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Report: Kawhi Leonard Returns to Practice, Close to Return

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Sooner rather than later appears to be coming soon.

All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard accompanied the Spurs on their two-game road swing that opens tonight in Memphis. He is on the road to complete what coach Gregg Popovich calls “the last steps” in a months-long rehabilitation from a quadriceps injury.

Leonard has played two sessions of 5-on-5, going both halfcourt and full. At shootaround this morning at the FedEx Forum, Leonard practiced with the full team for the first time, Popovich said.

“Those are the last steps,” Popovich said. “That’s what Tony (Parker) did before he came back.”

Parker has played in two games since returning from a torn quadriceps tendon suffered in last season’s playoffs. Leonard, the Spurs’ leading scorer and top defender, has yet to play due to lingering teninopathy in his quad.

The team has announced no specific target date for Leonard’s return. Popovich has repeated “sooner rather than later” so often it is beginning to sound like a mantra. Yet it is clear from Leonard’s place in the rehab process that his 2017-18 debut is growing near.

“He’s starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident,” Popovich said.

Source: Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News

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Paul Millsap Returns to Practice, Return Still Unknown

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Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap on Wednesday returned to his first full practice since undergoing left wrist surgery in November. Although Millsap said it felt good to be back with his teammates, he stopped short of putting an exact date on when he’ll return to game action.

“Hopefully pretty soon,” Millsap told reporters, according to the Denver Post. “It feels good now. We’ll see how it feels in the morning or after [Thursday’s] practice, and we’ll go from there. My intention was to come right back after the All-Star break and get into it, but we have to be smart about it. This was my first practice today, full contact, and I have to be smart about my wrist and my body.”

Source: ESPN

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Mark Cuban Fined $600K for ‘Tanking’ Comments

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 by the NBA for saying his team should tank this season.

Cuban called tanking “brutal” but acknowledged that he told his team that it would be best to lose for the rest of the 2017-18 season. Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that the fine was for “for public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

Source: ESPN

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LeBron on Potential Playoff Reseeding: ‘Let’s not get too crazy’

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Fresh off being named MVP of the NBA All-Star Game played in a reimagined format that seemingly reinvigorated the February festivities, LeBron James urged the league to pump the brakes when it comes to potential changes to the playoffs.

“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs,” James said after Cleveland Cavaliers practice Wednesday. “You have Eastern Conference and you have Western Conference. You have Eastern Conference champions, you have guys from the Eastern Conference that win the big dance and sometimes you have it from the West as well.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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