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High school stars predict NBA playoffs

April 21, 2014 | 05:54 AM ET Update

When asked if the Portland Trail Blazers would look to the “Hack-a-Dwight” tactic in their first round playoff series against the Rockets, coach Terry Stotts joked, “First possession, we are doing it.” Houston Chronicle

Aldridge did indeed break a franchise record Sunday, scoring a career-high 46 points in a 122-120 victory. The old mark actually belonged to Bonzi Wells, who scored 45 points against Dallas in 2003, but Aldridge also joined Drexler, Brandon Roy, Terry Porter and Mychal Thompson as the only Blazers to score 40 or more in a playoff game. “I’ve been a Trail Blazer all my life, and I want to break every record that I can,” Aldridge said. Oregonian

Noah’s teammates reached out to him over the weekend. “Everybody made sure he was OK,” forward Taj Gibson said. “Just one of those things where you just have to play through it. “It’s never easy to lose somebody close to you. “But you got to put it behind you and know they’re in a better place and you’re playing for them. I think he has a greater appreciation now. “I think that’s gonna help him play even better.” Chicago Sun-Times

Chris Paul couldn't stop watching the play. Once. Twice. Again. Another time. It bothered him that he didn't make the right call in a late three-on-one, getting his shot blocked by Harrison Barnes instead of passing to J.J. Redick. That didn't even compare with the two free throws he missed with 11 seconds left in the Clippers' 109-105 loss to Golden State in Saturday's playoff opener. Long night for Paul. Long Sunday too. "I looked at it, I think, six different times [Sunday] morning," Paul said of the missed three-on-one chance. Los Angeles Times

He rolled his eyes at a reporter Sunday when told about the NBA's ruling, not even needing to say the obvious — the Clippers still shouldn't have lost at home to the undermanned Warriors. Los Angeles Times

He also went through a nasty divorce that leaves him driving Sydney, 9, and Draven, 7, to school at 7:30 a.m. and catching naps in the Spurs' training facility before practice. He makes a point of having them on the bench as he warms up for games and getting them set up in the family room before tipoff. They wait for him in the tunnel to the locker room for a quick hug or high five at halftime. He has, at least once, sat down in the hallway outside the Spurs locker room to adjudicate a tiff between them before joining his teammates in the locker room. Bleacher Report

"He's a different one because it's this internal fire," says Spurs assistant coach Sean Marks, whose 11 playing seasons included two with Duncan. "He'd never say it, but I think he wants to be remembered as one of the best ever—best power forward, top five all time. You'll never hear that come from his mouth, but somewhere it's deep down in there." Bleacher Report

Although there is a glut of frontcourt talent, the backcourt is not as deep, so the decisions of guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison are especially intriguing and important. An NBA scout for one of the Eastern Conference's premier teams believes the choice is obvious. "It'd be good for both of them to go back next year," said the scout, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss draft prospects. "That's what I'd advise them to do. I don't think anybody is really high on them." cincinnati.com

The belief in NBA circles is that the 6-foot-6 twin brothers remain genuinely torn, the scout said. One Eastern Conference general manager told him the twins' father, Aaron Sr., wanted his sons to declare for the draft, but a lukewarm response from the league has given the family some pause. cincinnati.com

The 20 games ban of Nick Calathes was a shock for the Greek basketball federation, still there’s full support towards the Greek-American guard. On Saturday Kostas Missas, a member of the Greek federation coaching stuff, contacted the player, who gave his side of the story and once more clarified the fact that he never used synthetic testosterone or performance-enhancing drugs. However, Tamoxifen which was detected in Calathes’ samples is banned also from the International Olympic Committee, so the player should have been much more careful. The point is that the ban of Calathes is imposed to the NBA and has to do only with NBA games. There’s no cooperation between the NBA and WADA and until further notice the player is eligible for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. EuroHoops.net

Kerr already has a job: he's TNT lead analyst and intends to work through the Western Conference finals. In fact, a source close to Kerr emphatically denied a report that Kerr has spoken with his bosses at Turner Sports about altering his schedule in the event that he accepts a head coaching job. "I hope you understand, but I'm not talking about anything," Kerr said prior to Game 1 of the Bulls-Wizards first-round series before walking away. New York Daily News

Wall credited Calipari for getting another batch of freshmen to come together this past season, when No. 8 seed Kentucky reached the national championship game, losing to Connecticut. He said that even after picking the Wildcats to lose in the round of 32 before the tournament. So should Calipari return to the NBA head coaching ranks? "I think he'd be a great NBA coach," Wall told USA TODAY Sports. "But he loves Kentucky too much. The Big Blue Nation loves him back. ... It's kind of different (in the NBA) though. The NBA guys are going to do what they do they're playing for checks and stuff like that. He's great at getting young guys to buy in." USA Today Sports

ESPN caused the shot clocks to malfunction during Game 1 Saturday between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre when it tried to solve an internal issue by plugging into the same power source for the shot clocks, causing the power source to fry, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. USA Today Sports

Former NBA player Eric Williams -- who spent 12 seasons in league -- says he is homeless and broke … this according to legal docs obtained by TMZ Sports. Williams -- who also appeared on "Basketball Wives" -- made the shocking statements in a letter he wrote to a Colorado court recently explaining why he could not attend a child support hearing in CO earlier this month. Among the reasons, Williams says a "court-ordered citation for me to appear was not delivered to my home address as I have no home." TMZ.com

Rising Star: DeMarcus Cousins

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