John Wall, Wizards slam Celtics during heated Game 3 win, 116-89 (VIDEO)

2 Comments

A 39-point first quarter set the tone for the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. Down 2-0 to the Boston Celtics, the Wizards took advantage from the very tip on their home floor and took home the victory, 116-89.

Along the way, the rivalry between Washington and Boston deepened significantly.

The first half was marred by a ridiculous sequence between Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kelly Olynyk. Oubre had been knocked down on a hard screen earlier in the first half, and 9:11 left in the second quarter Olynyk laid him out with a second one that included a high elbow.

Oubre did not enjoy that, and wound up rushing at Olynyk at full speed, trucking the Celtics forward to the ground. After review, Oubre was ejected and Olynyk was given an offensive foul.

That was just the first ejection.

Despite little help from their bench, the Wizards starters far outplayed their opposition in the second half. John Wall scored 24 points to go along with eight assists and three steals. Marcin Gortat looked reinvigorated, scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

The Celtics, meanwhile, couldn’t get it going offensively. Isaiah Thomas had just 13 points on eight shots, and no Boston player recorded a double-digit statistic outside of scoring.

Washington had double the amount of points the Celtics scored in the paint, and handily won the rebounding battle as Boston shot just 35 percent from the field.

It didn’t help the Celtics that the end of the game was testy, with both Brandon Jennings and Terry Rozier getting ejected after getting in each others faces and earning two quick technical fouls.

Both Scott Brooks and Brad Stevens earned technical fouls in the fourth quarter as well, as things boiled over for a decimated Celtics team.

Washington was picked by many to be the winner of this series, and unearthly performances by Isaiah Thomas might have put a damper on that after the first two games. But the Wizards came out and showed who they were — even with a thin bench — on their home court.

Game 4 isn’t until Sunday in Washington D.C., so we’ll have to wait and see what these coaches cook up as they try to adjust to each other and apply some ice to their swelling bruises.

Lakers meet with Derrick Rose, Ian Clark about backup point guard slot

Leave a comment

At a press conference this week introducing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Magic Johnson said that the Lakers wanted to find a backup point guard in the next week or so.

Thursday the Lakers took a couple of steps down that road, meeting with both Derrick Rose and Ian Clark.

Both men would serve as the backup to, and potential mentor for, Lonzo Ball. The questions come down to which man better fits that role, and of course money.

Rose put up solid numbers last season in New York — 18 points per game, a PER of 17 — and statistically appeared to be an average NBA point guard. However, he’s still a defensive liability, cannot space the floor as a shooter (21.7 percent from three last season), and he’s not versatile offensively.

Rose is thought to be choosing between the Lakers and Cavaliers, both teams offering one-year contracts (Chicago has been mentioned is a highly unlikely reunion). Cleveland can offer the chance to chase a ring and play with LeBron James, but only a veteran minimum contract of $2.1 million. The Lakers can offer the same minimum contract or the room exception of $4.3 million (it’s not known if the Lakers put that larger offer on the table, but it seems plausible to likely). Rose has to choose what he wants, what he prioritizes, in neither case is he going to start or be part of the long-term plans — this is a one-year choice.

Clark played for Luke Walton in Golden State, is younger and more athletic than Rose, shot 37.4 percent from three last season, and is coming off his best season playing almost 15 minutes a game and winning a ring with the Warriors. He’s not as good as running the offense as Rose, but last season he cut down on his turnovers and improved his defense, taking steps forward with both. If things work out, he could stick with the Lakers beyond this season, but they will only offer a one-year contract for now.

Los Angeles has other options out there on the point guard market — Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Deron Williams — but the Lakers seem to have narrowed their choice down to Rose or Clark. Once they land the backup point guard, the roster will

Shaq calls his absurd light-up shoes the real Big Baller Brand

1 Comment

Because 7’1″, 350-pound Shaquille O’Neal needed an impossible-to-ignore pair of light up shoes to call attention to himself…

Shaq posted a video of himself on Instagram wearing some outrageous light-up shoes — then in the comments decided to take another dig at Big Baller Brand.

Boy was shining wasn't he #whatarethose #shineonem #feetwork #shaqshoestherealbigballerbrand

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

So how much do those shoes cost? More or less than ZO2?

One of the things I enjoyed about Summer League was that as Lonzo Ball played better and better, the spotlight shifted more to his play and more away from his father. Think what you will of LaVar Ball — marketing genius or loud-mouthed dad — personally I’m just weary of him. I like Lonzo’s play, I don’t need the rest.

However, between Shaq and Charles Barkley, I think there’s going to be a lot of LaVar/Big Baller Brand talk on Inside the NBA next season. Those two can’t help themselves.

After four years out of NBA, Pacers give Damien Wilkins chance to return

Leave a comment

Consider this the most unexpected signing of the summer.

The last time we saw Damien Wilkins in the NBA, the 6’6″ wing out of the University of Georgia was finishing his ninth NBA season, averaging 6.4 points per game and shooting 33.3 percent from three. He looked like a guy who was done at the NBA level. Since then he has played in China, Spain, and the D-League.

The Pacers are giving him another crack to make an NBA roster. They have signed 37-year-old Wilkins to a non-guaranteed deal, reports the Indy Star.

The Indiana Pacers agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed veteran minimum deal for close to $2 million with small forward and shooting guard Damien Wilkins, a league source confirmed to IndyStar.

The Pacers have 14 guys on the roster already, and they have at the wing Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Stuckey, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Glenn Robinson III, it will be tough for Wilkins to crack that rotation.

But he’ll get his chance, and having a desperate veteran pushing guys in camp never hurts. Maybe he can impress enough in camp that if the Pacers don’t want him another team might. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all Wilkins can ask at this point.

Watch the Top 10 dunks from the NBA Summer League

Leave a comment

Summer League, at its core, is athletic young players in sloppy games.

That leads to massive dunks. Here are the top 10, which John Collins deserving the top spot.