It was the game’s opening tip, Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders is lined up for the jump ball, won it, and as he came down inadvertently elbowed referee Bill Kennedy in the head. Ouch.
We need to add that Sanders leads the league in technicals with 14 (and he has a lot of ejections), but this didn’t earn him one. Nor should it have, that was not intentional. The game was stopped for a minute but Kennedy soldiered on and continued the game.
It worked out fine for Sanders — he had 24 points to lead the Bucks over the Bobcats. It’s a key win putting the Bucks 1.5 games back of the reeling seven seed Celtics, and just one game back in the loss column. Finish with the seven seed you get the Pacers or Knicks in the first round, get the eight seed and the Heat wipe you off the map quickly. Self-preservation is a strong motivator.
Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.