Ginobili out as Spurs’ slide continues; Grizzlies get breathing room

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The Spurs have been without Tim Duncan for three games with his latest injury. They have now lost all three games after the Grizzlies edged the Spurs 111-104. And while they are 6-4 in their past ten, the slide has been apparent. The Spurs are entering the playoffs neither healthy nor high on momentum.

Add Manu Ginobili to Tim Duncan on the shelf as Ginobili caught a nasty thigh contusion on a Marc Gasol steal and could not return in the second half. From the San Antonio Express-News:

“At first, when I came to the bench, I thought I was going to be OK,” Ginobili said. “Then it stiffened up. I can’t put my full weight on it.”

Ginobili would not rule himself out of Monday’s Portland game, hoping — perhaps against hope — that compression machines on the team’s charter flight home from Memphis would provide adequate healing powers. But he certainly didn’t look like a man less than 24 hours from his next NBA game.

“I’ll get some rest and some treatment, and then we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Ginobili said.

via Spurs Nation » Ginobili’s status in doubt after leg contusion.

The Spurs broke down defensively, especially against the Grizzlies’ bench which dropped 42 points. Granted, the Spurs’ bench landed 48 thanks to George Hill’s 30 points, but the elements are clear. The Grizzlies have some matchup advantages against San Antonio. And if the Spurs don’t figure out their issues in the next two weeks, they’re going to get to see those matchup problems up close and personal. They can blame injuries for the loss to the Grizzlies Sunday night, but Memphis has split the season series.

The Spurs could learn a thing or two from Memphis about getting hot at the right time.

 

Kevin Durant reverses course: Playing Thunder ‘just a regular game for me now’

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Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”

Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Durant:

Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.

Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.

But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.

Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?

Tony Allen: Russell Westbrook flopped to draw DeMarcus Cousins

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DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.

Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.

Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.

And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.

Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

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Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.