Kurt Helin

Marc Gasol

PBT Extra: Injuries make Grizzlies, Trail Blazers series hard to predict


Wesley Matthews. Arron Afflalo. Nicolas Batum. C.J. McCollum. Chris Kaman. Mike Conley. Tony Allen. And that’s not even mentioning Marc Gasol, and LaMarcus Aldridge having recently missed games for injuries (but they will play).

Injuries will shape the West’s 4/5 matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers in interesting ways. Without Conley or Allen at 100 percent, can the Grizzlies defense contain Damian Lillard? Will Portland have the bodies to limit Gasol and Zach Randolph up front from Memphis?

Jenna Corrado and I discuss this, and I still predict the Grizzlies advance in the lastest PBT Extra.

Report: NBA predicts $89 million salary cap in 2016, $22 million jump. And it keeps going up.

AP Money Found

Are you ready for the wild, wild West of free agency in 2016 and 2017.

Super Bowl Media Day will seem less chaotic in comparison.

Once the NBA players’ union shot down the idea of smoothing in the massive influx of money from the new NBA television deal, we knew the cap would spike. Now we get an idea — $22 million in 2016, and it’s only going to keep climbing from there. The brilliant Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com — if you’re not following him in the run up to the draft you’re doing it wrong — has the details.

This has so many impacts. This summer, even though the cap is only going up a few million, you’ll see teams dish out some large contracts — think Khris Middleton — who might not normally get that much, but because a max contract under this cap will not look so bad in two years teams will do it. Call it a market max deal.

On the other side, players are not going to want to sign four-year deals when they see how much more cash will be on the table in two years.

Meanwhile, teams that didn’t manage their money all that well will have cap space to chase free agents. Teams hoarding cap space will be able to go after multiple max players at a time — and there are a lot of teams in that category.

Chaos. It’s going to be Chaos.

PBT Extra: Will Spurs depth, versatility prove too much for Clippers?

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers and Spurs is a series worthy of the NBA Conference finals. These are the second and third best teams in the West, two of the top five teams in all the NBA.

And they square off in the first round. But sure, the playoff format system is just fine.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss what will decide this bloodbath of a series, one that likely goes six games at least. I just think Doc Rivers the GM has tied the hands of Doc Rivers the coach too much — the Spurs versatility and depth gives Gregg Popovich more options. He’s got more pieces on the chess board to move around.

But execution will be key, and with Chris Paul at the helm of a desperate Clipper team, they could pull off the upset.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has quadruple coronary bypass surgery

NBA Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar smiles as he is interviewed after a bronze statue of himself was unveiled in Los Angeles

He is an NBA legend. A guy far too often overlooked when the discussion turns to the greatest players of all time — six titles, six MVPs, 19 All-Star appearances, and he’s scored more points than anyone in the history of the game. Off the court, he’s been a historian of the game, as well as a noted voice speaking about race issues and being a Muslim in America.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also is in the hospital right now. From a press release via the UCLA Medial Center.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this week with cardiovascular disease, and he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery on April 16. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Shemin, UCLA’s chief of cardiac surgery.

Shemin said the surgery was successful and he expects Abdul-Jabbar to make a full recovery….He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and live each day to its fullest.

He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and live each day to its fullest.

Kareem, 68, was born in New York but came West to play for the legendary John Wooden at UCLA. Then going by Lew Alcindor, his impact on the college game was so large the NCAA banned dunking for a few years because of him.

So Kareem developed the “sky hook” — the single most iconic shot in the history of the game.

He is in our thoughts, and we can’t wait to see him back around the game soon.

PBT Extra: Anthony Davis, Pelicans made playoffs. Will they get a fifth game vs. Warriors?

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans

There seem to be two universal sentiments among NBA fans and media this playoff season. First, do we really have to watch more Brooklyn Nets games?

Second, everyone outside Oklahoma City is excited to see Anthony Davis get a turn on the national stage in the playoffs. He’s been a bit of a hidden gem because the Pelicans are not on national television much at all, and they play in a small market.

Now they enter the big time, getting the top seed Golden State Warriors. No doubt the Warriors are the better team, but Jenna Corrado and I discuss how long Davis and company can last against Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the best regular season team in the Association.