Our grades from Sunday around the NBA, or what you missed while watching your Ferrari get run over by a delivery truck…
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City. He returns and the Oklahoma City offense, particularly in the fourth quarter, looks better. (Not great by any stretch, there’s still work to do, but better). It’s not a coincidence. Westbrook looked explosive but rusty on the finish, which is why his 21 points came on 5-of-16 shooting, but he was getting to the line and dished out seven assists. He looked like his old self. There is rust to shake off but the rest of the West should worry.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. Another big line: 34 points on 10-of-19 shooting, plus 15 boards. He was attacking inside with 9 of his 19 shots coming in the restricted area (he hit seven and got to the line for 15 free throws), but he also drained an off-balance jumper then got a high-five from Spike Lee. Love also had 9 points and 5 rebounds in the fourth quarter when the Knicks made the game interesting but the T-Wolves hung on. Love and Kevin Martin (30 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 5-of-5 from three) led the Timberwolves to an offensive rating of 110.4 (points per 100 possessions) against a Knicks team that had a strong first two games defensively.
Washington Wizards defense. This isn’t just a grade earned tonight — although the Heat certainly abused them — this is one for the season. Think they miss Emeka Okafor? Washington has given up at least 100 points in all three of its games. The Wizards have allowed 108.1 points per 100 possessions in their first two games (that would have been third worst in the NBA last season) then let the Heat rack up 113. Miami shot 52.9 percent, the Heat’s “big three” had 69 points. Washington isn’t going to come close to their goal of the playoffs if they don’t clean up that end.
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns. He had an unimpressive first half (1-of-5) shooting, but after Goran Dragic left the game with an ankle sprain he stepped up — 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the second half. Bledsoe finished the game with 26 points and 14 assists. He kept Phoenix ahead for much of the third and the start of the fourth quarter, until Oklahoma City did what it does and pulled away. Bledsoe has struggled on the season (40.9 percent shooting) but this half was a glimpse of what he can be for Phoenix. He just needs to attack and get the threes to fall if he’s going to keep gunning them.
1. Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from Lamar Odom.
2. With Odom facing health problems after a drug overdose, they rescinded the filing.
3. Odom reportedly continued drinking, frustrating Kardashian.
Court records in Los Angeles show Kardashian filed for divorce Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport and then released.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because Morris was not charged. The person did not specify why Morris was detained.
The Wizards said in a statement they “spoke with Markieff earlier today and will continue to gather more details.”
Tinicum Township Police and Morris’ lawyer did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The 26-year-old Morris is from Philadelphia. The Wizards acquired him from the Phoenix Suns at the NBA trade deadline.
Morris and twin brother Marcus, a forward for the Detroit Pistons, were indicted by an Arizona grand jury last year on felony aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a man outside a Phoenix recreation center. The case is still pending.
According to a Phoenix police report, Erik Hood said five people including the Morris brothers repeatedly punched and kicked him. All five then left the area in a Rolls-Royce Phantom as bystanders began to appear. Police say it is alleged that Hood was assaulted for sending an inappropriate text message to the Morris brothers’ mother.
Russell Westbrook arrived at the arena in Golden State dressed for a (very weird) funeral.
The Thunder, up 3-1 in the Western Conference finals, can end the Warriors’ season tonight. So, Westbrook dressed ready to give his condolences.
Lest you think this is coincidence, he also wore black for Game 5 against the Mavericks and Game 6 against the Spurs. Jason Potter:
This is something players sometimes do – and I love it. What a great way to who your confidence, and I’m not sure any NBA player has more than Westbrook.
The withdrawal deadline for the 2016 NBA draft is June 13.
But the NCAA, in an effort to treat players better, allowed players to declare for the draft and withdraw by May 25 while maintaining college eligibility. (Yes, this qualifies as better treatment. Giving the players the full extra couple weeks to assess their futures? Not in this cartel.)
So, any college player who wanted to play collegiately next year faced an effective deadline of yesterday.
Of the 117 players who declared early through the American system, 57 are headed back to their college teams.
This list has no big surprises. By this point, most highly touted prospects have already declared their intention.
Here are all 57:
- Abdul-Malik Abu, North Carolina State
- BeeJay Anya, North Carolina State
- Ian Baker, New Mexico State
- V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame
- James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
- Antonio Blakeney, LSU
- Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
- Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
- Amida Brimah, Connecticut
- Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon
- Elijah Brown, New Mexico
- Deonte Burton, Iowa State
- Antonio Campbell, Ohio
- Conor Clifford, Washington State
- Charles Cooke III, Dayton
- Bakari Copeland, Maryland-Eastern Shore
- Moustapha Diagne, Northwest Florida State
- Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
- D’Andre Downey, Stillman College (AL)
- Vince Edwards, Purdue
- Jimmy Hall, Kent State
- Josh Hart, Villanova
- Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
- Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
- Ike Iroegbu, Washington State
- Justin Jackson, North Carolina
- Kris Jenkins, Villanova
- Que Johnson, Washington State
- Peter Jok, Iowa
- Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
- Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary College (LA)
- Dedric Lawson, Memphis
- Marcus Lee, Kentucky
- Makai Mason, Yale
- Jahmal McMurray, South Florida
- Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
- Dallas Moore, North Florida
- Jalen Moore, Utah State
- Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb
- Malik Newman, Mississippi State
- Marc-Eddy Norelia, Florida Gulf Coast
- Cameron Oliver, Nevada
- Alec Peters, Valparaiso
- QJ Peterson, VMI
- Malik Pope, San Diego State
- Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
- Corey Sanders Jr., Rutgers
- Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
- Rakish Taylor, Anderson University (SC)
- Ethan Telfair, Idaho State
- Trevor Thompson, Ohio State
- Melo Trimble, Maryland
- Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
- Andrew White III, Nebraska
- Alec Wintering, Portland
- Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State