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Fisher Believes Knicks Are Motivated After Trade

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“Probably what jumps out the most is you still have to work pretty hard to motivate and inspire guys at this level,’’ (Knicks Coach Derek) Fisher said.

You couldn’t help but think Fisher was referring to some of the guys who were gone — (Samuel) Dalembert, (J.R.) Smith and, to a lesser extent, (Iman) Shumpert, who could never be accused of having the highest basketball IQ for all his gifts.

Fisher also may be pointing to suddenly revived Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jason Smith. The remark showed Fisher was naïve when he took this job, thinking NBA players on guaranteed contracts were going to be supercharged for all 82 games.

Fisher talks about the basketball IQ and new mentality the new players have brought, making a statement Saturday in Charlotte that talent is not everything.

via Marc Berman of the New York Post

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Sources: Victor Oladipo to Opt Out of NBA Restart

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Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo has decided to sit out the resumed 2019-20 NBA season, telling The Athletic on Friday he can’t get his mind “to being fully comfortable” in playing.

“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing. I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”

Oladipo has one year left on his four-year, $84 million deal with the Pacers. Sources said Oladipo plans to travel with the team to Orlando despite his decision to opt out of playing, and that he will continue his rehab, support his teammates and join them inside the bubble environment.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: NBA Expected to OK ‘second bubble’ in Chicago

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The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Orlando, enabling mini-training camps and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Zhaire Smith Out for NBA Restart with Bone Bruise in Left Knee

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Philadelphia 76ers wing Zhaire Smith has a bone bruise in his left knee, per source. He will not travel to Orlando.

Smith began experiencing pain prior to the Sixers resuming workouts last week, and he started treatment immediately. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Source: Derek Bodner on Twitter

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