From our own Ira Winderman, here are some fighting words from Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel, whose team will meet the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday:
“It’ll be very interesting to see how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward. . . . Every drive to the basket they have guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers. Often times they’re falling down even before contact is even being made. It’ll be interesting to see how the series is officiated.”
Clearly, Vogel is already trying to “work the refs” a bit here. Given that he didn’t get very specific with his officiating complaints, I’d be surprised if Vogel got fined for his comments, but you never know when somebody makes a comment about NBA officiating.
Boston police now probing fight involving 76ers center Okafor
Authorities say a man filed a police report Friday saying the fight outside a nightclub left him with stitches over his eye.
Police say the alleged victim reported the fight began after some of his female friends refused the advances of two men, including one believed to be Okafor. The man told police Okafor punched him and knocked him to the ground.
Okafor says he’s embarrassed about the scuffle and is dealing with the team and league on possible discipline.
The confrontation happened early Thursday morning after the 76ers fell to 0-16 on the season. The Sixers rookie said he was being heckled.
Reggie Jackson‘s exit from Oklahoma City a year ago was not smooth or pretty. He wanted a bigger stage, he wanted out, and he let everyone know it. “We felt like everybody wanted to be here except for one guy,” Kevin Durant said after the trade that sent Jackson to Detroit.
The Pistons and Jackson were back in Oklahoma City Friday night. The fans let Jackson know they didn’t appreciate his words with plenty of boos. After the game, when asked about Jackson both Durant and Russell Westbrook threw shade at Jackson, as reported by Royce Young at Daily Thunder.com. KD didn’t even mention Jackson among Detroit’s best players.
“Steven (Adams) did a great job on their best player and Andre (Roberson) did a great job on their second best player in (Kentavious Caldwell) Pope and Russ did his job,” Durant said…
“Who?” Westbrook said, after very clearly hearing who he was asked about.
Those comments were more aggressive toward Jackson than the Thunder players seemed to be during the game, where he was treated as an afterthought.
Jackson has played well for Detroit this season — averaging 19.1 points and 5.9 assists per game, with a PER of 20.3 and real chemistry with Andre Drummond — but he was held in check against the Thunder. Spending much of the night battling foul trouble, Jackson had 15 points on 16 shots on the night.
Durant was the stud for the Thunder, with 34 points and 13 rebounds, and the Thunder won comfortably 103-87.
Report: League considering crediting Luke Walton with coaching wins
It’s about to get a little awkward at the NBA’s New York headquarters. It’s time to vote for the Coach of the Month and in the West this is any easy answer: Luke Walton of the Golden State Warriors.
Except he is officially 0-0 as a coach this season. Walton is the interim, and under the NBA’s rules the regular coach gets credit while away. So Steve Kerr is 16-0 — which Kerr thinks is ridiculous — and the league is about to vote a guy who has zero official wins as coach of the month.
A source confirmed Friday that the league is looking into the long-held custom of wins not being credited to interim coaches, but rather to coaches on leave such as the Warriors’ Steve Kerr.
Changing the policy does raise some questions. Is this retroactive to former interim coaches? Is there a minimum number of games the interim has to serve before it counts? (I don’t know if you want to count games for an interim who does one or two games for a suspended coach, but does he start to get credit at five games? 10?)
That said, the league should do it. Walton and other long-term interims deserve credit.
Walton continues to say “whatever” in so many words.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Walton said of the possibility of having wins on his record as the league reviewed the Warriors’ extenuating circumstances. “It really doesn’t…I’m good either way.”
But Walton could be the first ever NBA coach of the month who has not officially won a game.