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J.R. Smith (illness) finished Saturday's 82-71 defeat with nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, one rebound, and zero assists, steals or blocks in 25 minutes.

Smith had a 102-degree fever earlier in the day and it's impressive that he played at all, but his struggles can't be blamed on his illness -- he's a combined 39-of-115 from the field (33.9 percent) in the playoffs. Looking up from a 2-1 hole against an elite defense, the Knicks desperately need Smith to attack the paint and score efficiently.
Sat, May 11, 2013 11:17:00 PM

Bradley Beal (ankle) said he expects to play in Game 2 against the Hawks on Tuesday.

Before comparing playing the Hawks to fighting Floyd Mayweather, Beal didn't sound too concerned about his availability for Tuesday night. "I should be good [Tuesday]," Beal said. "I've sprained this ankle 30 times. The swelling has never gone away. [But] it wasn't that bad. Actually, I got to thank my trainers because I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday." The 21-year-old is averaging 22.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in the playoffs and should be all-systems-go for Tuesday's Game 2.
Source: ESPN
May 5 - 10:19 AM

John Wall (wrist) is expected to play in Game 2 against the Hawks on Tuesday.

Wall will be receiving treatment on his swollen wrist up until tipoff, but the star point guard is preparing to play on Tuesday. "I'm all right," Wall said. "My hand hurts. Swollen, but other than that, I am fine." Outside of some swelling, Wall shouldn't be too limited by his wrist in Game 2 and we'll expect him to be in the starting lineup come game-time on Tuesday night.
Source: ESPN
May 5 - 10:12 AM

Blake Griffin triple-doubled with 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting (8-of-10 FTs), 14 rebounds, 13 assists and one steal in the Clippers' 99-92 Game 1 win over the Rockets in Houston.

Griffin looked visibly tired after a long battle with the Spurs, but with Chris Paul (hamstring) out he had a ton of responsibility tonight as you can see. Heck, DeAndre Jordan even chipped in with five assists to go with two steals, four blocks and an otherwise normal 10 points and 13 boards. Griffin has been outstanding during these playoffs and the Rockets looked like a lower class team in tonight's series opener.
May 5 - 1:13 AM

Matt Barnes was everywhere in the Clippers' Game 1 win over the Rockets on Monday, scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting (including three treys) with five rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks in 42 minutes.

Barnes is a guy that the Clippers would love to rest up in a short series, but for now he's going to be a workhorse and especially while Chris Paul (hamstring) is out. The Rockets didn't exert any of their will on tonight's game and if they have any life in them this type of upside could vanish pretty quickly, and most certainly will when Paul returns.
May 5 - 1:09 AM

Austin Rivers started for injured Chris Paul (hamstring) and scored 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting (including four threes) with one rebound, three assists and four steals in Monday's Game 1 win over the Rockets.

Let's be clear, he had more bad plays than we could count and was a sieve defensively, but he buried open threes and the Rockets were their own brand of terrible. If Paul can't go in Game 2 (or Doc Rivers thinks he can win one without him), then this would be Rivers' high-water mark.
May 5 - 1:06 AM

Jamal Crawford stepped up with Chris Paul (hamstring) out for Monday's Game 1 win over the Rockets, scoring 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting (including three treys) with five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes.

Crawford showed a tiny bit more explosion than he had in the Spurs series and he's the team's primary ballhandler with Paul out so the numbers will be there if that's the case in Game 2. He had six turnovers but that's a tradeoff owners will take here.
May 5 - 1:03 AM

Dwight Howard scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting (4-of-9 FTs) with 10 rebounds, one steal and five blocks in Monday's Game 1 loss to the Clippers.

Howard is going to have a tough matchup with DeAndre Jordan, but there's still plenty of ways for him to get his numbers, especially with some of the lineups the Clippers are forced to play due to a lack of depth.
May 5 - 12:53 AM

LeBron James scored 19 points on 9-of-22 shooting with 15 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, one block and six turnovers in Monday's 99-92 Game 1 loss to the Cavs.

James is going to get his numbers no matter what and it's just a matter of whether or not he gets slowed down in the process -- and Jimmy Butler helped make that happen a bit tonight. The Cavs got 22 points out of Iman Shumpert to help offset the loss of J.R. Smith to a two-game suspension, but their defense was terrible and now they've lost home court advantage right out of the gate. Game 2 is on Wednesday.
May 4 - 10:51 PM

Derrick Rose scored 25 points on 11-of-26 shooting (including three treys) with five rebounds, five assists and one steal in Monday's Game 1 win over the Cavs.

Rose looked like he may have hurt his shoulder seriously at the end of the game but all reports since then have indicated the issue was minor. Jimmy Butler was the more important and better player for the Bulls, but Rose is the player that will swing this series one way or another so Chicago fans have to love the solid outing. Coming off two days' worth of rest, he hasn't been anywhere near as good with the one day he'll get before Wednesday's Game 2.
May 4 - 10:20 PM

Austin Rivers will start for injured Chris Paul (hamstring) in Monday's Game 1 opener against the Rockets.

Rivers won't face an impact defender and he'll have quite a bit of playing time to put points on the board, but look for the offense to be run through Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes.
May 4 - 9:30 PM

Chris Paul (hamstring) will not play in Game 1 on Monday.

Ouch. Coach Doc Rivers expects Paul to play at some point in this series, but it won't be tonight. He's also at risk of missing Game 2 on Wednesday. The Clippers will have to count on Austin Rivers a ton tonight. Blake Griffin also has a great chance for a triple-double.
May 4 - 8:05 PM




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