Basketball Wiretap

Joel Embiid Says He's 'Capable Of Carrying The Team' On Offense

Jul 8, 2020 1:42 AM

Joel Embiid addressed the Philadelphia 76ers' offensive struggles ahead of the Orlando restart, saying that the offense should run through him. 

"I know what I'm capable of, and I know what my teammates think of me. I know I'm capable of carrying the team, so it's all about me being assertive. If I feel like I'm not getting the ball, I just got to talk to them and do what I have to do. ... I should never be in a position to complain about getting the ball, just because of who I am. I believe I can carry the team, and I believe being able to do that, I just got to take matters into my own hands," said Embiid.

The Sixers currently average 109.6 points per game, ranking 21st in the league.

Embiid also addressed his fit with Al Horford, saying that the duo needed to be surrounded by shooters.

"At times it could be better, but then again, everybody on the court has a job, and with that type of pairing you have to have shooters around. ... Especially when you got two inside presence like me and Al. He can post up, I can post up, and then around you've got to be able to have guys that are willing to shoot and that are going to shoot the ball. I think that's what needs to happen but I don't think that's a problem."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Bradley Beal To Travel To Orlando With Wizards, Still No Decision On Playing Status

Jul 7, 2020 1:21 AM

Bradley Beal will travel with the Washington Wizards to Orlando, but still has yet to decide whether he'll play in the Orlando bubble.

"No final decision. We are all still day by day. He's looking great. His physical condition has been pretty good and continues to improve every day, along with our other guys," said Scott Brooks.

Beal said last week that he was "not swayed one way or another" about resuming his season.

Brooks added that there is no timetable for Beal's decision.

The Wizards will be without John Wall and Davis Bertans in Orlando. 

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Playoffs

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Dwight Howard To Play In Orlando, Will Donate Rest Of Game Checks To His Non-Profit

Jul 7, 2020 1:10 AM

Dwight Howard has decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers in Orlando, sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Howard will donate the remainder of his game checks to Breathe Again, his non-profit campaign.

“My NBA salary and platform, while in the bubble, will be used to ignite a breath of fresh air into the community," said Howard in a statement.

Howard's complete statement is linked here.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kings Close Practice Facility Following Positive COVID-19 Test In Traveling Party

Jul 6, 2020 1:05 AM

The Sacramento Kings shut down their practice facility after a member of their traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, sources told Sam Amick of The Athletic.

The facility will likely remain closed before the team leaves for Orlando on Wednesday.

The Bucks also shut down their practice facility earlier on Sunday.

Players or staff who test positive for the coronavirus must test negative twice before receiving medical clearance to enter the bubble. 

Sam Amick/The Athletic

Tags: Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Bucks Shut Down Practice Facility After Receiving Results Of COVID-19 Tests

Jul 5, 2020 8:19 PM

The Milwaukee Bucks shut down their practice facility after receiving the results from the latest round of COVID-19 tests, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

It is unknown if there was more than one positive test.

The Bucks will keep the facility closed until their traveling party leaves for Orlando on Thursday.

Any player who tests positive for the coronavirus must receive two negative tests before being medically cleared to travel to the bubble. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Kristaps Porzingis On Adding New Elements To His Game: 'I'll Show It On The Court'

Jul 5, 2020 5:36 PM

Kristaps Porzingis said that feels completely healthy after the long layoff, and is ready for the resumption of the NBA season. 

"The extra time just gave all of us more time to recover from little things that we all have going on. Basically everybody has something, always, and we just play through it, so this extra time gave guys the opportunity to heal those little things, to be even in better shape and to feel better when we come back.”" said Porzingis.

Porzingis spent most of the lockdown in Latvia, where public restrictions were more relaxed than in America.

Porzingis added that he develop new parts of his game during the stoppage.

“It’s a secret. I’ll show it on the court.”

Callie Caplan/The Dallas Morning News

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Jacque Vaughn Discusses Relationship With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant: 'I Believe In Voice And Choice'

Jul 5, 2020 12:37 PM

Jacque Vaughn discussed how he's developed a personal relationship with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant ahead of the Orlando restart.

Both Irving and Durant have been ruled out for the rest of the season. 

“My conversations with those guys are generally based around me checking in with them to see how they’re doing. Some of those conversations lead into basketball, some of those conversations lead into life conversations, some of those conversations might lead into ‘I have a podcast for you to listen to.’ It ranges. For me, it’s more the connection of them knowing that I’m thinking about them, and that’s for players 1-15. That connection piece is huge. I believe in voice and choice, so if you don’t have a relationship with guys, you can’t ask for that," said Vaughn.

Vaugh, who replaced Kenny Atkinson as interim coach of the Nets, is reportedly the favorite to take over the job on a permanent basis. 

Vaughn added that he was excited by the possibility of working with the duo in the future. 

"It’s great having conversations with them about the process of basketball and how they see the game. I look forward to more of those conversations, though, too.”

Alex Smith/SNY

Tags: Jacque Vaughn, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Serge Ibaka On Raptors: 'Mentally, Everybody Is Ready'

Jul 4, 2020 11:06 PM

Serge Ibaka said that the Toronto Raptors were "locked in" as they prepare to head to Orlando next week.

"I've been in the league for 11 years. You can see when people's locked in and they are ready mentally, and when they are not. So I can tell you right now, mentally, everybody is ready. Everybody is ready," said Ibaka on a conference call on Saturday.

Ibaka and the Raptors were able to travel early to Florida, and are currently working out at Florida Gulf Coast University before they enter the bubble.

Ibaka added that the team was aiming for another title.

"We believe in us. We have the experience. We have the championship mentality already. We have confidence."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Players Must Arrange Own Travel If They Miss Scheduled COVID-19 Test Next Week

Jul 4, 2020 10:56 PM

NBA players will be forced to arrange their own travel plans if they miss the scheduled COVID-19 test two days before their team's departure to Orlando, according to a league memo.

If a player drives to Orlando, they will have to pass two negative tests before returning to the court.

If a player flies commercially, they will need three consecutive negative tests.

Teams are scheduled to fly into Orlando next week. 

Players who have tested positive must undergo two negative tests before they will be medically cleared to enter the bubble.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Third Heat Player Tests Positive For COVID-19

Jul 4, 2020 2:29 PM

A third Miami Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19, sources told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The team recently closed their practice facility after a second player tested positive. 

The Herald is not reporting the names of the two players who have recently tested positive, though both are rotation players.

Derrick Jones Jr. tested positive last week. 

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Tags: Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Landry Shamet Tests Positive For COVID-19, Unlikely To Travel To Orlando This Week

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Rudy Gobert Says Receiving Backlash Was 'Not Easy As A Human Being'

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

NBA Releases Scrimmage Schedule Set For July 22-28

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Teams To Scrimmage Opponent From Opposite Conference In Orlando

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Jeff Bzdelik Will Not Join Pelicans In Orlando, Alvin Gentry's Status Still Uncertain

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Anthony Davis: Lakers' Title Chances 'Got Higher' With Rest, Says He's 100% Healthy

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Sean Marks: Kevin Durant 'Continues To Be A Very Loud Voice' In Shaping Nets' Future

Ian Begley/SNY

Donovan Mitchell Says Relationship With Rudy Gobert Is 'Good'

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Doc Rivers Says He Expects Lou Williams 'To Be With Us' In Orlando

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Michael Malone: Nikola Jokic Expected To Rejoin Team For Orlando Trip Next Tuesday

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Rob Pelinka: Orlando Will Be 'As Much Of A Mental Test As It Is A Physical Test'

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Zhaire Smith To Sit Out Orlando Restart Due To Bone Bruise In Knee

Derek Bodner/The Athletic

Markelle Fultz Says He's Thinking About Orlando Bubble 'Like It's Going To Be An AAU Tournament'

Nick Friedell/ESPN

John Wall Will Not Join Wizards In Orlando Due To Exposure Concerns

Fred Katz/The Athletic

Wilson Chandler Opts Out Of Orlando Restart

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Rudy Gobert Says Taste Has Returned, But 'Smell Is Still Not 100%'

Kurt Helin/NBC Sports

Courtney Lee Looking To Join Mavs In Orlando Despite Season-Ending Injury

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Tobias Harris: Sixers 'Haven't Met Our Expectations So Far' This Season

Kurt Helin/NBC Sports

Jazz-Pelicans, Lakers-Clippers To Re-Open NBA Season On July 30th

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Kevin Durant Says He 'Probably Wouldn't Have Played' In Orlando Restart Even If Healthy

Alex Smith/SNY