Any NBA player with real championship aspirations has to see the Heat holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy and get motivated. Do you have any doubt that Kobe Bryant watched Game 5 then went to work out for a few hours?
Carmelo Anthony is doing the same and trying to get ready for the Olympics in London next month and he has dropped 12 pounds already, he told Marc Berman of the New York Post at the unveiling of the wax Carmelo at Madame Tussauds museum in Times Square.
No, I’m not making that last part up, there is now a wax image of ‘Melo in a room with New York sports heroes. What do you think that photo is?
Anyway, now that he’s got a statue and lost a few pounds (not of wax, of real weight), he thinks it’s his time to win a ring.
“I believe my time is coming,’’ Anthony said after posing with the statue with his wife La La at a press conference. “I’m a big believer in that. Whether this year or next year, I truly believe our time is coming. We’re going to keep playing for that.”
Carmelo and LeBron James are friends. He can see what it takes. Of course, what it really takes is a heavy commitment at both ends of the floor — you can’t just score you’ve got to defend. It takes not controlling the offense to score for yourself but to set up others and get the team offense flowing (remember all LeBron’s assists). It means taking on a new role for the team if that is what works (LeBron moving to the four).
Carmelo could do a lot worse than to follow LeBron’s lead. That wouldn’t make the Knicks title contenders, but it gets them a lot closer.
The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.
Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.
“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.
No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.
That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.
Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.
In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.
NBC Sports Washington:
Rockets players James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green and Chris Paul reportedly went through a back hallway to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room after last night’s game.
That’s one version of the story, at least.
But it apparently isn’t the only one – at least when it comes to Harden’s, Green’s and Paul’s involvement.
Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
A hallway runs between the Clippers locker room and the visitors locker room, where players from opposing teams often see each other and catch up. According to a Rockets source, Ariza was waiting on Griffin, and when the game ended he charged from the hallway into the Clips locker room. When Rivers spotted Ariza near the entrance, according to the source, he said: “Let his b—– a– come in.” Ariza then turned his attention to Rivers.
ESPN reported that Ariza was flanked by three teammates—Harden, Paul and Gerald Green—but their purpose was unclear. “They were holding Trevor back,” the source said.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Harden was sitting out his seventh straight game with a strained hamstring on Monday night, and Rockets sources believe that he’ll be ready for a return to the lineup on Thursday night against Minnesota.
Austin Rivers challenging Ariza is juicy, but the type of thing people say during altercations. The rest of this sounds like the Rockets trying to position themselves ahead of the NBA handing down punishments.
If they were just trying to restrain Ariza, then Harden, Paul and Green shouldn’t be fined or suspended. But if Harden is suspended, he could serve his penalty Thursday – even if the Rockets are fibbing about him being ready to play (though they at least previously laid the groundwork for that one).
There’s a lot for the league to untangle.
Russell Westbrook jumped from fifth to second in the NBA in technical fouls in about two seconds.
The Thunder star received two technical fouls and an automatic ejection late in Oklahoma City’s win over the Kings last night, leaving his nine technical fouls behind only Draymond Green‘s 11.
Westbrook got hit in the face on a drive, but instead of a foul being called on Sacramento, Westbrook was whistled for travelling. That’s quite a turnaround from the expected call to the actual call, so I understand why Westbrook was so upset. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook said something that warranted ejection. Thunder coach Billy Donovan also got a technical foul in the sequence.
Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:
The league used to crack down on that more with public fines, but the Thunder have skirted the rule this season.