Deron Williams, Avery Johnson, Billy King

Nets GM Billy King takes trip to see locked-out Deron Williams play in Turkey

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This is one of those “We wish this wasn’t a story, but it’s probably going to be because the inmates are running the NBA asylum” kind of deals.

So you’re aware that the NBA’s got pretty strict rules about league personnel meeting with, cavorting with, hanging out with, or really being in the same place as NBA players. They told Mark Cuban he couldn’t be at Rucker. They have fined several coaches, owners, etc. So Billy King, the Nets’ GM, has been walking a fine line this weekend in order to avoid such a fine.

From Nets Daily:

Tweeting as if he were leaving bread crumbs across the face of Europe, Billy King arrived in Izmir Saturday afternoon for Deron Williams first away game in the Turkish League.

On Friday, he tweeted that he was on board a Turkish Airlines flight, then Saturday morning, he posted a picture of the Bosporus, that waterway separating Europe and Asia in Istanbul, before finally announcing that Izmir “is a beautiful city”.

Alas, just before the game between Besiktas and Pinar Karsiyaka SK was set to begin, the Nets GM had to tweet bad news: “2 mins to tip off someone breaks the backboard”. Kings image showed a good home crowd at the Izmir sports arena.

via King in Turkey to Watch Williams Who Goes for 24 and 10 in Best Game Yet – NetsDaily.

So King went all the way to Istanbul to watch a player he can’t tweet about, talk to, or have contact with. Props to King, though, for doing something which involves looking to a future when the NBA’s back. This probably puts his mind at ease about Williams’ wrist which had surgery this past summer, especially since Williams dropped 24 -10-4.

Oh, a good basketball line. I’d forgotten how cool those look. (/cries)

Anyway, King won’t be levied a fine, but he’d better lock it up. You know, lock it up.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.