NBA: Trail Blazers twice fouled Mike Conley while forcing key turnover against Grizzlies

Leave a comment

C.J. McCollum figuratively knocked around Chandler Parsons after the Trail Blazers beat the Grizzlies on Friday.

Late in that game, Portland literally knocked around Mike Conley.

With the score 112-109 – what would become the final score – the Trail Blazers got away with two fouls on Conley, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report. As a result, Conley lost the ball out of bounds, turning it over.

First, Mason Plumlee should’ve been called for a foul for disrupting Conley’s speed/quickness/balance/rhythm with 56.7 left, per the league:

Plumlee (POR) makes contact with Conley (MEM) that affects his SQBR.

Failing a correct call there, Evan Turner should’ve been whistled for fouling Conley with 54.5 seconds left:

Turner (POR) make contact with Conley (MEM) that affects his SQBR.

Because Portland was in the penalty, a correct call on either missed foul would’ve given Conley – who’s shooting 86% from the line this season and 81% for his career – two free throws.

Instead, Conley lost the ball out of bounds.

Officials reviewed the play and correctly determined Conley touched the ball last. But, by rule, the fouls couldn’t be reviewed, so there was no choice but to award Memphis the ball. Prior to the NBA implementing replay, the ruling likely would’ve been a compromise call: Not calling a foul but giving the Grizzlies the ball (which was the initial ruling Friday). Obviously, the league believes it can accurately review fouls. Hence, two-minute reports, including this after-the-fact determination. Why not review for fouls during games, when correcting officiating errors on the floor can still have an effect?

We’ll never know how the game would’ve played out with either correct call, but Memphis’ final two possessions could have gone much differently if the margin were just one or two, not three. Plumlee fouled Tony Allen on the Grizzlies’ penultimate possession. (It’s unclear whether Plumlee was just trying to prevent a layup or whether he was employing the tactic of willingly fouling when up three.) On Memphis’ final possession, Conley had to force a 3-pointer that missed.

Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge nails three from one knee during warmups (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Take that Stephen Curry.

Gregg Popovich would pull him so fast he’d look like a fidget spinner if he tried this in a game, but during warmups before Game 4 Monday night LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a deep three from one knee.

If Aldridge is taking a lot of threes that’s not a good sign for the Spurs, but we’ll see if he can have a big night and keep the Spurs alive in this series.

Stephen Curry drains shots from near half court during warmups like they’re layups

Getty Images

Stephen Curry‘s pregame warmups draw people into the arena early, it’s a show in and of itself.

Before Game 4 Monday night, Curry was taking a couple shots from the center-court logo. And draining them. Like layups. Because he can.

We’ll see if he can put on that kind of show when the game tips off.

Gregg Popovich makes it official: No Kawhi Leonard for Game 4

1 Comment

This was expected. It still sucks to hear.

Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 4 vs. the Warriors Monday night.

Leonard has sprained his left ankle in Game 5 against the Rockets and sat out Game 6 of that series (a San Antonio win), then returned for Game 1 against the Warriors. He re-injured his ankle twice in that game — once stepping on David Lee‘s foot, once when Zaza Pachulia slid under him on a jumper and took away his landing space. Leonard left that game with his team up 23 points, but the Warriors rallied back to win Game 1 and have controlled the series ever since. Leonard has not returned to the series.

San Antonio will play with pride on Monday night, but it may not be enough. You can bet the Warriors were reminded all day about taking their foot off the gas after what happened with Cleveland Sunday.

Report: Orlando hires Toronto GM Jeff Weltman to be president of basketball operations

Leave a comment

In Toronto, Masai Ujiri is the head of basketball operations and the guy with the hammer on deals. Jeff Weltman was his right-hand man and team GM.

Make that was his right-hand man, Weltman has been hired by the Orlando Magic to run its basketball operations, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic have hired Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman as the franchise’s president of basketball operations, league sources told The Vertical.

Weltman met with Orlando CEO Alex Martins and ownership on Monday, finalizing a five-year deal, league sources said.

Orlando officials had been intrigued with Cleveland GM David Griffin, but moved steadily toward Weltman as they became further engaged with his candidacy in recent weeks, league sources said. Weltman has been deeply involved in every aspect of the Raptors’ front office under president Masai Ujiri as Toronto became a perennial Eastern Conference contender.

Making a move now is smart in this sense: The Magic have the No. 5 pick in this draft and would want the guy making the big picture decisions about this roster on board to make this selection.

That roster already has some quality pieces — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — but has underachieved. There were questions about the culture and a lack of accountability, and that blame ultimately fell on GM Rob Hennigan and he was let go. Frank Vogel is locked in as

Frank Vogel is locked in as coach, so how well Weltman and Vogel work together — and share a vision — will be key.

Weltman is well-respected around the league. He spent five seasons as an assistant GM in Milwaukee, and has been with the Raptors since 2013 as that team has risen up the Eastern Conference standings and had its best run in franchise history. He also has worked with the Clippers and in Denver. He’s been one of those guys expected to get a chance in the big chair for a few years now.

He’s got it, and it’s an interesting challenge in Orlando.