Playing The Point June 12, 2017

By Jay Colby,

1. Cavs & Warriors Game 5 Preview – This game will be the turning point of the series with Cleveland playing with house money already down 3-1. The Warriors enter game 5 relaxed, but must have a win or go home mentality if they don’t want to go back to Cleveland. Therefore, Game 5 will be an important Game in deciding who will win this year’s NBA Title. The Cavs are trying to make history and be the first team in NBA Finals history to comeback from a 3-0 deficit. However, this wouldn’t be the first time the Cavs make history, last year finals coming back from a 3-1 deficit to dethrone the Warriors.

2. Cavs stay alive with a 137-116 victory – The Cavaliers had their backup against the wall going into Game 4, but prevailed. Lead by Lebron James triple double and Kyrie Irving 40 points to give Cleveland a breath of hope. Which many NBA fans did not have going into Game 4 with the expectations of a Warriors sweep inevitable.

3. Tony Parker expects to return better than ever in 2018 – San Antonio Spurs starting point guard Tony Parker is currently in a rehab program following his recent surgery to repair his left quadriceps tendon injured in the playoffs. Despite the injury Parker is still confident he can play at a high level when he comes back in 2018. “I will play my best basketball when I return in January,” Parker said, according to Eurohoops.net. Parker is sidelined for six to eight months and will not return until around the 2018 All-Star Game in February. Parker, 35, averaged 15.9 points, 3.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds before the injury.

4. Pacers’ C.J. Miles may be on the move – According to reports Indiana Pacers swingman C.J. Miles will decline his 2017-18 player option worth $4.8 million. Therefore, he will join the free-agent market on July 1. Miles should draw interest from several teams around the NBA and one is likely coming from a Central Division rival Detroit Pistons. Miles could be fit with the Pistons who need to improve their ability to make long-range shots as they made just 33 percent of them from behind the 3-point line this season, which ranked 28th in the NBA. Miles made a career-high 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point range.

5. Bucks to meet with five GM candidates – The Milwaukee Bucks will interview candidates for their general manager position in the coming weeks and currently five are expected to meet with the team. According to reports via ESPN the Bucks will interview Memphis Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, Denver Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas, Atlanta Hawks special adviser to ownership Wes Wilcox and Indiana Pacers vice president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie.

6. Portland Trail Blazers may trade pick to dump salary – After having a disappointing season and getting swept in the 1st round of the playoffs by the Warriors. The Trail Blazers have a roster that includes several high-dollar contracts and another on the way when center Jusuf Nurkic signs his extension. Thus, why Portland is looking to reduce the 2018 tax liability by offering a 2017 draft pick to a team willing to take on one of Portland’s contracts, according to the RealGM.com.

7. Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari to opt for free agency – Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari will decline his 2017-18 player option worth $16.1 million, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Back in April, Gallinari said that he was planning to join the 2017 free-agent market and didn’t rule out re-signing with the Nuggets. When free agency begins on July 1, Gallinari’s agent might receive calls from Boston, Brooklyn, Minnesota, New Orleans, Orlando and Philadelphia.

8. Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon opts for free agency – San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon will decline his 2017-18 player option worth $3.02 million, according to the San Antonio Express-News and Shams Charania of The Vertical. Dedmom, played in 76 regular-season games which included 37 starts, and averaged 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Dedmom will consider re-signing with San Antonio but is likely to leave if a better offer comes his way.

9. Brook Lopez remains ‘all in’ with Nets – Although Brooke Lopez was rumored to be traded before the trading deadline. The Nets decided to hang onto to the big man. Lopez has always maintained his preference to stay with the Nets, and that stance remains in place thanks to the improved culture under general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson. Lopez, 29, was a standout for the Nets in 2016-17 as he averaged 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks.

10. Hawks’ Dennis Schroder aims to lead Germany – Atlanta Hawks starting point guard Dennis Schroder will get some game action before training camp as a member of the German national team during EuroBasket 2017, which will run from Aug. 31 to Sep. 17. Schroder was criticized for his play and questionable attitude during EuroBasket 2015 when Germany was eliminated in the group-play phase of the tournament, despite averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds. Schroder believes he can be a leader on the team in 2017.

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