Steve Novak has adopted the “discount double check” as his go-to celebration for hitting big three-pointers. It’s the same one Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made famous on the football field, and then even more so after appearing in a series of insurance commercials.
The celebration is weak by NBA standards, but hey, to each his own. Whether you like it or not, it is unquestionably Novak’s, in that he’s the one known for bringing it to the professional basketball court.
Nate Robinson of the Bulls decided it was just fine to use it himself on Friday, doing it twice in the second quarter while facing Novak’s Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Robinson’s threes were part of a run that blew the game open for Chicago, and helped them to beat the Knicks for the third time this season.
No one believes that Robinson wasn’t aware that he was mocking Novak by doing this, and afterward, Novak was asked about Robinson’s antics. He referred to Robinson as “Little Nathan” while questioning his maturity, and possibly was taking a shot at Robinson’s diminutive physical stature, as well.
It’s a funny enough response from Novak, although if you don’t want other teams’ players celebrating on your home court or mocking you in the process, it’s real simple — stop them from hitting shots and play some defense to avoid getting blown out while the game is actually taking place.
Robinson obviously heard about Novak’s comments, and posted the following response to his Twitter account Friday night.
@stevenovak20 lol at ur comment … I forgot u invented that move u must play for the packers and ur name is Aaron Rogers #FOH clown
A number of teams — Boston, Miami, and others — are expected to take a run at Griffin. (In Boston’s case, he’s a backup plan to Gordon Hayward, but there will be conversations.)
What Chris Paul — also expected to opt out and become a free agent this summer — and Griffin choose to do will help set the market. They are two of the biggest free agent names out there where they could switch teams (Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are staying put). If they take their time making a decision, it leaves the Clippers in a bind — they have to wait to hear from these two before starting replacing or rebuilding, but by the time they know other players may have decided — and could bottleneck the free agent process.
The Clippers are going to be one interesting team to watch this summer.
Pistons’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suspended two games for DUI
This is the standard penalty for coaches and players hit with a DUI. I don’t think the penalty is stiff enough in general for a serious issue, but this is the precedent that has been set.
Detroit Pistons’ guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been suspended two games by the NBA for “pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, in violation of the law of the State of Michigan,” the NBA announced. He will miss the first two games of next season.
This will not stop Caldwell-Pope from getting PAID this summer.
A quality wing defender who hit 35 percent from three last season, he plays a position of need for a lot of teams and he is a restricted free agent. Other teams with cap space — Brooklyn and Sacramento come to mind — could step in and give him a max or near max offer. Then Stan Van Gundy needs to decide if he is going to match. He may not have much of a choice, if he wants to keep Andre Drummond and build an inside-out team around him, he needs Caldwell-Pope, and the Pistons don’t have the cap space to replace him.
One way or another, Caldwell-Pope is in line for a massive pay raise. This suspension will not slow teams, it just takes a little money out of his pocket.
Lonzo Ball tops Rookie of the Year early betting odds
The two bets I like here, if I were a gambling man, are Jackson in Phoenix and Dennis Smith in Dallas. I doubt Smith wins it, but Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the draft Smith will start for them next year, which means he gets opportunities and can rack up assists feeding Dirk Nowitzki at the elbow for a year.
Jackson is going to be unleashed in an up-tempo Suns offense where he will be the defender they need on the wing, play with high energy, and get buckets in transition. Winning ROY is as much about fit and opportunity as talent, and Jackson has landed in a good spot.
Paul George-Gordon Hayward-Celtics rumor doesn’t add up
I don’t what George would do, but it’d be a MAJOR financial disadvantage to go this route.
There a couple ways it could happen – George getting extended-and-trade or George getting traded then signing an extension six months later. The latter would allow George to earn more than the former, but even if he pledged to sign an extension, would the Celtics trade for him knowing he’d have six months to change his mind if he doesn’t like Boston as much as anticipated?
There’s a bigger issue, anyway. Both extension routes would leave George earning far less than simply letting his contract expire then signing a new deal, either with his incumbent team or a new one.
Here’s a representation of how much George could earn by:
Letting his contract expire and re-signing (green)
Letting his contract expire and signing elsewhere (purple)
Getting traded and signing an extension six months later (gray)
Signing an extend-and-trade (yellow)
Expire & re-sign
Expire & leave
Trade, extend later
Firm numbers are used when it’s just a calculation based on George’s current contract. When necessary to project the 2018-19 salary cap, I rounded.
The Celtics could theoretically renegotiate-and-extend, but that would require cap room that almost certainly wouldn’t exist after signing Hayward.
Simply, it’s next to impossible to see this happening. It’d be too costly to George.