Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard should not have fouled out against Trail Blazers, NBA says


As Dwight Howard and Joel Freeland battled for a rebound, a whistle blew with 10.8 seconds remaining in the Trail Blazers’ overtime win over the Rockets last night. Howard held up his arms as he looked to the referee for the call, as if he knew what was coming.

Sure enough, the official called a foul on Howard, who stomped and spun down the court in disgust.

Howard stopped to stare up at the video screen, hoping for vindication. Well, he got it – just too late for it to change the outcome of Game 1.

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, via a league release:

“After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets’ Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime.  The foul should have been called on the Blazers’ Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws.”

Instead, Freeland split a pair of free throws to put Portland up two, and James Harden missed a jumper at the buzzer.

But this was not the only missed call in this game. It was just the one that occurred last. Had the game been called perfectly, maybe Howard going the line with 10.8 seconds left would not have been to win it. There are just so many variables, including this play.

I appreciate knowing the NBA believes it missed the call, but other than that, I don’t really know anything else about this game.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.