Joakim Noah will not suit up for France in World Championships

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nba_noah_250.jpgYou don’t think of France as an international basketball powerhouse — because they are not — but they were going to roll out an impressive and long NBA front line in Turkey next month: Joakim Noah (Chicago), Boris Diaw (Charlotte) and Ian Mahinmi (Dallas).

Well, they still have two thirds of that.

French coach Vincent Collet said Noah will not play for the team at the FIBA World Championships.

“I was pessimistic and now I can tell you it’s a done deal,” he said. “We must turn the page. That is what I have done.”

Noah has had talks with the Bulls about a possible contract extension (he is heading into the last guaranteed year of his rookie deal). He was hesitant to risk injury playing in the World Championships while trying to negotiate a new deal.

France also will be without Tony Parker, but that might be fine with Rodrigue Beaubois on the team. And there is a chance Collet may actually play Beaubois in key minutes (you listening, Rick Carlisle).

France is in a tough group, with powerhouse Spain, Lithuania, New Zealand, Canada and Lebanon. That’s one they should advance from, however, but the loss of Noah does not make that easier.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.