The Clippers battled last night. They really did. Without Baron Davis (fatness), without Blake Griffin (fouled out), without Eric Gordon (injury), they still managed to tie the Jazz with 7 seconds to go in double overtime. Then, of course, Deron Williams decided he’d played enough minutes and would like to go home. Williams took the inbounds, jetted down the court, and… just watch the video above.
And that’s how you bury the Clippers. Craig Smith’s driving layup wouldn’t go and the Clippers come up short, again.
Thing is, though, this wasn’t your usual Clippers failfest. The team manged to fight tooth and nail, didn’t surrender possessions in a stupid manner, and didn’t have guys taking habitual bad shots. They worked their offense, played good defense, and kept Utah from being able to hit the two-possession lead that opposing teams drown in down the stretch. The Clippers lost, but they looked good in doing so. They just need a few more components to get where they need to. And Blake Griffin to stay out of foul trouble.
For Utah? That’s Deron Williams. No hesitation, no waiting for the defense to set while you try and get a good shot. Take your opportunity and jet. For the win.
Dwyane Wade ‘honored’ to be Prince’s favorite player
The officiating crew missed a host of calls during those final 13 seconds, but they have at least owned up to the most egregious one — missing Dion Waiters pushing off Manu Ginobili while the Thunder guard tried to inbound the ball. (Yes, Ginobili’s foot was on the line, but sorry Thunder homers that was not close to the most egregious miss at the end.)
After the game, the lead official Kenny Mauer admitted that error.
Did that decide the game? No. We like to focus on things we can blame as going wrong, but the Spurs offense started 2-of-15 shooting on the night, was inconsistent, and they still had a chance at the end. This one play is not why the Spurs lost. Manu Ginobili said it well postgame.
Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo given after-the-fact Flagrant 2 for elbow to Pacers’ Turner, no suspension
However, no mention of a suspension for this incident alone. The Raptors catch a break there, as Biyombo should have been tossed from the game and/or given a suspension for that elbow. That said, one more flagrant and he does get a suspension.
NBA’s Basketball Without Borders to host first event in Australia
Australia has brought a fair amount of talent — and scrappy players — to the NBA, and now the NBA is taking one of its outreach programs there.
Yesterday the NBA, FIBA, and Australia’s National Basketball League announced a Basketball without Borders event June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne. It’s the first time the community outreach program will come to the island nation of Australia.
“We are pleased to partner with FIBA and the NBL to bring the first Basketball without Borders camp to Australia,” NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said in a statement. “The league has seen a surge of Australian talent in recent years, and we look forward to supporting the next generation by giving them a platform to showcase their skills alongside their peers from throughout the region.”
These events bring in youth basketball players and work with them, both giving young players highest quality instruction and raising the profile of the sport in the nation with a little star power. Basketball Without Borders will celebrate 15 years this summer and has been all over the globe with similar events.