After a recent Kings loss, George Hill tweeted:
These are vets brought in to help a young team, and according to sources, were brought in with the promise of a team aiming to be playoff competitive.
But that promise was made to them by Scott Perry, who since left Sacramento and now makes personnel decisions for the New York Knicks. So the direction of the franchise has shifted since Perry left. An organization that brought in veterans aiming to win now is aiming to lose.
Not surprisingly, Hill isn’t happy, according to multiple sources
The Kings aren’t bad because they shifted direction after Perry left for the Knicks. They’re bad because they lack talent.
This team was mostly assembled by the time Perry departed, and it looked lousy. To whatever degree Sacramento is emphasizing youth post-Perry – Garrett Temple, Randolph and Hill rank in the top four in minutes – the won-loss record wasn’t changing much.
If Hill, Randolph and Carter didn’t know that, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Smart veterans like them should have understood the bargain they accepted.
Hill ($40 million guaranteed over two years), Randolph (two years, $24 million) and Vince Carter (one year, $8 million) took the money. In exchange, they’re stuck on a bad team. And that’s fine. Many of us prioritize salary in career decisions.
But now they’re dealing with the downside of that arrangement – grinding through a long, losing season. It’s disingenuous to sulk and blame Perry (though, if Perry pledged a team realistically competing for the playoffs, he overpromised).
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Sacramento isn’t making rapid improvement overnight. So, something might have to give with Hill’s mood.
More than five weeks later, Thompson still hasn’t played.
Tom Withers of the Associated Press:
Who said that was the real timetable? They told you guys three to four weeks. That was never the case. The first week, I was on crutches the whole time. So, there was no chance. So, I don’t know. I don’t know who told you three to four weeks. For that, I’m sorry.
Thompson sounds close to returning, so this issue should pass. But teams are usually conservative in these estimates so as not to expose their players to criticism for not working hard enough in rehab. Thompson was left hung out to dry here.
Maybe Thompson, who’s famously low-maintenance, doesn’t mind. But if a 3-4-week timeline was never realistic, I wouldn’t blame him for resenting the Cavs.
Poor communication on injuries might not be limited to only the 76ers.
But Waiters’ effective field-goal percentage this season (46.1) is nearly precisely his career mark (46.2). It appears last season’s career high (48.8) in a contract year was the outlier.
What if Waiters just can’t change? Could Miami bring him off the bench?
Waiters, via Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post:
“I’m a starter in this league, man, that’s who I am. We’re going to nip that in the bud right now. I’m not coming off no bench.”
This is peak Waiters, supremely confident/cocky. He’s not good enough to demand a starting spot, but here he is doing it anyway.
That make’s Spoelstra’s job trickier if he’s considering bringing Waiters off the bench. It might be the optimal basketball move, but NBA coaches must also deal with their players egos.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think Waiters should come off the bench. Miami’s starting lineup – Goran Dragic, Waiters, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside – is outscoring opponents by 6.3 points per 100 possessions. (The Heat are -3.4 per 100 overall.) That unit defends, and Waiters eases the playmaking burden on Dragic.
But if I were the Heat, I also wouldn’t take the possibility of not starting Waiters off the table. At an underwhelming 12-13, they don’t have the luxury of never experimenting – even if it might upset Waiters.
The Clippers beat the Wizards on Saturday, but not without a controversial finish.
Washington trailed 113-112 with 1.2 seconds left and inbounded the ball from the sideline to Bradley Beal, who made a shot, but after the buzzer sounded. However, the clock started early.
After review, officials gave the Wizards the ball in the corner with 1.1 seconds left. In a tough position with less time and on its secondary play, Washington didn’t score.
“Excuse my language because I’m going to say verbatim what they said,” Beal said. “They said it’s kind of a ‘some s*** rule,’ it’s a freak rule. To me, it didn’t really make sense because you take a basket away. You go back and he says we get the same amount of time, but we didn’t get the same amount of time and then we get the ball in the corner. It’s kind of the tough s*** rule. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. We ran a great play and now that you take that away, we’ve gotta set up with a different play and they get a chance to set up and change some things. Now we’ve gotta do a different play with the ball in the corner.”
Referee Bill Spooner, via the NBA:
Spooner contradicts himself here. Was the time lost 0.1 seconds or 1.1 seconds? He said both at different points. He also clearly means the game clock, not the shot clock.
Player A1 inbounds the ball at 0.8 of the period and the game clock starts early when the timer thought the ball was deflected. Player A2 receives the ball and the game horn sounds as he immediately turns to shoot a successful basket. How is this handled?
The on-court officials will signal for replay and the Replay Center Official will determine how much time ran off the clock prior to it being legally touched. If the successful basket was released prior to 0:00, the basket will be scored and if from the ball being legally touched until it cleared the net is less than 0.8, the game clock shall be reset to that amount of time. If the ball is still in Player A1’s hands at 0:00, the field goal cannot be scored and Team A will retain possession on the sideline nearest the point of interruption and the game clock reset to the amount of lost time.
Why would the game clock be set to the amount of lost time? I can see the game clock being reduced by the amount of lost time, which seemingly happened – in error, according to Spooner – Saturday. But just setting the clock to the amount of lost time unfairly punishes the team that is already disadvantaged by the timekeeping error.
From the rule to the enforcement, this was just sloppy.