Boston Celtics place foot to the throat, take 2-0 lead over Magic in Orlando

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piercegm2.jpgGetcha brooms ready.

Paul Pierce said last year while the Lakers were rolling the Magic in the Finals that the Celtics were Rottweilers and the Magic were poodles. So far the Celtics have bit the Magic in the throat and in Game 2 they shook the life out of them.

But don’t misunderstand, the Magic played their part in this as well. They had the formula corrected for a Game 2 evening of the series. An axis realignment to correct their mistakes. They were knocking down threes, getting Howard (30 points, 8 rebounds) involved down low, and playing better defense on everyone except Paul Pierce. But down three, with Vince Carter at the line to bring it to a one point game, things fell apart. Carter missed both free throws in a development that will likely not help with his reputation among fans. Then after a rebound that gave the Magic another chance, J.J Redick instead of immediately calling timeout to advance the ball instead rushed to midcourt but not past it, before timeout was called, stranding him on the far side of the timeline from his basket.

A Jameer Nelson desperation heave miss later, and here we are. 2-0, Celtics.

Ruff. Ruff. Sweep. Sweep.

It’s entirely possible the Magic could pull out a desperation game in Boston, especially with how the Celtics have played at home at times this year. But this certainly felt like the dagger game. Rajon Rondo continued his play (we’ve run out adjectives, seriously), Paul Pierce hit daggers on his way to 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, Glen Davis made the plays he needed too (and fell down a lot drawing fouls), KG came through with some KG shots, and in the end, the Magic didn’t have what they had last year, the weapons and focus to succeed.

And it’s hard to see this formula changing in Boston. The Magic had things go their way at points and never could push past the Celtics ceiling.

And Rondo. Man, Rondo. 25 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and the numbers don’t give it justice.

So now the Magic will have to figure out what happened, how they managed to melt down without having the lead, and are left with the realization of something the world is realizing. The playoffs are not competitive, the regular season doesn’t matter, and Boston and the Lakers will be playing for the NBA Championship.

Blake Griffin gets Flagrant 1 for kicking Jae Crowder in the crotch (VIDEO)

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Blake Griffin almost got away with it.

During Friday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Griffin gave Cavs forward Jae Crowder an unhelpful knee to the groin during a post isolation.

Griffin wasn’t whistled for anything on the play, and in fact Crowder was assessed a foul after Griffin made his move to the basket.

Now, the NBA has given Griffin a Flagrant 1 for unnecessary contact.

Via Twitter:

Video of the incident can be viewed above the article here, but it’s pretty egregious and indeed the Cavaliers announcers even suggested at the time that it might warrant a flagrant.

Looks like the NBA agreed.

Cleveland beat LA, 118-113, in OT.

Jeff Hornacek on Knicks standing up to LeBron: “I thought it was great”

Getty
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LeBron James totally dissed New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina. Or maybe he was just complimenting Dennis Smith Jr., and Enes Kanter likes to get in the middle of things? Or perhaps it was a barely-veiled shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson?

No matter which way you view this little NBA drama, there’s some kind of silver lining to take away for New York after LeBron got a little too close for comfort with Ntilikina during a recent matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, that silver lining is how well Ntilikina, Kanter, and the rest of the squad did when standing up to James.

Via the NY Post:

“I thought it was great,’’ he said on the newest edition of “The Jeff Hornacek Experience” that debuts Friday night on MSG Networks after the Knicks face the Raptors. “When we played back in the day, there was a lot of that. So you don’t see as much now in today’s game.

“But, you know, whether the comments from LeBron were aimed at Frank or the Knicks or Phil [Jackson] or whatever it was, I was happy that Frank gave him a little shove and then when LeBron stood in front of him and Enes jumped in there. That’s kind of the chemistry that gets developed when guys are playing for each other. You saw Enes jump right in the middle of this and said, ‘Nah you’re not gonna do this to my young guy.’ So that’s a great sign to see the togetherness of our guys.”

So to recap:

1. LeBron was taking a shot at Phil.
2. Enes Kanter didn’t like that.
3. Jeff Hornacek likes that.

Clear? Ok, good.

The Warriors really had an eye on Joel Embiid’s trash talking (VIDEO)

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Joel Embiid has a reputation around the league already, and for good reason.

The man who continuously lobbied Rihanna to give him a chance for a date has other NBA players hoping they beat the Philadelphia 76ers just to avoid Embiid’s trash talking.

Indeed, the Golden State Warriors beat Philly on Saturday night, 124-116, thanks in part to a huge rally in the second half. A 22-point deficit had to be overcome for Golden State, and not just to add to their win column.

The team also wanted to sidestep Embiid’s silver tongue:

Both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant said they wanted to keep Embiid at bay. Durant’s comment was particularly funny, and can be seen in the video at the top of the article (fair warning, Durant used some NSFW language).

The Process is now The Reputation.

Former Knicks, Warriors F David Lee announces retirement from NBA

AP
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One of the NBA’s more under appreciated forwards has announced his retirement from the NBA.

David Lee, who spent time in his career with the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs, told the NBA world about his retirement via his Instagram page on Sunday.

Lee, 34, played last season with the Spurs. He averaged 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for Gregg Popovich’s team.

Via Instagram:

Lee played 14 seasons in the NBA, the majority of which came with the Knicks. During his time in New York, Lee was seen as an unsung hero, nabbing rebounds and doing yeoman’s work from the power forward position.

The Knicks traded Lee to Golden State in the summer of 2010 for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, and two second round picks. He was part of the Warriors’ 2014-15 NBA Championship before eventually being traded to Boston in 2015.