Did Andrew Bynum learn anything from 2-game suspension?

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Andrew Bynum faced the media on Thursday, the first time he’s done so since the league handed him a two-game suspension for the flagrant-two foul he committed last Friday against the Timberwolves’ Michael Beasley.

Bynum repeatedly said how the play was “just a hard foul,” and that if Beasley didn’t get hurt or leave the game, that it “probably would have been different.” But most concerning to Lakers fans might be the part where Bynum told reporters that he wouldn’t be hesitant in making a similar play in the future and, despite the punishment from the league, he still doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.

“No,” Bynum said, when asked whether the suspension would make him hesitant once he gets back out there.  “I don’t think what I did was deserving of it. I don’t think I really did anything too wrong. It was unfortunate the guy fell the way he did and got hurt, but at the end of the day, sometimes, you know, fouls happen.”

It’s one thing for Bynum not to believe he deserved the suspension, and in fact, I am in agreement with him on this point. But it’s another not to recognize how the league views these types of plays, and not to modify your behavior to avoid suspensions in the future.

Bynum can still give legal and clean hard fouls, and the team undoubtedly wants him to from time to time, in order to maintain a physical interior presence defensively. But you have to at least attempt to make a play on the ball, and you can’t lead with your elbow and then follow through with it in a violent manner that looks like you’re trying to hurt someone when the play is reviewed at full speed.

The Lakers won both of their games with Bynum unavailable, but needed late-game heroics in each to get that accomplished. They may not be as fortunate in the postseason, which is why Bynum should, at the very least, be careful of how he goes about committing these types of fouls moving forward.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.