Indiana has signed Andrew Bynum but they are not going to rush him along, coach Frank Vogel has said Bynum will not play until sometime after the All-Star break. They don’t need to rush because they already have the best record in the East and the best defense in the NBA. Anything they get from him is just sprinkles on top of the icing already on the cake. Bynum was a low risk pickup because if he does workout he improves their bench and if he doesn’t they don’t pay him much and he doesn’t join Miami.
Bynum went through his first practice with the Pacers Friday and spoke to the media afterward, above is the conversation. Here are a few highlights.
• What did Bynum do with his time off between the Cavaliers and Pacers? “Really just relaxing at home, that’s it.” But he’s been keeping a workout regimen going, right? “Not really.” He did say he tried to eat right. So there’s that.
• “Getting comfortable with the guys, that’s the biggest part. Then when I’m given an opportunity go play hard.”
• To his critics that say he doesn’t love the game. “That’s what their going to say, I can’t fight it. All I can do is just go play hard and put points by my name.”
• “My motivation right now is the opportunity to win, because that’s the most fun, and just being around a positive atmosphere.”
• On his time in Cleveland, who traded him to Chicago (who cut him). “The atmosphere over there wasn’t one that promoted positive energy and wanting to come in, and it was just tough.” Spoken like a guy who played and grew up under Phil Jackson.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.)