Our game recaps from Tuesday, or what you missed while reading Free Darko….
Celtics 105, Pistons 100: Boston did what they do on defense — Detroit was just 2-18 from three point range and turned the ball over one of every five times down the court. The Celtics also shot the ball much better than the Pistons. Should have been a blowout, but it wasn’t.
Detroit may not be a good team but they do one thing very well — crash the offensive glass. Second best team in the league at that, grabbing 31 percent of their missed shots on the season. And the Celtics either were not prepared for it or did not adjust. On this night Detroit grabbed the offensive board on 40 percent of their missed shots and that is the only thing that kept this close. Boston made the plays at the end to hold on, but this game was closer than it should have been. No Celtics fans can feel good after that win.
Heat 110, Warriors 106: Miami decided to play this game at Golden State’s pace (99 possessions, one off Golden State’s season average, but nine possessions faster than the slow-it-down Heat), and that helped keep it close. The Heat made a little run in the third quarter after they went to a 2/3 zone but the lead melted away with the game’s pace. But at the end, it was about execution. Golden State had chances — Anthony Morrow missed a good-look three, Ronny Turiaf had a pass for a game-tying dunk slip right through his hands. The Warriors didn’t close out well, the Heat did.
Thunder 113, Kings 107: Nobody really played defense — at least until the Thunder got focused the last five minutes or so — and that made this a fun one to watch. For OKC, this win is a sign of maturity because good teams win games when they don’t bring their “A” game sometimes. And the Thunder are becoming a good team. For Sacramento, their moral victory record is now 45-15.
Lakers 122, Pacers 99: We could talk about Ron Artest’s defense on Granger or Jordan Farmar’s hot hand or DJ Mbenga diving into the front row for a loose ball like it was a playoff game. But here’s what really tells you how big a blowout this was: Adam Morrison got 15 minutes — more than a quarter’s worth of burn, and they were not showcasing him for a trade.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”