Gilbert Arenas, Stan Van Gundy

Gilbert Arenas no longer the backup point guard for Magic. Probably.


During the regular season, guys get minutes for all kinds of reasons that have nothing at all to do with their performance — guys with big contracts get run they no longer merit because the GM demands it, or young players are out on the court longer as they get on the job training.

But in the playoffs you see what coaches are really thinking.

With that background, we bring you the news that Gilbert Arenas has lost the backup point guard job to Hedo Turkoglu, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Stan Van Gundy had to play the political game with the media — Magic GM made a big move to bring in his pal Arenas this season — but his actions spoke louder than words.

Van Gundy used SF Hedo Turkoglu as the team’s backup point guard during the second half on Tuesday.

“I don’t know what we’re doing,” Van Gundy said. “I haven’t decided exactly what we’re doing. I know Jameer’s going to play a lot of minutes. I know we’re going to use J.J. [Redick off the bench], I know we’re going to use Q[uentin Richardson] and I know we’re going to use Ryan [Anderson].
“As far as what we do at the backup point, I’m not totally sure.”

Arenas as played a total of 18 minutes in the two games so far hitting 3-of-8 shooting. He’s got four assists and four turnovers. He doesn’t defend and isn’t a spot up guy, and Van Gundy seems to prefer Turkoglu instigating the pick-and-roll (the one skill Turkoglu really brings to the table).

Just a reminder Magic fans, three years and $62 million left on the Arenas contract after this season.

As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
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Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.

Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.

However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.

This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.

But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.

For now, however, tounges are wagging.

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.