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.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?