Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers

Matt Barnes ejected for hard foul on Kevin Love (VIDEO)


It’s some Bruin on Bruin crime.

Kevin Love was having a monster night (he finished with 45 and 19) and the Clippers big men had no answer for him (or Nikola Pekovic) when this happened:

Love got the ball at the three point line, pump faked and that just burned Ryan Hollins, so Love put it on the floor and drove the lane, went up and Matt Barnes came in with the hard foul. Words were exchanged, and they were not words with friends. The referees called it a Flagrant 1, reviewed it and after seeing a hit to the head upgraded this to a Flagrant 2 and ejected Barnes.

To me, the league needs to lessen this penalty — yes it was certainly a foul and there was contact to the head, but Barnes was making a play on the ball here and it wasn’t that severe. This wasn’t a swing at Love’s head.

What could really get Barnes in trouble is he didn’t leave the court immediately, instead going over to argue with the referee. He did not leave the court in a timely manner.

My guess is Barnes gets just a fine for this, no suspension. But not leaving the court could make it a healthy suspension.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.