The NBA draft lottery is set for tonight at 8 p.m. ET, with Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series coming up at 8:30 p.m. In the meantime, take a gander at some of the news from around the NBA on Wednesday.
- After convincingly losing Game 1, Rajon Rondo stated “Nothing dirty, but they have to hit the deck, too.’’ Knowing that the Celtics want to get more physical, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had their say on the matter: “I expect to be quote, unquote ‘put on the deck’ or whatever the case may be and then you go to the free throw line,” said James, who had 32 points in the Heat’s 93-79 Game 1 win. “I don’t need to prepare for something I already think is going to happen every game.” “We’re men just like they’re men; we’re not going to let anyone just come and punk us,” said Wade, who had 22 points in Game 1. “That is not our mentality, to go out there and make people hit the deck.”
- Improved play from Ray Allen will be critical for Boston to steal home court from Miami, but his injured ankle has impacted the ability to shoot properly. No need to remind him, because no one understands the situation better than himself: “So many people call and tell me, ‘You gotta get the ball in the air more.’ I’m like, ‘Thank you for the advice. I’ve only been doing this for 20 years,’” said Allen. “I know how it affects me. So I’m just working on getting that back, and making sure I keep the ball in the air.”
- Ananth Pandian of Dime Magazine breaks down the chances of 13 teams that could land Anthony Davis in tonight’s draft lottery.
- Our columnist Chris Bernucca breaks down the top 20 free agents that are heading into this summer’s free agency. Here is one of them: KEVIN GARNETT: Who wants a 36-year-old jump-shooting 7-footer with 50,000 minutes (including playoffs) on his odometer? Who doesn’t? In a league devoid of quality centers, Garnett showed this season that he can play the pivot just below an elite level as he enters the twilight of his career. He is still an excellent defender with a thirst for competition and championships. He will need a caddie going forward, however.
- Deron Williams has made no secret of his willingness to leave the New Jersey Nets if they don’t make drastic improvements. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, winning the No. 1 lottery pick to acquire Anthony Davis – who many coaches are already comparing to Kevin Garnett - won’t guarantee Williams to stay with the team either: “It’s Dwight Howard or bust,” said a league source who has spoken to Williams.
- Irked by the report, Williams himself tweeted the following in response: I would love to know who Adrian Wojnarowski source is bc he knows more about what I’m thinking then I do maybe they can help me decide?
- The coaching position for the Charlotte Bobcats remains vacant with plenty of sharp minds such as Mike Malone, Nate McMillan and Jerry Sloan being considered to take over the job. Also in consideration may be Brian Shaw who is being scheduled for an interview. One name that is no longer on the wish list of Michael Jordan is Patrick Ewing, according to Wojnarowski: After an interview with Charlotte management, owner Michael Jordan personally reached out to Patrick Ewing to tell him he’s been eliminated as a candidate to coach the Bobcats, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
- While the Thunder tried to fight back from a 20-point deficit against the Spurs in vain in Game 2, there was a different type of fight going on in the stands between a Thunder fan and a Spurs fan, as seen on USA Today.
- There is no certainty to the future of Larry Bird – aside from having no interest in going after restricted free agent Eric Gordon – but he seems to indicate the possibility of a return as President of the Pacers as long as he is on the same page with the owner of the team, writes Mike Wells of Indianapolis Star: “(I want to talk to him about) the direction of the team, what kind of job he thinks we’re doing, if there’s anything he sees that we should be doing better,” Bird said today during his season-ending press conference. “Just a number of questions. I’ve got a lot of them written down to ask him and hopefully we can get the answers we like and move on.”
- Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry holds a monthly contest on twitter known as #SC30. I once won this contest which landed me this chat session. You can have your chance too because for this month, he will be chatting live during the Heat-Celtics game slated for tonight. RSVP to join the party.
James Park is a regular contributor and blogger for SheridanHoops.com. You can find him on twitter @nbatupark.