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Lynx Open Training Camp, Clippers at Rockets Game Seven

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The last game in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs is this afternoon.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Lynx open training camp today at the new practice facility downtown looking to get back to their championship winning ways after falling short last season. A full preview is coming soon, but a few Lynx notes:

  • Maya Moore is back in the fold having signed a multi-year contract extension with the team. She's coming off an MVP season and will be looking for more of the same. That jump shot...
  • The Lynx will be without center Janel McCarville this season as she is simply not physically able to play. Whether we've seen the last of her in a Lynx uniform (or any uniform for that matter) is unknown at this point, but if we do, it won't be this year.
  • Because of McCarville's absence, the Lynx traded for Asjha Jones from the Connecticut Sun. Jones is a veteran big but hasn't played the last two seasons due to injuries. Apparently she's healthy and ready to play, but we'll have to see if she can last the season and play effectively.
  • The Lynx also traded for guard Anna Cruz from the New York Liberty to provide some back court depth. Cruz is playing with the Spanish national team in Eurobasket, however, and won't report to the Lynx until about three weeks into the season.
  • The Lynx open the regular season on June 5th at home against the Tulsa Shock. We'll be there to cover it.
WOLVES

  • We are two days away from the draft lottery, where we will find out where the Wolves will be picking in the first round. Of course they can't fall lower than 4th.
  • I was thinking about reviewing past Wolves lotteries. Everyone remembers 1992 (Shaq and Zo go 1-2 and the Wolves pick 3rd), but '93 and '94 are underrated disappointments as well. Among the players They missed out on those years were Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, and Jason Kidd. Wound up with J.R. Rider and Donyell Marshall though.
  • Here's a question: assuming they hadn't dropped in all three of those lotteries, and wound up with at least ONE of the aforementioned players, they probably would not have been in the 5th spot in 1995, which of course wound up being Kevin Garnett. Would things have worked out better? Worse? What say you?
  • Some scuttlebutt that the Wolves are going to look to package their 2nd round picks to move back into the first round. Chad Ford said something about it, and the Wolves used several of their interviews on projected mid first rounders like Tyus Jones and Sam Dekker. I'm not sure they really want another guaranteed rookie contract, but what do you think? At the very least (depending on what the deal looks like) it would be using the 2nds to try to get talent as opposed to, you know, cash.
  • Lots of interest in Jones among the fan base, for obvious reasons--everyone loves the local kid. I'm not sure he's the best guy, but I'd be reasonably satisfied if they trade up for him. He looks a lot like Jameer Nelson to me. More to the point, if they move up to draft a point guard, it probably means the end of the Zach LaVine at point guard experiment, which would be nice.
  • Here's another possibility, tweeted by Wolfson this morning--another UCLA guy with more physical gifts than production! Surprise!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Possibly. Looney, if he falls. Hear <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Twolves?src=hash">#Twolves</a> have done a lot of background work on him (others too, I&#39;m sure). <a href="https://t.co/t1ZpnAJCjx">https://t.co/t1ZpnAJCjx</a></p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) <a href="https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/599944664251277313">May 17, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The last game of the 2nd round of the playoffs takes place today:


Clippers at Rockets
2:30 pm CDT
ABC

Surprisingly, this series has gone seven games. The Rockets looked dead when the fell behind 3-1. They looked dead in game six when the Clippers had a double digit lead in the 4th quarter. And yet they survived thanks to star performances from their non-star players Josh Smith and Corey Brewer, among others. Now they get a game seven at home, and it will be up to James Harden to come up with a big game to get them to the conference finals.

The Clippers must be incredibly frustrated that they failed to close it out at home in game six, but they have to shake that off and find the game that got them control of the series over the first four games. That was terrific offense led by Chris Paul and especially Blake Griffin, taking advantage of Rockets turnovers, and getting their shooters open.

Frankly, I have no idea what to expect today. That's a good thing.

Finally, in Headlines that Amuse Me; there is this from espn.com:

American Pharoah Takes Preakness, Eyes Triple Crown

Uh...I suspect the horse is perhaps eyeing a bag of oats, or maybe the filly in the next stall. I seriously doubt he's planning his trip to Belmont Park.

Enjoy your Sunday.