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Cavaliers’ legend Austin Carr got in some first pitch practice… and he needed it

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Tuesday the Cleveland Indians have their home opener against the Chicago White Sox, the start of an optimistic season for the franchise under Terry Francona.

To open the season, the Indians will have Cavaliers legend — and current team color commenter — Austin Carr throw out the first pitch.

Trying to avoid ending up on a blooper reel, he went out to get some practice… turns out that was a wise decision.

He needs a little work on his release point.

Good luck on Tuesday Austin. We’ll all be watching.

(Hat tip CBSSports.com and 24/7Sports)

Kevin Durant is back, but Stephen Curry out as Golden State faces Pelicans Saturday

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Golden State formally has nothing to play for, they have locked up the best record in the NBA for the season. All that’s left is getting Kevin Durant back in the flow — shake off the rust, get in a little conditioning.

Durant will be back Saturday night against the Pelicans.

But he will not be working out any ball-handling kinks with Stephen Curry, the team announced.

Remember that the Warriors have more than just their remaining three regular season games to get Durant fully integrated again. Their first round series will almost certainly be against the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that without Jusuf Nurkic is inconsistent and plays little defense. The Warriors will win that series in four or five games and have that stretch to get right before things get genuinely serious in the second round.

Want to watch highlights from Russell Westbrook’s season? Of course you do.

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We can debate whether he is the MVP or not, but nobody is questioning what a monster season Russell Westbrook has had. He will be the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the season. That’s insane.

Take a break from watching guys play it safe on “amen corner” and enjoy more than seven minutes of the best of Westbrook from this season. The man has been a relentless beast.

 

It’s official: Celtics have No. 1 spot in draft lottery. Thank you Nets.

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The Boston Celtics, a 50-win team who will finish in the top two spots in the East, will have the best odds of the top pick in the NBA Draft this June.

With unexpected Suns win over the Thunder on Friday night, it became assured that the Brooklyn Nets will have the worst record in the NBA. Thanks to the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade three years ago — when Nets ownership told GM Billy King to put together a team that could contend immediately, at any cost — the Celtics have the right to swap picks with the Nets this season.

That means the Celtics will have a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick in the coming draft, and a 64.2 percent chance of a top three pick (and they can’t be outside the top four). So yes, one of the deepest rosters in the league is about to get even deeper.

Things get interesting if the Celtics land one of the top two picks, which are expected to be point guards Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. The Celtics have All-Star Isaiah Thomas on the roster, he’s a fan favorite on a very affordable contract ($6.5 million this season) who will be a free agent in 2018. How much are the Celtics willing to pay Thomas in a year if they have already drafted the point guard of the future? Should the Celtics use their cap space to extend Thomas’ contract this summer, at ideally less than max money, then use him as trade bait if Fultz/Ball show they are ready to take over the team? Thomas will be 29 next summer as a free agent, how many years do the Celtics want to extend him at that age (the history of undersized point guards is that when their skills start to fall of the drop is fast and steep)?

By the way, the Celtics also have the Nets pick next year. Just another piece of trade bait.

Mavericks to have former Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo in uniform, on bench Tuesday

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Tony Romo, the loved and hated former Cowboys quarterback headed to the broadcast booth next season, is going to be on the Mavericks’ bench Tuesday night as an honorary team member. In uniform and the whole thing, save for actually playing in a game.

Marc Stein of ESPN broke the story.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Mavericks intend to have Romo on the bench and in uniform for their final regular-season home date against the Denver Nuggets as a means of paying tribute to the longtime former Cowboy.

With starting point guard Seth Curry ailing in recent days and officially out for the rest of the season because of a shoulder ailment, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said on multiple occasions over the past week that the club would be looking to add “a pass-first point guard” before playing out the season’s final five days….

The Mavericks plan to treat him like an actual player on the roster for the day, sources said, even though Romo won’t actually play in the game. He last played competitive basketball in high school in Wisconsin.

It would be easy to joke about how Romo will be injured in warmups before getting the chance to be honored by the Mavericks, but we’re above that… okay, apparently not. Although we are curious to know if reserve forward Nicolas Brussino has to give up the No. 9 for the night to Romo.

Romo was a regular at Mavericks games and has a strong relationship with owner Mark Cuban, which certainly helps facilitate these kinds of things.

It’s a nice gesture for a quarterback who had a roller coaster of a career in Dallas, but who lost his starting job last season.