Things took a little longer to get heated between the Bulls and the Heat in Game 3 than they did in Game 2, but the first ejection of the night came much faster.
Early in the second quarter with the Bulls holding a three-point lead, Nazr Mohammed committed a hard foul on LeBron James just as he crossed half court. It’s unclear why Mohammed chose this course of action; the only thing we can think of was that maybe he was trying to stop a transition opportunity from the Heat by intentionally fouling (a common tactic in European basketball), though Miami didn’t appear to be in a strong position to force the action at the time.
After Mohammed’s hard foul, James made sure to toss Mohammed to the floor after the two became briefly tangled up. The official was right on top of the play, and correctly whistled James for a technical foul, even before Mohammed reacted by shoving James to the floor with two hands.
Boneheaded plays by Mohammed all around, as the foul itself wasn’t really a great decision — and the shove, even less so.
Mohammed was ejected for his actions, leaving the already shorthanded Bulls even more depleted from the standpoint of available players.
This was the second extracurricular incident in a game that was less than 15 minutes old. Joakim Noah shoved Chris Andersen in the first quarter, after Andersen fell on top of Nate Robinson following the blocking one of his shots.
Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.