Andre Drummond thanks Dwight Howard for dominating him

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Dwight Howard posted up Andre Drummond.

Howard rebound over Drummond.

Howard passed around Drummond.

When it was all over, Howard had 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting, 19 rebounds and five assists in the Rockets win over the Pistons on Saturday.

Any talk that Howard has lost his place as the NBA’s best center should be iced for a while. Drummond, one of the top young challengers to the mantle, was completely overwhelmed in the matchup.

But the 20-year-old Pistons big man made his mark while talking to Howard after the game. Drummond on what he told Howard, via Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

“I thanked him. I told him thank you for teaching me something,” Drummond said. “It was my first time playing him, it was definitely a learning experience for me.”

That’s an, um, interesting way to go. I can’t imagine Howard has been thanked many times by an opponent he just dominated.

But that’s just Drummond. He plays with good feelings rather than ill will. He doesn’t use a faux hate of his adversaries to motivate him. It just works for him.

And if getting dominated by Howard on Saturday works for him, Drummond should be in great shape going forward. He’s already, for my money, the best center in the Eastern Conference, though Roy Hibbert and Al Horford are close. Drummmond needs fine-tuning – Saturday proved that – but his physical skills give him such a head start.

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Drummond’s attitude, though? That’s just fine and dandy already. Refreshing even.

Drummond acts how he wants to act, even if it’s unconventional. He’s clearly not emulating other players just to emulate them.

Plus, it appears his cheerfulness is spreading. Howard, via Goodwill:

“I love Andre,” Howard said. “The way he’s been playing this year, I told him before the game, he’s having an amazing season, keep doing what he’s doing. He’ll be fine.”

That is true. If Drummond keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be fine.

But if he stops doing what he did Saturday, he’ll be great. And then rest of the league certainly won’t be thanking Howard for preparing a budding star to play even better.

Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah to be suspended 20 games for violating league drug policy

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Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a

Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.

During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.

Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.

The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.

Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.

Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.

 

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)