Mark Cuban,  Brian Forte

Mark Cuban is funding a study on flopping

19 Comments

The league’s anti-flopping policy that was put into place this season hasn’t exactly done a whole lot to curb the embarrassing effort of some players to exaggerate or invent contact to try to garner a favorable (if incorrect) foul call from the officials.

David Stern said as much in addressing the media before the start of the NBA Finals, while also mentioning that fines or other penalties might have to be increased for them to truly act as a deterrent to this particular type of conduct exhibited by a percentage of the players.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is taking it a step further, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

From ESPN Dallas:

One of Cuban’s companies has provided $100,000 to Southern Methodist University for an 18-month investigation of the forces involved in basketball collisions and try to figure out if video or other motion capture techniques can identify legitimate collisions and instances of flopping.

“The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines,” SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, said in a statement.

Cuban tweeted: “Is it a flop? Let the scientists figure it out . im paying for the research to find out.”

This is where it gets interesting.

While many of the flops we see on a nightly basis during the regular season are obvious, there are others that are not. Specifically, when defensive players hit the deck on a block/charge call, it isn’t always discernable whether or not they were hit with enough force that would actually cause them to be knocked off of their feet. When it’s a smaller player defending a larger one in these situations, it’s even easier for the defender to exaggerate the contact to the point where the referees would buy it simply based on the size of each.

We’ll have to wait and see whether the study bears meaningful results, or if there comes a day when technology can tell us with any certainty whether or not a player is truly hit on a play where the contact is clearly exaggerated.

Short of science helping us out, the best way to put a stop to it for good would be to escalate penalties all the way up to a suspension for the offensive behavior — and that’s not somewhere the league is willing to go just yet.

“We could end it immediately if we decided to suspend players,” Stern said. “But that might be a little Draconian at the moment.”

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

3 Comments

Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

1 Comment

This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.