EASTERN PREVIEW: PACERS-HEAT
The East is set! Will the underrated Pacers build on their solid playoff success against Miami from last year, or will the favored Heat have learned from it to win more handily this time?
WESTERN PREVIEW: GRIZZLIES-SPURS
Will the Grizzlies' youth and defense prevail in what will likely be a long, physical series? Or will San Antonio's experience and depth win out and vault them into the NBA Finals?
VERY MUCH CLUTCH
Being able to step up when it matters most is key to winning in the postseason. With this year's playoffs approaching the Conference Finals stage, which players have been most clutch so far?
Carl Landry called his current contract situation "the hardest decision" of his career.
Contra Costa Times
Landry can opt out of his deal with the Warriors that has one year and $4 million remaining on it, and while he'd be virtually guaranteed a bigger pay day and a multi-year deal in free agency, he really likes the Warriors and may wind up staying with the team. "I mean, this is the best team I've ever played for on this level, especially as far as chemistry," he said. The Warriors are Landry's first option, but we'll see if that holds true when the bidding starts.
Bradley Beal (leg) confirmed he's not feeling any pain, but he still hasn't been cleared to play.
"I feel no pain, but the [stress reaction] is still there," he said. "It's always frustration. But at the same time, I have to stay positive, make sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. Making sure I'm able to take care of myself and just stay on top of it. " Beal's recovery is taking a little longer than expected, but he will be fine well in advance of training camp.
The Suns could target Maryland's Alex Len with the No. 5 pick in the NBA draft.
"I have the biggest upside in this draft with the big guys," Len said at last week's draft combine. "I think maybe 10 years from now I'll be the best player out of this draft." Len is a legitimate seven-footer, but it's not clear if the Suns are really considering him at this time. Len is currently rehabbing from ankle surgery and was projected to have a 4-6 month recovery timetable when he underwent the procedure in early May.
Paul George admitted to slipping up against LeBron James late in Game 1 which led to James' game-winning basket in overtime.
I slipped up, I just slipped up at the end," a sullen George said. "To have an opportunity to take the first game and be in the lead of the series ... and not being able to do it because of the last possession ... it hurts." George and the rest of the Pacers have plenty of motivation entering Game 2 vs. Miami.
Amare Stoudemire was not happy with his role this season and wants to play a bigger part next season.
New York Daily News
After GM Glen Grunwald said STAT could be on a minutes cap, it appears as if Stoudemire is preparing himself to play as much as he can. "You know Amar'e, he's going to work as hard as he can during the offseason," said Happy Walters, Stoudemire's agent. "It was a tough year, but Amar'e is already looking forward to next season. He'll be ready." It's unclear what kind of role he'll have next season since Mike Woodson won't commit to him as a starter.