Rondo says he ‘might pop up and just play’ in D-League before returning to Celtics

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Rajon Rondo heading to the D-League to get some work in was an idea that was made public a few days ago by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

The D-League has historically been used as a player development tool more than a place for players to find their way back from injury, and it would be a first to see a player of Rondo’s stature appear in one of the league’s regular season games.

Rondo met with reporters before Boston’s loss in Chicago on Thursday and reiterated the possibility, but made it clear that it’ll be more of a spur of the moment decision than something that’s planned as a step along the way before he returns to action for the Celtics.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:

“It’s an idea, definitely,” he said. “That’s more game-like speed. With our schedule, we don’t get a lot of chances to play a lot of pickup, so that may be a possibility. You just never know. I might pop up and just play. You guys won’t get the memo. You’ll have to catch me on YouTube or something. But I don’t know. It’ll be like an overnight decision.

“I think that’s what it’s for. I’d probably be the first guy to do that, but it doesn’t make a difference. I want to make sure I’m healthy and handle it the right way. I haven’t had a preseason. I haven’t had a training camp. Right now, this is pretty much my training camp.”

No problem on the YouTube part, since the D-League live streams all of its games there.

Rondo doesn’t need to rush back into action, considering that the Celtics’ plan is to rebuild and develop young talent more than it is to make a playoff push, despite the fact that the team’s sub-.500 record had it atop the Atlantic Division and in line for a postseason spot until just recently.

The last thing the All-Star guard wants is to try to come back too soon, only to suffer another injury when his body isn’t fully ready to take on the rigors of the NBA season. Rondo will take his time, and might just give basketball fans in Maine a special treat along the way during his rehabilitation process.

Warriors complained of no water in showers in Cleveland

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
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The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.

Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.

“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.

No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.

That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.

Giannis Antetokounmpo assists fastbreak dunk with football-style long snap (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.

Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.

In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.

NBC Sports Washington:

Report: James Harden, Chris Paul and Gerald Green were holding back Trevor Ariza in back hallway

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Rockets players James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green and Chris Paul reportedly went through a back hallway to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room after last night’s game.

That’s one version of the story, at least.

But it apparently isn’t the only one – at least when it comes to Harden’s, Green’s and Paul’s involvement.

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

A hallway runs between the Clippers locker room and the visitors locker room, where players from opposing teams often see each other and catch up. According to a Rockets source, Ariza was waiting on Griffin, and when the game ended he charged from the hallway into the Clips locker room. When Rivers spotted Ariza near the entrance, according to the source, he said: “Let his b—– a– come in.” Ariza then turned his attention to Rivers.

ESPN reported that Ariza was flanked by three teammates—Harden, Paul and Gerald Green—but their purpose was unclear. “They were holding Trevor back,” the source said.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Harden was sitting out his seventh straight game with a strained hamstring on Monday night, and Rockets sources believe that he’ll be ready for a return to the lineup on Thursday night against Minnesota.

Austin Rivers challenging Ariza is juicy, but the type of thing people say during altercations. The rest of this sounds like the Rockets trying to position themselves ahead of the NBA handing down punishments.

If they were just trying to restrain Ariza, then Harden, Paul and Green shouldn’t be fined or suspended. But if Harden is suspended, he could serve his penalty Thursday – even if the Rockets are fibbing about him being ready to play (though they at least previously laid the groundwork for that one).

There’s a lot for the league to untangle.

Russell Westbrook ejected (video)

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Russell Westbrook jumped from fifth to second in the NBA in technical fouls in about two seconds.

The Thunder star received two technical fouls and an automatic ejection late in Oklahoma City’s win over the Kings last night, leaving his nine technical fouls behind only Draymond Green‘s 11.

Westbrook got hit in the face on a drive, but instead of a foul being called on Sacramento, Westbrook was whistled for travelling. That’s quite a turnaround from the expected call to the actual call, so I understand why Westbrook was so upset. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook said something that warranted ejection. Thunder coach Billy Donovan also got a technical foul in the sequence.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

The league used to crack down on that more with public fines, but the Thunder have skirted the rule this season.