Chris Paul and Greivis Vasquez appeared to jaw at each other in the final seconds of the Clippers’ 105-91 win over the Hornets on Wednesday. After the game, Paul was interviewed on the court during the Hornets’ broadcast.
“He just talk way too much, man,” Paul said. “He talk too much. I don’t – he talk way too much.”
“Well, your scoring and the win did the talking tonight. Thanks a lot Chris,” the interviewer said as Paul interrupted her.
Paul said something in audible about the win before adding one more, “but he just talk too much.”
Maybe I’m giving Paul too much credit, but might he be playing the game, too (and doing it better than Vasquez)? I bet Paul is annoyed by Vasquez, whose reputation for having a big mouth dates back to Maryland.
There’s no good way for Paul to get Vasquez to stop talking. Paul can’t complain after a loss or a poor individual performance, or he’d be labeled a sore loser. Shaquille O’Neal has made the situation more complicated, because Paul surely doesn’t want to be perceived as emulating Shaq’s petty slights to his eventual replacement as Orlando’s center, Dwight Howard, with Paul’s eventual replacement as New Orleans’ point guard, Vasquez.
So, this was the perfect time to strike. Vasquez had zero points, three turnovers and five fouls in a blowout loss. If he goes back at Paul, Vasquez could easily be labeled as caring more about trash-talking than winning.
Perhaps, Paul just bought himself a couple games of Vasquez silence – simply by talking at the right time. Vasquez could take a lesson. That is how you gain the upper hand in the game within the game.
Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.
Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.
Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.
The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.
The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).
So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.
The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.
“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.
“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”
Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)
Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.
And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.
Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.