When announcing Serge Ibaka would miss the rest of the playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder said:
Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.
Expected by whom?
Not the Spurs.
Via Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation:
“I don’t really believe it,” said point guard Tony Parker, who has been cleared to play in the opener after straining his left hamstring in the second round. “I’ll believe when I see tomorrow he is not on the court. It’s hard to believe. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Said Kawhi Leonard, “We’re still not sure if he’s going to play or not, but it doesn’t matter. The Thunder are still a very good team.”
I suppose this probably just a healthy amount of skepticism from a team looking to stay sharp.
Or the Spurs sit among the segment of fans who believe everything is a conspiracy. The refs are out to get San Antonio, too.
Ibaka returning wouldn’t be unprecedented. David Lee was supposed to miss all of last year’s playoffs before he returned for some inspirational minutes.
But count me among the believers. Ibaka is out, and the series will be different for it. The Spurs probably have the edge now – even if they’re trying to avoid thinking that way.
Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”
Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.
Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.
But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.
Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?
DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.
Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.
Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:
Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.
Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.
And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.
Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.
Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.
Allen says that agreement was violated.
It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”
Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.
They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.
But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:
Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.