The Bulls beat the Celtics in overtime on Friday, on the strength of a couple of big plays that went their way down the stretch of both regulation and the extra session.
Joakim Noah continued his All-Star caliber play, especially defensively where he was able to hold Kevin Garnett to just 5-16 shooting. He was asked afterward how he did it, and used the opportunity to let loose on Garnett’s style of play once again.
From Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago:
“(I was) just playing defense,” Noah said. “Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots, he’s a helluva competitor, he’s always on some bulls—. Always on some bulls—.”
Noah was asked for clarification of what Garnett was doing that upset him.
“Just trying to throw elbows,” Noah said of Garnett. “Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet, he’s been doing this a long time but it’s all right.”
This isn’t a new opinion from Noah. He called Garnett a dirty player during the 2010 Eastern Conference playoffs, but unlike Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, who let Garnett get to him a couple of weeks ago, Noah ignored the nonsense and simply played his game.
The Bulls and Celtics both play hard-nosed defensive basketball, so it isn’t a surprise that Noah and Garnett had multiple run-ins throughout the course of the night. Let’s just hope we see these two teams go head to head in the postseason for a seven-game series.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.