LeBron James does Kelly Olynyk wrong, turns back on him, then blows by him (VIDEO)

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Kelly Olynyk may not be the LeBron James stopper Boston needs.

Olynyk was the hero of Game 7 against Washington Monday night, and two nights later he got a quick call off the bench in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland. Even in the first quarter things were getting ugly for Boston, and Olynyk was brought in to hit shots and try to turn the tide.

Instead, defensively he got switched onto LeBron on a couple pick-and-rolls, and it wasn’t pretty.

Olynyk doesn’t have near the foot speed to stand a chance in that matchup. Olynyk’s man Tristan Thompson would come out to set the pick and force the switch, then LeBron would step back in isolation — the first time turning his back on Olynyk is a move that was almost disrespectful (see above). Then LeBron would get up a head of steam and drive right at Olynyk —and there was nothing Olynyk could do, he can’t cover LeBron. (There may be only one player in the league who can, and he is getting ankle treatments in San Antonio right now.)

LeBron only turned his back once, but when Cleveland finds something that works they go back to that well.

It was a rough night for Boston and Olynyk. Boston made the choice to stay home on Cleveland’s three-point shooters, so LeBron and the Cavs went right at the Celtics and scored inside. James finished the night with 38 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Every adjustment from Boston feels like it will just open up another aspect of Cleveland’s game. Olynyk will likely be better in Game 2 — he had two points on six shots in Game 1, it couldn’t get much worse — but in Boston the question is will that, or anything they do, be enough?

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.

Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.