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NBA Rumors for Saturday, April 30
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The Hawks starting watching film Saturday to adjust their plan of defense before Game 1 of their semifinal playoff series on Monday in Cleveland. “There are some things that we need to be better at,” Al Horford said. “There is no question that our one-one defense has to be better and our team defense we have to make sure we have our guys’ backs. When you talk about LeBron, you don’t talk about one player guarding him and leaving him on an island. He’s in the kind of player that demands a whole team pays attention to you. All of us has to be really active and make sure that he works for everything he gets.” Atlanta Journal Constitution
In three regular-season games against the Hawks, James averaged 27.3 points and 11.0 rebounds. That included a near triple-double of 29 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in an overtime win in Atlanta on April 1 and a 34-point game while playing just three quarters on April 11 in Cleveland. Atlanta Journal Constitution
“That’s LeBron James. I’m Kent Bazemore,” Bazemore said. “It’s a huge opportunity but I can’t really focus on a mano y mano matchup. I’m a team player. This is a team-oriented organization. We are not going to put a label on this guy versus that guy. We are going to go out and try to outwork them and outhustle them." Atlanta Journal Constitution
Kris Humphries will likely play a role in the Hawks’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cavaliers, according to coach Mike Budenholzer. The late-season acquisition appeared in just one of the Hawks’ six playoff games against the Celtics in the first round. The center played 8:48 in a Game 5 blowout win, entering in the fourth quarter with the Hawks leading by 29 points. Budenholzer chose to use a combination of Mike Muscala and Mike Scott to combat the smaller and quicker lineup the Celtics used in the series. Humphries had five DNP-CDs. Atlanta Journal Constitution
There were two ultimate games in the entirety of the 2015 NBA Playoffs, and there will be two on Sunday alone as the first round of this postseason draws to a close. Charlotte goes to Miami in the afternoon and then Indiana plays at Toronto in the evening, the winners of those games to quickly move on to an Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against one another on Tuesday. Minneapolis Star Tribune/AP
"You have to love what Game 7 is," said Wade, the Miami guard who led his team to a season-saving Game 6 road win over Charlotte on Friday. "At this point in my career, I play for these moments. I don't play for regular season basketball, which is all fine. But the playoffs, like our coach says, it's what makes you feel alive." Minneapolis Star Tribune/AP
The NBA acknowledged in its daily Officiating Last Two Minute Report that Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade should have been charged with a foul in the closing seconds of the Heat’s Game 6 victory Friday. Wade blocked Hornets point guard Kemba Walker’s layup attempt with 16.8 seconds left and the Hornets trailing by five. Charlotte Observer
Heat guard Josh Richardson is dealing with a left shoulder strain that has him questionable for Game 7 against the Charlotte Hornets. Richardson left late in Friday’s victory after sustaining the injury while trying to fight through a Cody Zeller screen. A day later, the NBA annouced an offensive foul should have been called on Zeller. Speaking on a conference call Saturday afternoon, Coach Erik Spoelstra said Richardson underwent an MRI and will be evaluated before Sunday's 1 p.m., tip-off at AmericanAirlines Arena. South Florida Sun Sentinel
Doc Rivers called it "bum's luck." DeAndre Jordan called it "bad luck." J.J. Redick called it "tough luck." No matter how you want to frame it, luck, once again, wasn't on the Clippers' side during the postseason. The Clippers have advanced to the playoffs the past five seasons -- a record run for a franchise that had previously finished better than .500 in consecutive seasons only once, and that was back when they were the Buffalo Braves from 1973 to 1976. But despite becoming a perennial playoff team, they have yet to make it out of the second round, and for the second time during this span, they failed to make it out of the first round Friday. ESPN LA
The shorthanded Clippers didn't go down Friday night without a fight and it looked as if Austin Rivers had been through a 12-round battle as he walked out of the locker room after the game. An inadvertent elbow to his left eye from Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu in the first quarter left him bloodied and on the floor as trainers tended to him. He came back in the second quarter, having receiving four stitches on top of his left eye and seven stitches below his eye, and scored 21 points. ESPN LA
So at shootaround in San Antonio before Game 1 of the Western Conference semis, I asked Durant. He said the jersey choice doesn't matter to him: "Russ usually controls it. Russ and our equipment manager." Presented with this information and asked why he preferred the alternates, Westbrook said, "Uh, well, if that's what Kevin said I guess I'm gonna roll with it." Oklahoman
Carmelo Anthony now is waffling on Rio. All across the Knicks’ season, Anthony put himself down as a definite for the 2016 Olympic Games, saying his left-knee condition would not be a factor in going for history. Anthony is vying to become the first US men’s Olympic basketball player to win three gold medals. But during his Gillette media tour, Anthony left doubt about whether he’s all in, saying he needed “a little more time to think about it.’’ NY Post
The commitment is a huge one. The Olympics go from Aug. 6-21 in Rio de Janeiro, but the process starts July 18 with mini-camp in Las Vegas, then an exhibition tour to Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif., Chicago and Houston. Anthony will get to play under assistant Tom Thibodeau, whom he claims would have accepted the Knicks coaching job had it been offered despite the facts the Timberwolves gave Thibodeau a salary of $8 million per year and total control as president of basketball operations. Anthony and Thibodeau have the same agent. NY Post
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