Houston at Sacramento

League suspends Kings’ Cousins one game for punch, fines him $20,000 for abuse of officials


The NBA League office just gave DeMarcus Cousins his own punch to the gut.

The league suspended him one game for a punch to the stomach of Patrick Beverley in the Rocket’s easy win Tuesday night over Sacramento. Cousins will sit out Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers (a battle for the worst in the West).

Cousins also was fined $20,000 for “verbally abusing a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner” following his ejection later that game. You can see the video or that incident above.

The punch happened just more than two minutes into the game and was subtle, there was no foul called at the time. The Rockets had the ball and Beverley fed Dwight Howard in the right post than cut through to the weak side and as he did Cousins put his arm out and punched him in the gut. It was pretty bad and deserved a suspension.

You can see the video by following this link.

Cousins has a history with the league that did not help his cause here. He has a league-high 15 technicals called on him this season, one more and he will get a mandatory suspension.

Cousins is a complex person who has worked to change both rein in his aggressive attitude on the court, and to change his public image. This does not help that cause in the least, although Cousins did apologize for the outburst.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.