Report: Wizards to sign Drew Gooden for rest of season

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The Washington Wizards have gone 5-3 with Drew Gooden, who’s played on a couple 10-day contracts. Considering Nene has missed that entire span, that’s pretty impressive. Prior, the Wizards were 60-61 with Nene and 8-34 without him since trading for him.

Obviously, Gooden isn’t the sole reason Washington has kept winning without its anchor. But he’s certainly helped, averaging 8.1 points and 4.6 points in 14.6 minutes per game. He even had 21 points and nine rebounds in his last game, a win over the Nets on Saturday.

So, the Wizards might want to hang onto him. And they will.

J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reported this would be the case days ago.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports confirmed it:

The Wizards are expected to sign forward Drew Gooden for the rest of the season, a source told Yahoo Sports.

The Wizards’ overall efficiency numbers with Gooden are on the court are solid (109.5/108.0/+1.4), but they’ve found one lineup that particularly takes advantage of his skills.

Gooden has played more than 40 percent of his minutes with the same foursome – Andre Miller, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster and Al Harrington. Holy shooting, Batman!

That unit has made half its 3-pointers (9-of-18), aided in part by Gooden’s floor spacing. With Washington, he’s made 16-of-25 of shots outside 16 feet (64 percent), including 3-of-6 3-pointers (50 percent).

gooden shot chart

Overall, the lineup has an offensive rating of 125.3 in 47 minutes. No Washington lineup that has played at least 20 minutes bests that efficiency.

And with a reasonable defensive rating of 106.1, the Miller-Beal-Webster-Harrington-Gooden lineup has a net rating of +19.2 – best among the Wizards’ 10 most-used five-man units.

Neither that lineup-wide production nor Gooden’s shooting is likely sustainable over larger samples, but both have shown enough to concern opponents. For a player on 10-day contracts, that’s plenty.

Gooden deserves to stick with Washington the rest of the season, and he will.

Rockets owner appears to leave seat, yell at refs during matchup with Thunder (VIDEO)

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The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.

That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.

Via Twitter:

Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.

Portland GM makes it official, Festus Ezeli will not be back with team next season

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This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.

Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.

Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.

This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.

Gordon Hayward will play for Jazz in Game 5 without minutes restriction

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Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.

They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.

After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.

So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.

Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.