For the Lakers, there shouldn’t even be this controversy — if they hadn’t given up an improbably 12-3 run late in the fourth quarter to the Timberwolves bench there would have been no play here to discuss. Kobe Bryant could have had ice on his knees sitting in a folding chair.
Instead, he was trying to ice the game with a free throw with 3.4 seconds left. Make it and it’s a four point Lakers lead. But he leaves it short, and it all happens fast:
Ricky Rubio reacts and gets the rebound while Kobe watches his shot, by the time Kobe reacts Rubio has the ball and is racing to try a game-tying three. Kobe is playing catch up as Rubio races, then with 0.5 left on the clock he goes for the running 28-footer.
And Kobe fouls him on the arm. Watch the replay, it’s a foul. Kobe basically admits after the game it’s a foul. Rubio and coach Rick Adelman instantly protest but to no avail. Why no call? Kobe knows why and told reporters such as the Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding after the game.
Kobe on possible foul on last play vs. Rubio: "They're not going to call that s***."
The announcers miss the point here and Kobe gets it — it’s not him, on a desperation shot at the end of a game like that short of going Kirk Hinrich and tackling Rubio no call is going to be made. You can get away with a smart foul there. Kobe did. The Lakers escape with a much needed win.
Miami Heat, Chris Bosh issue joint statement saying he is out for playoffs
This was never Bosh’s decision to make alone, it had to be him and the organization on the same page. And the Heat organization was not changing its mind.
Miami had to go small and change their style of play without Bosh, but it has worked — Goran Dragic found room to operate, the Heat offense took off, and the emergence of Hassan Whiteside as a rim protector has kept the defense from slipping much.
The Heat needed seven games to vanquish the Hornets in the first round. While technically underdogs in the second round against Toronto, the Heat have real matchup advantages that could see them advance to the conference finals — likely against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
It is unfortunate that is happening without Bosh, but there are things more important than basketball. Bosh’s long-term health has to be on that list.
Report: Stephen Curry had platelet-rich plasma therapy on right knee
Warriors guard Stephen Curry said Tuesday he received platelet-rich plasma treatment as part of his treatment on his sprained right knee.
PRP, which is said to promote healing, was given to Curry on the second day of his recovery process, he said.
While thought to be exotic when Kobe Bryant used to go to Germany for this treatment on his knees a few years back, now this treatment is relatively common among professional athletes.
The question remains (and likely will until game day) whether the Warriors will bring back Curry for Game 3. On one hand, they aren’t pressured to do so up 2-0 on the Trail Blazers and with some matchup advantages Portland is not going to be able to solve. The Warriors don’t need to rush him back to make sure they win this series.
On the other hand, between the ankle and now knee injuries Curry has missed a lot of time and there is a rust factor — the Warriors want to shake that rust off against Portland, not in Game 1 of the conference finals against a much tougher opponent. Meaning even if you don’t see Curry in Game 3, you will see him in Game 4 (unless something is more wrong with him than is being let on).
Reports: Kings interviewing Henry Bibby, James Borrego
Bibby made a name for himself as a coach at USC, where he hovered around .500 from 1996 until 2004. Since, he has coached in the WNBA and bounced between the 76ers, Grizzlies and Pistons as an assistant. He’d be a pretty underwhelming hire.
Ditto Borrego, who looked in over his head when the Magic named him interim coach last season. But that’s not an easy situation for an unproven coach. Returning to the Spurs, coupled with lessons from Orlando, might have Borrego more prepared for his head-coaching job.
The Lakers might not even have a first-round pick this year.
Thanks to the ill-fated Steve Nash sign-and-trade, the Lakers owe the 76ers (via the Suns) a top-three-protected first-rounder. As the No. 2 seed in the lottery, the Lakers have just better than a coin-flip chance of landing in the top three and keeping the pick.
Is this a good idea? The answer, as usual, is it depends on what they could get.
There’s a logic to adding another young player whose peak would align with Lakers’ core. D'Angelo Russell (20), Julius Randle (21) and Jordan Clarkson (23) aren’t ready to win. It might be better to add someone who will enter his prime when they do.
But the Lakers’ market and prestige make them a popular free-agent destination, and free agents value winning. Moderate improvements that would stick many teams on the mediocrity treadmill could open the door for the Lakers signing a star.
The Lakers should weigh these factors and trade offers logically and decide what to do if they get a top pick.
Of course, there are other factors. Jim Buss faces a somewhat-self-imposed deadline for contending. To the person in charge, what’s best for the franchise’s long-term outlook might not matter as much as a potential quick fix.