Knicks 100, Celtics 85: These are two teams headed in opposite directions — this was the fifth straight win for the Knicks and the fifth straight loss for the Celtics.
Kevin Garnett was out again for Boston (as he will be for a couple weeks most likely), and when he’s out the Celtics defense isn’t the same. The result was J.R. Smith dropping 32, Carmelo Antony dropping 29 plus 8 rebounds. This game was tight until midway through the second quarter when the Knicks went on a 14-0 run. Boston just never was able to close that gap.
Timberwolves 105, Pistons 82: Minnesota hasn’t had many laugher wins where the starters sat the entire fourth quarter this season, so they should enjoy this one. Minnesota led much of the game but it wasn’t until a 19-2 run to close out the third that the Timberwolves really pulled away and got the win. J.J. Barea had 21 points (including hitting 5-of-7 from three) and Nikola Pekovic added 18 points and 11 rebounds. For once the three ball fell for Minnesota (they shot 53.8 percent on the night from deep) and that fueled the win.
Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.