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Report: Cavaliers sign Scotty Hopson for rest of season

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On Feb. 5, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Lakers, who literally ran out of players.

That was the low point for Cleveland, which had already made its big splash by trading for Luol Deng and still lost six straight to fall to 12th – behind Boston! – in a putrid Eastern Conference. The season seemed lost.

Suddenly, the Cavaliers have won four of five and are just 2.5 games behind the slumping Hawks for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot. Sure, 2.5 games out with 7 (for Cleveland) to 10 (for Atlanta) games remaining is a lot, and the Cavaliers would still have to jump the Knicks, who are just one game back from the Hawks.

But considering where Cleveland was just a short time ago, these playoff odds are incredible. So, it’s all hands on deck.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

Hopson, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard, went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2011 and has not played in the NBA. He seemed to have draft-level talent, but maybe general managers were turned off by his confidence/arrogance. See what you want to see in this pre-draft video:

DraftExpress:

NBA GM after interviewing Scotty Hopson: “That guy is not from the same planet as the rest of us.”

Hopson has spent the last few years playing overseas, and maybe he’s tempered his own expectations. Or maybe he’s driven to prove himself correct. Or maybe he’s self-destructively delusion.

The narrative will be ascribed after we see how Hopson plays.

With Kyrie Irving (though he could return soon) and C.J. Miles injured, Cleveland’s backcourt depth is a little thin. Hopson might actually get a chance to contribute, especially considering the Cavaliers gave him a rest-of-season, rather than 10-day, contract. That must mean they like him.

Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim

Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) drives past Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.

Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).

The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.

That’s technicals 10 and 11 on the season for Howard. He’s got some work to do to catch up with DeMarcus Cousins, but still he’s racked up a few.

It just didn’t matter on Monday, with Dennis Schroder leading the way with 21 points for the Hawks.

 

DeMar DeRozan drains game winner to cap 37-point night, Raptors beat Knicks 92-91

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With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.

The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.

It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.

Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors

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Golden State is in Philadelphia, and so are the celebrities.

Kevin Heart — a Philly native — was on hand and he got to ring the bell pregame (a Sixers tradition).

Having him on hand seems to help as the Sixers were hanging around through the middle of the third quarter with a team looking for its 50th win.

Bucks’ Michael Beasley has to be helped to locker room after apparently hyperextending knee

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04:  Michael Beasley #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action against Mindaugas Kuzminskas #91 of the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 4, 2017 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Let’s just hope this is nothing too serious.

Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.

The team is calling it a sprain for now.

Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.