Jermaine O’Neal explains his reasoning for confronting Blake Griffin outside locker room following loss to Clippers

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Jermaine O’Neal is in his 18th NBA season, and has had his share of dust-ups over the years.

He also has been around long enough to have a firm perception of what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior between opponents on the court, which by itself may explain why he chose to wait for Blake Griffin outside the Clippers locker room following a loss in L.A. earlier this week.

But O’Neal elaborated anyway, essentially saying that Griffin committed an unspecified act of basketball treason that somehow crossed the line.

From Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

“It was some things that were said,” O’Neal said after the team’s Friday morning shootaround, “and in this league you want to put clearance to it. And we did. After the game, it felt like it was appropriate to address.” …

“It’s understood what the line is,” O’Neal said. “We’re paid to be basketball players and to play the game the right way and do things the right way. And when you cross the line in saying things and doing things, you address it and you move on. We’ve moved on.” …

“Sometimes things happen during games or things are said during games that shouldn’t necessarily be said or done,” he said. “But then as men, you talk about it. You shake on it and move on. I don’t have any animosity toward him, hopefully he doesn’t have any animosity toward me and hopefully that’s it.”

Plenty of players have gotten upset playing against Griffin, who is monstrously physical himself and almost never reacts to hard fouls or excessive contact unless punches are thrown.

Griffin’s initial response to O’Neal was to tell him to “leave that s— on the court,” before the two briefly shook hands.

We’ll never know exactly what went down here, or whether Griffin’s alleged infraction was verbal or physical. But whatever did happen was substantial enough for O’Neal to feel the need to address it.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.