Kurt Helin

during game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 23, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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Report: Chris Bosh has no plans of retiring, but don’t expect him to suit up in playoffs

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Chris Bosh isn’t going anywhere.

That’s true for both this series and his career, according to a report in the Miami Herald. Bosh is still on blood thinners (to avoid clotting that could be life threatening) and with that will not suit up for the Heat these playoffs. However, he plans to be back next season.

Bosh has indicated to associates that he has no plans to retire at this time and intends to play next season for the Heat. He is under contract for three seasons after this one, at roughly $75.5 million. Even if he retired this offseason, the Heat would not receive any salary-cap relief until summer 2017…

Bosh, eager to return, has sought opinions from multiple doctors about whether it was safe to come off the blood thinners in order to resume playing this season. On that issue, there were different opinions among the doctors consulted by Bosh, according to two sources with direct knowledge. But most of the doctors consulted believed Bosh should continue taking the blood thinners for several months, which is common treatment for the condition, even though the clot dissipated several weeks ago. That is ultimately the course Bosh took.

With $75 million on the line, none of us would walk away.

It can’t be easy for Bosh. He’s competitive, he wants to be on the court, watching the playoffs in a suit is not what he signed up for. On the other hand, his condition can be life threating if left untreated, and the treatment prevents him from playing. There is only one choice there, but it’s got to be frustrating.

Hopefully he can find a balance in future seasons that keeps one of the good guys in the game on the court and healthy.

Three Things to Watch in Playoffs Sunday: Stephen Curry is back, Houston’s defense is in trouble

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You don’t need Postmates to deliver this NBA preview to you.

1) Stephen Curry is back, Houston better find an improved defense. Fast. In the just 20 minutes Stephen Curry has played in this series, the Warriors have had an offensive rating of 119 points per 100 possessions, and they outscored the Rockets by 17.9 points per 100. It’s a small sample size, but it follows what Curry did in the two games he played against them in the regular season when he averaged 30 points a game with a 70 percent true shooting percentage. Like a lot of teams, the Rockets have no real answer for defending Curry, and his gravity drawing defenders opens up the floor for the rest of the Warriors players.

The Rockets won Game 3 in Houston on a James Harden shot with 2.7 seconds left, but this game will be very different. Expect a sharper Golden State defense, expect a better game from Draymond Green who was frustrated with his turnovers in the last contest, and expect a much more potent Warriors offense. Houston will be physical with Curry using Patrick Beverley, James Harden will get his points and attack, the Houston crowd will be loud and energized after Game 3. But if the Rockets do not find a much better defense quickly, this series will be over in five.

2) San Antonio will close out their series, can Cleveland do the same? Today will be the final game of the Memphis Grizzlies season. Credit them for playing all out just to make the playoffs despite a barrage of injuries, coach Dave Joerger has been brilliant, Matt Barnes and Tony Allen have epitomized “grit and grind,” but they are vastly overmatched, and this will be their final game.

The more interesting question is if Cleveland can close out a feisty Detroit Pistons team Sunday. You know Andre Drummond is going to get his (except in the fourth quarter, when he is forced to the bench by hack-a-Drummond), but the Pistons have had a balanced attack with Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris all playing well. It took a lot of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving for Cleveland to win Game 3 on the road, but the Pistons are not going to roll over in Game 4.

Cleveland has outscored Detroit by 34 in the second half through three games; that is where they have won. By going more with Kevin Love at center and keeping Drummond on the bench, Cleveland has found ways in the second half; the Pistons need to change that around if they plan to play another day. Cleveland’s other advantage? LeBron tends to step it up in close out games.

3) Can Atlanta get back to shutting down Isaiah Thomas and Boston’s offense? Boston shot better at home in Game 3, but not great — 8-of-19 from the midrange, 11-of-32 from three. It was enough. The threat of Jonas Jerebko (11 points, 12 rebounds) and Evan Turner (16 points) created space that was missing with Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk out injured. That opened the door for Isaiah Thomas to go off for 42. Expect the Hawks and their ruthless defense to get back to packing the paint, taking away Thomas’ driving lanes and living with the Celtics’ shooters beating them. The question becomes can the Celtics shooters make them pay? Can Boston’s defense hold the Hawks front line stars in check again and even the series? Or, maybe the better question for the Hawks offense: Can they start to hit open jumpers? It’s become a thing with this team.

If you’re going to watch one game today, make it this one. This is the best playoff series going — evenly matched teams that are chippy with one another. The Boston crowd is raucous. The Celtics have a chance to even the series and make this a best-of-three, but they will need a better game from guys not named Thomas to make that happen, another scorer needs to step up.

Watch 18-0 run that won Charlotte first playoff game in nearly 14 years

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It’s been a long, long 14-year playoff win drought in Charlotte — in part because the old team moved to New Orleans, so an expansion team was brought in — but that ended on Saturday night with a win over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of their first-round series.

It happened because of this 18-0 run in the third quarter.

The game had been fairly close until that point, but Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin helped spark the run that made this a series again — 2-1 Miami, with Game 4 Monday in Charlotte. We’ll see if Miami can squelch any runs in that game.

Report: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony agree to play in Rio Olympics

US forward LeBron James celebrates after
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Officially, LeBron James has said he hasn’t made a decision about playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, saying he would decide after the season (when he likely will have made his sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals).

Carmelo Anthony has said he’d like to go to Rio if he can make Team USA.

Now comes a report both have said they are in, via the veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey.

If true, it’s not a surprise that Anthony would say yes. He also has been fantastic in the last two Olympics, being willing to share the ball and play a team game for Mike Krzyzewski like Knicks coaches have only dreamed about.

LeBron isn’t a huge surprise, but there certainly is more question about whether he would go. He has two gold medals (and bronze from 2004) and likely will have played into June six straight seasons by the time the Cavaliers season ends. He may want rest more than another medal. On the other hand, LeBron is in the legacy building stage of his career, and no men’s USA Basketball player has been to four Olympics nor have three gold medals.

Things can change between now and April, but don’t be shocked to see good friends LeBron and ‘Melo in Rio.

Kevin Durant ejected after blow to Justin Anderson’s head, league will review

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The NBA sent out a memo to teams before the playoffs started emphasizing something they had told them before the season started: There would be a crackdown on blows to the head. Intentional or not.

Which is what happened with Kevin Durant late in the Thunder’s Game 4 win against the Mavericks.

Durant was clearly trying to block Dallas’ Justin Anderson‘s shot from behind and in doing so just fouled him across the head. I’m not sold that warranted a Flagrant 2 and an ejection — the bar to clear is “unnecessary and excessive contact” and I’m not sold on excessive — that is how the league has told the referees to rule.

The league office will review this foul and could suspend Durant for Game 5. I don’t expect that, but predicting the league’s suspension policy is a fool’s errand.