Any time two of the game’s more physical players are involved in a hard foul situation, there’s always the possibility that either could explode.
Thankfully, after Matt Barnes committed a flagrant foul on Zach Randolph during the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ Game 3 win over the Clippers, we saw exactly the opposite.
Barnes caught Randolph from behind in what was a hard foul, but shouldn’t have warranted the officials ruling it a flagrant. He did catch Randolph on the head, however, and Randolph’s immediate reaction to turn around and get right in Barnes’ face had everyone initially concerned.
Barnes didn’t move, presumably because he saw the non-threatening look in Randolph’s eyes.
Randolph gently head-butted Barnes, smiling the entire time, and hugged him around the back of the head, after reaching out for a handshake once he stepped away.
Clearly, Randolph not only thrives in a game where his opponents are overtly physical with him. As he showed with his interaction with Barnes, he respects and appreciates the effort.
PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away
“The 72 thing is far, far away,” Walton said. “We shouldn’t be spending any time thinking about that.
“I’ve also said before that we’re not going to coach this season trying to chase that record,” Walton said
“We’re still going to give players nights off on back-to-backs,” he added. “And we’re going to do our best to limit minutes for some of our players. Our main concern is being healthy come playoff time.”
I don’t think Golden State will win 72 games, but prioritizing health won’t necessary stop the Warriors. They’re so deep.
They outscore opponents by 5.8 points per 100 possessions when Curry sits, 5.6 when Draymond Green sits. Those marks would rank seventh among all NBA teams.
Golden State has the luxury of resting players and continuing to win. That’s what makes the chase for 72 realistic. This team is less likely than most to wear down late in a season where it’s pushing to win every game.
Health entering the playoffs is important, but a 72-win season would raise these Warriors to legendary status. If they’re in range late in the season, I think they’ll go for it – even if the top seed is already secured.
But for now, Walton is probably taking the right approach. Plenty of teams start fast (though never this fast) then drift back toward the pack. No point risking Golden State’s health yet.
Kevin Durant to media: You treated Kobe Bryant ‘like s—‘
I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael towards the end of his career when he was with the Wizards, and I seen that’s what Kobe emerged as the guy for us.
I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like s—. He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting. It’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like s—, and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully, now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated, in my opinion.
But he had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I’m always going to look to for advice, for help, for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. And it’s sad to see him go.
Kobe is shooting 20% from the floor and 30% on 3-pointers for a 2-14 team. How else should we describe his season?