- From Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings are staying put: “Mayor Kevin Johnson said today the Sacramento contingent is still trying to understand how the next two weeks will play out, but that the group hopes to have a deal finalized by the time the NBA’s Board of Governors votes on the matter May 15. The purchase would need to be accepted by the Maloofs, who currently own the team.”
“We hope to be in a position at that point where our ownership group gets approved,” said the mayor, speaking after a schoolyard garden dedication at Sacramento Charter High School. “That’s our end game.”
- More from Lillis: “The Maloof family still has an agreement to sell the Kings to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, who are seeking to move the team to Seattle. In a statement released late Monday, Hansen said he remains “fully committed to seeing this transaction through.”
- Thursday night will be the biggest game of Houston Rockets’ rookie Patrick Beverley as he returns to Oklahoma City. More from Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski: “Beverley keeps stepping between the Oklahoma City Thunder and their chase for a championship. They will forever remember Beverley as the man responsible for cutting down Russell Westbrook, costing him season-ending knee surgery. They will forever remember Westbrook pounding that scorer’s table, limping away and leaving Kevin Durant without his running mate. Moments before the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka missed a layup at the buzzer of a 105-103 loss, they will remember Beverley sliding his feet, getting between Durant and a driving basket to push Game 4 into overtime on Monday night. This was a charge to spare the Rockets a sweep at the Toyota Center, to drag the Thunder back to Oklahoma City on Wednesday night for Game 5.”
- According to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, although Kirk Hinrich is injured, he is still showing his worth to the team: “The veteran guard had expressed hope before Monday morning’s shootaround that he may only have to miss one game, but his actions after Monday’s game told a different story. As he dressed a few moments later and strapped on a walking boot, it looked and sounded very unlikely that he would be able to play in Thursday’s Game 6 unless a dramatic change of events occurred. The impact Hinrich has on the game was not lost on his teammates after the Bulls’ 19-point loss in Game 5. They know how much of a presence he has on and off the floor and they know they’re in a bind without him. Hinrich’s leadership was missed Monday but not nearly as much as his defensive presence on Nets guard Deron Williams and his calming presence on the offensive end. Williams had 23 points and 10 assists — but the key was that Hinrich’s absence forced Robinson into playing almost 44 minutes. While Robinson still played a solid game, the energy the diminutive guard usually brings into contests was muted a little due to all his added responsibilities. The difference was not lost on Williams.”
- Think somebody has what it takes to beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat this postseason? You better check with SheridanHoops’ Evan Abrams first: “If any other team than the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs win the NBA Finals at this point it will seem like a big surprise across the league. They are the two teams with the most experience not only in the playoffs, but winning championships and in the finals. The only other collective team to make the NBA Finals still in contention is the Oklahoma City Thunder and they are now attempting to do it without their 2nd and 3rd top scorers from last year in Russell Westbrook and James Harden.”
- More from Abrams: “If you look strictly at the odds, the biggest threat to the Miami Heat is obviously the San Antonio Spurs when it comes to the NBA Finals (5.9/1) and it is the New York Knicks (17.5/1) when it comes to the Eastern Conference. If there was one key to playing the NBA futures market through the Regular Season and the Playoffs, it has to be timing. There are very few dominant teams like the Heat, whose odds may never go much higher based on losing a game or two in the playoffs.”
Ben Baroff is a basketball journalist who blogs for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter here.