NBA’s rookies surveyed, project Jabari Parker to win Rookie of the Year

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Andrew Wiggins was selected with the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft, due to a combination of incredible athletic ability and his equally strong upside potential.

But most believe that Jabari Parker, taken by the Bucks with the second pick, is the player most likely to be NBA-ready, and able to make an immediate impact in his very first professional season.

Those high on Parker extend to this year’s incoming rookie class, who were surveyed at the league’s rookie photo shoot this past weekend. And overwhelmingly, they believe that Parker has the tools to be the best of the bunch.

From John Schuhmann of NBA.com:

Who will be the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year?

1. Jabari Parker, Milwaukee — 52.8 percent

T-2: Doug McDermott, Chicago — 8.3 percent

Andrew Wiggins, Cleveland — 8.3 percent

T-4: Shabazz Napier, Miami — 5.6 percent

Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia — 5.6 percent

Elfrid Payton, Orlando — 5.6 percent

As noted in the piece, Nerlens Noel is technically eligible for Rookie of the Year honors, and is considered the favorite to take home the award after sitting out all of last season. But the majority of rookies surveyed obviously weren’t considering that when casting their votes.

Parker also won in a landslide when rookies were asked who in their class would end up having the best career; he took home 45.9 percent of the votes in response to that question.

One other point of interest in the survey was when the question of “who is your favorite player in the league” was asked. Kevin Durant finished with 25 percent of the votes, followed by Kobe Bryant (19.4 percent) and LeBron James (12.5). But one vote came in for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, which was a bit of a head-scratcher.

I mean, it’s just so difficult to imagine who possibly could have cast it.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

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Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.

Joel Embiid blocks and stares down Donovan Mitchell, who then pushes flopping 76ers center (video)

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Joel Embiid (when healthy) is running wild over the NBA.

Last night was no different, with Embiid (15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks +16) excelling in the 76ers’ 107-86 win over the Jazz. And he let Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell know about it.

After blocking Mitchell in the fourth quarter, Embiid stared down a fallen Mitchell. Mitchell got up and pushed Embiid – listed at nine inches and 35 pounds heavier – to the floor.

Embiid, via NBC Sports Philadelphia:

I flopped, and he got a technical for it. So, that was basically how it happened. But it’s all fun. After the game, we shook hands. It’s just about having fun.

Embiid is having fun. That’s for sure.

LeBron James, Tyronn Lue say LeBron’s minutes no big deal

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LeBron James was on the court a very reasonable 27:16 Monday night, only because the Cavaliers had thrashed the upstart Pistons so badly he didn’t need to play the fourth quarter (116-88 final in that one).

However, on the season LeBron is averaging 37.9 minutes per game, the most in the NBA. He has played 644 total minutes, also tops in the NBA. All this in his 15th year in the league, about to turn 33, with more regular season games played in his career than Michael Jordan. Even Draymond Green has wondered about LeBron’s workload. LeBron himself didn’t disagree, saying the goal is to get the minutes down.

However, as this has become a thing, the Cavaliers are playing it down. Here is Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue after the Detroit win, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I hear about that all the time,” a somewhat perturbed Lue said. “I played with Michael Jordan when he was 39, he played 37 minutes a night. Karl Malone was 37, played 38 minutes a night, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe [Bryant]. Everybody’s built different. If you’re one of the greats, sometimes you’ve got to play, sometimes you get rest like tonight.”

The way Kobe’s body broke down on him at the end of his career, is he the guy you want as an example here?

LeBron was not that worried about his minutes after the Detroit win, either.

“You make so much a big thing about my minutes,” James said. “It’s not a huge issue. But at the end of the day, when we can get a win like this, everybody benefits from it. Not just me. Everybody.”

The concern isn’t just the heavy minutes, but the workload — with Isaiah Thomas still out, and right now Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert as well, basically all the playmaking duties on the team fall on LeBron. He has to carry the Cavs.

With most players, you would say this will distinctly wear on them and could be an issue down the line. With LeBron, normal human rules do not apply. He’s playing at MVP consideration level again early — 28.3 points, 8.5 assists, and 7.4 rebounds a game while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor — and nothing seems to slow him. Maybe eventually the Cavaliers will play well enough consistently there will be more light nights for LeBron, and he can have some games off. For now, however, they need him on the court and performing like a superstar.