Kurt Helin

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Report: Brooklyn not going to rush rookie Caris LeVert into action, want foot injury to heal

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Caris LeVert shows promise, which is why the Nets traded to select him at No. 20 in last June’s draft (he was part of the Thaddeus Young deal with Indiana). LeVert is a 6’7″ two guard who can shoot the rock — 45 percent from three at Michigan last season — who has the potential to be someone who can create shots off the bounce for himself and others.

He’s also had foot issues that have ended each of the last two seasons early.

The Nets are going to take their time bringing the rookie along slowly, reports Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Brooklyn is going to start Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the two, with Joe Harris backing him up. They are in no rush — it’s not like LeVert is going to vault this team into the playoffs — the Nets can bring him along slowly. See if new coach Kenny Atkinson can develop him.

But they can’t find that out until they make sure LeVert is healthy and this foot issue us not chronic. Sounds like the Nets will wisely take it slow.

Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, other players react to the shooting death of Terence Crutcher


Another unarmed black man has been shot and killed by white police officers.

This time, Terence Crutcher had his hands up when police arrived at his stalled out car on the highway near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dashcam and helicopter footage show a man with his hands in the air, but officer Betty Shelby chose to use deadly force and go for a kill shot (while another used a taser at the same time). Then rather than administer first aid Crutcher bled out in the street while being largely ignored.

The video and story have gone viral on social media and a number of NBA players have responded including Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul.

#enoughisenough from @realjohngray – A terrorist in New Jersey bombs New York has a shoot out with cops and gets grazed with a bullet. And safely arrested. A man with car trouble in Tulsa gets TAZED then shot. And then they stand there. Don't offer him aid, comfort, nothing. No gun. No criminal activity. And I've heard people say "he should have complied". As if that has ANYTHING TO DO WITH KILLING AN UNARMED MAN. Stop making excuses. His color got him killed. If that was a well dressed non-black female, do you think the helicopter pilot would have said "she looks like a bad person" in the same manner they said Terrance Crutcher "looks like a bad person"? Of course not. His color was the only thing that made him bad. From 500 feet in the air. I'm tired man. And I'm scared. Cuz I'm big and my skin is brown. Lord don't let my car break down, don't let me be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't let me reach for my phone or do anything threatening. Jesus help THIS NATION.

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#enoughisenough 🙏🏾

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Luke Walton gives reason Brandon Ingram will not start for Lakers


The NBA season is a marathon. One that wears down even the best-conditioned athletes. Nobody is fully healthy, nobody is fully rested and ready to go when the playoffs start. It’s all a matter of degrees.

Rookies can never be fully prepared for the physical grind.

Which is the main reason Lakers coach Luke Walton wants Brandon Ingram to come off the bench, he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

For Ingram, Walton anticipated “that the biggest challenge for him will be the physical abuse of an NBA season.” The reasons have little to do with Ingram’s thin frame that is currently listed at 6-foot-9 and 190 pounds. Walton expressed more concern how the 19-year-old Ingram would adapt to the NBA’s 82-game schedule after playing 36 games during his lone season at Duke.

“No player has ever been through that until you get to the NBA,” Walton said. “It’s exhausting until your body gets used to it and adjusts to it. It takes time. The biggest challenge for him will be figuring out the best way to manage that, still train and take care of himself. The on-court stuff and his play will be just fine. It’ll be the challenge of the 82 game season he might struggle with.”

That’s some spin from Walton. Yes, Ingram would struggle with the 82-game season regardless of his build and conditioning. However, his slight build is only going to exacerbate that challenge for his first NBA season. Or two.

Expect Ingram’s role and confidence to grow as the season goes on. Expect his chemistry with D'Angelo Russell and the rest of the young Laker core to improve over the course of the season. Hopefully, Ingram will soak up lessons watching Luol Deng prepare physically and mentally.

Bringing Ingram off the bench to start is a smart move, but the sooner his play demands he starts the better.

Judge rules Derrick Rose accuser must reveal her name publicly


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled a woman accusing NBA star Derrick Rose of rape cannot remain anonymous at her upcoming civil trial.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled Tuesday.

The woman has only been identified in documents as Jane Doe. The Associated Press typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.

The 30-year-old woman says the former MVP and two of his friends raped her in 2013 while she was incapacitated from drinking. Rose denies her claims and contends he had consensual sex with the woman.

Rose’s lawyer argued his client would be harmed if the woman’s identity wasn’t revealed, and he cited interviews and a press conference she conducted last week as a reason to use her real name.

Here are the Las Vegas over/under lines for every NBA team this season

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Consider this the conventional wisdom of where your team will be at this season.

Unless you like to place a wager now and again, then look at this as a chance to make a few bucks because the Las Vegas books and the public underestimate/overestimate your team.

The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas put out its under/over win totals for the NBA this season. Below, we’ll get into where I think you might be able to make a few bucks, but first, here are the numbers:

Atlanta Hawks 43.5
Boston Celtics 51.5
Brooklyn Nets 20.5
Charlotte Hornets 39.5
Chicago Bulls 38.5
Cleveland Cavaliers 56.5
Dallas Mavericks 39.5
Denver Nuggets 34.5
Detroit Pistons 45.5
Golden State Warriors 66.5
Houston Rockets 41.5
Indiana Pacers 43.5
Los Angeles Clippers 53.5
Los Angeles Lakers 24.5
Memphis Grizzlies 43.5
Miami Heat 36.5
Milwaukee Bucks 39.5
Minnesota Timberwolves 41.5
New Orleans Pelicans 36.5
New York Knicks 38.5
Oklahoma City Thunder 45.5
Orlando Magic 36.5
Philadelphia 76ers 27.5
Phoenix Suns 26.5
Portland Trail Blazers 46.5
Sacramento Kings 32.5
San Antonio Spurs 56.5
Toronto Raptors 49.5
Utah Jazz 47.5
Washington Wizards 42.5

• Two teams where I think the number is low and you could win money betting the over: Brooklyn and Indiana. The Nets won 21 games last season and they made a big upgrade at the point with Jeremy Lin, plus Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is both a year older and healthy. The Nets aren’t going to be good, but I think they can win 25-27 games or so in a not-so-stacked East. As for Indiana, I’m high I them and think they can will win in the high 40s at least, easily getting past the 43.5 out there. Denver at 34.5 may be a little low as well, if you think they can come together and will not trade their veterans. If you think Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan can repeat their career years, a few bucks on the Raptors would be smart (but I wouldn’t do it).

• It’s tempting to say the Warriors are too low at 66.5, but stay away from that bet. This is a team that is going to start relatively slowly as they integrate Kevin Durant into an altered roster, plus they are not going to make the same push for the record they did a year ago. I think they will be close to that 66 win number.

• The one I might bet under is Portland. They will still be a playoff team, but they won 44 games last season and are predicted at 46.5 this season — it would require Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to stay fairly healthy and for Evan Turner to be good. I’m not sold on the latter.