Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

Mario Chalmers questionable for Game 2


Al Jefferson’s strained plantar fascia is the most influential injury in the Heat-Bobcats series, but Mario Chalmers is also dealing with his own injury suffered during the Heat’s Game 1 win.

Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald:

Miami Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers is questionable for Wednesday’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats after bruising his knee Sunday in Game 1.

Chalmers was limited in practice Tuesday and will be reevaluated by team trainers before Wednesday morning’s shootaround and then again before Game 2 of the first-round playoff series.

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The Heat probably don’t need Chalmers to win Game 2, but if they’re committed to starting Udonis Haslem, it could help in the long run.

Miami’s Game 1 starting lineup – Chalmers, Haslem, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – played just 68 minutes together during the regular season and struggled in that limited sample (offensive rating: 85.4/defensive rating: 95.1/net rating: -9.8). The unit was also outscored by 13 points in nine minutes during Game 1.

Ideally for the Heat, they can give that lineup more time to find its groove, but that’s not necessarily about winning this series.

Charlotte, especially if Jefferson is hobbled, probably lacks the juice to seriously threaten the Heat, even if Norris Cole and Toney Douglas take larger roles.

Erik Spoelstra should think long term. On one hand, that means letting Chalmers get healthy, but that also means Chalmers and the other starters developing chemistry. How Chalmers feels should dictate which way the coach falls.

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.