Nets announce signing of Jason Collins for remainder of the season

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It’s been very quiet on the Jason Collins front in Brooklyn, just as it should be.

The NBA’s first openly gay player has done the job he was brought in to do, playing smart basketball in a limited role on a Nets team that needed the depth at his position. And after playing out consecutive 10-day contracts, Collins has been signed for the remainder of the season, the team announced on Saturday via official release.

Collins isn’t there to put up numbers, and in fact, when touting his contributions to the team so far this season, the press release had to use totals instead of his statistical averages. It’s his leadership (and ability to give fouls, apparently) that have head coach Jason Kidd appreciating the team’s most recent addition.

From Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com:

The 35-year-old 7-footer known as “Twin” is regarded as a smart, tough player who makes opponents pay for entering the paint. Along with 37-year-old Kevin Garnett, Collins has been providing leadership for the Nets younger big men, including rookie F/C Mason Plumlee.

“[Collins] and [Garnett] can help Mason understand a lot of different things on how to get better,” Kidd said. “Twin can help him understand what it means to foul. There’s a technique I guess in that. But I think it was a good signing all around and I think it helps Mason.”

Collins is jokingly referred to as a “professional fouler” by his teammates. He is averaging 11.1 fouls per 48 minutes this season, making him one of the most frequent fowlers in the league.

The numbers, if you’re interested, are five points, six rebounds, and six steals — total — in eight games, with an average of 9.8 minutes per contest. But again, that’s not why Collins is there. And more importantly, neither is the reason that his signing has received so much coverage.

Report: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo staying in NBA draft

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.

A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:

Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.

He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.

But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.

He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.

NBA: James Harden should have been called for offensive foul late in Rockets’ Game 4 win over Thunder

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The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.

The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.

A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.

Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.

NBA: LeBron James got away with travelling before go-ahead 3-pointer in Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over Pacers

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The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)

So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.

Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.

Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.

Raptors’ Norman Powell had a couple monster dunks Monday (VIDEO)

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“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”

That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.

Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.