Magic, Heat slip-sliding away on damp court in Tampa before tonight’s game

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NBA courts get a little wet, what with sweaty men running up and down it, running into each other and falling to the ground. There’s a reason people are out there drying off the courts all game.

But when the court is wet even before the game starts? Not good.

That’s what is happening today in Tampa, where the Heat and Magic are scheduled for a preseason tilt. There they put in a temporary court over the ice where the Tampa Bay Lightning play.

Ira Winderman tweeted that the court was slick, but Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took it to another level, only going through a walk-through with players then talking to the Associated Press.

“The court’s not playable in the condition it’s in right now,” Van Gundy said Friday morning, before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. tip-off. “We’re not going to put people out there to get hurt.”

The Lightning played last night and arena crews were working, saying that the situation should be fine by game time. The Arenas has hosted basketball before, including rounds of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournament.

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.