Morning Shootaround — April 2


VIDEO: The Daily Zap for games played April 1

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Wade: Big Three haven’t talked opt out yet | Warriors band together in OT | Howard has fluid drained from ankle | Report: Lillard nearing deal with adidas | Lakers to build new practice digs

No. 1: Wade: Big Three not decided on future plans yet– The playoffs are nearly here, which means all eyes will be on the Miami Heat to see if the squad led by stars Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh can make a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance and, perhaps, win a third straight title. Whenever Miami’s playoff run comes to an end — and likely, well before that even happens — the next topic folks will discuss is whether or not James, Bosh and Wade will opt out of their contract this summer. ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell reports that in an upcoming ESPN the Magazine article, Wade says he and the rest of the Big Three haven’t broached that topic yet:

Miami Heat teammates Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh all have opt-outs in their contracts at the end of this season, but no collective decision has been made as to whether they will all choose to test the free agent waters.

The three met before they made their free agent decision in 2010 and could have another such meeting before their June 30 opt-out deadlines, which allows them to leave in 2014, 2015 or 2016.

Wade revealed on Tuesday as part of an interview for the cover story of an upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine that the three, who have gone to three straight Finals and won the last two, plan to have that conversation at some point.

“I’m at a position where I don’t really have to worry about it,” said Wade, who also won a title for the Heat in 2006. “I’ve been with the same organization for now 11 years. We’ve won multiple championships, so it’s no reason where I need to think about that yet. I’m not at a point where we are a bad team and I need to think about the future so right now I’m really focused on just enjoying this team, enjoying our quest to try to ‘Three-peat.’ And when the season is over, and whatever happens, then I will sit down and I will sit down with Chris and I will sit down with Bron and I will sit down and make the best decision for myself and my family.”

Last week, Bosh hinted that he and LeBron would stay in Miami when he answered “True” to a question posed by ESPN’s Dan Le Batard as to whether he and James would be back with the team next year.

“When we sat down and we signed our deals and all of us made sure we had an opt out in that fourth year, that was our option, so the option is there and you would hope that someone wants to be able to use their option as a player,” Wade said:

“As players, you only have so much time and you only have so many moments where you have the ability to control your own fate, so it’s not a bad thing at all if that’s what someone is thinking. I haven’t had that conversation with Chris. I haven’t had that conversation with Bron,” he added.


VIDEO: LeBron James talks with Steve Smith about his contract future with the Heat

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No. 2: Warriors come up with big OT win — With less than 10 games left in their respective seasons, last night’s Warriors-Mavericks game in Dallas took on plenty of significance. Both Dallas and Golden State are, in their own ways, fighting for their playoff lives. And both put on a classic game last night as the Mavs built a sizeable first-half lead and seemed to be in control for a win before the Warriors came back and forced in OT. In the extra period, Steph Curry took the spotlight and delivered a game-winning jumper with :00.1 left to give Golden State some extra breathing room in the postseason chase. Our Jeff Caplan was on hand and details how Golden State stuck together all game long: 

Jermaine O’Neal will always be remembered most for his days as an Indiana Pacer. But now the 18-year veteran seeking one last shot at glory plays for the Golden State Warriors, a team that’s fought through injury and adversity, and down the pressure-packed stretch run just might be the antithesis of O’Neal’s fraying former club.Starting at center once again Tuesday night for the injured Andrew Bogut in a game magnified by playoff implications for both the Warriors and Mavericks, O’Neal ripped Dallas for 20 points, eight rebounds and one massive, game-altering blocked shot. Late in the fourth quarter, Mavs guard Monta Ellis dunked over O’Neal to give Dallas a 102-97 lead and a wave of momentum in an arena buzzing with playoff-style excitement. This time, as Ellis tried to turn the corner, O’Neal made his move. He snared Ellis’ baseline fallaway with his right hand with 11.6 seconds to go in overtime, and in one motion brought it down and fed it out to Draymond Green, who got it to Stephen Curry, who ended it with a tough, contested jumper over Jose Calderon from the left wing with 0.1 seconds showing on the clock.

As time expired, the Warriors, rallying late in the fourth and again in overtime, celebrated the 122-120 victory as furious Mavs owner Mark Cuban, befuddled that no goaltending was called on O’Neal, engaged in an animated discussion with the referees.

The margin for error in Tuesday’s game was as razor thin as the separation in the standings. A Dallas win would have moved them one-half game behind Golden State, who now head to San Antonio to grapple with the Spurs’ 18-game win streak. Instead, it’s the Mavs who slipped from seventh to out of the playoff picture in ninth, one-half game behind Memphis and Phoenix.

The Warriors, feeding off a belief that many see them as down and out, found a different interpretation of a wild 53 minutes in Big D.

“This is late in the year and I have seen teams say how easy it is to let go of the rope,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “This is a team that’s not going to do it. Contrary to anything, we’re not going to do it. This is a quality win against a team  that had everything going their way and I’m proud of these guys. They deserve the credit.”

Jackson called his bunch a “tied-together team,” and emphasized, “I don’t think you need more evidence.”

Sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who had 27 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 1:01 to go in regulation, played up the Warriors’ unbreakable mindset.

“People think we’re down and out, it just proves we have a lot of basketball in us,” Thompson said. “We never hang our heads. We might have done that in the past, but this is a changed team. When we get those guys [Lee and Bogut] back, we’ll be even better.”


VIDEO: Golden State’s players celebrate a big win in Dallas

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No. 3: Howard has fluid drained from left ankle — Much like fellow All-Star big man Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, it sounds like Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is going to do all he can to be fully healthy for the playoffs. Howard is recovering from an ankle injury and had some fluid drained from it, but remains confident he’ll be fully ready to go once the playoffs begin, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Aiming to be 100 percent by the playoffs, center Dwight Howard said Tuesday he had fluid drained from his left ankle for a second time but that he is “not worried at all” that the issue will linger through the remainder of the Rockets’ regular-season schedule.

“There was more fluid in there the next time I saw the doctor,” Howard said. “It was best I get the fluid out and just rest. I’m not worried.”

Howard, who missed four of the Rockets’ past six games, has no target date to return, but he won’t play Wednesday in Toronto.

Forward Terrence Jones sat out Tuesday with flu-like symptoms.

Coach Kevin McHale said a timetable has not been determined on point guard Pat Beverley’s return, saying the Rockets will “play it by ear.”

“(Howard) had a shot in the back of his ankle to ease some of the pain,” McHale said. “He had some swollen soft tissue in there. When that calms down, he’ll go.”

Howard missed three games last month before returning to play against Charlotte and Philadelphia. The soreness returned in the third quarter against the Sixers last Thursday. He sat out Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and is sitting out this week’s two-game trip to Brooklyn and Toronto.

“The main thing is that I am able to run and be who I am without any concerns,” Howard said. “For a while, I (felt good) in both games. But after a while, it started hurting again so I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do. (Playing in those two games) wasn’t smart.”

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No. 4: Report: Lillard nearing deal with adidas – To say that 2013-14 has been a breakout season for Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is a bit of an understatement. Lillard, who is second on the team in scoring (21.1 ppg) and leads it in both assists (5.6 apg) and 3-pointers made (204), became an All-Star this season and helped Portland surpass last season’s 33 wins weeks ago. It’s no surprise that more marketing opportunities are opening up for him and as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports, a new shoe deal is coming down the pike for the Blazers guard:

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and adidas are on the cusp of finalizing a multiyear, lucrative shoe endorsement deal barring any hiccups, a league source informed CSNNW.com.Once official, an announcement is expected in the coming days.

“We’re close,” Lillard told CSNNW.com on Tuesday. “Nothing final yet. I’m excited.”

Adidas had a 30-day exclusive window to reach an agreement with Lillard and that period was set to expire on April. 1, according to another source briefed on the situation. If a deal was not reached, conversations with Nike and other shoe rivals would have commenced as soon as this week, we’re told.

However, the talks have progressed to the point where adidas is in the driver’s seat.

Lillard, along with his agent Aaron Goodwin, were spotted on Tuesday with adidas’ officials at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., where positive back and forth dialogue took place, CSNNW.com learned.


VIDEO: Damian Lillard talks after his monster game against the Lakers on Tuesday

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No. 5: Lakers to build new practice facility — The Los Angeles Lakers have plenty of history and a future Hall of Famer in Kobe Bryant on their roster that they hope will entice some free agents to look their way this summer. But one thing that likely won’t draw tons of free agents to L.A. is the Lakers’ outdated practice facility. The Lakers, though, are working with a local company to buy five acres of land on which they’ll one day build a new practice facility, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

For all the glitz and glamour surrounding the Lakers’ franchise, their current practice facility does not exactly exude such a mystique.

The Lakers have only one basketball court and its office space is somewhat cramped. So in an effort both to expand room for their day-to-day operations and provide a mechanism to lure free agents beyond their storied championship history, the Lakers plan to build a modern practice facility in El Segundo.

The Lakers did not provide any details on the beginning or completion date. But they announced entering an agreement with CDC Mar Campus, LLC to purchase a five-acre undeveloped portion at Campus El Segundo near the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and Douglas Street. The completion of the purchase hinges on the City of El Segundo’s approval.

The Lakers currently practice at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, a building shared with the NHL’s Kings and a skating rink that is often open to the general public. The Lakers would own their future facility and would have more room to accommodate their business and basketball operations. The Lakers’ marketing, ticketing, corporate sponsorships and community relations are located in a different building about a block away. The Lakers also have no sign of their logo outside of the building proclaiming their existence.

The Clippers opened a $60 million practice facility in Playa Vista in 2008 that includes two basketball courts, spacious offices and expansive video and weight rooms. They had practice before at Spectrum, an El Segundo health club, and L.A. Southwest College.

Part of the Lakers’ thought process entails wanting to have another mechanism to attract free agents, according to a source familiar with the details.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Pacers’ Paul George is an All-Star, but he hasn’t been living up to the scoring task of late for Indiana … Suns guard Goran Dragic gets his own Slovenian music video tribute … Blazers forward Victor Claver isn’t happy with his role and playing time in Portland … Jason Kidd downplays his new Coach of the Month Award

ICYMI(s) of the Night: There were lotsa great blocks in Dallas last night, starting with Shawn Marion‘s denial of Marreese Speights and ending with Jermaine O’Neal‘s game-saving block that led to Steph Curry‘s game-winner …


VIDEO: Marion takes flight to deny Speights’ jam


VIDEO: Jermaine O’Neal gets the crucial late-game denial vs. the Mavs

37 Comments

  1. Vivek Chaudhary says:

    Well, they all took paycuts to win championships. It’s time to go and make more money. My gut feeling is that Lebron is going to lakers and Wade probably NY. Once they spread out, then it will be worth watching the game.

  2. okc2014 says:

    I think Dwight Howard will be out longer than he’s stating. Optimism id s good thing.

  3. art says:

    i dont like the heat

  4. vincent says:

    not a mavs fan anymore, but just another smh by the refs.

  5. dustydreamnz says:

    Was probably goaltending but it was close and refs are human, they make mistakes. Cuban is a loose unit.
    The Lakers could do with a new practice facility, might improve their play.

  6. boston says:

    im a fan of jermaine oneal but honestly that was a goldtend. for you people saying its not look at it closely you can tell the ball was on it ways down. i wont be suprised if later they come out sayin they made a bad call like in the nuggets memphis game so mavs getv robbed and memphis gets a break. i hate the nba now a days the players get robbed way too much with these horrible calls

  7. Butter says:

    No goaltending was called because there was no goaltending obviously so why bother saying there was goaltending. Live with it.

  8. Markus71 says:

    It was a close thing on the goaltending , I’m a GSW fan, but I think it was coming down! The K.Thompson one, I was fine with, as He was clearly hacked on the play! I hope GSW goes on a bit of a run now & move up the ladder one spot. Cause I’d be happier with a Warriors-Rockets match up first round!

  9. altonburton says:

    Big 3 go heat

  10. smh says:

    anyone else waiting for lbj to troll lmaoo

  11. No Goaltending says:

    The ball was on its way up and it was blocked in its peak, no call was the right call! curry is very clutch! im a raps fan, impartial view!

  12. J says:

    Oneal’s “block” looks like a goaltend.

  13. rukidnsports says:

    Heat and Pacers would be the 4 and 5 seeds in the West and only a game ahead of Houston. No other East team would be in the playoffs. If the Heat and Pacers played in the western conference, would they make the playoffs?

    • gamers01 says:

      last time i checked 4 and 5 seats make the playoffs!!!!

    • downtim3 says:

      ofcourse!

    • Han says:

      And not necessarily Houston will be ahead of them if it’s the case, just too many “if”. East are much weaker for sure, but both won plenty of game against West (before the meltdown for last 1 month), so in theory, if they have to face Rockets more, then more likely Rockets will add more L in their column than those 2. Again, just pointless “if’. The only thing is fact, say what you want, but East won the last 2 championship the last time I checked

  14. luucas says:

    they stole the last possesion in regulation, thompson clearly touched the ball, but the officials looked the other way

  15. djMamba says:

    That was definitely a goal tending.. either way macs should have fouled ONEAL ASAP cause he can’t make free throws and at the same time they could have reviewed the no call..

  16. cpt g says:

    I am a blazer fan, so I don’t care………could go either way, but the ball was not coming down yet. Good no call.

  17. willie says:

    mavs were robbed…

  18. willie says:

    goaltending!

  19. willie says:

    goaltending….!

  20. jay says:

    either way golden state warriors were going to win. Everyone knew it. But it was a good game though. And a tough lose for the mavs. As the gsw win with a great shot by curry.

  21. Juan Tovar says:

    Last nights game reminded me of when Carmelo hit the game winner in Dallas n mark Cuban was calling us denver thugs well he is a sore loser n he should change there name to the Dallas sore losers…..

  22. Celtics fan says:

    I hope Lillard won’t get the Adidas Curse lol.

    Miami’s Future will depend on the outcome of this off season. the deeper they make it in the playoffs, the better the chance Bron and company will stay.

  23. Yusa says:

    @John Davis
    I disagree, It wasn’t a clear goal tend if worst. close to goal tend. It was a good game more like a preview of the playoffs. Either way those 2-3 last spots in the west are interesting to with less than 10 games to play.

  24. John Davis says:

    The Mavs had the last game stolen from them against Golden State. The block on Ellis was clearly a goal tend and would have sealed the game for Dallas. Unbelieveable that the proper call was not made.

    • lakers1fan says:

      Tthe ball was clearly still on its way up, That was a great block.

    • l0l says:

      dude the gsw are so overrated.. even the refs overrate them and don’t call a goal tending lol… if we ever seen a clean goal tending, then that was the #1 goal tending of all time..

    • Mike says:

      It wouldn’t have necessarily sealed the game for Dallas, there was still 16 seconds or so left in the game. Plus it was a very debatable no-call, that was pretty close in my opinion

      • cris says:

        goal tending!refs missing calls lately in crucial game

      • gswarriors says:

        oh wow i never noticed that it was a goal-tend im a huge warriors fan and i have to admit they refs got that wrong extremely wrong and id have to say that the mavs would have won a lot less pressure trying to get a bucket when your tied then when you are behind by 2 and knowing the warriors they would have gone for the win with a three and above that mavs would have been able to set their defense and would not have had jose caledron guarding curry

    • Rhaego says:

      If that dunk in regulation was two-handed, the game is over for the Mavs anyway. They got lucky once and then when they had the chance to win it is regulation they choked. Even if the Ellis shot was called goaltending, the Curry shot takes it to another overtime, or maybe he steps back for the winning 3 anyway. The point is, you can’t blame the loss of the game on a close call by the refs. Blame the Mavs for not closing out or defending well enough when it mattered most.

    • Joe says:

      Well Curry did make the basket so Ellis’s bucket wouldn’t have sealed the game.

      • Han says:

        If it’s ruled goaltending, then they’d stop the clock allowing Mavs to setup more defense (same way for GS, they could also setup better offense). But anyway, not gonna change the result. It’s a goaltend, but ref didn’t see it. They’re human after all, so move on