HoopsHype rumors

May 6, 2012 | 07:24 PM ET Update

The longest streak is over, Baron Davis is done but the Knicks live to see another day. Barely. Dwyane Wade came up short on a last-second 3-pointer as the Knicks, with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire missing key free throws in the final minute, survived for an 89-87 Game 4 victory. By avoiding the sweep, the Knicks won their first playoff game since April 29, 2001. They had lost an NBA record 13 straight postseason games. Game 5 is Wednesday in Miami at 7 p.m. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit. Anthony led all scorers with 41 points including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 54.5 seconds left that made it 87-84. Anthony was then fouled shooting a three but he missed two of three free throws and LeBron James answered with a three-point play with 20.9 seconds left. New York Daily News

Despite coach Tom Thibodeau calling Noah day-to-day and saying he is improving, Noah still can't put full weight on the ankle, which remains swollen. "Jo's a much better shooter than he's given credit for and can knock down those 16-foot shots pretty consistently," said Thibodeau, when asked what they miss. "That opens things up for you." Chicago Tribune

The Celtics coach says that Avery Bradley will play and be in the starting lineup tonight after suffering a left shoulder separation during Friday’s 90-84 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks. Bradley, who scored five points, exited in the third period and didn’t return. “It’s a concern. It’s a concern tonight and moving forward. We’re just going to throw him out … So he’s just going to try to see how it feels,” said Rivers. “We had the doctors out watching him warm up and everything. They said his jump shot look good, I don’t know. They just said he can play. We’re going to throw him out there.” Boston Herald

“I have an arrhythmia issue I’m trying to get corrected,” Paxson said. “It’s something I’ve had before and planned this procedure over one month ago. Nothing more to it than that and had not intended for it to be made public.” Chicago Tribune

May 6, 2012 | 05:32 PM ET Update

Don’t count on Jason Kidd to help recruit Deron Williams to Dallas. Kidd wouldn’t mind backing up Williams next season, but he doesn’t plan on trying to steer the All-Star point guard to any particular team. “I won’t have any influence on D-Will’s decision,” Kidd said during Sunday’s exit interviews at the American Airlines Center. “I only joke because we have the same agent and we’ll probably play a lot of golf this summer together, and so [there is] a lot of speculation. But he’s his own man and he’s going to make the right decision for what fits best for him to try to win a championship.” ESPN.com

Dirk Nowitzki just finished his end-of-season exit interview and he is ready to put on the sales pitch for free-agent-to-be Deron Williams. "He's a Rangers fan I guess, so he can watch plenty of games,'' Nowitzki said. "It's obviously way oto early. All that will happen in July. "But he's got a big decision to make. Obviously, we'd love to have him, but so would a lot of other teams. "He'd be a great fit.'' Dallas Morning News

Brendan Suhr, the visiting US team's head coach, said the 36-year-old, dubbed "The Answer", needs more practice to prepare for competition in the CBA. "He has not played for a year against anyone with that ability, so he's not that good right now," Suhr said of Iverson's current status after leading the US squad to a 119-109 over the Ducks in the team's third game in Shenzhen on Thursday. "It's very hard (for him) to all of the sudden play against tremendous competition like the Ducks presented. I think he's going to get better and when he makes shots he will get more confident." China Daily

The 76ers moved to within one victory of advancing to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday, taking Game 4 from the Bulls at Wells Fargo Center, 89-82. Jrue Holiday scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and Spencer Hawes had his second impressive showing in a row, finishing with 22 points and eight rebounds for the Sixers, who lead the series 3-1. The Sixers, the eighth seed, can close out the top-seeded Bulls on Tuesday in Chicago. Only eight teams in NBA history have ever recovered from a 3-1 series deficit to advance in the playoffs. Philadelphia Inquirer

Amar'e Stoudemire will start for the New York Knicks in Game 4 of their series against Miami, six days after cutting his hand punching a fire extinguisher case. Interim coach Mike Woodson says Stoudemire will play in Sunday's game with padding covering his hand. Stoudemire was hurt after Monday's Game 2 in Miami and had surgery to repair a muscle the next day. Newsday

Eight days after being carried off the court in Miami, Iman Shumpert was back in Madison Square Garden, desperately praying that his Knicks could find a way to survive one more playoff game against the powerful Heat. What Shumpert wasn't praying for, however, was that he could make a swift return to action. The Knicks' rookie, who tore the ACL and lateral meniscus in his left knee in Game 1 of the playoffs, said he will not rush his rehab, and he doesn't expect to return to the court until December, at the earliest. "I'm not trying to beat any timetable," Shumpert said before the game. "Right now, it's the end of the season. I want to take my time, make sure everything's healthy. So when I come back, I'm healthy." New York Daily News

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is at the end of his four-year contract, but president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Sunday that the franchise's lone championship coach isn't getting away. "He likes us, we like him and those situations generally get worked out," Nelson said the day after the defending champions were swept out of the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. "Rick's not going anywhere. This is certainly not the time and place to get into depth on that issue, but I don't foresee that situation changing." ESPN.com

"This has been a great opportunity for me and my family and we love it here," Carlisle said. "That's as far as I'm going to go talking about it." He did make some statements Sunday that might indicate he will be back for a fifth season and beyond. "Going forward, we've got an extremely attractive situation here," Carlisle said. "We've got a great owner, it's a great city, the physical setup is second to none in terms of the proximity of everything and this is a franchise that's always going to be in the hunt." ESPN.com

Nowitzki praised Carlisle’s performance over the last four years but stopped well short of publicly lobbying for the coach to get a new contract. “This team, this franchise obviously has a lot of decisions to make,” Nowitzki said. “That’s obvious. Rick had a great four years here obviously. He took us to the promised land with a team that probably nobody thought could do it. I think he found a good mix over the years of stressing defense a lot and giving (Jason) Kidd some movement, giving him some freedom on the offensive end. Sometimes he did a good job getting out of the way and just letting us play and if he saw things are not going that well, call some plays and kind of pull us back in. “I thought over the four years, he tried to do a good job. We’ll have to wait and see what the decision is with him, but he did a great job and obviously led us to the promised land.” ESPN.com

Johnathan Tjarks of RealGM.com asked Russell Westbrook if he thought teammate James Harden was a max contract player following the bearded wonder’s divine performance in Oklahoma City’s series-clinching win over the Mavs. Westbrook politely answered without answering, offering a couple positive nuggets on Harden and, after sensing a followup question was on the way, said “no more questions for you, bro … trouble.” The Big Lead

If Parker could lead the Spurs to an NBA title and take France to an unexpected strong finish in the Olympics this summer in London, it would only make his promotional muscle that much stronger. He’s involved in a new commercial for www.supersoccer.co.id, a website devoted to “the beautiful game.” In it, Italian soccer icon Paolo Maldini who comes upon Parker while he’s playing basketball on an Italian playground. After Parker shows him a few basketball moves, Maldini reciprocates by booting a soccer ball into a basketball hoop. Check out the You Tube version of Parker’s commercial, which should only be followed by many more if the Spurs and Les Bleus can keep winning. San Antonio Express-News

May 6, 2012 | 11:59 AM ET Update

There has been some speculation that Kidd could return to his hometown of Oakland and play for the Golden State Warriors. Kidd said he's aware of the speculation of a homecoming, but couched it by saying he will discuss teams with interest with his agent. ESPN.com

McGrady said he has no delusions of grandeur. He realizes he will never consistently be the player he was at 25, but perhaps he can be for short stints. As Rivers found with Jermaine O’Neal, sometimes high-profile players slowed by injury maintain they can still perform at an All-Star level. McGrady understands he can no longer be the young T-Mac, but he has adjusted his game and mentality to remain relevant in the NBA. “You just have to understand that’s what it is,’’ he said. “For me, I’ve been fortunate enough to still get opportunities when I wasn’t the same player. “But being able to know the game and have skills when my athleticism somewhat diminished really helped me. I didn’t get too frustrated. “It was out of my control, but the opportunities were still there and I was going to make the best of it.’’ Boston Globe

Injuries again are the main story line for McGrady, not his performance. He wore a slipper on his right foot Saturday before practice, vowing to return for Game 4, convinced that what he displayed in the first half of Game 3 is not an aberration. “I’ve had [the game] all along,’’ he said. “I don’t know if the coach [Larry Drew] was saving me for this time or it was just the opportunity presented itself. “This is the first time I’ve played 40 minutes in God knows how many years. So the opportunity was there and I knew I had to be aggressive, and I’m more than capable of giving us a little bit more and I took advantage of it. Boston Globe

But if you’re going to lose, you might as well do it in the greatest city in the world, where the fans still love you. “I don’t regret my decision to come here,’’ (Anthony) said. “It’s been a year and a half. You know things haven’t gone the way we want them to go. But I’m not worried about that. I love my decision. I stick with my decision. I’m in New York. I’m a New York Knick. I’m gonna be here.’’ New York Daily News

The Heat has been that good in this first-round series, especially at the defensive end, where they have reduced Carmelo Anthony to an ineffective 21 point-per-game scorer, shooting a dismal 34%. But a sweeping is still a sweeping. “It won’t sit well,’’ said Tyson Chandler, who won a ring 11 months ago in Dallas. “Whenever you get swept, it’s embarrassing.’’ New York Daily News

That splash could include the 39-year-old point guard and free-agent-to-be if the Nets are successful in retaining perennial All-Star point guard Deron Williams. The Nets expect the Dallas Mavericks, ousted in a first-round sweep Saturday by the rising Oklahoma City Thunder, to be their primary competition for Williams' services. "I think going to Brooklyn brings a lot of attention," Kidd said. "The last professional team there was the Dodgers, so I think they're going to be very excited. And then with the Russian owner (Mikhail Prokhorov), I mean, he's not short on money so I think they're going to go out and make a splash." ESPN.com

Hansbrough, an All-American at North Carolina, can't avoid having run-ins with former Duke players. Magic guard J.J. Redick joined fellow Blue Devil Mike Dunleavy in taking exception to Hansbrough's aggressiveness. Redick received a technical foul for attempting to push Hansbrough out the way after Redick was fouled by Pacers guard Paul George. Redick's push turned out to be more of a nudge; Hansbrough barely moved. "Nah, I'm not going to budge on that," Hansbrough said. "I didn't even foul him. He was coming at me. We got a little tangled up. I don't even know how it really happened." Indianapolis Star

There was talk about back-to-back games during the playoffs. Will that happen in the second round, and wouldn't it have been better to do it in the first round? David Stern: "I can't even tell you that other than to say that we follow the lead of the networks of where they want us to land with weekend games. I'm so old, I remember when the Celtics and Houston would go back-to-back Saturday-Sunday as a regular matter so we could get the games on national TV live. It might happen because of other scheduling as well, where we get pushed because we've gone late (into the season)." Indianapolis Star

May 6, 2012 | 08:48 AM ET Update

As would befit a 39-year-old point guard who just finished posting 16 points, a game-best eight assists and seven rebounds in a key playoff game, Jason Kidd isn't ready to hang up his sneakers. "I'll land somewhere early, I would think,'' Kidd said regarding his upcoming free agency. Dallas Morning News

He's heard everything from going home to Oakland to play with Golden State to backing up Deron Williams -- wherever it is that Williams ends up playing. That seems likely to be either in Brooklyn with the Nets or in Dallas with the Mavericks. Kidd said he essentially will try to help recruit Williams as a free agent this summer. He could envision himself next season as Williams' backup. "That works,'' he said. "What's wrong with that? That's not a bad guy to help out. If it comes to that, that would be not a bad situation. "Like I told Dirk, I would go to war with him and go through another season and try to help him win. Being here would be very nice. But at the same time, business comes into play. We'll see what the Mavs are talking about first and go from there.'' Dallas Morning News

Smith, Novak and Baron Davis could be playing their last games as Knicks. The only good note from the playoff catastrophe is reducing their market value. Smith is leaning toward opting out as he makes $2.5 million next season but hasn’t said certainly. Novak could be worth more than the $2 million lower exception the Knicks have to offer if the $5 million mid-level goes to point-guard-of-the-future Jeremy Lin. New York Post

Deron Williams is in a powerful position. The perennial All-Star point guard holds the futures of two franchises in the palm of his hands as he is set to become a free agent on July 1. Could Williams' destination also be the final stop for Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd, also a free-agent-to-be as he attempts to play two more years and take his career a full 20 seasons? Kidd on Saturday reiterated his interest in playing with Williams and also had some interesting insights into the fortunes of the new Brooklyn Nets. “I think going to Brooklyn brings a lot of attention,” Kidd said. “The last professional team there was the Dodgers, so I think they’re going to be very excited. And then with the Russian owner [Mikhail Prokhorov], I mean, he’s not short on money so I think they’re going to go out and make a splash.” ESPN.com

Nowitzki then specifically mentioned how Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook and James Harden each carried a Thunder team on different nights in the four-game sweep of the Mavericks. "If you want to be an elite team in the league right now, you have to have 2-3 guys that can go off at any time," Nowitzki added. Dallas Morning News

Cuban did not make himself available for comment after the game, but beforehand he basically said that the new NBA collective bargaining agreement stinks and that anyone who believes he didn’t do his best to put together a team worthy of defending its NBA title is an idiot. “I’ve heard some of the talking headless, and all I can tell you is, within the collective bargaining agreement we did everything possible to put the best possible team on the court. Period. End of story. If someone wants to read it [the CBA] and tell me otherwise, go ahead.” Dallas Morning News

Cuban was asked whether, at any point of the regular season or playoffs, he had second thoughts about not offering a multiyear contract to center Tyson Chandler, a pivotal member of last year’s title team. “Hell no,” Cuban said. “Nope. Not even a millisecond. Because those who are talking otherwise haven’t read the CBA and are just talking out their [expletive] without any foundation. But that’s what you guys do.” Dallas Morning News

Cuban seemed to be saying that the biggest obstacle in the Mavericks’ bumpy title defense is the CBA that was negotiated in early December, at a time when it appeared the season was in jeopardy because of the prolonged labor impasse. “If you want to nail me for something, I’ll be the first to admit that it was a huge [expletive] that I didn’t fight for the new [CBA] harder,” Cuban said. “I said it before, I’ll say it again. It put us and other teams in a bad spot, and it was an overnight handshake deal that I should have fought harder. I’m the first to say that. “That was my mistake, because once that thing passed, our hands were tied in a lot of respects. But within that, we did the best we could.” Dallas Morning News

"Every year I’ve been on the Mavericks team and we’ve had a realistic chance, it’s because of the personnel," Terry said. "Look at your personnel and what they surround you with, your core nucleus, and you can see if you have a realistic shot. For us, it was a long shot. Nobody’s going to downplay that at all. If you look at our roster to a man, it was a long shot this year. But we still made the playoffs, but we just didn’t have enough." ESPN.com

Surprisingly, the Clippers were the more physical team and had Grizzlies center Marc Gasol flustered to the tune of five fouls, but he still managed 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Clippers were awful in another department, missing 17 free throws, but they found a way to overcome those gaffes in a 87-86 nailbiting victory in front of 19,060. It was the Clippers' first playoff victory at Staples Center in six seasons, and Saturday's triumph gave them a 2-1 lead the best-of-seven series, with Game 4 Monday night at Staples Center."That was the plan, to be the aggressors at the jump," said Griffin, who scored 17 points and added four rebounds. "We had to match their MO, being the aggressive ones, with that whole grit-and-grind thing." Los Angeles Daily News

Karl said he expected the Lakers to counteract the Nuggets' young interior players by repeatedly pounding the ball inside to their veteran duo. "I think they're going to go there a lot," Karl said. "But if they overpower and maybe we can make them miss, we can run the other way. Sometimes you overextend and we're just going to have to react to them — what successes they have and what plays they're running." Karl was in a jovial mood, even letting TNT reporter Craig Sager, the king of garish ensembles, show the coach how to fold his pocket squares and insert them into his jacket. A reporter asked Karl if he would wear the outfit again Sunday, but the coach said he was afraid it might cause a distraction and annoy a certain Laker. "Yeah, that's the problem," Karl said. "It might [tick] Kobe [Bryant] off." Los Angeles Times

Caron Butler wasn't about to let a little old thing like a broken left hand keep him out of a playoff game. The Clippers' veteran small forward injured the hand in last Sunday's Game 1 in Memphis and sat out the Clippers' loss Wednesday. He was expected to miss at least four to six weeks - if not the rest of the season. But somehow, someway he willed himself back into the starting lineup Saturday in Game 3 at Staples Center while sporting a bulky protective padding on his hand. Much to the amazement of his teammates. "He is crazy," Clippers point guard Chris Paul joked. Los Angeles Daily News

Interim coach Mike Woodson said he hopes Stoudemire is cheered like any other Knick and said now is not the time to make a point. “[The fans] should be supportive,’’ Woodson said. “Amar’e has been solid, I think, all year. There was bad judgement in what he’s done. But he’s in a New York uniform. He’s a big part of what we do. I love Amar’e. These fans know he made a mistake. They’ll be in his corner, I think.’’ New York Post

Although coach Tom Thibodeau said X-rays were negative, Joakim Noah’s availability for Game 4 on Sunday against the 76ers is extremely doubtful. “Most likely he’ll be out [Sunday],” Thibodeau said. Noah rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 3 only to return briefly in the fourth quarter before being taken out. He was walking on crutches with his ankle tightly wrapped before and after a film session at the team hotel Saturday. Backup Omer Asik is expected to start. Forward Taj Gibson will back up Noah’s backup. “Omer is better offensively than he’s given credit for because of his rebounding, his offensive rebounding, his screening, and he’s also a very underrated passer,” Thibodeau said. “He’s not accustomed to playing starters’ minutes. That will be a little bit of an adjustment. We have the ability to play Luol [Deng] at the four also.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

The sight of Joakim Noah tossing in one more "Tornado" jumper and then barely being able to run back on defense will linger, a snapshot of a proud, tough-minded player giving his all. But Noah's 2 minute, 6 second, fourth-quarter stint in Friday night's loss to the 76ers also raised questions. Specifically: Did Noah's re-entry make the sprained left ankle that has him doubtful for Sunday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals even worse? "He thought he could go," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Sometimes you can get through it. Obviously he was struggling." Chicago Tribune

Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins suffered a right hip strain at the 4:09 mark of the first quarter on Saturday and did not return. Pending further evaluation, his status is day-to-day. “We'll evaluate it tomorrow and see how he feels,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said after his team's 103-97 victory to clinch its first-round playoff series 4-0 against the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks. Oklahoman

Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire shot the ball comfortably during practice Saturday in Greenburgh, sprinted fullcourt and looked ready to return the lineup Sunday with his well-stitched left hand as his team attempts to stave off elimination in Game 4 against the Heat at the Garden. “He looked pretty good out here on the floor,” Mike Woodson said. “But it’s not going to be my decision. It going to be the doctors’ decision New York Daily News

He sat out a 90-84 loss to Boston on Friday after suffering a sprained right knee and aggravating his patellar tendinitis in Game 2. The Hawks are down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, and a loss in Game 4 essentially would finish them: Only eight teams in NBA history have overcome a 3-1 series deficit. “I’m probably going to play regardless how [the knee] feels because I know the importance of this game,” Smith said. “We can do special things because we are a deep team, and very talented. Any other team with three guys who play major minutes are out, they tend to struggle. But we was right there almost about to win. “With my help, it should help us to get over the hump [Sunday].” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two weeks ago, Cuban described Carlisle as one of the NBA's best three coaches. That is as close as the owner has come to addressing Carlisle's future. "Because I do it exactly the same way every year and I prefer it that way," Cuban said Saturday, before Game 4. "I don't talk about free agents, coaches or otherwise." Dallas Morning News

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is reportedly on the Blazers' radar, although a Lakers official said late Friday that Portland had not yet requested permission to speak with him. The notion of Kupchak leaving Los Angeles, which was first reported by ESPN.com, is plausible considering the changed dynamics within the organization. With executive vice president and owner's son Jim Buss leading the operation now and the purse strings tighter than ever, sources close to Kupchak have said for quite some time that he's frequently frustrated with the new ways of his world. SI.com

Yet despite the limitations, Petrie has played a significant part in the team's drastic decline and sources close to him say he believes his once-sterling reputation has taken a serious beating, in large part, because of the ownership situation. With one season left on his contract, there continues to be conflicting signs about his future with the team, and while co-owner Joe Maloof told SI.com on Saturday that Portland has not requested permission to speak with Petrie, he said he would allow him to pursue the opportunity if that was his wish. "We'd love to keep him, but we aren't going to hold him back if he did get another offer," Joe Maloof said. "It's whatever he decides." SI.com

Bucks general manager John Hammond, who was a finalist for the Blazers' job in 2003 before it went to John Nash, was a Blazers candidate again this time around. But numerous front-office sources said the Bucks, who were a disappointing 31-35 this season, refused Portland permission to speak with Hammond recently. A Bucks official could not clarify whether that was the case and Miller declined to comment on the matter when reached Friday, but indications are that Hammond will remain in Milwaukee at least one more season with coach Scott Skiles (both have one season left on their contracts). SI.com

He’s officially Dr. O’Neal now. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal received his doctoral degree in Education from Barry University Saturday morning along with another 1,100 students during multiple commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. Like all things done by the four-time world champion, 15-time All-Star, movie star, rapper and entertainer, O’Neal, 40, accepted the degree in style. Wearing a custom-made, bright red XXXL-sized gown, the seven-foot-one, 325-pound former Miami Heat center got on one knee so Dr. David M. Kopp could place a light blue hood around his big neck. O’Neal then stood up and lifted his professor like Tarzan was rescuing Jane. "Swept off my feet," Kopp described the moment, celebrated with loud cheers from the crowd. Palm Beach Post

The last time the Knicks won a playoff game, Iman Shumpert was 10. Since then, as the Knicks have compiled the longest postseason losing streak in N.B.A. history — 13 games — every team other than the Charlotte Bobcats has won at least one playoff game. But Knicks fans can look back fondly on that 97-89 first-round win over the Toronto Raptors on April 29, 2001. In that game, Allan Houston led the Knicks with 24 points and Kurt Thomas led them with 9 rebounds. It was not all that long ago: Thomas is still active, even if he is the second-oldest player in the league. Vince Carter, who is also active, was Toronto’s second-leading scorer, with 20 points. He is now with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 8.3 points in their first three playoff games. New York Times

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