Doc Rivers

Rivers says new 90-second “handshake” rule hurts coaches

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You’ve seen players complain about the NBA’s new “90 seconds from intros to tip off” rule, saying the fans love their pregame handshake rituals. You’ve seen the media complain that the NBA fun police are out, taking cues from the NFL.

Now you can add a coach to the list of those who don’t like the rule. Doc Rivers came out and said he actually tries to coach in that window and the NBA rule cuts him off. Via CSNNE.com.

“I think they forgot that the coach actually has to draw up a play before the opening (tip),” said Boston’s Doc Rivers. “You usually do that. … I like why we’re doing it. I just think we need to re-think the time. Ninety seconds is not enough. We probably need 30 more seconds or a minute.”

Rivers is right.

My issue with this is the seeming arbitrariness of it. I get the NBA wants to speed up the game — that’s a good intention — but there are a lot of other, more effective ways to attack that. Zach Lowe laid out a series at Grantland. Personally, I like the idea of limiting the number of timeouts a coach can call in the final two minutes of a game, that is where things drag out and where I just want to see the players play. Don’t eliminate them, but what about two timeouts in the final two minutes per team?

Nah, handshake rituals and coaches pregame plans are the real culprits. Not television.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.