Harrison Barnes gets snarky with Warriors fans

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Most athletes and coaches make nothing but mundane comments after games. They just watched the same game as everyone else, and although the athletes and coaches often have more nuanced observations, they rarely offer to share those insights. So, the insiders often end up providing basic, fact-based quotes that could come from anyone.

For an example, just look at a few Warriors after their 109-103 win over the Lakers last night.

Golden State coach Mark Jackson:

We’ve played 72 games and the survey says that we are the better basketball team. That can’t be debated – through 72 games.

Makes sense. The Warriors are 41-31, and the Lakers are 36-35.

Klay Thompson:

“When you hold a team under 40 percent shooting it’s a good night. They’re a good team and we just played our defense.”

Exactly. The Lakers shot 39.6 percent, so Thompson speaks the truth.

Jarrett Jack:

We stopped being an aggressive, attacking team. We started playing half-court basketball and it’s kind of a tale of two halves.

Golden State scored 63 points in the first half and 46 in the second half, supporting Jack’s straight-forward claim.

Harrison Barnes:

Thanks to all the Warrior fans that came out to support is tonight. Big time road win!

Again, right on. Golden State won for the 24th time at Oracle Arena in Oakland, home of the – hey, wait a minute!

Very tricky move, Mr. Barnes.

According to the NBA, the Warriors played a home game Tuesday. According to the mood in the California arena, well, it’s up for a little more debate.

Barnes is following the lead of Pacers guard George Hill, who also voiced displeasure with hometown fans supporting the Lakers. Hill ended up clarifying and softening his comments, and I suspect Barnes will eventually do the same.

There’s no perfect way for Barnes – who comes across a little hypocritically, unless he’s willing to accept less money on his next contract to show his loyalty to the Warriors – to voice his displeasure with Warriors fans selling their tickets to Lakers fans. The Lakers are more popular than the Warriors due to years of winning and marketing, and it’s unfair to ask Warriors fans to sacrifice money to instantaneously change that. If a Lakers fan offered significant money for a ticket and I were a Warriors fan, I’d sell my ticket. Because the Lakers have such a large fan base, it’s more likely there will be Lakers fans willing to pay whatever amount the hometown fans consider significant.

Barnes just has to realize his tweet reflects poorly on the fans who did support him. The Warriors fans in attendance are the ones who come out looking badly, as they’re blamed for being inadequate, but it’s not their fault other Warriors fans didn’t show up or sold their tickets to Lakers fans.

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.