Author: Brett Pollakoff

Shawne Williams, Joel Anthony, Joel Freeland

Blazers’ Joel Freeland, Pistons’ Shawne Williams suspended one game for headbutting each other


Shawne Williams and Joel Freeland have each been suspended one game for “head-butting each other,” the league announced on Saturday via official release.

The incident occurred near the end of Portland’s blowout win over the Pistons on Friday, and seemed completely unnecessary.

Williams took offense to a shove from Meyers Leonard, and then when Freeland stepped to Williams to stick up for his teammate, Williams went for the headbutt, and Freeland responded in similar fashion.

Neither player is of great importance to his respective team, so this matters little in the grand scheme of things.

Williams will serve his suspension Saturday when the Pistons play the Jazz, while Freeland will serve his suspension on Sunday when the Blazers face the Raptors.

NBA takes away two of Andre Drummond’s 27 rebounds he was credited with against Warriors

Andre Drummond
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Earlier this week, Andre Drummond turned in a masterful performance against the Golden State Warriors, grabbing a total of 27 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end of the floor.

Or maybe he didn’t.

The NBA has been regularly reviewing monster statistical performances like these, and determined that two of those boards were credited incorrectly, and were thus taken away following that review process.

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

[Drummond] had just been told that the NBA took away two offensive rebounds from his 27-rebound performance in Wednesday night’s 105-98 loss at Golden State. The word had just come down about an hour earlier, and he was told the NBA reviews stats after games.

He looked to Pistons director of public relations Cletus Lewis, who explained that the NBA didn’t give him credit for “two tips.” …

“(Bleep) that,” the young center said to laughter. … “That (bleep) ain’t cool, man,” a smiling Drummond said as he shook his head.

This is interesting in light of Russell Westbrook’s latest triple-double, which came Friday night at home after the scorekeepers in Oklahoma City credited him with a rebound well after the fact, causing a mild bit of controversy.

Westbrook’s tenth rebound was exactly the kind the league took away from Drummond — an offensive rebound that was given on a tip toward the basket that was counted as a shot attempt, as well.

Drummond had the two field goal attempts rescinded along with the two rebounds, so it would make sense for Westbrook to suffer a similar fate after the league takes a closer look at his most recent outstanding performance.

Phil Jackson wants Derek Fisher to be more emotional with referees: ‘I’d like to have him thrown out of some games’

The New York Knicks Host Press Conference with Head Coach Derek Fisher, Team President Phil Jackson and Team General Manager Steve Mills

In what’s become a completely lost season for the New York Knicks, the only thing left for Phil Jackson to do is evaluate the job that first-year head coach Derek Fisher has done under the most difficult of circumstances.

And while trying to determine if Fisher has been successful from an Xs and Os standpoint is nearly impossible with the lack of talent in place on the roster, his demeanor is something that Jackson feels fit to criticize — especially in relation to the way Fisher conducts himself on the sidelines.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“I’d like to have him thrown out of some games at least. It looks like every time we go out there, every bump becomes a foul and Derek’s very patient behind all that.

“Get after some referees. Maybe he thinks his contract isn’t supportive of him paying for those technicals and doesn’t want to have that issue. But in reality his demeanor’s been great.’’

Fisher’s response indicates that won’t be happening anytime soon.

”I don’t know how to get into a conversation how much a coach has to do with how many calls go in your favor or not,’’ Fisher said. “I’m not [Phil]. I’m not coaching the teams he coached. I have to measure it based on who our team is. We don’t have enough history together. I don’t know if it would be fair to leave them out on the field while I’m in the back.

“I don’t think Phil made the difference on how many calls we got or not,’’ Fisher added. “I don’t know if I’ll make that difference.’’

Fisher’s lack of emotion, both on the court and with the media after some of the more difficult losses, has been perceived as a negative by some. While Jackson’s remarks are relatively mild, here, it’s clear that we can add him to that list of those who believe a little more fire out of Fisher would be a positive for the franchise.

Report: Blake Griffin expected to return Sunday or Tuesday for Clippers

Blake Griffin

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to return to the team on Sunday or Tuesday, multiple sources told

Griffin went through a full workout in Los Angeles without any limitations Friday during the Clippers’ 129-99 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas. The plan is for him to return Sunday against the Houston Rockets, but there is a chance the Clippers will want to see him go through a practice and a shootaround with the team first, pushing his return to Tuesday against the Hornets.

Griffin has missed the last 15 games for the Clippers, after undergoing surgery to remove a staph infection in his right elbow.

L.A. managed to survive admirably without him, going 9-6 during that stretch thanks largely to the improved play of DeAndre Jordan and some MVP-level performances from Chris Paul.

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The timing is good for Griffin to return; with 16 games left in the season, that should be plenty of time for him to get back into game shape and get re-integrated into the L.A. offense.

Russell Westbrook’s latest triple-double awarded in dubious fashion

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook continued his otherworldly play on Friday, notching yet another triple-double on the way to carrying his team to a win over the Timberwolves.

The triple-double was the sixth Westbrook has notched in his last eight games, but appears to have been awarded in dubious fashion.

It’s customary for hometown scorekeepers to be a little overly-generous with certain statistics; assists, for example, are ones where we’ve seen a player in his home arena get the benefit of the doubt. But on Friday, Westbrook’s final rebound was awarded well after the play occurred, which made it more than a little bit suspect.

From Royce Young of

The Thunder were enjoying an impressive blowout over the young Minnesota Timberwolves, and Westbrook was going to be left to watch the final couple of minutes a single rebound short. That’s when he took matters into his own hands. He looked over at the Thunder’s official scorekeepers, holding his arm up.

“Tip?” he said, nodding his head. “Tip?”

A quick conference at the scorer’s table and right around the time the buzzer sounded on the Thunder’s 113-99 win, Westbrook suddenly had his triple-double: 29 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. His eighth of the season, sixth in the last eight games, and the first player since Jason Kidd in 2007-08 to have eight or more in a season (Kidd had 13).

The rebound appears to be a tad dubious, an offensive board awarded with 2:35 left where Westbrook went up to tip back a missed 3-point attempt by D.J. Augustin. Westbrook was given a missed shot on it, so everything is on the up and up, but still, hard not to raise an eyebrow.

Here’s the rebound in question:

One way to look at this is as the scorekeepers did, which is that Westbrook getting a hand on the ball was somehow a shot attempt, which means crediting him with a rebound and a missed field goal is proper in this situation.

The NBA rulebook, however, doesn’t necessarily see it that way. Here’s how it defines a field goal attempt (emphasis mine):

“A field goal attempt is a player’s attempt to shoot the ball into his basket for a field goal. The act of shooting starts when, in the official’s judgment, the player has started his shooting motion and continues until the shooting motion ceases and he returns to a normal floor position. It is not essential that the ball leave the shooter’s hand. His arm(s) might be held so that he cannot actually make an attempt.

“The term is also used to include the flight of the ball until it becomes dead or is touched by a player. A tap during a jump ball or rebound is not considered a field goal attempt. However, anytime a live ball is in flight toward the rim from the playing court, the goal, if made, shall count, even if time expires or the official’s whistle sounds. The field goal will not be scored if time on the game clock expires before the ball leaves the player’s hand or the ball is in flight toward the rim.”

We’ll see if the league sees fit to review this one, the way it did with a triple-double that LeBron James initially recorded earlier this season — which ultimately resulted in the removal of some questionable statistics.

Andre Drummond of the Pistons saw two of his offensive rebounds taken away by the league this week, which were also considered to be “tips.”