Kevin Martin, Kyle Singler

Kevin Martin receives warning for flopping (VIDEO)

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Kevin Martin of the Oklahoma City Thunder became the third player to receive a warning for flopping under the NBA’s new policy, but his infraction was a little bit different than those who have been warned earlier this season.

While J.J. Barea and Donald Sloan received similar warnings for infractions that occurred on the defensive end of the floor, Martin’s warning came after he seemed to be the recipient of a foul on the offensive end, after releasing a shot from behind the three-point arc.

The play occurred with 10:16 remaining in the fourth quarter of the game between the Thunder and the Pistons on Nov. 12.

I’ve seen a lot of basketball from the time the first warnings were issued and the time Martin received this one, and I can tell you there have been far worse offenders than this. But the league is clearly trying to send a message, one that says in part that they’d like to eliminate players trying to get a favorable call from the officials by falling down intentionally after receiving minimal contact on a shot attempt.

This description fits Martin’s action here perfectly, so the warning, in the league’s eyes, was justified.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.