How badly did Derek Fisher want to get out of Houston? He gave up his entire $3.4 million player option for next season, according to Real GM. That’s a lot of green to leave on the table.
But he is out — or will be Wednesday when he clears waivers — and is talking about how he wants a ring. Well, another ring as he has five already. And what he brings to a team is that championship swagger. He certainly doesn’t bring much on the court anymore, but he brings something to a locker room.
The Heat explored the possibility of signing Fisher when he was a free agent in the summer of 2010 and have strong interest again now, sources say, even if they are successful in signing veteran forward Ronny Turiaf this week.…
Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is still trying to fill the void created by Eric Maynor’s season-ending knee injury and, according to sources with knowledge of the Thunder’s thinking, is intrigued by the prospect of adding Fisher’s championship know-how to a group that’s leading the Western Conference but still young.
There are not a lot of minutes to be had in Miami, however. Mario Chalmers starts and rookie Norris Cole has played well — you may be concerned about a rookie in the playoffs, but he has played better this season than Fisher.
The Thunder have minutes to give out. Not a lot, because Westbrook plays the bulk, but there are some. What would be odd there is if the Lakers and Thunder met in the playoffs. That would be awkward for the Lakers, or at least their fans. Still, OKC may make more sense in terms of what he can bring and how he fits in.
LeBron James says he doesn’t see Cavaliers-Warriors as rivalry
“We don’t look at it as a rival,” James said. “They’re a great team. They’ve been the best team the last couple years, last three years.”
“It’s just the next game, it’s Golden State,” James said. “They’re a helluva team, like I said the best team in the league and they’ve been that way the last three years, four years, however long it’s been, I’m not quite sure. But, listen, you guys know, we don’t put all our eggs in one basket for one game.”
LeBron just doesn’t want the Cavs to become comfortable. They’ve beat Golden State in four straight games – the last three of the 2016 Finals and on Christmas – and could extend the streak to five today. Beating a rival that frequently is a cause for celebration, and celebration leads to contentment. LeBron would rather keep Cleveland focused and hungry. Hence, saying the Warriors aren’t a rival.
Andre Drummond hits 3-pointer from inside Pistons’ own 3-point arc (video)
But Booker’s last four – which put Phoenix up for good – came directly after incorrect calls, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
First, Booker drew a (legitimate) foul on Pau Gasol with 1:08 left and made both free throws. The problem: One second before that, Suns center Tyson Chandler should have been called for offensively fouling Tony Parker, according to the league:
Chandler (PHX) sets the screen on Parker (SAS) and makes leg to leg contact that affects his ability to defend the play.
That would’ve ended Phoenix’s possession rather than allowing Booker to get to the line.
The other missed call in the two-minute report is trickier, because it directly benefitted the Spurs but indirectly benefitted the Suns.
Manu Ginobili got away with travelling with 59.1 seconds left, according to the league:
Ginobili (SAS) moves his pivot foot.
But he coughed up the ball moments later anyway, and – thrilled to gain possession with a live-ball turnover rather than a dead-ball turnover – Booker turned the miscue into a fastbreak dunk.
Rather than debate how to evaluate San Antonio getting away with a travel and it ultimately helping Phoenix more, let’s stick to just the uncalled Chandler offensive foul. That netted the Suns two points. Their lead when the Spurs began intentionally fouling? One.
Russell Westbrook puts up 20th triple-double of season, lifts Thunder past Kings (VIDEO)
Through 41 games — half the season — Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists a game. Those numbers are insane, particularly considering his 42 percent usage rate. He has to put up numbers and do so fairly efficiently or the Thunder stand no chance of winning — and he has the Thunder on pace for 48 wins this season.
The Thunder picked up another of those wins Sunday night knocking off the Sacramento Kings behind Westbrook’s 20th triple-double in 41 games — 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. The video highlights are above.
It’s going to be fun watching him and James Harden go back-and-forth in the MVP race for the next few months.