Jason Terry not happy with coach’s decision to bench him late in loss to Suns

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After the Mavericks had allowed an 11-point third quarter lead to become an 11-point fourth quarter deficit late Thursday night in Phoenix, they were able to gather themselves and make one final push in the game’s final three minutes. Dallas had fought back to within two, and had possession of the ball with 15.4 seconds remaining.

That’s a time when typically, Jason Terry would be on the floor for the Mavericks, having proven time and again capable of knocking down big shots when the opportunity was presented. But he couldn’t do it from the bench, which is where he sat watching for the game’s final 7:33, while Rodrigue Beaubois got two good looks at tying the game, neither of which went down.

“Coach’s decision,” head coach Rick Carlisle said afterward, when asked why Roddy got those minutes usually reserved for Terry. Carlisle repeated the two-word answer twice more when asked what may have gone into that decision.

It might have had something to do with Terry allowing Shannon Brown to fly in untouched for a powerful putback slam dunk that put an exclamation point on Phoenix’s comeback, and pushed the Suns lead to double digits for the first time just over four minutes into the fourth. Carlisle had words for Terry as he went to the bench for the ensuing timeout, and Terry didn’t see the floor for the rest of the game.

Predictably, Terry wasn’t pleased.

“What do you think my thoughts are about not being on the court? Are you kidding me?” he said afterward. “You know how I feel if I’m not on the court when it’s time to win the game.

“I can’t check myself in and out of games. You got to ask the person that didn’t have me in the game. Ask him his thoughts. What I think don’t matter, really. I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. I’m just telling you the situation. I root my teammates on and wish we could have come out with the victory. It didn’t happen.”

The Mavericks are struggling right now, and have lost six of their last eight; the last thing they need is a locker-room issue brewing. But Carlisle is optimistic that his team will find a way to stick together.

“This team, when things get tough, the history is, our guys have responded,” Carlisle said. “But we need everybody. We can’t have one single guy on that bench not pulling his weight. Otherwise, things can go downhill quick.”

Thursday night in Phoenix, at least in Carlisle’s eyes, that single guy was Terry.

Gordon Hayward breaks leg against Cleveland in first game with Celtics

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The Boston Celtics season has taken a turn for the worse.

During Tuesday’s opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his leg after landing following a leaping back cut to the basket.

It became immediately apparent to those in the arena, and the broadcast angle of the left leg injury was not pretty.

Just be warned here, the resulting photo and media is pretty disgusting. I let out a big yell when I saw it live, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Via TNT:

This is just the most awful way to start the NBA season, for all of us. Get well soon, Gordon.

Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox commits California mortal sin, slams In-N-Out

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We Californians take a few things seriously. Surf reports, for one. Winemaking/tasting. Tech toys. Coming up with potential blockbuster movie franchise ideas, getting a star to buy in, then maybe or maybe not worrying about getting a decent script.

Also, In-N-Out Burger. If there is one thing all Californians can agree on, it’s that In-N-Out is the best burger chain in the world. It’s not up for debate.

Apparently Kings’ rookie De'Aaron Fox did not get that memo. He did a Q&A with Rolling Stone’s Seerat Sohi and crossed a sacred line.

“All I gotta say, you can tell everybody that lives in the state of California this: In-N-Out is not good.”

What’s your beef with In-N-Out Burger?
“Their burgers are overrated. They’re OK.”

Even Animal Style?
“Yes. People always say, you haven’t tried this. You haven’t tried that. I’m like, “Yeah, I looked up the secret menu. I’ve tried it all. It’s just not good.”

That’s controversial. What’s the best fast food spot then?
“Honestly, for me, I don’t count Chick-fil-A, because it’s way too good to be considered fast food. So I’m gonna say Wendy’s. Fat Burger in L.A. is better than In-N-Out.”

It’s this simple: Fox is flat-out wrong.

First off, Chick-fil-A is wildly overrated, so we know the taste of the 19-year-old point guard is off. Fat Burger is legit. But Wendy’s? Come on now, that’s just average.

If Fox had tried to argue Five Guys, I would have let it slide — I don’t think they’re as good, but I will admit a California bias. But Wendy’s? You lose the entire argument right there. It’s like saying Pixels was the best movie ever.

In-N-Out is the best. Fox needs to get on board with this.

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic hospitalized after practice fight with Bobby Portis

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It was going to be a difficult season in Chicago if everything went right — and two days before the first game of the season things have gone horribly wrong.

Bulls’ starting forward Nikola Mirotic got into a shoving match with Bobby Portis, and Portis turned and sucker-punched him, according to multiple reports.

The Bulls have confirmed the fight and have announced Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures in his face — the upper jaw and nasal cavity area — which likely will require surgery. He is going to miss weeks of time.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had more details.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.

Mirotic will miss weeks, according to a source, and you can be sure severe discipline from the team is coming down for Portis.

In the short term, this likely means more run for rookie Lauri Markkanen as well as just re-signed Cristiano Felicio.

LeBron James will play in opener against Celtics

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Did we really expect anything else?

LeBron James was a game-time decision for the season opener in Cleveland against Boston and Kyrie Irving due to a sprained ankle. We expected he would go, but ankles can be tricky and are easy to re-injure once sprained, so the Cavs wanted to be careful.

He’s going to play. Coach Tyronn Lue made it official.

LeBron is the best player on the planet, but he can coast through the regular season at times. What teams try to avoid is giving him extra motivation… say bringing in a guy who left the team last summer on opening night. Expect full force LeBron tonight.