Joel Embiid

Bucks owner rules out Joel Embiid

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The Bucks might have the simplest choice in the draft. The Cavaliers will likely take Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker No. 1, leaving the other for Milwaukee at No. 2.

Joel Embiid could factor, though. Even with his injury, the Bucks should at least consider a player many considered a clear top choice when healthy.

It appears they won’t.

Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, via Charles F. Gardner of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Bucks should probably pass on Embiid. Wiggins and Parker would be fine No. 1 picks in an average draft, so with good alternatives on the board, it’s hard to justify taking a chance on Embiid.

But Lasry’s reason is not the right one for passing on Embiid.

Milwaukee went 15-67 last season. A quick turnaround is unlikely, and trying for one is likely to lead to more problems.

The Bucks don’t need immediate help. They need the player who will help most during the next seven to nine years.

That’s probably not Embiid, but how much he’ll help immediately shouldn’t matter.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.