Patrick Beverley wants All-Defensive team recognition

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Rockets guard Patrick Beverley plays with a chip on his shoulder.

Sometimes, that injures Russell Westbrook. Sometimes, that annoys Udonis Haslem. Sometimes, that upsets Damian Lillard.

But that always makes Beverley a player who must be accounted for, especially when he’s on defense.

He knows that, and he wants credit for it.

Beverley, via Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“(All-Defense) was one of my goals going into this year,” Beverley said. “Hopefully, people see that the way I play defense is top-notch in the NBA and I can make the All-Defensive team. … I think very few people do what I do defensively to change a basketball game. That’s what I do, I put my team in a good situation to win basketball games with my defense. I think it’s rare that you see that kind of gift that people have in the NBA but I am able to have fun with it.”

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Beverley definitely has a chance to nab one of the four guard spots on the All-Defensive teams. It’s a pretty wide open race, and the field also includes Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Lance Stephenson, George Hill and John Wall.

Playing for the NBA’s 11th-best defense doesn’t exactly help Beverley, but the fact that Houston plays like the league’s sixth-best defense when he’s on the court should. Without a doubt, the Rockets giving Beverley an expand role has improved their defense from last season.

But if Beverley really wants to make an All-Defensive team, the best thing he can do is get back on the court. He reiterated his plan to return during the regular season, and that would improve his case for the honor. All-Defensive team shouldn’t be just about who defends best when on the court, but also who makes the largest defensive impact, a criterion heavily influenced by playing time.

Even if Beverley hasn’t played enough this season to warrant votes – he’s already missed 21 games – he’s just 25. He’ll have opportunities to make the All-Defensive team in future seasons.

I suspect, though, Beverley would take a slight this season personally – which could make him even more of a defensive bulldog in future seasons.

LeBron James: ‘I still got Pandora with commercials’

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Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.

LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.

LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:

No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.

LeBron – he’s just like us!

As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”