Lavoy Allen made a name for himself in the playoffs last year as “The KG Stopper.” He did a phenomenal job against Garnett, who had been dominant in the playoffs up until that point. Naturally, Doug Collins went away from Allen and played Spencer Hawes for longer stretches, despite Garnett taking Hawes’ lunch money and throwing him in the deep puddle in the parking lot. Which isn’t some huge knock. It’s Kevin Garnett.
But apparently that wasn’t enough for Doug Collins, who said that Hawes and newcomer Kwame Brown will start next year, making for a killer combination of players with terrible production relative to their draft stock. Both players are capable, Hawes offensively, Brown defensively, but Allen has higher upside and brought more to the table last year.
Allen, though, isn’t bothered by his coach’s comments. From CSN Philadelphia:
“It doesn’t bother me,” Allen said while at an appearance for a basketball showcase at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in South Jersey on Saturday afternoon. “You never know what can happen once training camp rolls around. You don’t know who’s going to do what. Coach says that now, but you never know what he’s thinking. He switched the lineup many times last year.”
via Allen on not starting: ‘Coach says that now’.
What’s the over/under on how long until Allen cements the starting job? 25 games? Maybe 40? It’s entirely possible that Allen takes a step back, he didn’t set the world on fire last season or anything, he just played well and with an aggressiveness the Sixers need down low. But Hawes also played above his career production last season. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out during the course of the season. But if the Sixers face the Celtics in the playoffs again and the same decision tree is used, Garnett could once again feast and be the deciding factor.
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.