adidas announces signings of Joel Embiid and Marcus Smart

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adidas had already locked up two of the top five picks in this summer’s draft when they signed Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum, and now have added two additional lottery picks to their team as brand endorsers.

Joel Embiid, who the Sixers selected with the third overall pick, and Marcus Smart, taken by the Celtics at six, are now a part of the adidas family.

From the official release:

“I couldn’t be happier to make it official, I am now a member of the adidas family,” said Marcus Smart.

Embiid and Smart join the ranks of an adidas Basketball roster highlighted by first-time NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards, 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.

“adidas is a brand I’ve always admired, I’m very happy to join their team as I start my NBA career,” said Joel Embiid.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports that Embiid will receive $1.5 million over four years, and Smart will receive $1.2 million.

By comparison, Wiggins will receive $2 million per year for the next four years. Being the No. 1 overall pick apparently has its advantages.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.