When Reggie Evans sold a foul like there was a sniper in the grassy knoll at Staples Center (you can see the video above, where a flagrant 2 was rightly reduced to a personal foul) it brought up a discussion of the Clippers and flopping. As in they do it a lot. As in people are starting to call them “flop city.”
Well, not if you ask Vinny Del Negro. His team needs to flop more, he thinks. He stood in there and took the charge for his team. Here is the quote, via the Orange County Register.
“We’re flopping a lot? I wish we would flop a lot. Maybe we’d get some charges,” he said. “I don’t know anybody on our team that flops. It’s all around the league. I wouldn’t say our team is a flopping team at all — maybe one or two guys. If we get the call, I like it.”
Um, yes you are flopping a lot. The Clippers may lead the league there.
You can argue that the Clippers and their attacking style means they also take a lot of hard fouls, that’s a legit complaint. Some of that goes uncalled, I’ll give you that as well. But the Clippers flop and complain about calls with the best of them. Or worst, depending on your interpretation. The video evidence litters YouTube. Or look at TrueHoop’s list of the league’s biggest floppers.
Blake Griffin can be quite the actor. Here is my personal favorite, asking for a call after he hits himself in the face.
Chris Paul also has a long history of selling calls — this is a competitive guy who has always needed to do everything possible to get his teams to win. This is older but still a favorite, a compilation via Royce Young of Daily Thunder of all CP3’s flop in one game.
Cody Zeller throws it down all over Bismack Biyombo (VIDEO)
Pop quiz: Which team complains the most to the referees in the NBA?
You probably answered “the Clippers.” Most fans do. So do most NBA referees — And everyone else. Which is why after a recent loss to Golden State, veteran Marreese Speight (a Warrior last season) pointed to the Clippers complaining about the officiating as part of the problem.
He went on to say that the scouting report is you can get in the Clippers’ heads by knocking them around a little. Which seems pretty obvious when you watch teams play them. Shockingly, Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagrees with that. Via NBCLosAngeles.com.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” said Rivers about the technical fouls. “If that were the problem, then, Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Doc may not like it, but Speights is right.
The Warriors do complain too much, but they also have a ring so more is forgiven. The problem for the Clippers is that reputation for complaining starts with Rivers — he complains as much or more than any coach in the league. Then it filters down through Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Is it fair that more is forgiven with winning? Moot question. Welcome to America. The Clippers complain a lot and have yet to get past the second round with this core. And at times there standing there complaining to the referees does get in the way of them getting back into defense, and they seem to go in a funk.
Want to prove all that wrong? Win. In the playoffs.
Alivin Gentry, you worried about being fired: “I really don’t give a s— about my job status”
The Pelicans are disappointing this season — it is Anthony Davis vs. the world down there. Which is the main reason they are 7-16 this season. While things have gotten better since Jrue Holiday‘s return, Davis is averaging a league-best 31.4 points per game, it then drops off to Holiday at 15.4, and then E'Twaun Moore at 11.1.
When a team struggles, usually that is a bad sign for the coach. Not because it’s always their fault, but because GMs choose not to fire themselves for poor roster construction. Which leads to the question: Alvin Gentry, are you concerned about your job? (Warning, NSFW)
Gentry with classic coach-speak: Control what you can control.
New Orleans’ struggles are not on Gentry, certainly not completely. He’d like a roster that can play uptempo, that has depth. What he got instead was a good point guard, an elite 4/5, a rookie in Buddy Hield that maybe pans out down the line, and then… nada. And the roster Gentry has often is banged up.
If anyone is in trouble, it is GM Dell Demps. Remember, Danny Ferry was hired last summer for the vague role of “special advisor.” Gentry is in his second year, and the issue is the roster he was given. But the Pelicans are a patient organization that values continuity, so… who knows. But the clock is ticking on Davis;, it’s years away, but the Pelicans need to build a team around him and are far from that right now.
Cavaliers’ James Jones says he’ll retire after next season
Jones told the Beacon Journal he will retire after next season, which will be his 15th in the NBA. His ultimate dream is to ride off after three consecutive championships in Cleveland
“I know playing 15 years is a number where I can look back and I can be like, ‘I accomplished something,’ ” Jones said. “Fourteen vs. 15 may not be much, but to be able to say I played 15 years, that’s enough for me to hang ’em up.”
Jones’ contract expires after the season, so the Cavs will have a say in whether he returns. Safe to say if LeBron wants him back, Jones will be back.
But the Heat got into trouble relying on washed-up veterans around LeBron, wasting valuable roster spots on players who could no longer contribute.
Is that Jones? Not yet. Though he’s out of the rotation, he has still made 11-of-12 open 3-pointers this season. There’s a role for him as spot-up shooter when Cleveland needs one.
Still, the Cavaliers ought to be mindful of Jones’ likely decline over the next year and a half. Plus, it’s not a certainty he holds to his timeline. Cavs veterans have a history of changing their mindon retirement.