Blake Griffin is on the bubble for being selected to play in the All-Star Game as a rookie (we have him in, but mostly for the entertainment factor). Everyone (including the Clippers) will find out Thursday.
If he does make the cut to play the game in his home arena, expect him to skip out on the Friday Night rookie/sophomore game, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro suggested Wednesday night. Also, he expects Griffin to make it.
“I don’t expect that,” Del Negro said before the Clippers took on the Bulls. “I was talking to Neal (Olshey, Clippers GM), hopefully, because he’s in the Dunk Contest, if he’s selected (to the All-Star Game), which I think he is, there’s only so much energy the kid has. We (will be) coming off a tough road trip, with all the All-Star his schedule is pretty busy, but we’ll work that out as we get the final decision on what his weekend is going to entail.”
I’m not sure I totally buy the energy argument because we’ve seen how hard guys really play in the rookie challenge and the All-Star Game itself. Plus, Griffin is 21, at that age nothing should wear him out.
That said, with him on the bigger stages it makes sense to let another rookie have his place if he does get an invite to the big dance. Then again, if it means we miss John Wall lobbing ally-oops to Griffin, I’m not sure I can support the move.
Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim
It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.
Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).
The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.
With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.
The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.
It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.
Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors
Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.
Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.