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Bulls’ Thibodeau Denies Feeling Pressure

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If there were a season coach Tom Thibodeau might be feeling some pressure, you’d think this would be it.

Early playoff exits — two first-round ousters in three seasons — seem to be stacking up for Thibodeau, so surely there has to be a bit of anxiety building for him in his fifth season.

“No, I don’t look at it the way you guys do,’’ Thibodeau said Friday. “Like, ‘This team on paper, that team on paper, expectations here,’ it’s not the way to approach it. The way to approach it is to understand what goes into winning and do those things every day. Don’t take any shortcuts, don’t skip steps and prepare as best you can.”

via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times

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Adam Silver: NBA Considering Playoff Restructure

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver floated the possibility of a modified playoff seeding system Saturday that could pit the league’s best two teams against each other in the Finals without changing the number of teams from each conference that make the postseason.

Silver said his concept would keep the best eight teams from each conference in the playoffs, but would seed those teams 1-16. In that scenario, if the top two teams were from the same conference, it would set up a possible Finals meeting.

“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals,” Silver said. “You could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else. So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways.”

At this point it is just conceptual; there are no plans for a vote. However, it is the furthest Silver has gone in altering the postseason format since becoming commissioner.

Source: Brian Windhorst of ESPN

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Report: Referees, Players Held Meeting to Discuss Tensions

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A small group of NBA referees and players held a meeting Saturday, working to relieve mounting tension between the sides.

The meeting included three players, three referees and officials from both the referees’ union and the players’ union. Among the items agreed on was establishing a direct communication line between the two unions that would not involve the NBA league office to address issues that arise between the sides, the unions announced in a joint statement.

Several issues that have been causing friction were raised during the meeting. One, sources told ESPN, is the referees’ enforcement of the so-called “respect for the game” rules. These rules were introduced by the NBA in 2010 and updated in 2015 and were aimed at limiting players’ reactions to referee decisions, among other issues.

Source: Brian Windhorst of ESPN

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Report: Channing Frye Undergoes Appendectomy

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Channing Frye had a successful Laparoscopic Appendectomy last night in Cleveland, it was announced today.

Frye, who is spending the All-Star break in Cleveland with his family, will be re-evaluated when he returns to Los Angeles in approximately one week.

Source: Los Angeles Lakers

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