Author: Dan Feldman

Clippers: Blake Griffin broke hand throwing punch, conduct unacceptable

7 Comments

Blake Griffin reportedly broke his hand while punching a Clippers equipment staffer and will miss 4-6 weeks.

The Clippers confirmed everything but who was on the receiving end of Griffin’s punch:

The following is a joint statement from L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers:

L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand throwing a punch on Jan. 23 in Toronto.

This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team. We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.

Griffin received X-rays on Jan. 25th in Los Angeles that revealed the injury and he underwent a procedure on his hand Tuesday morning. The procedure was performed by Dr. Steve Shin. Recovery time from the injury is approximately four to six weeks.

This is how you get ahead of a story like this (something not every team realized). Griffin put himself and the Clippers into a bad situation. At least the team isn’t making it worse – quickly rebuking Griffin and having Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers put their name on it.

Given the tone of that statement, I’d be surprised if Griffin isn’t suspended. The Clippers and NBA might need to investigate further, but the Clippers are already saying he punched someone and violated their code of conduct. That sounds like a suspension-worthy offense.

Report: Heat have standing offer to Ray Allen for last two years

Ray Allen
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
4 Comments

The Heat ranked 24th in 3-point percentage last season and rank 27th this year.

One of their plans to upgrade their outside shooting: Ray Allen, who spent two seasons with Miami before not playing last year.

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald:

According to several sources, the Heat has not only had a standing offer to Allen to return to the team ever since the 2014 offseason, but it made additional overtures as recently as this summer.

Allen, however, has never bit.

This shouldn’t be all that surprising, if you were aware of his frustration during his final season in Miami, the one that ended with a five-game Finals loss to the Spurs; he made that frustration, about everything from scheduling to rotations, well enough known to Heat teammates, coaches and officials, that it has been frequently relayed to reporters (like this one) since.

Allen refuses to announce his retirement, but he also hasn’t played in nearly two years. As he gets into his 40s, it’ll be difficult to come back – even for someone who keeps himself in such famously good shape.

If he wants to return, he’ll have suitors. The Cavaliers, Spurs, Hawks, Warriors, Wizards and Clippers were all linked to him last season.

More likely, though, it seems Allen or someone in his camp wants the attention. There are a lot of rumors surrounding something that seemingly hasn’t come too close to happening.

But still expect Allen’s name to pop up again in Miami and elsewhere after this year’s trade deadline.

Report: Thunder guard Andre Roberson out at least three weeks

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Andre Roberson #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of their game on December 17, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Thunder 104-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Thunder start two players (Andre Roberson and Steven Adams) who complement their big three (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka). Roberson and Adams are willing and able to do the little things necessary to support Oklahoma City’s stars.

Outscoring opponents by 21.5 points per 100 possessions, Westbrook-Roberson-Durant-Ibaka-Adams has been the most productive of the NBA’s 50 most-used lineups.

The Thunder just won’t be able to use that unit for a while.

Not only is Adams out a few games, Roberson is sidelined.

Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

Andre Roberson will miss at least three weeks with a right knee sprain suffered in the first half of OKC’s Sunday night loss in Brooklyn, The Oklahoman has learned.

The injury occurred on a second quarter collision with Russell Westbrook, who crashed into Roberson’s right leg after flying in for a missed reverse layup, bending it backward.

An MRI on Monday confirmed the sprain, but didn’t reveal any structural damage that required surgery, a positive development considering the nature of the play.

The Thunder’s last game before the All-Star break is Feb. 11, two and a half weeks from now. So, it seems Roberson will be sidelined through the break. Oklahoma City’s schedule until then:

  • at Knicks  on Tuesday
  • at Timberwolves on Wednesday
  • vs. Rockets on Friday
  • vs. Wizards on Feb. 1
  • vs. Magic on Feb. 3
  • at Warriors on Feb. 6
  • at Suns on Feb. 8
  • vs. Pelicans on Feb. 11

That’s a relatively easy stretch, though that matchup with Golden State looks even more daunting now. (It’s also good new for the Warriors, who were supposed to face a harder remaining schedule, in their pursuit of 72 wins.)

Nick Collison has started with Adams out. It’s unclear whom will start for Roberson. He has missed only one game this season, and Durant also missed it. Anthony Morrow and Kyle Singler started on the wing. Either could start now.

Either way, Oklahoma City will likely lean more on Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter. When those two play with the Thunder’s stars, the team scores an amazing clip – and slips defensively.

Oklahoma City has the depth to get through this, but it’s still less than ideal.

Report: David Blatt intent on coaching in NBA again

11 Comments

David Blatt guided the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in his first season. He oversaw a 30-11 start this season.

And Cleveland still fired him.

It’d hardly be surprising if Blatt – who has succeeded coaching in Europe and Israel and with Russia’s national team – returned overseas.

But that doesn’t appear to be his plan.

ESPN:

NBA coaching sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein that Blatt is intent on coaching in the league again as opposed to immediately returning to the European game

Remember, Blatt left Maccabi Tel Aviv without having an NBA head-coaching job locked up. The Massachusetts native clearly wanted to be here, and it seems his experience with the Cavs hasn’t changed that.

Will another team offer him a head-coaching job? Perhaps, he’d fit better with a young team more open to his methods. The Timberwolves – who have Andrew Wiggins, a player Blatt was originally hired to coach – make sense on paper.

Blatt could also find work as an assistant. If he didn’t land the Cleveland job in 2014, his backup choice seemed to be working on Steve Kerr’s Warriors staff. With Luke Walton likely to get head-coaching offers, Golden State could have another vacancy this offseason.

There are reasons to believe in Blatt – the adjustments he made during last year’s playoffs as Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving went down with injury, the offense he ran overseas that he still hasn’t fully unleashed in the NBA, his willingness to delegate to assistant coaches. He must improve his communication skills, especially with veterans not predisposed to respecting him, and handle of NBA rotations. That could happen with a little more experience, whether it comes as a head or assistant coach.

Report: Rockets expect to keep Ty Lawson past trade deadline

Detroit Pistons' Reggie Jackson, left, tries to slow down Houston Rockets' Ty Lawson (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Leave a comment

Ty Lawson‘s representatives reportedly wanted the Rockets to trade him.

One problem: There isn’t much of a market for the point guard.

It appears Houston has accepted that.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Even though he’s on the final guaranteed season of his contract, Lawson has a salary ($12,404,495) too high for most trade scenarios. It’s hard for teams to aggregate enough salary to match his without including a player more valuable than him.

The teams with junk contracts that would work will have a tough time appeasing the Rockets for a couple reasons.

1. Houston is bound by the hard cap and just under the line, limiting its options.

2. The Rockets have played better lately, winning eight of 11. They’re seventh in the Western Conference and just 1.5 games behind the Grizzlies for fifth and a likely first-round matchup with the Clippers – by far the most vulnerable of the West’s top four teams. Lawson has helped Houston’s modest turnaround as a decent backup point guard. Plus, his DUI suspensions are behind him.

The Rockets are probably best off using Lawson in a limited role the rest of this season, waiving him afterward and using the resulting cap space to upgrade their roster.

I’m sure they’d listen if another team puts together a reasonable package for Lawson. It just seems everyone realizes that probably won’t happen.