Los Angeles Clippers Paul reacts during their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in Los Angeles

League warns Chris Paul, Anderson Varejao for flopping


You had to know it was only a matter of time before Chris Paul got a flopping warning, the only question was when.

How about eight games?

Tuesday the league announced warnings for both the Clippers Paul and Anderson Varejao of the Cavaliers. These are the first offense this season warnings for the players, the second offense comes with a fine of $5,000 (James Harden got one Monday) and the fines climb slowly from there. No, that’s not much of a disincentive to flop, which is why you continue to see it.

Paul’s flop came Monday night against the Timberwolves in the third quarter (you can see the video on NBA.com). Blake Griffin had the ball at the elbow extended and wanted to get the ball to Paul down closer to the block but Ricky Rubio was fronting the pass. There was some light bumping going on then when Griffin made the pass Paul flops to the ground rather than make a play on the ball. It was a clear flop, it also worked — Rubio was whistled for the foul.

Varejao’s flop came Saturday night against Philadelphia (see the video here). In the first quarter Varejao was fighting for rebounding position with Lavoy Allen when Philly’s Thaddeus Young took a shot. Varejao had earned inside position and got a little push in the back, and Varejao shot forward on that like he was hit by a linebacker. The refs made the right move here by just ignoring it.

Expect Paul to get a fine this season, maybe a few. He’s one of the league’s more notorious floppers. And this slap on the wrist fines aren’t going to stop him if he thinks he can get an advantage for his team.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.