Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your beans.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Amid the speculation of whether a prime free-agent acquisition would prefer Pat Riley as Heat coach, there is one missing element that trumps the entire equation: Does Dwyane Wade(notes) want Pat Riley as coach? Considering Wade and Riley spoke after the season, Wade clearly didn't veto the prospect, or else Riley certainly never would have issued Monday's comments. Sometimes with Heat coaches it is difficult to tell who is coming and who is going. Of course, going from Point A to Point B never is simple with superstar players, since the long view hardly is their priority. But if Wade did not shoot down the notion of a Riley return, has he effectively shot down any chance of a continuing relationship with Erik Spoelstra? Clearly, at no point, did Wade step up to Riley and say that a term of his continuing South Florida employment is the continued employment of Spoelstra as the leading man on the bench. Because if he did, we would not be having this discussion today. The New York Post, from a distance, attempted to shed some light on the subject when it cornered Wade at the NBA Store in New York. 'Let me say it like this, I've won a championship with Coach Riley and I've won 15 games with Coach Riley,' Wade said of the 2006 title and the team's 2007-08 struggles. 'So it all depends on what year it is. We've had success. We've had turmoil. So it all depends.' Wade said he was not surprised by Riley's words. 'If you know coach, you know he's never lost the passion,' Wade said. 'He stepped aside to run the organization, but he never lost the passion to coach. I wasn't surprised at all. I understand where his mindset is, but, at the same time, Erik Spoelstra is still our coach, so I'm not putting much into it.'"
Doug Alden, AP: "Andrei Kirilenko is running out of patience and time to rehabilitate his left calf. After more than a month of waiting for his strained calf to heal, Kirilenko expects to be playing for the Utah Jazz when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday in the Western Conference playoffs. Already down 2-0 to the defending NBA champions, the short-handed Jazz can use even a limited version of Kirilenko. 'We don't have that kind of luxury to wait, especially right now,' Kirilenko said before the Jazz practiced Thursday. 'I feel way better than I was like a week ago so I have to get back and start playing the game.' The undersized Jazz will welcome back the lanky, 6-foot-9 Russian, even if his calf is still a little gimpy and he's out of condition after the long layoff. Kirilenko still has those long arms, which have blocked 1,306 shots in nine seasons and can pluck the ball out of a crowd of bulkier players vying for a rebound. 'AK brings a lot to the table. If he can get a blocked shot, get a couple of rebounds let his presence be known, it'll help us,' forward Carlos Boozer(notes) said. 'I know he's been out for a while so everybody's going to be interested to see how he does, but he's up for that challenge. His length will help us against their length.'"
Jeff Caplan, ESPNDallas.com: "Say this for Roddy Beaubois: Of the seven rookie guards whose teams made the playoffs, none came close to his rate of postseason points per minutes played. OK, so the Dallas Mavericks' youngster from Guadeloupe logged 21 of his 31 total playoff minutes and 16 of his 21 playoff points against San Antonio in the desperation of Game 6. Beaubois ended his first NBA playoffs by averaging 5.3 points in 7.8 minutes a game, but with a vow from management to greatly increase his floor time next season. The 2009 NBA Draft was the Year of the Guard. Of the 30 selections in the first round, 12 were guards. Beaubois was the least known and last of the group taken, 25th by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then traded to Dallas. The class actually shrunk to 11 when Ricky Rubio(notes), drafted fifth by Minnesota chose to remain in his native Spain. Of the 11 rookie guards, Beaubois' 56 regular-season appearances were fewer than only the 43 games played by Gerald Henderson(notes), the 12th overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats. And, Beaubois' average playing time of 12.5 minutes eclipsed only Henderson (8.3) and Jeff Teague(notes) (10.1 minutes in 71 games), the 19th pick by the Atlanta Hawks. In Beaubois' limited playing time this season -- which did include 16 starts -- he produced some remarkable performances. He bombed Golden State for 40 points and nine 3-pointers. He blasted Chicago for 18 points in the third quarter on his way to 24 points. He scored 16 in the second quarter the night earlier against the Kings on his way to 22. He became the first rookie in league history to finish his first season shooting 50 percent from the field (51.8), 40 percent from the 3-point arc (40.9) and 80 percent from the free throw line (80.8)."
Tom Withers, AP: "LeBron James knows he's in for a painful playoff run. Chasing an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers at less than 100 percent, the two-time league MVP said Thursday that his injured right elbow -- now with its own Twitter page -- feels better but it won't be completely healed until he rests it after the season. James has accepted his fate. 'I've got to play with it,' he said. James made it through a complete practice Thursday without his elbow 'flaring up' as the Cavaliers got in a final workout before heading to Boston for Game 3 on Friday night. After the Celtics' win in Game 2 on Monday evened the series, James spent the past few days icing his elbow and undergoing electrical stimulus treatments. A scheduled second MRI has been canceled, but James said doctors have told him his injury, diagnosed as a sprain and bone bruise, isn't going away anytime soon. 'It could be a recurring thing through the whole playoffs,' he said. 'If we continue to win and continue to be in the playoffs it could be a recurrence, and it may not be better until the offseason.'"
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe: "Doc Rivers getting Kevin Garnett(notes) to take a day off is a matter of getting the stars and the moon to align. 'We live on the planet of Doc Rivers,' Garnett said, 'and on that planet, you sit out some days and get rest.' Getting Garnett to sit Tuesday to rest a mid-foot strain that he sustained in the Game 2 win over Cleveland Monday night was typically difficult. In the second quarter of that game, Kendrick Perkins(notes) crash-landed into Garnett's foot trying to swat away an Anderson Varejao(notes) layup. Garnett played through the pain, going 33 minutes and drilling a 19-footer that finally chilled Cleveland in the Celtics' 104-86 win. But the flight home didn't help matters. 'Got on the plane and it blew up on me,' Garnett said. Perkins would walk away with a strained right knee. But what helped was the world's universal healer: time. Having three days between Game 2 and Game 3 left the Celtics with enough time to get Garnett both rest and treatment. Yesterday, Garnett and Perkins were back on the practice floor, and they both will play in Game 3 tonight."
Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express-News: "As Tim Duncan(notes) lined up a 3-pointer late in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, Alvin Gentry stood a few feet away, suffering a 2-year-old flashback. After Duncan's rare long ball swished, the Phoenix coach turned to his bench and laughed out loud. 'He's made two 3-pointers in his life,' Gentry said later. 'And they were both against us.' The opponent is about all Duncan's last two postseason bombs have in common. His first changed Game 1 of a playoff series two years ago, setting the tone for the Spurs' five-game cakewalk over the Suns in the first round. His latest was merely a desperate shot at the end of a desperate 110-102 loss and, for the Spurs, it set the stage for an even more desperate Game 3 tonight. Down 2-0 in the series, and aware no team has fallen into a 3-0 hole and lived, the Spurs aren't just facing one must-win game as the festivities shift to the AT&T Center. They are facing two. 'Both (Games 3 and 4) are must-wins,' Spurs guard Manu Ginobili(notes) said. 'We know we are in a really tough position, and we've got to take care of business the way they did (in Phoenix).'"
John Reid, New Orleans Times Picayune: "New Orleans Hornets owner Gary Chouest and his search team interviewed Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau and former NBA player Mark Jackson on Thursday in Boston. Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman confirmed that the interviews occurred and more are forthcoming. Chouest was joined by team president Hugh Weber and General Manager Jeff Bower in the separate interview sessions."
Geoffrey C. Arnold, The Oregonian: "Blazer assistant coach Monty Williams has attracted the attention of two teams looking for a head coach. Philadelphia will reportedly interview Williams Monday and New Orleans will meet with Williams soon after he exits his interview with the 76ers. Williams is considered a strong candidate for the job in New Orleans. The 76ers are looking for a new coach after firing Eddie Jordan after one season. The Sixers have reportedly met with former 76ers star and current TNT analyst Doug Collins and with former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson. New Orleans dumped Byron Scott early during the regular season and interim coach Jeff Bower returned to his general manager duties. The Hornets have met with Johnson, Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey, former Cleveland coach and current TNT analyst Mike Fratello."
Kate Fagan, Philadelphia Inquirer: "The 76ers do not plan to contact Byron Scott regarding the team's coaching vacancy, according to a source close to the situation. Two weeks into their search, the Sixers have formally interviewed at least two candidates, scheduled an interview with a third, and compiled a list of prospective coaches they plan to contact. Two names on that 'yet to contact' list had been former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell and Scott, the former New Orleans Hornets coach. According to one NBA source, Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski has yet to schedule an interview with Mitchell, but the source said that Mitchell's camp feels confident an official interview is on the horizon. A different NBA source confirmed that Scott would have been interested in interviewing for the position, if he'd been given the opportunity."
Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee: "The Kings are planning the 'NBA's GREATEST Draft Lottery Party' on May 18. It will be block party in Midtown Sacramento on 18th Street between L and Capitol. It will begin at 4 p.m., a half hour before the NBA Draft Lottery will be televised. This will be free to fans unlike last year's function at Center Court with C-Webb. 'We'd love to have all Kings fans from throughout Sacramento join us for this exciting event to learn what pick we'll have in this year's Draft,' said Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof in a statement. 'Our Lottery pick last year led to Tyreke winning NBA Rookie of the Year, and we'll have another high pick this year. The future of this team has never looked brighter.'"