Arron Afflalo says all the right things about joining Magic

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It’s going to be a long year for Arron Afflalo and his Orlando Magic teammates. They are going rack up a lot of losses and they have to know it going in — management’s plan is for them to suck so they will have a higher draft pick.

But you might want to pick Afflalo up on your fantasy team, because he will be one of the leaders of this team and he will be putting up career best numbers (he averaged 15.2 points per game last year). Just watch.

At his introductory press conference Thursday Afflalo said all the right things about joining the Magic after he was shipped out of Denver in the Dwight Howard trade. He talked about being a veteran leader on a young team. Via NBA.com.

“Change always brings mystery,” Afflalo said. “It always brings doubt. But on the positive side it brings a lot of opportunity…It’s a good time to really come together and build something special.”

“The idea is to kind of set the tone a little bit for what it means to have the right approach to the game,” Afflalo said. “Working hard. I kind of take pride in having my career mirror that type of an example. On how to come from the bottom to the top a little bit and continue to push forward.”

Afflalo is a great guy to bring in as a leader. A guy who can defend (although that slipped last season for him as it seemed to do for all the Nuggets) and put up points with outside shooting. He and Jameer Nelson are going to bear the brunt of the scoring and leadership burden. And there will be more shakeups to that roster on the way.

But Afflalo looked and sounded like a veteran leader on Thursday. We’ll see how that carries over to the court.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate (video)

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.

NBA promotes Bulls’ Mexico game with video of their bus bottoming out

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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The Bulls will play the Magic in Mexico City tomorrow.

Even amid all Chicago’s problems, that’s still a marquee game for the NBA as it expands its reach globally. So, the league is showcasing Chicago’s trip.

With unintentional hilarity.

NBA:

That sound eight seconds in is Chicago’s season.