Vinny Del Negro calls Kirk Hinrich "Kurt" constantly

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nba_hinrich.jpgPersonally, I see nothing wrong with this. I think it’s an improvement to his name. But I could be biased here.

ESPNChicago has let us in on an inside joke in the Bulls media circle — coach Vinny Del Negro consistently gets guard Kirk Hinrich’s name wrong.

Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro, long an admirer of the veteran guard, continually calls him “Kurt.”

He has all season. It’s a running joke among the media corps at this point, although Hinrich doesn’t seem to mind. He knows Del Negro knows who he is and that the coach has his back when it seems like people may be turning on him. That has been evident all season, but it was especially clear over the past 48 hours.

Hinrich probably doesn’t care what he’s called after a 27-point performance on 9 of 12 shooting in the Bulls game three win.

In this series, where the Bulls are so overmatched along the front like (particularly against that LeBron guy) it is going to take big nights from Derrick Rose and “Kurt” to have a chance at winning another game.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.