Report: Heat, Danny Granger agree to two-year deal

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The Heat are not getting vintage 2009, All-Star Danny Granger. Rather, the model they have has been through a few knee operations and is not the same guy. Watch him in person and you see the explosiveness is gone. He was uninspiring with the Pacers last season, looked better but not great with the Clippers, but in the playoffs he shot 27.5 percent overall and 22.7 percent from three. His minutes got slashed.

At best is a decent rotation player off the bench.

But the Heat have landed him. A two-year deal for the bi-annual exception has been agreed to, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Pat Riley has been working to upgrade the Heat roster and he now has added Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Those are two players the Heat could have used last season, they are improvements (McRoberts in particular) and with Pat Riley not sure what he can really spend and having to act like his team is capped out. Which means exception pieces only, and in that situation Riley did pretty well (although Anthony Morrow for the bi-annual would be much better).

But is that really enough to keep LeBron James in house? Does it show him the team is committed to spend and to improve the roster enough to win?

Those are the only questions that matter.

And the only guy who can answer them has yet to speak to Pat Riley or anyone else.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.