It’s unclear what prompted his trash-talking, but it was all in good fun — at least until the Clippers overcame the loss of Chris Paul to come away with the win, and steal home-court advantage in the process.
John Wall, Bradley Beal both expected to play in Game 2 for Wizards vs. Hawks
Wall says he can open and close his hand today. Couldn’t do it yesterday
Wall said he got a 2nd opinion on his hand/wrist
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Wall’s injury appeared to be more serious than Beal’s, but either way, it’ll be interesting to see if either player is limited in Game 2 in terms of their respective levels of production.
Isiah Thomas named president, part-owner of WNBA’s New York Liberty
Isiah Thomas was at one point the president and head coach of the New York Knicks, but after failing to achieve any measure of success in either role, he was ousted from both positions at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
Oh, and Thomas also cost Madison Square Garden (the parent company that owns the Knicks) $11.6 million in damages back in 2007, after a jury ruled that he sexually harassed a former team executive who was improperly fired for complaining about the unwanted advances.
But hey, that was almost eight years ago — which means, evidently, that it’s just fine to give Thomas a second chance.
Against the Rockets in Game 1 of the second round, however, with Paul unable to go due to a hamstring injury, the spotlight was there for Griffin, and he had no trouble taking center stage.
Griffin helped to finish off the Spurs by posting a triple-double line of 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He was even better in Houston, finishing with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists to put the Clippers up 1-o in the best-of-seven series. And the back-to-back triple-doubles put him in some historically-great company.
He’s the first player with back-to-back triple-doubles in a postseason game since Jason Kidd accomplished the feat in 2002.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Griffin is the third non-guard in NBA history with back-to-back postseason triple-doubles. The other two are NBA legends Wilt Chamberlain (who did it twice) and John Havlicek.
Elias also notes that Griffin is the fourth player in NBA history with back-to-back 20-point triple-doubles in the postseason, joining Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Baron Davis.
It’s worth remembering, as NBA.com’s John Scuhmann pointed out, that the Clippers suffered the biggest loss in terms of on-off net rating when Chris Paul missed time during the regular season. When you look at the lack of a bench that L.A. has struggled to deal with all year long, that makes perfect sense — and also makes you realize just how special Griffin has been in his last two performances, but especially during a road win in Houston when his team needed him the most.
Tiago Splitter was a key cog in a Spurs machine that made it to the Finals in each of the last two seasons. Playing alongside Tim Duncan up front, Splitter was a capable defender and rebounder who was a fantastic fit in San Antonio’s overall scheme.
This year, however, was a little bit different. Splitter was dealing with a calf injury near the end of the regular season, and it bothered him in the playoffs to the point where he was largely ineffective as the Spurs were eliminated from the postseason at the hands of the Clippers.
Splitter has two more years on his deal at $8.5 and $8.25 million respectively, and with San Antonio looking to max out Kawhi Leonard, while still having cash available to chase free agents and potentially re-sign Tim Duncan, the team may look to move that contract before July’s free agency period begins.
The working assumption nonetheless persists that the Spurs, with maestro executive R.C. Buford as their offseason point man, will manufacture at least $20 million in salary-cap space this summer to go after Aldridge — or Memphis’ Marc Gasol — even if Leonard is maxed and Duncan returns.
One scenario on the personnel grapevine gaining steam is the notion that the Spurs could elect to explore the possibility of dealing away Tiago Splitter to create more financial flexibility. Splitter has two years left on his contract valued at just under $17 million and is quietly regarded as a key contributor in San Antonio given how well he fits as a frontcourt sidekick next to Duncan. But if you’re the Spurs — and if the increasingly loud rumbles about Aldridge having San Antonio as the preferred destination atop his wish list prove true — examining Splitter’s trade market might suddenly become unavoidable.
If the Spurs are able to persuade either Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge to come in free agency, then Splitter becomes an unnecessary redundancy. But even if both of those particular All-Stars choose to sign somewhere else, looking to deal Splitter may be wise if the team thinks it can replace his skill set with a younger, less-expensive option.