Baseline to Baseline recaps: Samuel Dalembert saves the day

1 Comment

What you missed while being thankful this wasn’t your fifth grade teacher

Heat 98, Lakers 87: Miami looking like contenders and the Lakers looking lost was our game of the night.

Rockets 90, Hornets 88 (OT): The most entertaining game of the night was the one almost nobody watched. Houston led from the opening tip in large part due to Kevin Martin, who had 27 first half points.

Houston was in control the entire way until they came apart in the fourth quarter — the Rockets shot 3-21 overall (14 percent) and 0-8 from beyond the arc, which allowed the comeback. Houston’s defense was good, New Orleans only had 19 fourth-quarter points, but it was enough to erase a 12-point lead as Houston only scored 7 points in the quarter. At the final buzzer, New Orleans’ Jason Smith got a good look at the game winner in regulation, a 16-foot jumper, but it rattled out.

The overtime saw New Orleans jumped out to the lead because Jarrett Jack was carving people up. But then he started doing his Kobe in isolation imitation and soon it was tied again.

With the Hornets looking to get their final shot off in OT, Courtney Lee made a steal, Martin picked it up and pushes the pace back the other way but misses transition layup — only to have Samuel Dalembert follow for the game-winning dunk.

Mavericks 94, Jazz 91: Dallas seemed in control of this one until a 17-4 third quarter Utah run sparked by Maverick turnovers and Al Jefferson made this a close one that stayed that way pretty much the rest of the way. Down the stretch it was Shawn Marion doing the work for Dallas (22 points on the night) as the Mavs went after the mismatch and C.J. Miles couldn’t stop him. Rodrigue Beaubois had 17 points and looked like that guy we expect to see.

Rockets owner appears to leave seat, yell at refs during matchup with Thunder (VIDEO)

Twitter
2 Comments

The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.

That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.

Via Twitter:

Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

Leave a comment

Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.

Portland GM makes it official, Festus Ezeli will not be back with team next season

ezeli
Leave a comment

This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.

Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.

Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.

This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.

Gordon Hayward will play for Jazz in Game 5 without minutes restriction

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.

They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.

After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.

So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.

Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.