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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Saturday, May 4th, 2013

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David Lee (hip) may sit out Games 1 & 2 05-04-2013
David Lee F SA
David Lee (torn hip flexor) will be in uniform for Game 1 vs. the Spurs, but he admitted that he may not play in the first few games of the series.

CSN Bay Area
"I will be used as much as I can tolerate it," said Lee. "That may not be at all in the first couple of games, that might be a minute or two, who knows?" Lee's hip isn't swollen but he doesn't have much strength or lift in his right leg, and we're not expecting much from him in the second round. His injury shifts even more weight onto Carl Landry and Andrew Bogut (himself banged up), and the Warriors will deploy small lineups early and often.
Deng (illness), Kirk (calf) both day-to-day 05-04-2013
Luol Deng F LAL
Luol Deng (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (calf) are both day-to-day as the Bulls head toward Monday's Game 1 matchup vs. the Heat.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade loom large and the Bulls are praying that Deng will recover in time to play -- he had "spinal fluid leakage" which caused vicious migraines, but he was released from the hospital on Saturday and his 'day-to-day' tag is mildly encouraging. With Deng and Hinrich out on Saturday, plenty of minutes were available for Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler.
Joe Johnson awful as Bulls end Nets' season 05-04-2013
Joe Johnson F UTH
Joe Johnson (plantar fasciitis) withered away in Brooklyn's Game 7 defeat, scoring six points on 2-of-14 shooting, with all of his points coming in the second half. Johnson was quickly exposed as a liability for the Nets. He was a wraith defensively, he bricked or passed up numerous open shots, and he attempted just one free throw all game. It was a massive flop for the Nets' highest-paid player, who earned $19.7 million this season and is owed another $69.5 million through 2015-16. Ideally a summer of rest and greater familiarity with his teammates will lead to success next season, but it's not a bet we'd make on draft day.
Gerald Wallace solid in season-ending loss 05-04-2013
Gerald Wallace F PHI
Gerald Wallace scored 19 points on Saturday, his highest total since mid-December, but it wasn't enough to avoid a disappointing Game 7 loss at home to the Bulls. Wallace, who scored double-digit points just 17 times all season, averaged 12.0 points in the first round. He didn't have a single FT attempt, steal or block tonight, and he grabbed two rebounds in 40 minutes, but at times his energy single-handedly kept the Nets in the game. He made three 3-pointers and handed out five assists in a shrug-worthy conclusion to a lousy season.
Marco Belinelli scores 24 pts in Game 7 win 05-04-2013
Marco Belinelli G CHA
Marco Belinelli scored 24 points in Chicago's decisive victory on Saturday, hitting 8-of-14 shots with three 3-pointers in 41 minutes of action. The Bulls won behind an intense team-wide effort, including strong games from Marquis Teague and Taj Gibson, and Bellineli's unlikely heroism stood above the rest. He shot 43.5 percent in the previous six games and barely played in Games 2, 3 and 4, but was relied upon heavily tonight with Kirk Hinrich (calf) and Luol Deng (illness) both unavailable. Chicago advances to face a well-rested Heat team in the second round.
Bulls win Game 7 behind Joakim Noah's 24 & 14 05-04-2013
Joakim Noah C NY
Joakim Noah led Chicago to a Game 7 win in Brooklyn on Saturday, racking up 24 points on 12-of-17 shooting with 14 rebounds (seven offensive), two assists, one steal, six blocks and just one turnover. Noah's minutes increased throughout the Bulls' first-round series and he said during shootaround that his feet feel "great." He sure looked great tonight -- when he wasn't scoring on unimpeded cuts to the basket, he simply dominated the Nets' weak single coverage. Joakim is averaging 19.0 points, 14.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 5.5 blocks in his past two games, and he'll need to have a huge second round for the Bulls to upset the heavily favored Heat.
Karl confirms McGee may start next season 05-04-2013
JaVale McGee C GS
George Karl confirmed that he may start JaVale McGee at center next season.

Denver Post
McGee started the final two games of the playoffs, averaging 9.5 points and 9.0 rebounds, and it has been reported that Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri felt there was a "lack of attention" given to McGee's development this year. "I know JaVale would like to start," Karl said after Game 6. "We'll push him to work hard this summer and get him to a position where that could be a possibility." Kosta Koufos and Anthony Randolph have guaranteed deals next year, while Timofey Mozgov has a $3.9 million qualifying offer, but McGee seems like the early favorite to start on opening night.
Hawks in no rush to decide on coach Drew 05-04-2013
Pooh Jeter G SAC
Hawks GM Danny Ferry will "take some time" before deciding whether to retain Larry Drew as the team's head coach.
Drew has been rumored to have interest in the 76ers vacant job if he isn't re-signed by Atlanta. This will be a huge summer for Ferry and the Hawks, who have only three guaranteed contracts for 2013-14 -- Al Horford, Lou Williams and John Jenkins. "I thought we had a really good season given what our circumstances were," Drew said after his team was eliminated in the first round. "Whether I'm back here or not, I don't know. The one thing I will say is I've had a great run here."
Carmelo (shoulder) says he'll play Sunday 05-04-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony (left shoulder) reiterated that he'll be ready for Game 1 vs. the Pacers on Sunday.

Marc Berman on Sulia
"There is some concern there," said Mike Woodson, "but if Melo tells me he can play, I'm all for Melo. If it's bothering him, we may have to rest him ... but he hasn't come to me." We'll keep an eye on his status but all signs point to him playing on Sunday. The league's leading scorer is averaging 29.2 points through six playoff games, but in three matchups this season the Pacers' defense held him to 22 points on 38 percent shooting.
Chauncey Billups would 'love' to stay w/ L.A. 05-04-2013
Chauncey Billups G DET
Chauncey Billups will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he said that he "would love to be back" with the Clippers next season.
L.A.'s disappointing first-round exit doesn't seem to have swayed Billups, who has said all along that he wants to re-sign with the Clippers. He admitted that he wasn't 100 percent healthy during the playoffs, which was glaringly obvious as he averaged a mere 6.2 points on 30.6 percent
Grant Hill still unsure about retirement 05-04-2013
Grant Hill F LAC
Grant Hill still isn't sure whether he'll retire this summer.
It was previously reported that Hill was "expected" to retire after 2012-13, but his quotes after the Clippers' playoff exit leave the door open for a return. "For the last four or five years I've been year to year," Hill said. "One plus is that I didn't play a lot this year, so instead of a 40-year-old body, I have a 38-year-old body."
Kirk Hinrich (calf) will not play in Game 7 05-04-2013
Kirk Hinrich G ATL
Kirk Hinrich (calf) will not play in Game 7 against the Nets on Saturday.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
He tried to warmup for the game and it was cut short. Hinrich was really only limited to just jump shooting, so he would have been a liability on the floor for Chicago. The Bulls are going to be razor thin with regards to depth and there will be a lot riding on Nate Robinson's shoulders.
Carlos Boozer has a slight ankle injury 05-04-2013
Carlos Boozer F LAL
Carlos Boozer is dealing with a slight left ankle injury for Saturday's Game 7 against the Nets.

CSN Bulls on Twitter
When it rains, it pours. Chicago is extremely banged up and to make matters worse, they were running late to Barclay's Center due to someone attempting to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. Boozer should be OK, but he might have to labor through the issue.
Luol Deng (illness) released from hospital 05-04-2013
Luol Deng F LAL
Luol Deng (illness) was released from Rush U Medical Center Saturday afternoon and returned home.

Chicago Tribune
Deng had spinal fluid leakage that caused excruciating migraine headaches and necessitated a procedure called a "blood patch" to stop the leaking. Deng is expected to remain hospitalized indefinitely. His status will be up in the air should the Bulls advance and Jimmy Butler will be busy again in Game 7 at Brooklyn.
Kevin Garnett says Celtics need a change 05-04-2013
Kevin Garnett PF MIN
Kevin Garnett said that the Celtics need to change their roster in the offseason.
"I think we need some additions," Garnett said on Friday. "Health hit us pretty hard this year and I'm sure they're gonna address that." The Celtics' age came back to bite them pretty hard and they ran out of gas in just about every game in the first round. Obviously, Rajon Rondo returning could alleviate some of Boston's needs this summer.
Derrick Rose (knee) not playing in Game 7 05-04-2013
Derrick Rose G NY
Derrick Rose will not play in Saturday's Game 7 against the Nets.
This isn't really big news and Rose has already said that he'll make his debut on his own terms. Rose tore his ACL on the same day as Iman Shumpert last season and Shumpert made his return way back on January 17. Rose says he could play in the next round against Miami, but the Bulls will have a tough time winning tonight with Luol Deng out and Kirk Hinrich dealing with an injury.
Amare could play in Game 3 vs. Indiana 05-04-2013
Amar'e Stoudemire F MIA
Mike Woodson said that Amare Stoudemire (knee) could play in Game 3 on Sunday May 11.

Ian Begley on Twitter
He is going to have contact in practice on Thursday and Friday, so that will be a big step to help determine his status for the second round. STAT has been out since March 7 and he missed 53 games during the regular season with problems in both of his knees. The Pacers allowed the least amount of points in the Eastern Conference while leading the NBA in field goal percentage allowed, so Amare's return would be a welcomed sight.
Tim Duncan sick, sits out practice Saturday 05-04-2013
Tim Duncan F SA
Tim Duncan missed practice Saturday due to a stomach bug.

Jeff McDonald on Twitter
Duncan is expected to be fine in time for Monday night's Game 1 against the Warriors. We'll sideline him just to be safe, but owners in playoff pools should expect Duncan to be active and ready to go Monday.
Dwyane Wade practices fully again on Saturday 05-04-2013
Dwyane Wade G CHI
Dwyane Wade (knee) practiced in full again Saturday and is all but certain to be in the lineup for Monday's Game 1.

Chris Tomasson on Twitter
Wade said Saturday he feels even better and at this point it would be shocking if he didn't start Monday night. Wade is playing through pain from a bone bruise, which we imagine has been helped by the Heat's ample amount of rest following a first-round sweep.
Kevin Martin rebounds in Game 6 clincher 05-04-2013
Kevin Martin G SA
Kevin Martin bounced back in a big way Friday night, scoring 25 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers.

Martin did his best James Harden impersonation Friday, hitting 7-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. It was a huge step up from Game 5 which saw Martin make just 1-of-10 shots. If the Thunder are going to make a run in the West without Russell Westbrook, they're going to need Martin to play like he did Friday night in and night out.
Thunder praise Jackson for Game 6 performance 05-04-2013
Reggie Jackson G DET
Reggie Jackson's teammates raved about the young guard's performance in Friday's Game 6 clinching victory.

Jackson flirted with triple-double territory, scoring 17 points to go along with eight assists, seven rebounds, one steal and one 3-pointer. Jackson has played pretty well since taking over for Russell Westbrook (knee surgery) as the Thunder's starting point guard. Although he started off in a platoon with Derek Fisher, Jackson has played 32 minutes or more in each of the last three games. As a starter this postseason, Jackson is averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 3-pointers per game.
Joe Johnson, Andray Blatche will play Game 7 05-04-2013
Joe Johnson F UTH
Joe Johnson (plantar fasciitis) and Andray Blatche (calf strain) will play through pain again Saturday night.

Tim Bontemps on Twitter
Neither player has missed a game in the series, although Johnson admitted he gets a painkilling shot before every game to treat the injury. The Bulls are extremely short handed with Luol Deng (illness) and Derrick Rose (knee surgery) still sidelined, Joakim Noah (foot) hobbled and Kirk Hinrich (calf) a game-time decision. If the Nets can't pull Game 7 out at home against that roster, there's going to be a lot of questions afteward.
Reggie Evans still sick, will play Saturday 05-04-2013
Reggie Evans F SAC
Reggie Evans (illness) isn't 100 percent but said he'll play Saturday's Game 7 anyway.

Tim Bontemps on Twitter
Evans hasn't missed a game in the series despite the illness. For the series, Evans is averaging 5.0 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 30.5 minutes per game.
Danny Ferry says he'll take time to evaluate 05-04-2013
Danny Ferry F SA
Hawks president Danny Ferry wouldn't speculate on the future of coach Larry Drew or Josh Smith on Saturday afternoon.

Hawks on Twitter
Ferry said he would "take some time" to evaluate the season and what the offseason might hold before making any player or coaching decisions. Drew remains under contract but it's unclear if he'll be part of Ferry's rebuilding effort, which includes boat loads of cap space this summer. It's unlikely that space will be devoted to Smith, who appears determined to test free agency in hopes of getting a max contract.
Chris Copeland's shoulder still not healed 05-04-2013
Chris Copeland SF NO
Chris Copeland said his shoulder is still not 100 percent.

New York Post
Copeland didn't play Friday night after coach Mike Woodson said he might replace the injured Steve Novak (back spasms) in the rotation. It was the third straight DNP-CD for Copeland, who says he's fine and ready to play. Novak remains out indefinitely, so there could be minutes for Copeland in the second round if he's healthy.
Rivers says Shumpert was Knicks' best Friday 05-04-2013
Iman Shumpert G CLE
Doc Rivers called Iman Shumpert the Knicks' best player during Friday's clinching Game 6 win.

New York Post
Shumpert had 17 points, six rebounds, three 3-pointers and two assists in arguably his best game this season. He also had the biggest steal of the game, stripping Paul Pierce and coasting in for a layup to help halt a Celtics run with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter. Shumpert appears to be rounding into form one year after tearing his ACL in the Knicks' first-round series.
Kirk Hinrich still not ruled out for Game 7 05-04-2013
Kirk Hinrich G ATL
Kirk Hinrich (calf) remains a game-time decision for Game 7 against the Nets on Saturday.

Hinrich is doing everything he can to play, but half of the team's beat corps seems to think it's doubtful he suits up for deciding game. With Luol Deng (illness) still hospitalized and Derrick Rose (knee) not returning, the Bulls could really use Hinrich on Saturday night, even if it's in a limited capacity. Hinrich will likely have to prove in warmups that he can play through the pain. It'll be Nate Robinson's show once again if Hinrich is sidelined.
Derrick Rose: Nobody can tell me what to do 05-04-2013
Derrick Rose G NY
Derrick Rose (knee surgery) says he's in control of his rehab and nobody, including his brother, can tell him when or if to return to the court.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
Rose had an impromptu media session after shootaround Saturday morning, addressing a lot of recent reports regarding his status, including his brother saying there's a "90 percent chance" Rose would return if the Bulls advanced. "My brother and them can't tell me what to do with my body. I'm in control of the whole process. It's really all on me," said Rose, who also won't rule himself out for the rest of the season.
No league punishment for Randolph, Griffin 05-04-2013
Zach Randolph F MEM
The NBA will not punish Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin for their altercation during Friday's Game 6, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne on Twitter
Randolph and Griffin ended up wrestling on the ground during the game and there had been some thought Z-Bo would hear from the league before the second round. However, Shelburne said she's been told there's "nothing to worry about" from a league perspective.
Luol Deng still hospitalized, out for Game 7 05-04-2013
Luol Deng F LAL
Luol Deng (illness) remains in a Chicago-area hospital and will not play in Game 7.

Brian Mahoney on Twitter
Deng tweeted Friday that he had to return to the emergency room after his symptoms worsened. While Saturday's game is important, Deng's long-term health is far away the priority here. It sounds like this is way more than your ordinary flu bug or infection and at this point we just hope he'll be able to get past it.
David Lee could play key minutes vs. Spurs 05-04-2013
David Lee F SA
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said David Lee (hip) could play meaningful minutes against the Spurs.

Contra Costa Times
Lee returned in Thursday's Game 6, paying 87 seconds despite a torn hip flexor. Lee will undergo surgery this offseason, but Jackson said he could play Lee for a few minutes at a time during meaningful situations in the Warriors' second-round series against the Spurs. Jackson did note it all depends on Lee's pain threshold and he's not even 100 percent sure how much Lee can do.
Bobcats add Steve Clifford to candidate list 05-04-2013
Michael Jordan G CHA
The Bobcats will interview Lakers assistant Steve Clifford for their head coaching vacancy.

Charlotte Observer
Clifford is the sixth known candidate to potentially fill the position vacated by the firing of Mike Dunlap, joining Alvin Gentry, Nate Tibbetts, Kelvin Sampson, Jeff Hornacek and Elston Turner. Turner was an assistant for Mike Brown and then Mike D'Antoni with the Lakers this season after spending nine seasons combined on the staffs of Jeff and Stan Van Gundy.
Steve Novak already ruled out for Game 1 05-04-2013
Steve Novak F MIL
Steve Novak (back) has already been ruled out for Game 1 of the Knicks' second-round series.

New York Post
Novak didn't play in Game 6 on Friday night after his back began to spasm during Wednesday's game. The Knicks are tagging him as out "indefinitely" for the moment, with Mike Woodson not even sure if Novak can return in time for Game 2. Chris Copeland could see some extra minutes if his shoulder heals up a bit between now and tip-off Sunday.
Anthony says shoulder popped out Friday night 05-04-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony says his shoulder's still sore but said he'll be ready for Game 1 of the Knicks' second-round series.

ESPN New York
That's obviously a change from Anthony's "feels great" declaration Friday afternoon. Of course, Anthony also said after Friday's win that the shoulder popped out and back in during a fourth-quarter collision with Avery Bradley. Regardless of whether Anthony says he'll be ready for Game 1, it's clear that the shoulder is at least worth monitoring going forward.
Harden to be an active recruiter for Rockets 05-04-2013
James Harden G HOU
James Harden said he'll definitely try to recruit free agents to join him in Houston this summer.

Marc Stein on Twitter
Of course, the big name out there is Dwight Howard, who has been linked to Houston if he declines to re-sign with the Lakers. When asked about joining the Rockets' chase for Howard, Harden apparently smiled and said "Maybe. Possibly." With players like Harden, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons already in place, the Rockets should be a very intriguing destination this summer.
Josh Smith sounds like a goner after Game 6 05-04-2013
Josh Smith F HOU
Josh Smith didn't sound like a player ready to re-sign with the Hawks after Atlanta was eliminated Friday night.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Smith spent a lot of time after Friday's loss seemingly reminiscing about his time in Atlanta and saying he wants to "experience free agency." Of course, it probably didn't help that the Atlanta crowd booed him at times during what was possibly his last game as a member of the Hawks. Smith will likely be looking for a max contract, but it remains to be seen if there's any team enamored enough with his game to cough up that kind of money.
Paul Pierce still plans to play if bought out 05-04-2013
Paul Pierce F LAC
Paul Pierce said he plans to play next season regardless of whether his contract is bought out by the Celtics.

ESPN Boston
Only $5 million of Pierce's $15.3 million team option is guaranteed next season if the team buys him out before June 30. Pierce has made it clear he wants to retire as a member of the Celtics, but it's possible he might not have a choice. GM Danny Ainge said the Pierce decision will be a "very hard" one for the franchise. We can't imagine Pierce in another uniform, but we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.
Kevin Garnett says too early to know future 05-04-2013
Kevin Garnett PF MIN
Kevin Garnett says he hasn't thought about whether he'll return for a 19th season in 2013-14.

ESPN Boston
Garnett and the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs Friday night, immediately sparking questions about the future of him and Paul Pierce. "I haven't really thought about it, to be honest with you. I'm kind of digesting, obviously, the current, and Doc came to me, pulled Paul and I to the side and all three of us agreed to speak later -- too emotional," Garnett said. KG made it clear, however, that the Celtics' decision on whether to retain Pierce will be a big part of his decision.
Clock now ticking on Vinny Del Negro decision 05-04-2013
Vinny Del Negro G
The Clippers are expected to take "about a week" to evaluate the season before deciding on coach Vinny Del Negro's fate, a source told ESPN Los Angeles.

ESPN Los Angeles
For his part, Del Negro said he would "absolutely" like to return after his contract expires in June. Team sources told ESPN L.A. that no decision had been made yet and the Clippers' early playoff exit won't be the only factor in determining Del Negro's future, which is good considering the Clippers won their first division title in one of the best seasons in franchise history. We're guessing a big part of Del Negro's fate will come down to Chris Paul, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and is one of the faces of the franchise, along with Blake Griffin.
Z-Bo, Conley lead Grizzlies to Game 6 win 05-04-2013
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph (ankle) scored 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and four assists as the Grizzlies took down the Clippers by the score of 118-105 in Friday's clinching Game 6 win. Randolph might hear from the league for his altercation with Blake Griffin, though both players remained in the game and a suspension would be unlikely. Mike Conley (23 points, seven assists), Tony Allen (postseason-best 19 points, seven boards, six assists, four steals) and Tayshaun Prince (11 points, six boards, five assists, one steal, two blocks) were much too productive against a Clipper team with very few producers tonight.
Clips get eliminated, enter uncertain summer 05-04-2013
Chris Paul G LAC
Chris Paul (thumb) played 41 minutes in the Clippers' elimination loss to the Grizzlies in Game 6 on Friday, scoring 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting with four rebounds, eight assists and a steal. Paul looked great though the Clippers made a tactical error in going away from him late, and the Clippers will now enter the offseason trying to re-sign Paul and most likely trying to find a new coach. Matt Barnes scored a playoff career-best 30 points, while Jamal Crawford played just 12 scoreless minutes on an 0-for-5 shooting night.
Griffin (ankle) plays 14 eventful minutes 05-04-2013
Blake Griffin F LAC
Blake Griffin (ankle) played 14 eventful minutes in Friday's Game 6 elimination loss, scoring nine points on 3-of-5 shooting to go with three rebounds. Griffin had four fouls and ended up wrastlin' on the floor with Z-Bo on a play in which both players could get calls from the league office (though both guys stayed in the game). Griffin's injury was just about the worst thing that could have happened to the Clippers given the Grizzlies' strength on the interior, and it's a disappointing ending for a team that could have made some noise in the depleted West.
Harden productive, but inefficient in Game 6 05-04-2013
James Harden G HOU
James Harden (strep throat) hit just 7-of-22 shots in Friday's 103-94 elimination loss to the Thunder in Game 6, finishing with 26 points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks in 43 minutes. Derek Fisher was able to cover him and that should tell folks all they need to know about how Harden felt. The Rockets played a solid brand of basketball this season and with a superstar in play they now need to build around him. Chandler Parsons scored 25 points with seven boards, Francisco Garcia stepped up with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Omer Asik went for 13 and 13 with a steal and two blocks in the loss.
Lin (chest) plays 13 minutes in Game 6 loss 05-04-2013
Jeremy Lin G BKN
Jeremy Lin (chest) played 13 minutes in Friday's Game 6 loss, scoring three points on 1-of-4 shooting with one rebound and one block. Clearly Lin would have played more if he was at full strength, especially with Patrick Beverley (eight points, zero assists, 32 minutes) unable to get anything real going tonight. Lin exceeded many people's expectations this season, but at the same time he didn't blow them away.
Durant, Thunder put away Rockets...finally 05-04-2013
Kevin Durant F GS
Kevin Durant scored 27 points on 11-of-23 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block as the Thunder eliminated the Rockets in Game 6 on Friday. It took them long enough. Even without Russell Westbrook they have the second best player in the NBA in Durant and a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Serge Ibaka, but rigid and misguided coaching from Scott Brooks yet again made this a tight series. Ibaka hit just 4-of-13 shots for 10 points with seven boards and two blocks, while Reggie Jackson filled in admirably with 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. If there is a silver lining for Thunder fans -- Kendrick Perkins was benched and Nick Collison got on the floor.