The court could not contain the dislike between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.
This was a series where most expected hard fouls and chippy play from the opening game (based on their regular season meetings). That didn’t really materialize during the playoffs.
But it did in the hallway after the Clippers eliminated the Warriors in Game 7, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.
According to three people with knowledge of the situation, the teams that went back and forth in a brilliant Game 7 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday night (a 126-121 Clippers win) followed the on-court action by engaging in a heated verbal back-and-forth in the tunnel that connects the locker rooms at Staples Center. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The incident came in two waves, with most of the Warriors in the hallway at one point along with several Clippers. The police were called to assist, though it’s not believed any punches were thrown.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports had more details.
After the game ended, the Warriors thought they heard a Clippers assistant coach yell, “It’s a little quiet in there,” several times outside their locker room, multiple sources said. Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Steve Blake were the first to dart from the locker room and confronted some Clippers ball boys in the hallway between both locker rooms, a source said. The Warriors’ coaching staff and players followed Curry and Blake into the hallway where they also confronted Clippers staff members and some players, including forward Glen Davis, sources said.
Jeremiah Rivers, the son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, said on Twitter that Warriors center Marreese Speights “barged into” the Clippers’ locker room, but that was not confirmed. He later deleted the tweet. Another source said Davis and Speights yelled at each other with Speights having to be held back. No punches were thrown, but a lot of screaming took place. The Los Angeles Police Department and game security calmed the situation, a source said.
We’ll see if there are any repercussions from the league surrounding this, although as it was a typical “NBA fight” — lots of words, some shoving, no punches — there likely will be no action taken.
With Rajon Rondo out 4-6 weeks with a sports hernia, the New Orleans Pelicans were looking for a solid backup point guard.
This week, to make room to sign Richard Jefferson, the Denver Nuggets waived veteran Jameer Nelson.
While other teams such as the Rockets were calling, the Pelicans and Nelson have reached a deal, reports both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports added this.
Nelson, in his 14th NBA season, became the top free agent on the market and received interest from contenders such as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and several other franchises that hoped to add the respected and accomplished veteran. But for Nelson, the Pelicans represent an opportunity to play significant minutes and provide leadership.
The Pelicans had a full roster of 15 players, they could have waited until next Tuesday and gotten a disabled player exception to add a 16th player, but they decided to go with something more permanent.
Jrue Holiday starts at the point for the Pelicans but with Rondo out — he was supposed to start next to Holiday — there is no depth at the position. The Pelicans can have Nelson step in and get minutes from the first time he steps on the court.
Nelson is still a solid pick-and-roll point guard, but what he brings to the table the Pelicans need more is shooting — he shot 38.8 percent from three last season and is a good spot up player. He can penetrate and make plays off handoffs as well, but it’s his shooting on a team that needs it that will be most valued.
The Pelicans have started the season 0-2 with losses to Memphis and Golden State. They take on the Lakers in Los Angeles Sunday night.
Near the end of New Orleans’ season-opening loss in Memphis, DeMarcus Cousins started getting into a war of words with a female Grizzlies fan, an exchange where allegedly “F-bombs” were dropped in both directions.
That’s going to cost Cousins.
Saturday the league announced that the Pelicans’ center has been fined $25,000 for “directing inappropriate language towards a fan.”
Cousins got a technical foul during this exchange, and that has been rescinded.
Cousins has averaged 31 points and 10 rebounds a game through two games this season, but it hasn’t been enough as New Orleans has started the season 0-2.
Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.
Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.
Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.
Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.
Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.