HoopsHype rumors

April 29, 2012 | 06:47 PM ET Update

As he walked out of the Pistons' locker room Thursday night following the season-ending victory over the 76ers, Prince first spoke of the need for an inside presence. Then, he offered an interesting observation. "Brandon Knight is our starting point guard and will continue to be, but hopefully we can get a veteran point guard to kind of mentor him a little bit," Prince said. "There can be times that me and Ben Wallace can mentor and help him out and whatnot, but I think if you have a point guard that's been through the wars, he can help him out a little bit better than we can." Detroit Free Press

Zach Randolph will start at power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round Game 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. "It's something I'm used to," Randolph said of being in the starting lineup. "I'm close to (100 percent). I'm still getting my feel, getting my timing, but I'm close." He missed 38 games in the regular season after tearing his medial collateral ligament (MCL) on New Years Day. ESPN.com

In the Lakers’ first playoff game ever at 13-year-old Staples Center without Phil Jackson as their coach, they held the Denver Nuggets to 35.6 percent field-goal shooting and easily took Game 1, 103-88. They never trailed and opened up a 19-point lead in the third quarter with Andrew Bynum blocking nine shots in his first postseason appearance since becoming an NBA All-Star this season.That topped the Lakers’ playoff record of nine held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since 1977 and matched the NBA playoff record held by Mark Eaton and Hakeem Olajuwon. Bynum added 10 points and 13 rebounds to post the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double since Magic Johnson’s in the 1991 NBA Finals. Bynum, 24, had never had a triple-double in his seven-year NBA career. Pau Gasol’s passing was as helpful as the Lakers imagined against a Denver defense overloading wherever the ball stopped, and Gasol finished with eight assists, eight rebounds and 13 points. Bryant put on a fourth-quarter surge to finish with 31 points, but he shot just 11 of 24 from the field. Orange County Register

Danny Granger traveled while trying to get off a three-pointer near the end of last night’s Orlando – Indiana game. The Magic held on. Chris Duhon, who was watching from the bench celebrated with a travel dance. I propose Duhon perform this dance whenever an opponent travels. He would get to do it once a month. Because they never call traveling the NBA. Get it? The Big Lead

The issue now for Iman Shumpert is how much of next season will be lost. The Knicks suffered a crushing loss last night when it was revealed Shumpert, their prized rookie swingman, tore his left ACL and lateral meniscus in yesterday’s disastrous 100-67 Meltdown in Miami. The team estimates Shumpert will be out between six and eight months, which is a potentially major problem for next year. Missing six months would take Shumpert out through October, and eight would take him out through December. The season typically opens in late October or early November, so whether Shumpert can make it back for the start of the season is unknown. By the Knicks’ timetable, there’s a chance he could miss the season’s first couple months, which would be devastating. New York Post

In the wake of Saturday's 100-67 Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat—an embarrassment that's exacerbated by the loss of Iman Shumpert to a torn ACL—point guard Jeremy Lin told reporters that he believes there's a chance he can return from his April 2nd knee surgery before the end of this first-round series Lin, who tore a meniscus in his left knee in late March, took part in one-on-one drills before Saturday's game. But while he felt good at the time, Lin admitted to some soreness afterward. "I was more encouraged by what I did yesterday and less encouraged by how I felt today," he told reporters, as quoted by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Newark Star-Ledger

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin broke his silence and offered a ray of hope today. Lin said at today’s Knicks practice he still hopes he can come back and rejoin the desperate team during their Miami first-round series as he's picked up the pace on his rehab. Lin has not ruled out a return Sunday. Lin participated in much of practice today at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Knicks need him moreso now with the series-ending knee injury to guard Iman Shumpert and starting point guard Baron Davis developing a bad back during yesterday’s game. They trail the series 1-0 after losing by 33 points yesterday and things don’t seem on the way up. New York Post

Coach Doc Rivers has set Ray Allen's availability for the Celtics game against the Atlanta Hawks Sunday night at "50-50." Allen, who will have ankle surgery in the off-season, participated in the team's morning shootaround at Georgia Tech University. "It’s kind of hard, it’s the playoffs," Allen said. "I’ve got to be totally ready. As much as I know I can help the team I don’t want to detract away from the team." Boston Globe

Also, Rose's surgery likely will be postponed until the swelling in the injury subsides. That process typically takes two to four weeks, according to someone familiar with the injury. The Bulls, who lead the Philadelphia 76ers 1-0 in their best-of-seven, first-round series, return to the practice court at 1 p.m. Sunday. They will be without their best player and closer for the remainder of their playoff run. "We have experience to reach back," Carlos Boozer said. "It’s tough to think that right now when it’s so fresh. But as (coach Tom Thibodeau) likes to say, we have more than enough to win with." Chicago Tribune

Despite losing superstar point guard Derrick Rose for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau isn't about to let his team feel sorry for itself now. "I think we all feel awful for him," Thibodeau said after Sunday's practice. "Derrick's not only a great player, he's a great teammate, he's a great person, but it's not a death sentence. It's not a death sentence for him, it's not a death sentence for our team. He's going to come back. He'll come back better than ever. It's just the way it is and we've got to deal with." ESPN.com

Spurs reserve center Tiago Splitter will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the wrist sprain he suffered early in the Spurs’ 106-91 victory over Utah in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs. Splitter, who left the AT&T Center after Sunday’s game, said he injured the wrist while bracing his fall after tumbling early in the first quarter. He continued to play after the fall, scoring four points with one rebound in seven minutes of first-half action, but did not rejoin the team on the bench to start the second half. San Antonio Express-News

April 29, 2012 | 08:22 AM ET Update

Just three days after saying the roster of Olympic team finalists would not be expanded after the recent rash of injuries to key players, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told SI.com that he is reconsidering his stance after the Bulls point guard tore his ACL in Game 1 of their series against the Sixers. "What I said [previously] was that we didn't plan to do any additions, but we had to continue to monitor the injury situation," Colangelo said. "Obviously this is a big loss. [Point guard] seems to be, at this point, still a pretty strong position. But at this stage, quite honestly, I think all bets are off." SI.com

Although the deadline for teams to set rosters with the Olympic Committee isn't until June 18, Colangelo said Team USA had planned to announce its final 12-man roster on June 1. Rose's injury, however, has drastically changed that plan. "I think now we're going to wait until the very last moment to pick the team, because it seems ridiculous with a lot of playoff games to play that we would select a team," he said. "We might as well keep the options open as long as we can, and continue to monitor [the situation]. "Our staffs (including coach Mike Krzyzewski) are going to be meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Vegas, and we're going to be talking about all of that. But I'm certain that that's going to be the call." SI.com

With $21 million over three years remaining on his deal, Childress will remain a candidate after averaging 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 34 appearances this season. "No question," Childress said of the amnesty possibility. "I'm not worried about it. I really have to focus on Josh and not worry about things that are out of my control." Arizona Republic

There's little doubt the Cavs will make a qualifying offer to Gee and try to sign him to a multiyear contract. I've gotten no indication from Gee he wants to play elsewhere, so it's just a matter of striking a deal. I'll be interested to see how much the Cavs offer him. He's a starter right now on a bad team, but ultimately he might return to the bench where he was so effective to begin the season. The Cavs love his energy, athleticism and attitude. As for Gibson, about half of his $4.8 million for next season is guaranteed. My guess is he will be back with the team, at least to start the season. But Gibson needs to find a way to remain healthy and rediscover his jump shot. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Assistant General Manager Dave Twardzik told Buamann “there is a chance” Orlando could have him on the roster next season. The Magic believe Vazquez signed a one-year deal this year with plans of potentially coming over after the lockout. However, a source has informed ESPN Florida Vazquez is likely simply using the threat of playing in the NBA to get another new deal in Spain. Vazquez, Orlando’s first round draft pick back in 2005, currently plays for FC Barcelona Regal and is averaging 4.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. ESPN.com

Some of them came when the Thunder ran defenders at him from the blind side. Some of them, coach Rick Carlisle said, came when Nowitzki was getting grabbed or held. Carlisle, who said Nowitzki is the hardest player in the league to guard because of his ability to make 3-pointers and still drive to the basket, had a harsh commentary on the Oklahoma City defense after the 99-98 loss. "People grab and hold him all the time,'' he said. "All the time. He shows incredible restraint in those areas. Oklahoma City is being physical.'' Dallas Morning News

Kyle Korver: Right about now, the disbelief has faded, anger has subsided and were all wondering... why? Why. Why. Why Derrick, again? Derrick is more than an MVP to our team. He's our friend, our brother he inspires us to be the very best we can be, just by who he is and how hard he plays. That he has spent so much time this year hurt, was frustrating. Now that he is out for the rest of the season, well its just plain sad. No one is to blame; what happened, did. We send him our prayers, our love, our good wishes that he heals and comes back stronger, better, healthier than ever before. Bulls fans. Now is not the time to ask why or to get bitter. Now is the time to refocus and ask "How are we going to win this Championship?" We have the best Team in the league. This season has proven, we are a TEAM and it has taken us ALL to have the best record. Lets focus on whats ahead. This is an incredible opportunity for All of Us to step up and make it happen. We're all gonna have to work harder and smarter. We are all gonna have to believe in ourselves. That we are more than the sum of our parts. We need YOU to believe with Us. We need You to believe for Us. We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time. Until its over. That's how we're gonna do it. Facebook.com

During the final seconds of Orlando's 81-77 Game 1 victory over Indiana, Pacers forward Danny Granger lined up to attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Before he gathered to shoot, he happened to shuffle his feet. An official took note and whistled Granger for the ultra-rare late-game travelling violation. Duhon, meanwhile, couldn't control his glee and was caught on camera celebrating the violation by rotating his hands over each other, mimicking the official hand signal for travelling, and bouncing up and down while bending at the knees. It was immediately dubbed the "travel dance" on Twitter. CBSSports.com

Danny Granger had a brutal fourth quarter. His line the final quarter was: 0 for 3, zero points, three rebounds and two turnovers. He also clanked two free throws late. “Real tough,” Granger said. “I can’t remember the last time I missed two free throws. I closed out a lot of games in my career. It happens.” Sulia

Between their happiness over proving pessimistic pundits wrong by making the playoffs and their desensitization to being overlooked, the Jazz could care less if nobody thinks they'll advance past the Spurs — or even make a series out of it. "We wasn't even picked to get into the playoffs. I would say we are a big-time underdog," Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. "We wasn't picked to be in the playoffs, (but) we're here. Not picked to win a game, (and) we're going to see what happens." Deseret News

Del Negro acknowleged that Paul's minutes could be limited. "I don't know yet, to be honest with you," Del Negro said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow going through shoot around and then we'll talk to Jason [Powell] our trainer. I'm sure he'll be limited a little bit. We want to try to be smart about it, but obviously we need him to play. So we'll see how he feels, and we'll go off that." FoxSportsWest.com

Griffin said he'll be ready. "It's not just another game. Obviously the playoffs are kind of another level, but I can't see myself being extremely nervous for it. I'm just excited for it," Griffin said. Griffin and Paul said they're well aware that the Clippers are considered underdogs in the postseason, many expecting them to collapse early in the first round. "If they went by popular vote, we'd have a tough chance," Paul said. FoxSportsWest.com

So other than the devastating injuries to the Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Knicks' Iman Shumpert, the only thing anyone will remember about Day 1 of the 2012 playoffs was Chandler putting his shoulder into LeBron James' back on a blind pick, resulting in a flagrant foul-penalty one. "I thought it was a legal pick, honestly," Chandler said. "He didn't see me coming. I tried to set a pick for my guard to be able to come off and exploit it. I got a flagrant for it, but I didn't think it was illegal at all." CBSSports.com

Speaking of players, I wanted to get your thoughts on Kenneth Faried. Steve Hess: Well Kenneth, was one of our top guys in the weight room. I mean the guy is pretty much in there every single day. He buys in to what we are doing. He does a ton of extra work with the coaches as well. He is the only guy, and I can honestly say this, that in my entire 15-year career has changed the energy of my stretches. He’s done it just with his positive energy. It’s the most amazing thing I have ever seen. You got to understand, that I am loud, I’m obnoxious and that annoys some players. Kenneth is the only player that has absolutely and unequivocally has changed the warm-ups with his energy. I have never ever experienced that before. Dime

A reporter mentioned Bryant's 43% mark from the field, his lowest since 1997-98, his second year in the NBA. Bryant sarcastically blamed it on "old age," while Lakers Coach Mike Brown thoughtfully attributed the lockout-compressed season, Bryant's 38.3 minutes a game and the system's fluctuating offense. But Bryant refused to use those excuses, reiterating that his 16th year in the NBA at age 33 reveals that "I'm just old." So much so that when asked if the Lakers can't win an NBA championship because he's old, Bryant simply said, "of course." Los Angeles Times

Rose was grimacing lying on his back with his hand stroking his left knee. Trainer Fred Tedeschi ran to Rose along with Bulls physician Dr. Brian Cole, who felt around Rose’s knee. Rose was helped up by Tedeschi and assistant Jeff Tanaka and escorted to the locker room. Rose walked off with help but weight put on his feet, so, initially, it looked hopeful, if also of major concern. “We had the game already won,” lamented John Lucas. “That’s our brother. We are family around here. First thing I did say, ‘Get up.’ I started saying a prayer. Everyone gets alarmed anytime you see anyone on the ground and they don’t jump right back up. It was like, ‘Just get up!’ It’s been all year. He’s such a competitor and loves the game of basketball. We finally had everyone healthy.” NBA.com

You can get hurt playing in highway traffic, too, but it doesn’t mean you should be doing it. It’s the coach’s job to look at the scoreboard, see that his team has a double-digit lead and get his injury-prone point guard out of the game to fight another day. “I don’t work backward like you guys,’’ Thibodeau said. “The score was going the other way.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

Jeremy Lin played one-on-one Saturday afternoon, an indication that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery. But his availability for the Knicks’ first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat remains uncertain. Lin was running, cutting and moving laterally on the American Airlines Arena court three hours before Game 1. He also played one-on-one against the assistant coach Kenny Atkinson. Lin had surgery on April 2 to repair a small meniscal tear in his left knee. Until recently, he had been limited to jogging in a straight line. The Knicks have not officially changed Lin’s prognosis, which called for a six-week recovery period and would probably cover the first round. But it is now conceivable that Lin will play in this series, depending on how long it goes. New York Times

Al Harrington will continue to play through knee pain. "It's still sore, no matter how much rest I have," Harrington said of his torn meniscus. "We have no excuses not to come out with a lot of energy. ... I've always said that if I can walk, I can play. I got that attitude from being on a veteran team in Indiana with Antonio Davis, Dale Davis, Reggie Miller, seeing those guys and the stuff they would go through — broken fingers, fractured wrists — and they still would find a way to play." Denver Post

Cavs guard Anthony Parker gave Scott credit for holding the Cavs together through the rough times. “I can’t say enough about Coach Scott,” Parker said. “He’s been great. Usually when teams go through rough stretches, they start to tear apart and point fingers and blame coaches and blame players. None of that happened and I think a large part of it was due to how Coach Scott managed the team, how he managed practice and how he had the pulse of the team. Morning Journal

Allen Iverson's estranged wife is frightened of her husband -- claiming the NBA legend has been harassing her and her family ... and now, she wants a restraining order. Tawanna Iverson just filed legal docs in the couple's bitter divorce battle -- claiming Allen "has engaged in increasingly contemptuous, threatening, and disturbing behavior" over the last few months ... and she's afraid things will get worse. TMZ.com

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