In the Bulls-Heat playoff series last spring, Nazr Mohammed got involved in an altercation with LeBron James. While LeBron dribbled, Mohammad fouled him, and as they were tangled, LeBron pushed Mohammed to the floor. At that point, the basketball play ended. Mohammed got up and shoved LeBron, who was already looking at a referee while pleading his case, and LeBron fell to the floor.
LeBron got a technical foul, and Mohammed was ejected – a disproportionate punishment for disproportionate acts. Mohammed was more in the wrong,* and he was treated as such.
But don’t worry. Mohammed holds no grudge with LeBron.
Host David Kaplan asked Mohammed what an off-court confrontation between Mohammed and James would go like in a post-shove world, but Mohammed didn’t wnat to make a big deal of it.”I’d say ‘what’s up?’ I’d give him the head no,” Mohammed said..” I’ll speak to him as much as I did before the so-called incident. There’s no hard feelings.”
That’s mighty gracious of Mohammed, but it’s pretty pointless. If anyone should have hard feelings, it’s LeBron. He’s the one who was hit with a cheap shot.LeBron, because of his stature as the game’s top player, has more people gunning for him. I don’t know whether LeBron is still bitter with Mohammed, but the Bulls center isn’t the first player to attempt to make his mark by coming at LeBron. I just have no idea what Mohammed as getting at now.*At least in terms of committing violations. Strategically, he might have been right.
Thabo Sefolosha throws down reverse dunk in transition (video)
Napier did touch Redick’s side with his left hand just before the whistle. So, this isn’t completely inexplicable. But juxtapose this call with all the times a player is hacking away to intentionally foul and a whistle takes a while.
In case you’re wondering, the teams had already cleared the over, and the Clippers were already up on the 2.5-point spread.
John Wall has words for Kent Bazemore after flagrant foul (VIDEO)
There is history here: In Atlanta on May 3, 2015, John Wall took a hard fall after a foul by then Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, breaking Wall’s hand and effectively ending his playoffs (he did return three games later but the Wizards were all but done by then).
Thursday night after a Dennis Schroder turnover, the Hawks Kent Bazemore chased Wall down on a breakaway layup, but rather than make a play on the ball tried to stop and in the process undercut Wall, sending the guard hard to the floor. Wall bounced back up jawing at Bazemore, and quickly officials and teammates stepped between them.
Bazemore rightfully was given a flagrant I foul for that play — once in the air Wall was helpless, and Bazemore took his legs out from under him. Bazemore said it wasn’t intentional and that the two North Carolinians hugged and made up later.
The NBA is back, as is PBT with our morning recap of what you need to know from the night before around the NBA — three things we learned. This is what you missed while checking out the Pokemon statue in New Orleans.
1) Dwight Howard can go home again (at least for one game).What has everyone been asking of Dwight Howard for years and years? Simply play hard defense, crash the boards, and let the offense come to you. Maybe Howard needed to go home for those lessons to sink in. Playing his first game for his hometown Hawks, Howard was a beast on the boards, particularly in the first half. He had seven boards in the first six minutes, and by half he had corralled 15 boards and scored nine points. He finished the night with 19 rebounds and 11 points, which included some highlight dunks.
Howard also played good defense, and the Hawks got the win at home over the Wizards. We’ll see if this Howard keeps showing up night after night, but it was a promising start.
While Howard was good, make no mistake Paul Millsap is still the Hawks best player. He finished the game with 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and was a plus 22. He took over in the second half and was part of the reason the Hawks pulled away with a 23-5 run in the fourth.
2) What spacing problems? Bulls shoot 44 percent from three in win over Celtics. Boston’s defensive game plan was the one every team is going to employ against Chicago: With Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler on the floor, just go under all the picks and dare for the Bulls to win with jumpers. Because we all know the Bulls can’t shoot. Except Thursday night the Rondo/Wade/Butler trio hit 9-of-14 from thee, and as a team the Bulls shot 44 percent from deep. That included Wade knocking down the dagger three in a win over the Celtics.
Congrats to my brother @DwyaneWade for his debut tonight! I know this is a childhood dream that he's living right now. How awesome is that?
Make no mistake, the Bulls still had shooting woes — they shot 37.3 percent inside the arc — they just got bailed out by the threes and 18 offensive rebounds. Chicago is not going to shoot from deep like this every game. Expect them to regress to the mean over the next few games. But it’s a hopeful sign for Bulls fans, this team was knocking down shots when it needed to for a night. Or, maybe it’s just the Bulls save their best games for TNT.
3) Blake Griffin is healthy and people seem to forget just how good he is. There was Reggie Miller on the TNT broadcast saying “Blake Griffin is back” as the Clippers’ forward scored 27 and pulled down 13 boards in a win in Portland. Some were expressing the same sentiment on Twitter. Their wrong. Griffin isn’t back, he’s healthy. And when he’s healthy he is an awesome force of nature who can score inside and out, crashes the boards, and is a deft passer. He’s as good as any power forward in the game when right. Remember, back in 2014 when Chris Paul had to miss extended time Griffin came in third in the MVP voting? That wasn’t a fluke.
Griffin and CP3 are healthy, and so long as they stay that way this Clippers team is one of the top four in the NBA and a real threat to at least make the conference finals. They just need to keep themselves together for 81 more games.