James Harden‘s unorthodox style draws him a lot of fouls. His game is in part built around it — when he drives he can dish, he can score, but he’s almost certainly going to draw a foul (or get enough space to make a play as guys try to avoid fouling).
However, the play above was not him drawing a foul, it was a bad call.
It was overtime between Chicago and Houston, and Michael Carter-Williams fronted Harden to deny the easy pass, so Harden just laid on his back and the two fell to the ground. The referees blew the whistle but stunned Chicago by calling the foul on Carter-Williams, his sixth. Harden got two free throws.
That call alone was not the reason the Bulls lost to the Rockets, they gave up a late 8-0 run in regulation that allowed the game to be sent to overtime. There were other things. But that also doesn’t make that a good call. Taj Gibson said this after the game, via Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.
“He gets so many calls his way, it’s ridiculous sometimes,” Gibson said. “It was some rough calls late, but we had some guys who learned a lot tonight.”
“That was a big call, a tough call. But we had a chance to win the game. The game goes on. The refs can’t overturn it. James blatantly jumped on his back.”
The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report does not address this because it was outside the last two minutes of overtime. Also, this is not the first time Harden has drawn a foul this way.
Jimmy Butler‘s competitive fire burns hot.
Butler is chomping at the bit to return from his knee injury. He sat on the Timberwolves’ bench during their loss to the Rockets last night wearing what appeared to be typical attire for a sidelined player. But dig deeper, and…
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
This story is too good to check out.
The last time Kevin Love suited up for the Cavaliers, it was still January and Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, and Jae Crowder were still on the team.
That is about to change tonight — Love will return from a fractured hand and play for the Cavaliers, but on a minutes restriction to start, interim coach Larry Drew confirmed.
Cleveland needs Love back. The Cavaliers went 11-9 without him in this stretch (and 6-7 since the All-Star break) with an offense that has still been top 10 in the NBA but a defense that is holding them back. The Cavaliers’ defense is just not on the same page right now, and the more time the regular rotations guys get to play together, the better they should be before the playoffs start.
As Love rounds into form, the Cavaliers have to figure out their rotations. Does Love start Love next to Larry Nance Jr., or does Nance come off the bench again? Probably the latter, but the Cavaliers will toy with the rotations (and do that more when Tristan Thompson returns).
What happened to Steve Francis [after his playing days]? I was drinking heavily, is what happened. And that can be just as bad (as drug use). In the span of a few years I lost basketball, I lost my whole identity, and I lost my stepfather, who committed suicide.”
—Steve Francis, writing in the Players’ Tribune earlier this month, about his journey from selling crack to the NBA, and what happened after.
Addiction, once it’s got you, never goes away. The fight to stay sober/clean is a new one every day.
Steve Francis was cited for public intoxication in Burbank, Calif., after an incident at a hotel bar, according to TMZ (since confirmed by other reports).
Francis, 41, was arrested around 11:40 PM after police were called for a disturbance between two men at a hotel in Burbank.
Law enforcement sources tell us when cops arrived, Francis was intoxicated. He was arrested for being drunk in public.
Francis was transported to jail … before being given a citation and released around 7 AM Monday morning.
Francis denied in the Players’ Tribune article rumors he had a drug problem, but he owned up to drinking.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said the Pacers “could have done better” than trading Paul George to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Gilbert would have company with egg on their face if more people shared their views on the deal when it happened.
Lakers coach Luke Walton – whose team plays Indiana tonight – joined the club with an admission.
Originally, I thought it was kind of a lopsided trade, but I’m man enough to admit that I was wrong. Indiana has, I think they’re probably the surprise team of the season so far. They’re playing unbelievable. They have that three seed. And both of those players they got in the trade, they’re playing some really, really good basketball. So, obviously, a good trade for both teams.
Me too, Luke. Me too.
George is basically who we thought he was. But Oladipo and Sabonis have taken major steps forward. Sabonis’ growth as a second-year player was more predictable. Oladipo’s breakthrough seemed far less likely – and has carried far larger ramifications.
Oladipo was fine in Oklahoma City and Orlando, but he got into the best shape of his life and developed his outside shooting, particularly off the dribble. He has become a true star, putting up big offensive numbers while remaining a plus defender.
All the credit goes to Oladipo for making it happen and Pacers president Kevin Pritchard for ensuring Indiana reaped the rewards. I bet even Pritchard is surprised by Oladipo’s level of play, but Pritchard bet on Oladipo. Pritchard gets credit for the outcome.
People like Walton and myself eat crow.