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Let's hear a round of applause for the Grizzlies

Good morning. We have that and more in Wednesday's NBA newsletter.

Good morning. Let's basketball.

MATRICULATION: Paul Flannery and I debated the NBA age minimum, the best developmental route for elite players and what the league ought to do. Check it out.

BLESS YOU, CRAIG: Craig Sager's leukemia is no longer in remission. Blessings and prayers to a family that has already been through so much.


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CHA 105, BKN 100
MIA 113, NOP 99
HOU 107, OKC 111
MEM 100, LAL 107

UPDATED PLAYOFF PICTURE: No changes other than the Mavericks (No. 7 West) and Rockets (No. 8) switching up who will turn them into ritual sacrifices in the first round. The No. 3-6 seeds in the East are separated by a half-game.

A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THE GRIZZLIES: Memphis lost to LA, which is not good, but kudos to them for fighting despite overwhelming odds. Tony Allen went out there and scored 27 points on 12/12 shooting. Amazing things are happening in Memphis in the face of adversity. The playoffs might get ugly, but it's a small miracle that the Grizzlies are holding on to that No. 5 seed so strongly.

DRAFT TRACKER: Here's a running list of underclassmen who have declared for the draft. Keep in mind that this year it's easier for players to declare, work out for teams and return to school, so not all of these may be eligible in June.

MY BUDDY: Three charts that show Buddy Hield is the best college shooter since Steph Curry.

RAISING THE PUPS: Four things the Wolves need to do to become consistent winners.

MADNESS: The 10 wildest things from Week 1 of the tournament.

MARTELL WEBSTER'S NEXT VERSE: VICE reports on Martell Webster's budding rap career. He performed four sets at SXSW and has an album due this summer.

CAN'T BLAME JAMES HARDEN FOR THAT ONE: When Russell Westbrook is leading a 4-on-1 break against you ...

HAWKS RENAISSANCE: Zach Lowe looks at how the Hawks shifted their focus to defense when their once-devastating offense stopped clicking.

LOL: Shaq asks Kobe to drop 50 in the final game of the season.

ON THE AIR TONIGHT: ESPN doubleheader tonight: Knicks-Bulls (8 p.m. ET) followed by Clippers-Warriors (10:30), which is ALWAYS fun. (Unless you're the Clippers.) Lots more playoff implications around League Pass, too, including Wizards-Hawks, Raptors-Celtics, Jazz-Rockets, Heat-Spurs and Mavericks-Blazers.

Happy Wednesday. See you next time.

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Jusuf Nurkic staring down LeBron James