams of the Nets.

Beyond that, there aren’t any names of guards who immediately jump to the top of the All-Star list in the East — especially with only three of the conference’s teams having a better-than-.500 record. If Afflalo continues on his path of consistency, he’ll earn his first career All-Star appearance.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.