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.
Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
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Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.
Report: Even after Kyrie Irving requests trade, Carmelo Anthony still focused on Rockets, not Cavaliers
However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.
Consider this another indication LeBron James will leave Cleveland next summer. Of course, Anthony might have other reasons for preferring Houston. But when reading tea leaves on LeBron’s future, this is a clue.
I doubt LeBron has completely decided his plan, and he hasn’t even necessarily shared his thinking with Anthony, a close friend. Remember, LeBron edited his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Dwyane Wade, another close friend. But it was one thing for LeBron to strand Wade in Miami, a desirable city where Wade was happy even before LeBron arrived. It’d be something else entirely for LeBron to ditch Anthony in Cleveland. If LeBron is considering leaving, maybe he’d tell Anthony to stay clear.
Anthony could also be operating without hearing directly from LeBron. But if LeBron’s friend believes LeBron might leave, that’d still say something (though obviously not as much).
Back to the possibility that Anthony prefers the Rockets for other reasons. What happens if New York and Cleveland agree to a trade? Does Anthony still hold out for his top choice? Or does he relent and accept what was once his second choice? For now, it seems as if he’s still angling for Houston and will cross other bridges if he reaches them.