Reggie Evans; Amir Johnson

NBA announces anti-flopping rules for the playoffs

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The NBA instituted an anti-flopping policy at the beginning of the season aimed at cutting down the amount of acting players do to garner the favor of the officials.

The punishments for violating the league’s rules against flopping were extremely minor, with a player getting a warning for a first offense, followed by a $5,000 fine for a second offense, and fines that would increase for every offense thereafter.

In total, there were 24 violations; 14 players received warnings, while five players — Omer Asik, J.J. Barea, Reggie Evans, Kevin Martin, and Gerald Wallace — received the fine for violating the rule twice.

The league will continue the policy for the postseason, with one small change: The warning for a first offense is now gone completely, so any player who violates the anti-flopping rules will receive a $5,000 fine, which would increase to $10,000, $15,000, and then $30,000 for a second, third, and fourth offense.

The league makes it clear that if a player were to be in violation of the rule five times or more, there would be “discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances” in the form of an increased fine or possible suspension. We all know it won’t get to that, of course, and the league would obviously be just fine with that.

The dollars involved aren’t substantial enough to prevent players from trying to pick up an advantage in this way, especially during the postseason. The policy is soft, but its aim of bringing attention to a part of the game that fans (and officials) would like to see disappear forever is at least a place to start.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.