Author: Brett Pollakoff

John Wall, Randy Wittman

Wizards’ John Wall ruled out for Game 3 vs. Hawks

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John Wall has officially been ruled out of Game 3 vs. the Hawks on Saturday, head coach Randy Wittman confirmed to reporters less than two hours before tip-off during his customary media availability.

Although the team had yet to make a determination on his status until now, this shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise.

Once it was revealed that Wall had five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist following an injury he suffered in Washington’s Game 1 victory, it was safe to assume Wall would continue to miss some time. What kept the team from making a sweeping statement that he’d miss the remainder of the postseason was the fact that the injury is to Wall’s non-shooting hand, and the thinking was that if the swelling could subside to the point where he could dribble and grip the ball effectively, he might try to play through the discomfort.

It’s obviously not to that point just yet, and that’s going to hurt the Wizards’ chances in this series somewhat significantly.

The key stat that tells you just how important Wall has been to his team in these playoffs is points created by assists per game. Wall leads all players in this category with an average of 30.8, while the next person on the list (Blake Griffin) averages just 18.8 to come in a very distant second.

Jason Terry ejected after shoving Blake Griffin in the back late in Rockets’ Game 3 loss to Clippers (VIDEO)

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three

Jason Terry was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ Game 3 loss to the Clippers on Friday, for running up to Blake Griffin and shoving him in the back, seemingly for no reason.

The game had already been decided at the time, with L.A. comfortably leading by 29 points, and Griffin didn’t do anything to warrant the attack, at least on that particular possession.

The league will take a closer look, just as it does with all plays that result in an ejection. But Terry doesn’t believe he’s in line for any additional punishment.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

“I just went and tried to take a foul, but it was definitely unwarranted,” Terry said. “They gave me a technical and I was out of there. I can’t let that happen so I apologize to the team for that.”

Terry, however, did not believe there would be any additional penalty from the league.

“There shouldn’t be,” Terry said. “There was nothing malicious. I didn’t throw a punch or anything like that. It wasn’t a blow to the head. I don’t this so.”

I disagree that there was “nothing malicious,” but I do agree that this doesn’t warrant a suspension.

We’ll see if the league ends up seeing it the same way.

Pau Gasol questionable for Game 4 with hamstring injury


The Bulls pulled off an incredible Game 3 victory over the Cavaliers, thanks to Derrick Rose banking home a three-pointer at the buzzer that put Chicago up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Perhaps more remarkable was that they were able to do it with a very limited contribution from Pau Gasol.

Gasol finished with six points, four rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots, but left the game five minutes into the third quarter with a hamstring injury, and did not return. He’s set for an MRI on Saturday, and his status remains questionable for Sunday’s critical Game 4 contest.

From Steve Aschburner of

“I have to do some tests, see how bad or good it is and then proceed from there,” Gasol said. “I’m just hoping that it’s not a bad tear or anything like that. Hamstrings are tricky and dangerous. Just hoping for the best and trying to stay positive.

“Hopefully I’ll get up [Saturday] with not much soreness and I’ll go to the hospital and do whatever it is I have to do to find out what I have.”

“Early in the first quarter, it started to tighten up,” Gasol said. “It really bothered me. I thought it was going to loosen up and I was going to be able to push through it. The more I pushed through it, the worse it got.”

Losing Gasol would be damaging, but the Bulls are a deep squad that may be able to survive his absence.

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Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic can provide at least some of what Gasol brings; they combined for 21 points and 17 rebounds in Game 3, while each playing around 22 minutes off the bench.

LeBron James: Joakim Noah’s trash talk ‘got very disrespectful’

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

Early in the third quarter of the Bulls’ Game 3 win over the Cavaliers, LeBron James drove and threw down a thunderous dunk over Joakim Noah, and appeared to have some words for him immediately following the spectacular play.

Noah responded, of course, and the two each received a technical foul for their actions.

But when the game was over, James said that Noah crossed the line.

“As a competitor, I love his emotion,” James said. “But I think the words that he used to me were just a little bit, you know, a little bit too far. I’m a father with three kids, and it got very disrespectful.

“I’m OK with competing against Jo. I love the competitive nature in him. But we should leave it there. The disrespectful words that he said to me were uncalled for.”

Noah didn’t see it the same way.

“Disrespectful? I got mad respect for LeBron,” he said postgame, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We’re just two players trying to win a game. That’s all.”

If I’m Noah, and I know that I can get LeBron thinking about what I’m saying during the game, I crank the trash talk up to 11 in Game 4. Any distraction might help, and in a series that might end up being decided by insane plays at the buzzer, every advantage counts.

Derrick Rose banks home three at the buzzer to give Bulls Game 3 win over Cavaliers

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Two

The Cavaliers and the Bulls seem to be as evenly-matched as possible in their playoff matchup, and it’s going to take incredible, somewhat miraculous shots like these to propel one team to get past the other as we get deeper into this second-round series.

Derrick Rose found a way to bank home a three-point shot at the Game 3 buzzer, and lifted his Bulls to a 99-96 victory which gave Chicago a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.