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.
The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).
That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.
After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.
NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.
Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.
Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China. All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.
TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off
The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.
The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.
I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.
But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.
Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likely” LeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.
Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.
Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.
LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.
But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.
When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).
This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.
During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.
But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.
NBC Sports Washington:
I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.
The double technical foul called seems about fair.