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Good morning, it's the NBA's most important day of the year

And no, we're not talking about Pacers-Heat Game 2. Here's your Tuesday NBA newsletter.


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Good morning. Let's basketball.

SURPRISE SURPRISE: It turns out that Serge Ibaka's absence did matter, and that the Spurs are indeed super good. San Antonio beat the Thunder 122-105. Why yes, that is a lot of points.Two Thunder starters went scoreless, and neither of them was named Kendrick Perkins. Tim Duncan had 27. Kawhi Leonard did this. Not even Steven Adams poking Boris Diaw in the eye could help. (Let's just be glad Kawhi didn't poke anyone in the eye.)

Speaking of Kawhi's hands, here's an interesting Scott Cacciola feature on them. That's not as weird as it might sound.

Here's the WTLC recap. And the Pounding The Rock recap.

Woj reports that Ibaka is trying to come back early, and is looking to do some shooting drills by the end of this week.

Game 2 is Wednesday. It's not looking great for Oklahoma City.

TONIGHT: The Heat seek revenge in Game 2 of the ECF at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here's a breakdown on how Paul George lit up LeBron in Game 1. Also, my piece on Roy Hibbert's impact and importance. But first ...

HAPPY DRAFT LOTTERY! It's at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bucks, Sixers and Magic have the best chance of winning a vaunted top-3 pick. (And let's be clear: you want a top-3 pick this year.) The fates of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid hang in the balance. We'll have full coverage in the run-up and immediately following the lotto.

AGAIN? The Inside The NBA crew goes boldly where they have repeatedly gone to no avail: making fun of San Antonio women. It's not funny. Please stop.

WHAT THE HADES? Surprise! The Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien and assistant GM Stu Lash resigned on Monday, and coach Dave Joerger and EVP John Hollinger might follow them. Chris Wallace, who reportedly hasn't been in the Grizz offices in a year, will run the team through the draft. Levien actually put together the ownership group and owns a small stake of the team.

Just bizarre, left field stuff that does not make the Grizzlies look at all stable. Grizzly Bear Blues has more.

EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THE PISTONS IN 5 CHARTS. Josh Smith's shot chart is only one of the five charts.

'BIG GUYS ARE ALWAYS SENSITIVE': Killer Donnie Walsh line in Harvey Araton's column on Hibbert's ups and down.

LOVE AFFAIR: Ricky Rubio said something about Kevin Love's leadership that has surely been mangled in translation. Glen Taylor said he's not trading Love before the draft.

WELPVILLE: Adam Silver's ban hammer may have complicated the NBA's quest to remove Donald Sterling from ownership. K.B. Blinn reports.

Meanwhile, the official charge stripping the Clippers from Sterling has been filed, with a date of June 3 set for Sterling's hearing. Can we please televise his presentation? Please please please?


JOE JESUS: Joe Johnson is that rare underrated and overpaid combo.

Happy Tuesday. See you next time.


Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.