It was one of the most talked about moments of the Olympic basketball tournament — Nicolas Batum (he of the huge new contract with the Trail Blazers) and his French teammates needed to foul Spain, down 6 with 24 seconds left.
Batum did foul Juan Carlos Navarro by punching him in the place a man least wants to be punched. And I don’t mean his face.
It was a cheap shot. A five-game suspension at least if it happened in the NBA.
Batum says he now feels bad about that play, but mostly because of how it reflected on him not for doing it. That’s what it sounds like in this quote from Casey Holdahl’s piece at an official Trail Blazers blog.
“What I’m mad about is what I showed to people about myself, what I showed about the game, about France, everything,” said Batum. “I feel bad about it because that’s not me. I’m human. I lost it. I just lost it.
“You don’t want this type of action. I can’t do it. You can’t see that on the court. If the (International Basketball) Federation or the Olympics want to suspend me a couple games or fine me, I’m okay with that. I won’t say anything.”
Batum was frustrated, France had the lead in that game but were on a 0-11 shooting streak from the field when he had to foul. But I dare him to try that in an NBA game. The retribution will be a lot quicker, more stuff and more expensive.
When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).
This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.
During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.
But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.
NBC Sports Washington:
I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.
The double technical foul called seems about fair.
The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.
That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.
The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.
Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.
On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.