Tyler Hansbrough, Grant Hill

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Where the Suns are making a run. So to speak.

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What you missed while watching Melissa Leo drop an F-bomb on national television….

The Lakers continuing their mastery of the Thunder and the Knicks upset of the Heat were our games of the day.

Suns 110, Pacers 108 (OT): One of the more entertaining games of the day was the first one. Grant Hill was on fire. The Suns were up by 15 in the third then A.J. Price took over and dropped 13 in the fourth quarter and the Pacers fought back and sent it overtime. Where Channing Frye dropped 7 including the game winner as the buzzer sounded.

Sixers 95, Cavaliers 91: This was a big win, and not just because the Cavs are knocking off everyone. For the first time since they started last season at 2-1, the Sixers are above .500. Apparently, Doug Collins can still coach.

Timberwolves 126, Warriors 123: Wes Johnson, defensive stopper. At least for one night. In a game that saw a fast pace and wild swings of momentum (both teams led by double digits at different points) it came down to Wes Johnson blocking the shot of a driving Monta Ellis with four seconds left, then stealing the inbound pass from Stephen Curry with 2.4 seconds left.

Mavericks 114, Raptors 96: This game stared out with an early 18-0 Raptors run and Amir Johnson scoring 10 in the first quarter. You didn’t think that would last. Dallas outscored Toronto by 25 in the second half, dropped 39 in the fourth quarter and pulled away.

Magic 100, Bobcats 86: Stephen Jackson put up a 35 spot and Charlotte still only had 96.6 points per 100 possessions pace. With Gerald Wallace in the northwest now you can expect more of that the rest of the season.

Rockets 91, Hornets 89: From the time they went on an 18-0 run in the second quarter this looked and felt like an extension of the Mardi Gras parties that had been going on in New Orleans all day. But as you know – admit it, you know this — when you party all day there is a price to pay. The Rockets went on an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, held it and got the win. Kevin Martin was killing it with 33 points on 15 shots.

Spurs 95, Grizzlies 88: Credit to the Grizzlies, who were down 20 points in the second quarter to the best team in the NBA this season, and they fought all the way back to take the lead. What has made the Spurs the best team so far is their end-of-game execution, and we saw it again with a late 8-0 run to seal this one.

Hawks 90, Trail Blazers 83: Atlanta turned the ball over on 27.3 percent of their possessions — more then one in four trips down the court — and they still won this game. Which only happens when your opponent can’t shoot, and the Blazers were 4-of-21 from three and shot 39 percent overall. Credit the Hawks defense for a lot of that.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block:

John Wall: Wizards shouldn’t have rested me and Bradley Beal together

Bradley Beal, John Wall
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The Wizards scored just six fourth-quarter points in their loss to the Hornets last night.

John Wall and Bradley Beal rested for the first 4:42 of that final period.

Wall, via Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

“I feel like we can’t have me and Brad sitting,” said Wall, who finished with 14 points on 6 for 18 shooting, with six assists, five rebounds and four turnovers. “That’s just my opinion. Coach makes the decision he feels is best for us. I just feel like one of us has to be in in that situation because when you’re on the road, this is the time when you can step on them.

“I just feel like one of us has to be in. I don’t know. It’s just my opinion because our second unit was just so stagnant. And I’m not saying they lost the game. [Shoot], we all lost the game. We didn’t make shots. We were 1 for 20, right? I think we were just so stagnant. We really didn’t have anybody penetrating and creating.”

First of all, this is how you disagree with a coach. Wall made clear that he respects Randy Wittman’s authority to set the rotation. Two adults should be allowed to acknowledge their differing opinions without it being labeled a feud.

But is Wall right?

Per nbawowy!, here are Washington’s offensive/defensive/net ratings with:

  • Wall and Beal: 103.0/105.0/-2.0 in 224 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 110.0/111.2/-1.2 in 134 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 80.2/116.8/-36.6 in 48 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 105.2/101.6/+3.6 in 123 minutes

The Wizards have been much better with neither player on the court this season. They’ve also been a disaster when Beal plays without Wall.

But this is a relatively small sample. Let’s look back to last season.

  • Wall and Beal: 108.5/101.5/+7.0 in 1,715 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 103.0/102.0/+1.0 in 1,123 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 103.2/110.9/-7.7 in 384 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 97.0/107.0/-10.0 in 768 minutes

Washington was – by far – at its best when Wall and Beal shared the court. They just complement each other so well. The Wizards were also fine with just Wall, bad with just Beal and even worse with neither.

If I were the Wizards, I’d generally chance resting Wall and Beal simultaneously so they can play more together. If I’m using just one, it’s Wall. Beal is not a creator I trust to run the offense, and Wall’s defense is important.

But there’s a limit on how much Wall (and Beal) can play. Wall got 36 minutes against Charlotte, and Beal played 38.

To the point, Wall and Beal played the final 7:18 – and the Wizards didn’t make a single basket in that span. They scored just two points on free throws. So, it’s hard to argue Wall and Beal were the answer.

Wittman blamed the players more than his substitutions.

Wittman, via J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

“We don’t have guys that are making plays right now. Again, good looks but until we quit feeling sorry,” said Wittman, who could’ve gone this road after a 123-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday but didn’t. “When things go bad like that I had to twice in timeouts and tell them to lift their heads up. There’s plenty of time left. We’re up nine during this whole thing.  We start feeling sorry, start pouting putting our heads down and it becomes a snowball. We got to grow up in that aspect of it. If the shot doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go in.

“Makes, misses, that’s the game. You never give in. We haven’t gotten over that. That’s been that way for the last couple of years. Guys don’t play well, put their heads down and we pout, feel sorry for ourselves.”

When Wittman previously called out a player publicly, Marcin Gortat didn’t take it well. I’m not sure this will go any better.


When confronted with Wittman’s words, Bradley Beal only would shake his head before giving this retort: “I’m not going to comment on that.”

It’s uncharacteristic of the fourth-year shooting guard, who’ll usually give some sort of answer and shrug it off. By saying nothing, he’s staying plenty.

The Wizards, who entered the season a contender for the Eastern Conference finals, are 6-6. They’ve lost two straight, by 17 and 14 – and the end of their last defeat was historically dreadful.

Is this a team in turmoil?

Michael provides plenty of context to that question.