When the pulled muscles, sprained ankles and other assorted injuries that are just part of the NBA grind hit this season, few teams will be as deep and prepared as the Clippers. They are as deep a team as there is in the league (at least in the backcourt, up front… not so much).
For example, Doc Rivers said Wednesday that expected starting two guard J.J. Redick will be out about 10 days due to a quadriceps contusion — what you and I would call a bruised thigh — reports the Los Angeles Times.
So who gets more minutes? Jamal Crawford and Willie Green. Remember Green was the starter last season and now is relegated to being almost all the way down the pecking order. Those are quality replacements.
Also, Matt Barnes is day-to-day with a sore calf. So that just means more run for Jared Dudley and maybe Reggie Bullock when he gets over his sore knee.
It’s not the backcourt that is the Clippers question mark. They don’t have much depth up front (no offense to Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens intended) and it really all comes down this season to how big a step forward Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can take under Doc Rivers.
John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.
Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.
So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.
Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.
Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.
Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.
I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.
The narrative for the Oklahoma City Thunder season was summed up in its final game: Russell Westbrook scored 47 points and when he was on the court the Thunder were +12, but he sat 6:08 and the Thunder were -18 in that window. So they lost. There is a lot of work to do to bring in more versatile players and mold this into a team that can play with and around Westbrook.
Before that work can begin, however, the Thunder need to try and lock-up Westbrook with a new contract, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. Yes, Westbrook signed an extension last summer, but it only runs through 2018. This summer OKC can — and will — offer him a designated player contract, five years and up to possibly $220 million. It could be as much as $80 million more guaranteed than anyone else can offer. It’s hard to imagine Westbrook wouldn’t sign the deal, but if he doesn’t the dynamic changes for OKC.
If he does, they can get on to the business of getting more solid, versatile players like Taj Gibson back on the roster.