Got to say this for Gerald Wallace — he saves his flops for the biggest stars.
Wallace became the second NBA player fined for flopping, getting to write a $5,000 check to the league for clearly trying to sell a call against LeBron James last Saturday. LeBron made contact with his right arm but then Wallace launches himself back like he was shot out of a cannon. You can see the video on NBA.com.
Wallace gets fined because this is his second flopping offense — he was warned for a flop on Carmelo Anthony earlier this season. Consider that a warning for when Kobe Bryant goes up against Wallace next — look for the flop. He saves it for you elite guys.
Wallace joins fellow Net Reggie Evans as the only two NBA players fined for flopping. Brooklyn Flop City! The next flop for either of them draws a $10,000 fine from the league. (That money goes to the league charity, by the way.)
Expect to see more and more of these fines as the season wears on. Is it effective? Ask me come April and May, when the playoffs roll around. Stopping flops in December is not the goal of the league’s new policy. But ask yourself if Chauncey Billups would take the flopping warning or a fine to get two crucial points that tied the game late in the fourth quarter, points that helped the Clippers get a win over the Jazz Monday night.
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.
“At this point, if you’re not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point — Cleveland against the world!”
And with that, the Q went nuts.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers got their rings and raised a banner in Cleveland — the first title banner in that city in 52 seasons (although the Indians are trying to have their say on the matter across the street). It was emotional for everyone in the building, and particularly the hometown boy LeBron.