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Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Monday

POSTED: May 12, 2014 7:41 PM ET
UPDATED: May 12, 2014 9:32 PM ET news services


• Portland's small forward, 6-foot-9 Nicolas Batum, will start tonight's game defending San Antonio's 6-foot-2 point guard, Tony Parker. Batum guarded his French countrymen for much of the second half of Saturday's Game 3. Parker is averaging 26.0 points and 8.3 assists in the series. "The best thing with (defending) Parker is to be persistent," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "He keeps coming at you. You're going to have to defend two or three pick-and-rolls in one possession. He'll run a pick-and-roll and then a handoff and then another pick-and-roll, and then he's going to dribble around some more. You can't let your guard down."

• Does Batum's length present a particular challenge for Parker? "Tony will approach it the same way as always," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Can't change your spots now. Just do what you've been doing all year long. (Batum) guarded him some last game. We've seen it before."

• The Trail Blazers will be without sixth man Mo Williams (groin) for the second straight game.

• The Spurs have gone 10-deep in the series, getting particularly strong efforts from reserves Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw. "It allowed us to rest our starters during the (regular) season, keep them low minutes," Popovich said. "So it seems logical to continue to try to play that way. It's who we are. It's good enough, or it's not."

• The Nets will be looking to back up Paul Pierce's statement after Game 3 that the hosts are not afraid of the defending champs. Pierce may be the right man to lead them. "He's been in every situation you can think of," Nets coach Jason Kidd said before the game.

• The Heat have won eight straight playoff games following a loss. "It's about who gets to their game the best," Dwyane Wade said.

• The Heat's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics from the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals was on the television in the visiting locker room. In that game, the Celtics tied the series at 2-2, winning a second straight game and eventually forcing the Heat to win two elimination games in order to advance.

• The Nets' Mirza Teletovic has hit 10-for-16 from behind the 3-point line over the past two games. Wade noted that Teletovic is firing away even though Miami is paying more attention to him.