Doc Rivers on whether Chris Paul plays in Game 2 vs. Rockets: ‘Right now, I just don’t think so’

4 Comments

UPDATE 12:59 p.m. ET: At Wednesday morning’s shootaround, both Doc Rivers and Chris Paul expressed doubt that Paul would be ready to go in Game 2.

“I pretty much doubt it, to be honest, just from talking to him,” Rivers said, via Arash Markazi of ESPN.com. “But we’ll see. Right now, I just don’t think so.”

“It’s one of those things that you don’t want to make it worse than it already is,” Paul said.

12:30 p.m.: Chris Paul was sidelined with a hamstring injury in Game 1 of his team’s second-round series versus the Rockets, but thanks to a historically-great performance from Blake Griffin, L.A. managed to win anyway, and steal Houston’s home-court advantage in the process.

With the Clippers now playing with house money, there might be a temptation to sit him once more, ensuring he’s as right as possible for the remainder of what would then be a relatively short five-game series.

But Doc Rivers doesn’t seem to be leaning that way just yet.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

There’s a “50-50” chance Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul will play in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Doc Rivers said Tuesday. …

“I’d say 50-50,” Rivers said when asked what his gut feeling on Paul playing Wednesday was. “I honestly don’t know. My gut before last night was there would be a good chance [he would play Wednesday] so I’d probably lean that way. He looked good walking today.”

Rivers said he would not play or rest Paul based on the Clippers winning the first game of the series without him.

“If he can play, he’ll play,” Rivers said. “We just want to make sure he’s healthy.”

The schedule for this series doesn’t exactly lend itself to rest; games take place every other day until there are two days between a possible Game 6 and a Game 7, which would take place in Houston on May 17 if necessary.

The Clippers undoubtedly want to give themselves the best chance possible at winning Game 2, a feat that would put the Rockets in an 0-2 hole that may seem insurmountable. But Rivers shouldn’t be short-sighted, here. If there’s even a chance Paul isn’t right, and could aggravate his injury to the point where it could affect him in the later rounds, then L.A. should take the cautious approach and once again sit him out.

Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan fined $15,000 for criticizing referees

1 Comment

The Raptors lost to the Warriors on Saturday, and DeMar DeRozan – despite his own brilliant performance – was irked.

The Toronto guard seemed particularly upset about a review of an out-of-bounds call in the final seconds. After initially giving the ball to the Raptors, officials said it touched DeRozan while he was out of bounds and granted Golden State possession:

The NBA’s replay guidelines say (emphasis mine): “Referees can only initiate a review on a called out-of-bounds play (for example, not one where an out-of-bounds might have occurred) and only those involving doubt as to which player caused the ball to go out (not those, for example, where a player stepped on the line).”

DeRozan

I mean, it’s frustrating being out there feeling like you playing 5-on-8. It’s just what it feel like, period. Some of them calls was terrible, period.

I thought you couldn’t even do that. I’m not even a referee, and I know that rule. So, somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

The NBA corrected him in the two-minute report, saying “After communicating with the Replay Center, the ruling on the floor of Raptors possession is overturned and the Warriors are awarded possession because the ball touches DeRozan’s (TOR) leg while his body is out of bounds before Curry (GSW) knocks the ball out. Referees were able to review two aspects of this out-of-bounds play since they were part of the same sequence.”

Then, the league fined him.

NBA release:

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The comments were made following the Raptors’ 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 13

Saying “5-on-8” seems to be a secret code word for getting fined. I’m not sure whether the rest of DeRozan’s comments would have gotten him fined, but that phrase almost certainly did him in.

Kyle Lowry on plan to meet Ben Simmons after ejections: ‘Put it this way, I was back there’

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
2 Comments

As Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons were ejected late in the 76ers’ win over the Raptors yesterday, the players appeared to challenge each other to meet in back.

Lowry eagerly left the court and headed through the tunnel. Simmons appeared much more reluctant at that point.

Despite a report of a confrontation in the hallway, Simmons said nothing escalated, as he went to his locker room.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet

TKO.

Warriors complained of no hot water in showers in Cleveland

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.

Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.

“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.

No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.

That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.

Giannis Antetokounmpo assists fastbreak dunk with football-style long snap (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.

Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.

In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.

NBC Sports Washington: