This went unnoticed during Thursday night’s closer-than-expected contest between the Knicks and the Thunder, but you can bet that the league will be reviewing it in the days that follow.
With about 5:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, J.R. Smith takes an aggressive swing with his right elbow to the head of Thabo Sefolosha. Thankfully for everyone involved, he missed. But it was a violent attempt, and the intent was clear.
The two were battling physically on this particular possession, and usually when it escalates to the point where one player is taking a swing at another, it’s because little shots here and there have been delivered throughout the game, likely from both sides.
The league isn’t afraid to step in to correct something that the officials at the time ignored completely, and did so just over a week ago when Metta World Peace received a flagrant two foul three days after landing an elbow to the head of Kenneth Faried.
It’ll be interesting to see if the league comes down on Smith for this. The rule book states that a player, coach or trainer must be ejected for a “Technical foul for an attempted punch or swing with no contact or a thrown elbow toward an opponent above shoulder level with no contact.”
That could mean a retroactive flagrant two, a fine, a suspension, or none of the above. We’ll have to wait and see.
“I’ve put it behind me, and I’ve continued to try to do that… But other than that, every day that I’m in the gym or that I’m on the court or in the weight room or doing whatever I have to do to get back to who I was, and get back to being 100 percent healthy, yes I do use it as motivation.”
Thomas has yet to set foot on the court as a Cavalier, spending the start of the season rehabbing a hip injury. He’s expected back next month.
It’s very early in the NBA season, we’re not at 20 games or even Thanksgiving yet, but it has become evident that the Cavaliers have some legitimate defensive concerns, and that the Boston Celtics are a legitimate threat to them.
That would set up a series between Thomas’ old team that he’s still a little angry at, and his new team in Cleveland. And Thomas is good with that.
“Oh, that would be lovely. That would be the story that God made, and it probably will work that way. It always does. It always works – I’m not going to say in my favor, but it seems to always work out no matter what the circumstance is. That would be a special moment. If they make it there, and we make it there, and then we clash, and then you never know what’s going to happen. But I’ll be ready for whatever happens.”
Not enough NBA players use the word “lovely” anymore.
But I’m with Thomas, I want to see that series, too.
Cavaliers’ Derrick Rose out two more weeks due to sprained ankle
With Isaiah Thomas still rehabbing, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to lean more on Derrick Rose at the point, when he is available (he’s only played in half of Cleveland’s games). More Rose has not been good for Cleveland’s defense, and it’s forced Tyronn Lue to play Kevin Love more at center just to have enough shooting on the floor, so there are driving lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Now we will have to see what Lue and the Cavaliers do without Rose for a couple more weeks. Rose will be out for a couple of weeks with his sprained left ankle, the team announced Friday afternoon.
“Due to continued symptoms, the ankle will be immobilized in a boot for the next week and he will also undergo an extended treatment process over the next two to three weeks.”
Rose has averaged 14.3 points on 47 percent shooting this season in Cleveland.
With Rose and Thomas out, Cleveland has gone with Iman Shumpert technically as the point, although LeBron handles the playmaking duties. He brings some size to the position, but he can’t defend quick point guards well (not that Rose could). This new lineup has won the Cavaliers a couple of games in a row, although that has been far more about their offense making runs rather than their struggling defense (last in the NBA) stepping up.
It’s been tough to get a feel for this Cavaliers team and what they really are this season, in part due to all the injuries. This simply adds to that mess.
The Cavaliers take on the slumping Clippers Friday night.
Nets’ D’Angelo Russell has arthroscopy knee surgery, will miss time
D'Angelo Russell has played well since being traded across the country and handed the keys to the Brooklyn franchise. He has averaged 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game, been a more efficient shooter (he’s only hitting 29.7 percent from three, but he is getting to the line more than he used to, is knocking it down from the midrange, and his true shooting percentage is at 53.9, about the league average). He may not look like what teams hope for out of a former No. 2 overall pick, but he’s played well.
Now the Nets will need to get by without him for a while — what was sold as a “knee contusion” by the team has turned out to require surgery, the team announced Friday.
Brooklyn is 5-9 on the season, and while not a good team they are better than many projected (and better than Sixers fans were hoping). This is undoubtedly going to be a step back for an offense already 23rd in the league.
Report: Adam Silver quickly shot down check of his interest in being NFL Commissioner
Being commissioner of the NFL is a tough job right now. Television ratings are down, which is due to big picture sports viewing trends far, far more than a controversy about players kneeling during the National Anthem. Although a lightning rod issue with the President involved certainly doesn’t help. Then there are real concerns about brain damage in players long term, and how that is keeping participation from younger generations down in the sport.
Not that Roger Goodell has done a particularly good job handling any of it, which in part is why there is a palace coup trying to take place and force him out, led by Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.
The owners, though, have considered other successors. A confidant of one owner reached out to gauge whether Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, would be interested in running the NFL, to which Silver immediately said no.
Silver is too savvy to want to step into that job right now. Silver is, by his nature, a consensus builder as a commissioner — as opposed to the more dictatorial David Stern — and good luck trying to find a consensus among these bickering NFL owners.
Silver is going to ride out a fairly lengthy term as NBA Commissioner, then retire into some fairly healthy consulting/speaking fees. He’s in a good spot. He’s too smart to blow that to try and appease Jerry Jones.