A few weeks back, the Spurs were in a game that frustrated fans, the suits at ABC/ESPN, and by extension NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — the Warriors rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala (plus Kevin Durant was already injured) in a game where the Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tony Parker due to injury. The following Saturday the Cavaliers rested their stars for a nationally-televised game. Adam Silver fired off a testy memo to owners saying they needed to step in and deal with healthy players resting, it was hurting the game.
Apparently, that message got through.
The Spurs have a back-to-back Friday against Dallas followed by Saturday against the Clippers on national television. Guess when guys are getting rested.
The non-injured players are expected to play Saturday.
A lot of players are going to get rested on playoff teams over the final few games of the season, but that is not a new phenomenon. As Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr noted Thursday, Phil Jackson rested Michael Jordan right before the playoffs. This is a time it’s to be expected.
However, the issue is getting discussed this week by NBA owners, then will be a topic this summer as well when the NBA discusses rule tweaks.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.