Author: Brett Pollakoff

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat

Report: Rajon Rondo did not receive a playoff share from Mavericks


The parting of ways between Rajon Rondo and the Dallas Mavericks didn’t exactly come under the most pleasant of circumstances.

Rondo struggled to fit in from both a personality and a performance standpoint, and rather than publicly disclose that the team was benching him for the rest of the playoffs, the Mavericks floated a “back injury” story to avoid dealing with a needless controversy.

The pairing was so poisonous to the Dallas franchise that the team had nothing but hard feelings for the way things transpired — so much so that the Mavericks decided against giving Rondo any portion of their bonus money they earned for participating in the postseason.

From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

Multiple sources: Rajon Rondo did not receive a playoff share from the Dallas Mavericks.

Teams that reached the first round of the playoffs were given $208,940 apiece this season as part of the league’s playoff pool distribution, and may divide up that money any way they choose.

Often times it’s split up equally among teammates, and some clubs will give part of it to trainers, ball boys or other ancillary staff members, as well.

Rondo obviously doesn’t need the money. But in case he had any remaining doubts about how the Mavericks felt about him, getting stiffed on his portion of a playoff share should provide a not-so-subtle reminder that he’s no longer welcome in Dallas.

LaMarcus Aldridge: ‘Pressure is on Memphis to close us out’

LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph
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The Blazers avoided elimination with a Game 4 victory at home over the Grizzlies, thanks in large part to a brilliant 32-point performance from Damian Lillard that kept his team alive.

Portland still trails three games to one in the series, but in advance of another potential elimination contest, LaMarcus Aldridge says that his team isn’t the one that’s facing all the pressure.

From Michael Wallace of

The second part is likely more true than the first.

No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history, and this Blazers squad isn’t likely to become the first. They trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter of Game 4, and Lillard only had the breakout game that he did because Mike Conley sat out with a facial injury that later required surgery.

Conley is out again for Game 5, so Lillard (against the likes of Nick Calathes and Beno Udrih) will once again have his opportunities. But there is little margin for error where the Blazers are concerned, and if the team should find itself trailing late in the contest, it will be up to Aldridge at that point to prove his statement’s worth.

‘Paul Pierce is just going to be who Paul Pierce is going to be,’ says Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce is in his 17th NBA season, and he’s having all kinds of fun in these playoffs. But he’d like to remind you that what he’s doing is nothing new; it’s who he’s been his entire career.

Pierce got things rolling with some trash talk in advance of the Wizards’ series against the Raptors, which baited Toronto’s GM into responding profanely, and ultimately cost the Raptors a total of $60,000 in fines.

He backed up his words with plenty of clutch play in the series, including a dagger three to seal the Game 3 win, which enabled him to talk even more. And once the sweep was complete, Pierce let loose on multiple social media platforms to troll the Raptors in every way possible.

He even went third person recently to let everyone know that he won’t be changing his ways anytime soon.

From Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

“I just look at it as good banter,” Pierce said. “Good banter. That’s the word. A lot of this stuff I don’t pre-think it. It just comes out naturally.”

He added: “Paul Pierce is just going to be who Paul Pierce is going to be. I’m going to be myself. If it helps our team or hurts our team, I’m just trying to be myself and see where that goes. I’m a vocal person. I speak up. I tell the guys how I feel. I’m emotional. It’s just me being me truthfully.”

And from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:

“That’s just me,” Pierce said on Tuesday. “I mean, if you go to YouTube, [search] Paul Pierce starting in 1998. You’ll see the same things.”

The Wizards struggled in the second half of the regular season, but looked to be coming together at just the right time during their first-round sweep of the Raptors. The top-seeded Hawks look vulnerable all of a sudden, and you’d have to give the Wizards a fighting chance in a second-round matchup against either Atlanta or Brooklyn, the winner of which would find themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals.

But no matter when Washington’s season comes to a close, it’s clear that Pierce will be enjoying the ride for as long as it lasts.