Stan Van Gundy is ticked. Dwight Howard missed one game (and is a game-time decision Tuesday vs. the Pistons) due to back spasms he and his center claim comes from Brendan Haywood “double punching” Howard in the back during the third quarter of the Magic/Mavericks game.
Van Gundy sent the film to the league office. Let’s hope he has some camera angle other than what is available from the game footage, otherwise it looks like two guys just battling in the post like every other NBA game (the league agrees and has said there would be no discipline for Haywood). Haywood brings his arms in like an offensive lineman, but that is different than a punch.
“Man I am just sitting here training with Floyd Mayweather getting ready for my next fight.”
He was joking, folks. And by folks I mean the Van Gundy family. Besides, if he was training with Mayweather he’d be ducking fights, not trying to start them.
Haywood seems amused by the allegations.
“Like I said it is a physical game and sometimes guys get testy with elbows, throwing forearms. No one throws any punches out there. NBA guys? We are not about that. It’s all WWE to us. We’re fake tough guys. No one throws any real punches. It’s unfortunate Stan feels that way. I know he has to protect his guy, but it’s just not the case. No one has any footage of it I guess except him, so unless he has (Magic assistant coach) Patrick Ewing on the bench taping with his iPhone I don’t think that really happened.”
And by the way Brendan, who is the most physical center in the Association?
“Oh Dwight [Howard] hands down. I mean first play of the game he popped me real good in my chest. He hit me so hard in my chest I felt it in my knee. You know you are not supposed to get hit hard enough in your chest when you feel it in your knee.”
Report: Bucks brought Jabari Parker off bench for discussing with media team’s meeting
The Milwaukee Bucks had lost four in a row and had slid out of a playoff slot in the East. It’s not one end of the court — in their last five games, the Bucks had the second-worst defense and fourth-worst offense in the NBA. After that fourth loss, the team held a players’ only meeting, one where Jabari Parker reportedly ripped his teammates for a lack of togetherness.
In the postgame media sessions that followed, Parker told the press he confirmed there was a meeting and said he had been “thrashed” by his teammates for what he said.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker did not start in Saturday’s road loss to the Miami Heat for violating a team rule that prohibits disclosing locker room discourse to the media, league sources told ESPN…
Parker’s teammates deliberated and decided the appropriate punishment for the violation was to bring him off the bench against the Heat, league sources told ESPN. It was the first time this season that he did not start.
The meeting and the benching didn’t help, the Bucks fell to the lowly Heat 109-97. (Team/players meetings are overrated in how often they help teams turn things around.)
The good news for the Bucks is that in a tight East they remain just a game out of the playoffs and three games out of the five seed. It’s going to be a tough week to turn that around with the Rockets, resurgent Sixers, Raptors, and Celtics on the schedule.
Without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers don’t have much going for them offensively. However, there is one thing: DeAndre Jordan can still run to the rim and dunk with authority.
The Knicks last three losses have come by a total of six points. The team is not good, a little banged up, and doesn’t play any defense, but New York also has just had a run of bad luck.
The latest example: Phoenix’s Devin Booker draining a three to knock off New York, 107-105. It was a mistake by Derrick Rose, who sagged down to the free throw line watching Eric Bledsoe with the ball coming off the pick, which led to the open pass. Also, notice that Booker set up three feet back of the three-point line — this is a trend a lot of teams and good shooters are following (watch a Rockets’ game) because it makes the closeout harder. Rose would have contested a shot at the arc, but Booker gets a clean look from where he spotted up, and drills it.
The Spurs would like you to include them in your conversations about contenders.
Without Pau Gasol (hand) or Tony Parker (foot), San Antonio went into Cleveland and beat the defending NBA champions in OT 118-115 in what was one of the wildest, most entertaining games of the season. Check out the clutch-time action above, including LeBron James hitting a three Shaker Heights.
But the real star was Kawhi Leonard, who put up a career-best 41 on 30 shots. He’s the guy who has to create and make plays for this offense, and he did it on a big stage. LeBron added 29 points. Between them, they put on quite a show.