Storyline: Fizdale-Randolph Dynamic

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Tim MacMahon: Grizzlies coach David Fizdale on Zach Randolph’s transition to sixth man this season: “It has been seamless. He has never bickered once to the press – not one time. You can go back through every paper, article or anything and he never complained. There were days when he was frustrated. He just stayed with it, and he’s embraced it. He’s got to be in the conversation of Sixth Man of the Year. I don’t know how he can’t be one of the finalists for that, looking at what he’s done on the glass and from a scoring stand point. I think a lot of the sixth men do a lot of scoring. Z-Bo is in the trenches for us, grabbing rebounds for us every night. I’m sure he leads the league for double-doubles off the bench. Yes, I am pitching for him, if you’re wondering.”

Tim MacMahon: Coach David Fizdale, who stuck with the duo down the stretch and in overtime of Memphis’ comeback win Friday over the Warriors, points to perimeter defense as the primary concern with the old-school lineup. Memphis is plus-25 in 278 minutes with Gasol and Randolph as a pairing. “I’ll make a deal with them,” Fizdale said. “I will say, ‘Hey, if you guys show me you can defend the 3-point line when you are out there together, then I will play you together more.”
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April 25, 2017 | 8:11 am EDT Update
Lakers president Magic Johnson jokingly made his desire to have George in a purple and gold uniform known publicly during an interview last week with late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, laughing and winking about how he was well-versed on tampering and couldn’t recruit a player under contract with another team. And one of the league’s worst-kept secrets is that the Lakers have a strong appeal for George given their proximity to his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., and his affinity for Kobe Bryant, even though George actually grew up a fan of the Clippers.
Storyline: Paul George to Lakers?
Not so much Monday, when he took on a bigger role with Dennis Schroder’s three first-quarter fouls changing the tone. The Hawks went from down 27-18 to ahead 59-50 at halftime behind the spark provided by Calderon (10 points, five assists) and Kent Bazemore (16 points, seven assists) in a 111-101 victory in Game 4 to tie the series at 2. “I always think I’m going to be on the podium,” Calderon said after playing 20 minutes and making 4 of 9 shots, inlcuding two three-pointers.
April 25, 2017 | 6:19 am EDT Update
After the Portland Trail Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors on Monday, point guard Damian Lillard told ESPN he’s developed a newfound obsession with trying to take down the Warriors. “You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they’re so good that they’re going to be there,” Lillard said after a 128-103 loss in Game 4. “That’s who you’re going to have to get through to get to where you want to get to. That’s what it is.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
“They’re a championship team,” Lillard said. “Watching them and playing against them, it’s obvious. They’re very consistent, whether they’re up or down, they just continue to play. They continue to be who they are. They play loose. They play together. They have a great understanding of how to play the game. That’s hard to play against when you add that with the talent that they have.