Ricky Rubio received a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule, the league announced on Saturday.
The violation came with 46 seconds remaining in Minnesota’s home win over the Thunder on March 29th, and honestly, it’s one of the weaker ones the league has seen as fit to punish.
Rubio appears to take contact to the head from the shoulder of Kevin Durant on the drive, and while the helicopter spin to the ground may have been exaggerated, the contact was made nonetheless, and the referees weren’t fooled into calling a bogus foul by Rubio’s actions.
Whatever the league’s reasoning was in choosing to warn Rubio for this particular play, there’s no doubt he’s earned it with countless others over the course of the season that have gone unnoticed.
Maybe it’s just something about playing against the Thunder. As you may recall, J.J. Redick received a flopping warning earlier this week for a play against Oklahoma City that was far worse than this one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Suns Eric Bledsoe revenge game
The NBA will announce a new basketball development and training academy in Mexico City during the Global Games December 7th and 9th, in conjunction with CONADE (Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport) and the Mexican Basketball Federation, sources told ESPN.
Mexico City could emerge as the 31st G League franchise, where prospects from the seven academies graduate up to, according to sources.
A minor-league team in Mexico City could be a nice testing ground for an NBA franchise. An unaffiliated minor-league team is also an interesting wrinkle, especially how it’d be stocked.
Ultimately, experimentation is a purpose of the NBA’s minor league. This would be running multiple test cases at once.
Lonzo Ball on his shot: “I feel like they’re going to fall. Just have to keep shooting.”
Lonzo Ball‘s shooting woes this season have been well chronicled. Maybe even beaten to death — but when your father is a hype man, and Magic Johnson says you’re the “face of the franchise” it invites a whole new level of scrutiny. Doesn’t matter if it’s fair, it’s reality.
Rather than a cold recitation of the numbers, a look at Ball’s shot chart for the season says a 1,000 words worth.
“I’m just missing shots. I definitely like the looks I’m getting. Most of them are wide open, people are going under screens. I feel like they’re going to fall. Just have to keep shooting and shooting with confidence.”
Ball is right. He is shooting 28.2 percent on shots where the defender is 4-6 feet away (22.9 percent from three on those), and 21.3 percent when the defender is 6 or more feet away (19.1 percent from three).
Those shots may start to fall — Luke Walton has preached the same thing to Ball, just keep shooting and it will come around. Right now Ball is in his own head about this, maybe guiding the shots rather than just firing away, but the Lakers aren’t going to rebuild his shot mid-season. He should just keep shooting.
Maybe of more concern is that 42.5 percent in the restricted area — if he isn’t a decent scoring threat on drives, it will hamper his entire passing game. He’s a rookie, he needs time to adjust to the speed, length, and physicality of the NBA, it’s far too early to say what he is and isn’t yet. But those finishing numbers are ones to watch.
Kevin Durant says “I plan on playing” against Thunder Wednesday
Durant has a ring now and says he wants to move on from the drama surrounding his departure from Oklahoma City, but you can be sure plenty of Thunder fans don’t feel that way. KD will again have boos rained down on him all game.
This is obviously a very different Thunder team than the one Durant left, with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. While the Thunder have stumbled and blown leads (in six of their nine losses OKC had double-digit leads) this is a team with a lot of potential, as Durant discussed.