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.
PBT Podcast: Derek Fisher fired, plus your trade questions from Twitter
In this latest podcast, NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman discuss the odd timing of that move — we expect another shoe to drop as to why. It’s not that Fisher was a great coach, but replacing him with Kurt Rambis mid-season is not an upgrade. And Luke Walton isn’t available until this summer.
After struggling to figure out what the Knicks are thinking, Helin and Feldman answer questions off Twitter from readers/listeners on the coming trade deadline including discussions of Blake Griffin, Jeff Teague, the Pistons, the Jazz, the Knicks, and more.
Festus Ezeli has been a rock-solid backup for the Warriors this season, playing almost 18 minutes a night behind Andrew Bogut giving the team 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds a contest. Golden State’s defense is 3.6 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court, and he’s part of the team’s long-term plans.
But he’s going to be out for a while now following knee surgery, the team announced and as reported by Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.
The surgery is exploratory, which is why the Warriors say there is no timeline for recovery yet.
The surgery is on his left knee; it was his right one that had reconstructive surgery and forced him to miss all of two seasons ago.
This is a blow to the Warriors’ depth, but little has slowed their march this season. More Mo Speights is not ideal, but the Warriors can just go small more often and run teams out of the building that way.
Ezeli is a restricted free agent this summer and the Warriors would like to keep him on the roster and expand his role, particularly if they do not retain Andrew Bogut. The severity of this knee injury could impact Ezeli’s ability to earn a big contract this summer, but hopefully for him, it’s not that serious.
Russell Westbrook stands behind Kevin Durant, mimics him during interview (video)
I’m skeptical this is significant. Teams discuss trades for many players for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t mean the player is likely to be dealt.
Orlando in particular has a roster of players who cause significant debate about their value. It’s helpful to know what other teams think of Harris, and soliciting trade offers is a good method to learn his worth.
It’s more intriguing the Magic are looking to add experience. They should probably go the opposite route, but they’ve tried (and failed) for years to accelerate their rebuild. At 22-28 – four games and three teams from playoff position – now is not the time to seek shortcuts. Spend the rest of the season developing young players – and probably securing a higher draft pick in the process.
One of Harris’ best traits is his youth. He’s just 23. See what other teams would offer for him, sure. But, in all likelihood, it’s better to let him grow into the veteran Orlando needs rather than trading him for one when the rest of the team isn’t ready to win, anyway.
My guess is that’s what Orlando will do. Remember, always consider who has incentive to leak this information anonymously and what they’d be positioned to know.