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Derrick Rose to doubters: “I don’t need your f****** validation”


There were two consensus reactions to the Minnesota Timberwolves signing Derrick Rose:

1) We’ve been expecting it. It’s Tom Thibodeau and a former player, he can’t resist that urge.

2) It’s okay, as long as they don’t play Rose much.

Forget MVP-level Rose, we aren’t going to see him again (even Rose admits that). However, Rose sat on the free agent market for a month (after being traded to Utah then waived) for a reason — there are questions about how he can help a team in today’s NBA. The knocks are his defense and lack of a three-point shot (25 percent this season). In a league deep with quality point guards, the teams that could use one still were looking for young players to develop first.

Rose, however, speaking to the media for the first time after practice in Minnesota, fired back at his critics. Via Nick Friedell of ESPN:

“I’m 29, they’re acting like I’m 39. I’m still able to push the ball up the floor, they’re acting like I’m in a wheelchair. All these injuries — like even coming here to take my physical [the Timberwolves medical staff] looked at my physical, they couldn’t believe how my body was in good shape. Little things like that push me to go out here and work even harder, because on the outside looking in, you probably think I walk with a limp, you probably think I’m wearing ice bags every day, this and that. Man, it’s totally opposite of that….

“This is how I feel about it, the whole perspective on it,” Rose said. “You could have your perspective on me, as far as I’m a bum, I can’t play, I can’t shoot, this and that, all right, cool, I have no hard feelings with that. I’m cool with that. [If] that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel, but at the same time, I don’t need your f—ing validation. I know who I am, I know what type of player I am. So you respect that and I respect that [point of view] and we should be good. That’s how I feel about it.”

Rose has found his motivation. We’ll see if that translates into much on the court.

Rose has a role in the NBA still as a backup point guard. In a situation where he can run some pick-and-roll, be asked to provide 15 minutes or so of scoring punch, and be covered for defensively, he could help a team. He’s better than some guys getting backup minutes this season. There are several teams out there who fit that bill and might consider reaching out to Rose this summer.

In Minnesota, he provides guard depth with Jimmy Butler sidelined. However, if Thibodeau starts giving Rose minutes that before went to Tyus Jones or Jamal Crawford off the bench, then it’s an issue.

Dwight Howard posts just second 30-30 game in last 36 years

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Dwight Howard never played for the Nets. He almost got traded to Brooklyn by the Magic, but the deal never happened.

Which puts a dent in Dennis Schroder‘s theory Howard gets up for games against only his former teams.

Howard dominated Brooklyn for 32 points and 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 win tonight. That’s just the second 30-30 game in the last 36 years, Kevin Love notching the other in 2010.

All 30-30 games since Wilt Chamberlain, who had a ton:

  • Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets, 3/21/2018): 32 points, 30 rebounds
  • Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11/12/2010): 31 points, 31 rebounds
  • Moses Malone (Houston Rockets, 2/11/1982): 38 points, 32 rebounds
  • Swen Nater (Milwaukee Bucks, 12/19/1976): 30 points, 33 rebounds
  • Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds

Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.

Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)

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The Bucks lost, 127-120, to the Clippers tonight.

More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.

He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.

Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.

No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.

The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.

Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.

Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win


The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.

But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.

Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.

LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.

And LeBron led the Cavaliers to this win despite Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman being out.

It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.

Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team

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Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was a candidate to coach the men’s team at Colorado State, her alma mater. That would have made her the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team.

Alas, it won’t happen.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.

She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.

This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.