It’s only opening night, and I’m already sick of the burgeoning feud between Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics. We get it — Boston fans (and apparently teammates) aren’t pleased with Allen’s decision to leave to go to the one team that primarily stands in the Celtics’ way of getting back to the NBA Finals.
But hey, free agency is all about choice. And if you’re Ray Allen, and the starting point guard on your current team essentially hates you, and that same team has engaged in trade talks with you multiple times in separate seasons, leaving to go to the defending world champions seems like a pretty easy decision to make.
Nevertheless, Kevin Garnett sees life differently. No surprise there, but completely cutting ties with a veteran teammate — including pretending to lose his phone number — isn’t exactly the most mature way to handle things.
Garnett continued along that path on Tuesday, when Allen checked into the game for the first time and went over to the Celtics’ bench to extend a gesture of good sportsmanship, as well as greet his former coworkers — some of which he spent the last five seasons with.
As seen in the video above, Garnett completely ignores Allen, and Allen immediately moves on when he gets the reaction from Garnett that he was likely expecting.
We’re done with this now, right? Allen can stop holding press conferences about the topic and pouring his heart out to anyone who will listen, and the Celtics can stop responding like a scorned ex-girlfriend.
At least until the postseason, when we’ll undoubtedly have to revisit all of this again should these two teams meet in a best-of-seven series.
Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds
Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.
Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)
More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.
He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.
Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.
No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.
The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.
Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.
Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win
The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.
But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.
Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.
LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.
It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.
Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team
It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.
She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.
This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.