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March 4, 2015 | 05:31 PM ET Update

LeBron James has topped 45.00 FantasyScore points in four straight games, and he seems to be saving his best for the tougher competition. He topped 60.00 fantasy points against Golden State and Houston last week, and with the Cavaliers sitting a game back of Toronto in the Eastern Conference, James won't be messing around tonight. HoopsHype

March 4, 2015 | 03:07 PM ET Update

“Ray has received enormous interest from a number of NBA teams throughout this season,” Tanner said. “We will communicate with interested teams as Ray makes a decision for the 2015-16 season.” TANDEM

“It takes a little time, to be honest with you. It takes a lot of studying. It takes communication to be able to get things figured out. But I think for the most part we’ve been able to work hand in hand, be positive throughout the entire situation and it’s been working for us. I’ve always had a training camp and always had some time to figure out the system before the season started. This is my first time really going to a new system midseason. It’s taking time. I still haven’t found a place to live yet, still living out of a suitcase, but it’s working out for me,” Stoudemire said. ESPN.com

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have assigned guard Zoran Dragić to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Zoran has appeared in eight NBA games this season, including two with the HEAT since being acquired in a three-team trade on February 19, totaling six points, three rebounds and an assist in eight minutes of action. He spent last season with Unicaja Malaga in Spain, appearing in 22 Euroleague games and averaged 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 22.5 minutes while shooting 41.3 percent from the field. NBA.com

Marc Stein: ESPN sources say practice confrontation between Grizz teammates Tony Allen and Nick Calathes, while heated, did not rise to "physical" level. Sources say Tony Allen's one-game ban largely stemmed from fact he waved off coaches' attempts to calm him down after tangle with Calathes Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Mark Rachesky, chairman of Lionsgate Entertainment and a noted distressed-asset investor, has emerged as the most recent bidder for the Atlanta Hawks, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Rachesky, ‎who heads the investment firm MHR Fund Management, is a close associate of Atlanta Braves controlling owner John Malone, which is said to have sparked Rachesky's interest in the Hawks. Rachesky is not known to have previously expressed interest in purchasing a sports franchise, but he is regarded as a protégé of activist investor Carl Icahn and brought Malone onto the Lionsgate board last month. ESPN.com

Rachesky's bid is expected to include a handful of minority investors, including Steve Starker, Randy Frankel and Jesse Itzler, who is a former rapper and recent Atlanta transplant who moved from New York to ‎Georgia last fall. ESPN.com

Sources say that Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, meanwhile, is also expected to be a prominent member of a bid for the Hawks, though it remains to be seen whether Wilkins plans to join one of the groups known to be in the running or if he will make a run at the team with his own group. ESPN.com

BUZZ METER: WHO'S TRENDING IN THE NBA TWITTERSPHERE?

Who's the man of the minute in the NBA Twittersphere? Find out here who's getting the most mentions at any given moment.

   
March 4, 2015 | 12:50 PM ET Update

Allen was suspended for the game because of violating a team policy. After more digging into the issue, Allen’s physical confrontation was apparently with Calathes during practice. Frustration clearly is building with the team playing poorly and the starting unit lacking consistent and forceful play. Memphis Commercial Appeal

What a crazy incident. Could you believe what happened and what was the process like after? Happened so quick. I was just blessed to be able to get up and be able to continue the game. But process was really quick thanks to the Thunder and the doctor in LA that was able to take care of my little dent. Did you have any say in what the mask is going to look like? Just regular. I mean, you can’t get crazy with the mask. The league is only going to (allow) me to have the clear mask. So that’s all I got. Oklahoman

"If we had him right now, we'd be ranked one, two or three in the country," Larry Brown said in a phone interview with ESPN.com. "And along with Russell and Okafor, he'd be the biggest name in college basketball right now. He'd have a brand right now. I tried to tell the family, but he had other people in his ears, and, ultimately, I supported his decision. The kid just wanted to play basketball, but he had a family to support." ESPN.com

"It's pretty tough for a high school guy to come over there and play," one high-level NBA scout who made the trip to China at the start of Mudiay's season told ESPN.com. "He's playing against talented guys every night who were either elite college players or borderline NBA players. They're all at least four years older than he is. What was clear from those early games was that his confidence level is high. He doesn't back down. When he makes mistakes, he played through it and never seemed to get rattled." ESPN.com

"His shot is OK. It's not broken," the scout continued. "He can hit shots from anywhere on the floor. It's more about shot selection. At times, he was forcing shots. "Defense was a big part of his success early in China," he added. "He could defend anyone. There's not a lot of defense in China -- which is something that stands out. You tell him to do something, he does it. On side and high pick-and-rolls he's good at forcing his offensive player down. He can keep a player to the side of the court and keep them over there without them turning. Coaches will love him on the pick-and-roll. He pursues and his hands are active. My only real knock on him defensively is that, at times, he's trying to leak out because he's so offensive oriented." ESPN.com

"I felt like he was looking to score too much," the same NBA scout said. "To be a NBA point guard, he has to become a better passer. In China, he's more of a shoot-first instead of a pass-first player. At times, I felt like he played out of control. He was forcing a lot of plays. Because of his strength and size he was able to score and have success because they don't play defense, but in the NBA, he's going to have to play smarter. You're going to have to live through his turnovers. You have to have a coach that's patient." ESPN.com

What Mudiay lacks in fundamentals, he makes up for with an innate sense of pace and timing that shouldn’t come so naturally for a player so raw. While he’s prone to mistakes, Mudiay has shown the ability to take advantage of changes in speed, something that took guys like Wall and Russell Westbrook years to accept. Maybe the most comforting play Mudiay made in Game 3 happened early in the fourth quarter. Near center court, Mudiay called for both of his bigs to come to the top of the 3-point line into a basic “horns” formation, for a double drag screen play. Mudiay dribbled right, Yi dove down into the paint with a defender on him, and Mudiay was instantly doubled. Zhou Peng, who set Mudiay’s screen, slipped left and had a wide-open driving lane. Mudiay found him immediately for a score and a foul. As far as style goes, Mudiay has all the tricks — the behind-the-back drives, the jackknifing reverse layups, the breakaway slams — but this was a taste of good, slow cooking. Grantland

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN JAZZ HISTORY

Karl Malone and John Stockton are followed by a player whose jersey was just recently retired by the Jazz and another one that gets booed when he returns to Salt Lake City.

   
March 4, 2015 | 11:26 AM ET Update

Jerebko will be a free agent after the season. It’s clear the Celtics have interest in keeping him around. “Jerebko’s somebody that we’ve tried to get before,” Ainge said. “We like shooting bigs. I love guys that know how to play and can shoot 3’s and have length. “As a spacer at the 4 position, I’ve always liked him. And that’s what he does well is spread the floor. He can shoot the 3 and he can attack close-outs. He just knows how to play.” Boston Herald

There is more question with the other player acquired from Detroit with Jerebko for Tayshaun Prince. Gigi Datome, a 6-8 shooter, has appeared in just one game for the C’s thus far, a 3:46 stint in the 21-point win over New York last week. There was talk after the trade that Datome could be waived or bought out. “I don’t know what his role’s going to be, but I don’t think there was ever any decision made on that,” Ainge said. “I don’t know how Gigi fits into the whole scheme of things, but I like him. He’s a great shooter. We’re not looking to get rid of him or buy him out. I just don’t know how he fits in. We have a lot of guys, with Crowder and James Young and Evan Turner, that can play small forward. But we’ll see.” Boston Herald

"With Perk, he's always put his mindset in on who he's going up against, the team that he's going up against before he even stepped out on the floor," James said. "He's always had that aggression. I loved playing with him when we were kids and I hated playing against him those times when he was in Boston and OKC, and I'm back to loving him again. "He's a guy that you hate to go against because he's just so competitive, so determined to win and then when you get beside him, you love him because he's with you and all he cares about is the team. He cares about winning. He'll run through a wall for you. I'm ecstatic about him being here." Cleveland Plain Dealer

After Steve Kerr backed out of Jackson’s offer to coach the Knicks, The Post reported exclusively in May Jackson preferred Shaw, a triangle-offense guru, over Derek Fisher, but was leery of going down that path because of the compensation he would have had to give the Nuggets. Shaw served under Jackson with the Lakers as either a scout or assistant coach from 2003-11. It’s doubtful Jackson would move to replace Fisher after giving him a five-year contract, but adding Shaw as another veteran triangle voice on the Knicks coaching staff next season is entirely possible. New York Post

“Brian will be fine,’’ Fisher said. “He’s as tough as they come mentally and physically. I’m sure he’s disappointed in the decision. … I think he’ll be fine and find a landing spot. He’s tough and smart enough to find his way wherever he wants to be.” Jackson withdrew himself from pursuing Shaw during the offseason when Denver president Josh Kroenke released a statement saying his coach was going nowhere. “[Kroenke] made a statement they’re not willing to let Brian Shaw go — I respect that,” Jackson said at the time. “It’s intrusive to approach another organization to ask for their coach. I would feel badly for someone to ask to speak to my coach.” New York Post

Reggie Miller: Return of the Jedi, Craig Sager is back people!! Thurs March 5th, 8pm ET on TNT, OKC vs Chi..… instagram.com/p/zz7QELTBOo/ Twitter @ReggieMillerTNT

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN RAPTORS HISTORY

Nasty break-up and all, Air Canada is the best thing that ever happened to the Toronto Raptors.

   
March 4, 2015 | 09:12 AM ET Update

Rondo is expected to demand a max contract, which league sources say he’s unlikely to get in a full offer kind of way, suggesting a team might go max dollars on a smaller-year deal. Dallas has said they want to keep him and see him as a long-term fit; however, there is real doubt that’s a smart move. Basketball Insiders

Though he has yet to confirm his retirement, Steve Nash is under no delusions when it comes to the fact that his NBA career is at its end. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard joined the The Bro Jake Show on TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver on Tuesday morning and pulled no punches when it came to the state of his game. “Unfortunately the NBA game is just a touch too far for me," said the 41-year-old native of Victoria, BC. "I play one game and I’m out a month. I have a bunch of back things going on that compromise that nerve." TSN

The deadline to buy players out has passed. After the game Neal was asked if he was happy with the Wolves. “I’m a basketball player and Flip has given me an opportunity to come in here and play,” said Neal, who will be a free agent after the season. “I don’t have any complaints. The way the team is set up, with K-Mart being out tonight, your role can change from day to day. All you ask for is an opportunity to come in and play, and Flip has been fair with me on that.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

LeBron James: Learned so much from one of my favorite people in the whole world Ray Allen!! Every single day he gave me knowledge about either basketball, family, being a professional, handling it all both on and off the court!! Thanks for allowing me in the history books with u Jesus Shuttlesworth. Miss and love u bro!! Instagram

James laughed when asked if passing Allen will be enough incentive to draw him back onto an NBA roster since James now leads him by one point. “Make one 3 and then retire?” he joked. “I’m going to call him. I’ll say something about it.” Akron Beacon Journal

The Atlanta Hawks have reached agreement on a 10-day contract with Jarell Eddie of the NBA Development League’s Austin Spurs, league sources told RealGM. Eddie -- the champion of the D-League’s Three-Point Shootout at All-Star weekend -- will join the NBA-leading Hawks on Thursday. Atlanta, which had one open roster spot, became the first team to clinch a playoff berth on Tuesday. RealGM

Sarver also said Frye didn't give the Suns an opportunity to match Orlando's four-year contract offer. "To be honest with you, we didn't really even have a chance," Sarver told the radio station. "He had mentioned he was interested in coming back, and then when he was talking to Orlando, he just called and said, 'Hey, you've got three minutes to match this offer.' "And we just let him go. To be honest with you, Channing was a good piece of what we did, but I think we're better off now without him because it allows these younger guys to play." Orlando Sentinel

Frye took exception to Sarver's comment that the Suns didn't have a chance to match the Magic's offer. "I think we have to take what that front office says with a grain of salt," Frye told reporters on Tuesday. "I think right now they need to focus on their own team. I think we had many negotiations between [us and] the Suns." Orlando Sentinel

The interplay between Smith and the Philips Arena crowd was lively throughout the night. Smith, an Atlanta native who played his first nine NBA seasons with the Hawks, was booed loudly whenever he touched the ball. The catcalls grew louder in the third quarter, after Smith drained a 3-pointer that rattled around the rim several times before dropping in. Smith then shushed the crowd by placing his finger over his lips as the Hawks called timeout. "I mean, those fans are fickle, very fickle and bandwagoners," Smith said. "It really doesn't mean anything to me." ESPN.com

“There were a lot of questionable calls down the stretch that dictated the outcome of the game, but we have been in situations where we had to fight through adversity before and you know, we just fell short tonight,” Smith said. Houston Chronicle

“It was chippy and that was what really got us going,” DeMarre Carroll said. “If they were quiet and just did what they did, they wouldn’t have woke up Jeff Teague, they wouldn’t have woke up myself, they wouldn’t have woke up Paul (Millsap). I think that’s when it got chippy and Josh Smith was doing all this.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Horford added 18 points and Millsap had 16 points and 14 rebounds. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Dennis Schroder (16) and Carroll (11). “Oh, it was chippy,” Horford said. “Two of my former teammates, Smoove (Smith) and (Florida’s) Corey (Brewer). Smoove doesn’t really talk trash but Corey on the other hand was talking to me the whole time. At the end, I kind of gave him a look and he wasn’t too happy.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

KC Johnson: Noah, whose foundation just produced that powerful anti-violence video, joked about how retaliating on Nene "wouldn't have been a good look" Twitter @KCJHoop

With his career-high 24 rebounds in a 93-82 win over the Grizzlies at FedEx Forum, the second-year center became just the fourth Jazz player in the Utah era to snare that many boards. "Some days you feel like it's very hard to get a couple rebounds," Gobert said. “And some days it feels like it just comes to me.” Deseret News

Sixers coach Brett Brown calls him "a bull," and Robinson the hungriest bull in the barn. "I'm tired of getting treated like a rag doll in this league," Robinson said after his second game with the Sixers. "I just want to prove that I belong here. I'm tired of being treated like I've been treated in this league." Philadelphia Inquirer

"Overall, I love the city," Frye said. "I love this opportunity to play with these guys. After the [coaching] change, I think it's really for me, in my personal opinion, been a breath of fresh air with J.B. I'm not saying that it wasn't awesome before. But I'm just saying the way his philosophy is a little different, it's a little bit more my style. "For me, I've just tried to do the best I can every day, and it's been a learning process. I kind of know I'm not the fan favorite right now. But I think that, for me, I'm just trying to do everything I can to help the team both on and off the court and help us get wins." Orlando Sentinel

Kings guard Darren Collison had successful surgery for a core muscle injury Tuesday and will be out six weeks, the team announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. The timeline for recovery effectively ends Collison’s season. The last game of the season is April 15 against the Lakers in Los Angeles. “My gut right now from the standpoint of basketball is it would probably be silly to try to rush him back,” Kings coach George Karl said. Sacramento Bee

The Bulls big man reiterated that playing for France is not one of his priorities. “Playing for France is a great experience as I have always said. But it has never been my priority” said Noah to L’Equipe. “I have always been very frank about it but some players and people don’t understand that” added the Bulls big man. “My priority is my career. Before making a decision I will first speak with the other players that I respect a lot. At the moment I have no answer for the technical director of France NT. I am not in the position to make a decision” added Noah. Coach Collet said that if Noah is not at Eurobasket he won’t play also in Rio if France makes it to the Olympic Games. Sportando

A friend of Shaw’s said he would have considered it an ideal opportunity being the Knicks head coach under Jackson had the Nuggets fired him after last season. “He will coach again,’’ said the friend, who would not speculate on whether Shaw would be interested in joining the Knicks as an assistant. New York Post

“It’s unfortunate,” coach Vogel said of Shaw’s firing. “It’s a tough business. He’s a hell of a basketball coach, a hell of a good man, and I’m sure he’ll land on his feet. I just know that he’s very strongly responsible for what we’ve built here, the impact that he had here in his two years. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet very soon.” Vigilant Sports

The NBA has fined the New York Knicks for president Phil Jackson publicly commenting on Ohio State freshman guard D'Angelo Russell, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night. It is immediately unclear how much money the Knicks were fined. Upon leaving Ohio State's game on Thursday night in Columbus, Jackson told Cleveland.com that Russell was a "great looking kid, [a] great prospect." Yahoo! Sports

This actually happened a couple of weeks back, a distinction lost in the whirlwind shuffle of the NBA season. (Translation: The Spurs had it in their voluminous game notes, and yours truly only noticed it just recently.) But your Spurs, the little engine that couldn’t quite for so many years before embarking on one of the most consistent runs of success in all of professional sports, now have the best winning percentage in NBA history. San Antonio Express-News

A Monumental Sports spokesman apologized for the photos when reached by SB Nation: "Throughout Black History Month we ran an "Inspire" campaign. We asked a variety of Wizards, Capitals and Mystics players and staff to share who inspired them. We asked them for a favorite quotation and then created a composite image that was half the player/staff member and half the person they admired. We released one composite image a day throughout February in an attempt to honor those whom our staff had identified as heroes. We intended this as a way to celebrate Black History Month and focus on the many important contributions by African-Americans to American history and culture. On a personal level, it was a way to share thoughts on African-American historical figures whom we admire. We may have missed the mark, and we apologize to those who were offended by the way this was presented." SB Nation

The athletics program at Georgetown University is getting a big upgrade, and Roy Hibbert is largely contributing to the project. The Pacers big man has donated $1 million to help fund the Thompson Athletics Center. Georgetown University is near and dear to the heart of Hibbert. He was born in Queens, New York, but his family moved to Maryland at a very young age. The 7-foot-2 center attended Georgetown Prep prior to playing four years for the Hoyas under John Thompson III at Georgetown. Vigilant Sports

REAL ESTATE: WHERE DO PLAYERS OWN HOMES?

NBA players spend a lot on real estate. But where and how much exactly? Find out here

   

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