C.J. Watson received a warning under the NBA’s anti-flopping policy for a play that occurred Wednesday night in the Nets’ win over the Timberwolves, the league announced on Thursday.
While the flop itself was egregious and certainly deserving of punishment, the fact that it came against J.J. Barea — along with Watson’s comments about it afterward — were likely the reason the league responded so swiftly.
Barea is on the league’s radar for his reputation as a flopper, and has already been fined for twice feigning contact on defensive plays this season. Watson addressed the play after the game, and essentially said that it was nice to see Barea on the wrong end of one of those calls for a change.
“He’s a flopping guy, so I tried to give him a little dose of his own medicine,” Watson said in a postgame interview. “It worked tonight. Hopefully I don’t get fined, though.”
No fine, but those remarks undoubtedly helped Watson get the official warning. As long as he stays clean (and quiet) the rest of the season, he won’t lose any money over it — the fines begin with the second offense, and increase for every offense thereafter.
LeBron James bought Cavs teammates matching designer suits to wear to game tonight
LeBron James planned this ahead of time. Players were fitted by tailors in Cleveland weeks ago and packed the ensemble for the trip. I've seen this with USA Basketball and college teams before, but never an NBA team (other than the Wizards all wearing black) https://t.co/U8Z5qHfDO4
If a college team rolled into a game in four-digit designer suits, the NCAA would have questions. And not about the vests.
The Cavaliers are LeBron’s team, and if he wants to buy his teammates suits and tell them to wear them it’s going to happen. Is it a bonding thing that helps bring them together? Sure. Is it in place to make sure LeBron remembers which ones are his new teammates? Probably not.
Do the suits help on the court? No. And the Cavaliers better bring it in Game 3 because if they go down 2-1 in this series — something that is a realistic possibility — the whispers of doubt are going to get a lot louder.
Report: Knicks to discuss coaching vacancy with Hawks’ Mike Budenholzer
Mike Budenholzer is restless in Atlanta, seeing a rebuild coming and looking at other jobs (something Hawks management is fine with). He went down the road a ways with the Suns before pulling out of that process, but he’s still looking around.
The Knicks are casting a wide net in their search, talking to virtually everyone looking for coaching jobs.
So, this seemed inevitable, right? Budenholzer and the Knicks are going to talk, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Knicks plan to talk to Hawks coach Budenholzer about their vacancy, according to league source. Still not ruled out that Budenholzer eventually returns to ATL.
This will be very preliminary. The Knicks have already had some level of conversation with Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse, David Blatt, Mike Woodson, and TNT analyst Kenny Smith (Jackson and Fizdale are the rumored early leaders). Budenholzer has established a style and culture in Atlanta, giving the franchise a path forward. New York could certainly use that.
However, the Knicks job comes with real challenges, too. That starts with James Dolan as owner and the erratic, at times paranoid culture he has created there. Also, expectations in New York are always high, but the team will be without Kristaps Porzigis for at least half (maybe all) of the upcoming season as he recovers from an ACL injury, and that puts a ceiling on the team in the short term. Is all that worth leaving Atlanta for?
Stephen Curry to begin “modified” practices with Warriors
Golden State has flipped the switch in the first round, going up 3-0 on overmatched San Antonio. The Warriors have been outscoring the Spurs by 20.2 points per 100 possessions in the series, allowing less than a point per possession on defense and scoring when and where they want. Kevin Durant is averaging 27.3 points per game, Klay Thompson is shooting 63.3 percent from three and scoring 25.7 points per game, and the Warriors are clicking.
But they are not yet whole — they need Stephen Curry back. Not for this round, but before the Western Conference Finals for sure.
Curry was re-evaluated Friday and will begin practicing with the team in a limited — or “modified” to use the team’s term — way.
The target has always been a return somewhere during the second round, and that still seems to be on track. That is also a little faster than traditional for a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which can take up to two months to heal (not the 4-6 weeks of the Warriors timeline), but the Warriors are being cautious here for now.
Eventually, the Warriors will need him back — their offense is built around Curry and his ball movement and movement off the ball. Curry’s gravity to draw defenders, even when he doesn’t have the ball, opens up the floor for others. Put simply, if he’s 28 feet from the bucket on the weak side defenders still have to watch and be near him, and help defenders need to be aware, which pulls the defense to wherever he is. Without Curry and the Warriors take more midrange jumpers, it’s just in the first round series against the Spurs they are hitting them.
Former NBA commissioner David Stern said the league began testing for marijuana because players complained of other players playing high. Chauncey Billups said he knew teammates who played better high.
But Stephen Jackson is the rare former NBA player who admitted to playing high.
Now, he has company.
Kenyon Martin – who played for the Nets, Nuggets, Clippers, Knicks and Bucks in a 15-year career – via Bleacher Report:
We were playing in Indiana one day. I wasn’t feeling well. I had a hamstring, a hip or something. So, I smoked. I wasn’t going to play originally. So, we got to the arena, and I’m like, “I feel good.” I went and told the trainer, “I’m going to go today.” I went out there and had a great game.