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NBA Rumors for Tuesday, May 14
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Those close to Paul Pierce believe he will not return to the Boston Celtics next season, according to CSNNE sideline reporter Greg Dickerson – and Pierce might think his days in green are done, as well. "I don't think they will (bring Pierce back)," Dickerson said Sunday on CSNNE. "And I know that the company that Paul Pierce hangs around in, they do not believe – and I don't think Paul Pierce believes – that he is going to be brought back next year at $15 million. I know for a fact that people around Paul Pierce have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that he's played his final game in a Boston Celtics uniform. Again, Paul wants to stay – obviously for $15 million, but he wants to finish his career in a Celtics uniform." Mass Live
The lone year remaining on Pierce's contract can be bought out for $5 million. Asked whether he believes the Celtics will trade Pierce or buy him out, Dickerson said: "One way or the other. Probably a buyout. More than likely a buyout." If Pierce does not return, Kevin Garnett has indicated he won't want to either. Mass Live
The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, the unanimous selection for the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, headlines the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today. Lillard was the lone unanimous First Team selection (58 points, 29 First Team votes), while the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis totaled 57 points each, including 28 First Team votes. Rounding out the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team are Dion Waiters of the Cleveland Cavaliers (50 points, 21 First Team) and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors (47 points, 18 First Team). InsideHoops.com
The Knicks may be without Iman Shumpert for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Tuesday night due to a knee injury he suffered in Saturday's Game 3 loss to Indiana.
Mike Woodson said the Knicks were flying in their orthopedic surgeon from New York to examine Shumpert's surgically repaired left knee. Shumpert, who wasn't at shootaround, has soreness and swelling in the knee from a couple of awkward falls, including one where his leg bent backward.
"There's always concern," Woodson said. "He took a bad spill and he hasn't been able to do nothing the last two days, so sure there's concern." NY Newsday
Even if Shumpert plays in Game 4 of this series, which Indiana leads 2-1, it sounds as if he will be limited or won't be able to play much. Either way, it's a major cause for distress for the Knicks, who face a must-win Tuesday night. Shumpert is their best defender, and has played well in the playoffs. NY Newsday
Tony Parker typically has little to say about injuries, ascribing to the Karl Malone philosophy that if you can suit up, you’re healthy. He was only slightly more forthcoming after shootaround on Tuesday in regards to his recent blemish, a bruised left calf suffered late in the Spurs’ victory in Game 3. While it didn’t appear to impact his mobility in Game 4 — not unlike the housewife in that Kevin Durant commercial, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich both said he looked fine to them — Parker said the injury limited his lift on jump shots. San Antonio Express-News Blog
He shot 6 for 17, playing a leading role in one of the worst collective shooting performances in franchise history. As a result, he and head trainer Will Sevening have been spending plenty of time together over the past two days. “We’ll see how I feel tonight,” Parker said. “I was doing treatment. I came early and did some treatment. That’s all I can do, is do treatment. Especially in the fourth quarter, I missed some easy (shots). It was short a little bit. Didn’t have the same lift. But nobody cares. We lost the game, and now we have to focus on Game 5. That’s all we have to care about.” San Antonio Express-News Blog
Kevin Durant knew full well what he had in sidekick Russell Westbrook.
Still, that hasn't stopped Westbrook's absence from making Durant's heart grow fonder for his All-Star point guard.
Durant on Monday was asked what he's learned about himself while playing without the injured Westbrook.
“That we need him,” Durant said. “We miss him.”
Durant entered Game 4 against Memphis averaging 34 points, 10.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.9 blocked shots in seven games without Westbrook, who recently underwent season-ending knee surgery. But the Thunder was 3-4 in those games. Oklahoman
For the second straight season, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced Monday.
Ibaka led the NBA with 3.03 blocks per game this season. With 242 total blocked shots, Ibaka joined Dikembe Mutombo (1994-98) as the only player to lead the league in blocked shots for three straight seasons.
The Thunder averaged a league-best 7.61 blocks this season, the second straight season the team led the league. Oklahoman
Memo to Bulls: Wednesday's Game 5 tips at 6 p.m. Central. "We have a lot left in the tank," Joakim Noah said. After a season of so much adversity and injury, players unanimously rejected the fatigue angle, even if their performance at both ends suggested otherwise. "They put a lot of pressure on us with their defense and we didn't execute very well," Noah said. "It's tough. We're disappointed with the way we played, especially in a big game. There's no turning back. We just have to keep fighting." Chicago Tribune
After such a season of thrills, Nate Robinson's likely final home game as a Bull featured him missing all 12 shots with four turnovers. He is the just third player in the last 26 years to miss all 12 or more shots in a playoff game. "Nate's a tough guy," Thibodeau said. "He'll bounce back." The Bulls came out slower than rush hour on the Kennedy. They missed 11 of their first 12 shots with three turnovers and trailed 11-2 before Thibodeau could scream himself hoarse. Robinson missed six shots in the first quarter alone, and he and Marco Belinelli set the tone for the Bulls' dreadful 3-point shooting by missing all eight attempts early. They finished 2-for-17 from beyond the arc. Chicago Tribune
Mike Conley Sr. had one demand of the Grizzlies when Wallace called to negotiate an extension for his son in the fall of 2010. "The first thing I told them when we began negotiating was that I didn't want to go further with these discussions unless Mike was their guy," Conley Sr. said at the time. "They said he's their guy." Over his first three seasons in Memphis, Conley averaged 10.9 points, 4.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. How could the team know he was "their guy"? ESPN.com
The deal was panned publicly and privately as an act of desperation by a small-market franchise scared to lose a former lottery pick. Wallace took most of the flack, but Conley's life was pretty miserable then, too. "I did everything I could to block it out," Conley said. "I turned off my computer, my phone, I think Twitter at the time was just coming out. It was really tough. I was getting it, trust me." ESPN.com
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