While outsiders await a potential trade that ships out …

While outsiders await a potential trade that ships out a veteran like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan or Patty Mills, No. 11 San Antonio is optimistic that the experience its younger players gained in the bubble will make the Spurs a playoff sleeper. No. 13 New Orleans is one of the more difficult teams to assess and figures to have a puncher’s chance to reach the postseason purely based on the track record of its new coach, Stan Van Gundy, and Zion Williamson’s promising preseason. Golden State, of course, is expected to bounce back from the league’s worst record (15-50) to contend for a playoff berth — even with Klay Thompson out for the season after he tore his right Achilles’ tendon in November.
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April 23, 2021 | 2:18 am EDT Update
But it turns out that Parker might not just be a complete end-of-bench, break glass in case of emergency kind of guy. As we all roll our eyes at an injury report more never-ending than the breadsticks at Olive Garden, Parker has taken advantage of the opportunity to give the Boston Celtics 15 somewhat productive minutes off the bench. So it’s time eat some crow. Not the whole crow, mind you. Maybe, like, a wing. He’s still not going to take minutes away from the regulars when (if?) the team is fully healthy, but there might be some times where he gets the call over Grant Williams or Semi Ojeleye. “We’re hoping that we can do with Jabari a little bit like we did with Evan Turner,” Danny Ainge said earlier in the day. “(Turner) was the number two pick in the draft and started his career out well and was without a place really and came into the Celtics and played very well for us and got himself a big contract with Portland Trail Blazers. So we’re hoping we can help Jabari and he can help us.”
Josh Lewenberg: Freddie Gillespie to media relations after he was asked about the Raptors’ new defensive schemes: “Am I allowed to talk about the schemes? Will they be mad? is it like a secret? Is that customary to talk about our defensive schemes? What if the Knicks are scouting us right now?” He politely declined to answer the question, and it was awesome. “So, OK, I’m still trying to earn my stripes here so I’m not going to answer that question.”
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