What you missed while watching the Black Eyed Peas reenact Tron (that is what they were doing, right?)…
The Celtics beating the Magic was the game of the day (and we’re just now sure how good Orlando really is).
Heat 97, Clippers 79: Both teams started this game out looking sloppy — poor shooting, lots of turnovers. The Clippers shot 31.6 percent and had 11 turnovers in the first half. The difference is the Heat have a couple players who can power through the slop and still get points on the board, and it was Dwyane Wade’s turn Sunday. He was on — when Wade is pulling up knocking down threes early in the clock you know he is feeling it — and he finished with 28.
This game started at 9 a.m. to the Clippers players’ bodies (noon start on the East Coast) and it looked like it as they just couldn’t get going.
Pacers 105, Nets 86: Indiana is attacking and pushing the pace again. That is the one thing Frank Vogel has done as head coach, they are coming hard at teams again, off misses and makes. That overwhelms teams, like it did the Nets. Great performances by Paul George and Dahntay Jones sealed this one away.
Knicks 117, Sixers 103: Second game of a home-and-home, and frankly the Knicks won seven of the eight quarters, but the Sixers won the fourth quarter Friday and got the split. After that game Amar’e Stoudemire chided his teammates about their play and it seemed to have an effect Sunday as the Knicks played with a lot of energy. Landry Fields had 25 and was knocking down threes. What a steal he has been. Elton Brand with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting, he really is playing better than people realize this season.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).