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NBA Rumors for Tuesday, May 24
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have now officially faced some adversity in these playoffs. The Toronto Raptors tied the series at two games apiece by winning 105-99 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday at Air Canada Centre. Cleveland almost overcame an 18-point deficit, but couldn't hold on down the stretch. Cleveland.com
The Toronto backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan went for 35 points and 32 points, respectively. The Cavs' LeBron James said he had a secret approach he was looking to execute. He started off guarding DeRozan, instead of J.R. Smith guarding him. DeRozan came into the game averaging 24.0 points in this series. Defense must not have been James' secret. Cleveland.com
The Cavaliers struggled mightily from long distance, shooting 13-for-41 from beyond the arc, 31.7 percent. Cleveland.com
Irving contributed 26 points and six assists. Kevin Love was 1-for-9 with four rebounds in Game 3 and did not play in the entire fourth quarter. To get him back going, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said before the game there would be a heavy dose of Love on this night. Maybe that dose was NyQuil, because Love was asleep at the wheel again. He went 4-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-7 from deep. Cleveland.com
The Raptors will go back to Cleveland with the possible return of 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas, who is not one of the Jonas Brothers but another inside deterrent to go with Biyombo. The series is only tied. If the series goes seven games, two of the three remaining games will be at The Q. Cleveland.com
Warriors forward Draymond Green has many talents, and one of them appears to be nailing Thunder center Steven Adams in a painful place during playoff games. It seemed possible that the league might suspend Draymond Green for Game 4, but their decision, revealed around 7:30pm ET Monday night, was to fine Draymond Green $25k and upgrade the foul on him to a Flagrant 2. InsideHoops
“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. InsideHoops
Green already had a Flagrant “1” foul (worth one point) entering the series with the Thunder. Add that to the upgrade to a Flagrant “2” (worth two points), and Green is one point away from an automatic one-game suspension. Under NBA rules, if a player's playoff total exceeds three points, he's suspended for the game after his point total has exceeded three. The league reviews all flagrant fouls with the right to reclassify them as a “1” or “2,” or even rescinded them altogether, as Green and the Warriors wanted. Oklahoman
One of the toughest decisions an NBA general manager has to make is whether to offer a rising star a max contract extension as they approach the end of their rookie contract. The Washington Wizards are about to face that very dilemma with shooting guard Bradley Beal. “I want to be valued the right way,” Beal told the Post’s Jorge Castillo via telephone. “I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for.” Washington Post
Industry experts project the 2016-17 salary cap will be between $92 million and $111 million, with the lower end paying Beal $23 million next season on a max deal. And that would simply be too much.
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