Dan Feldman

Watch Gary Harris drain game-winner off superb Nikola Jokic pass (video)

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Russell Westbrook pushing a fan who came onto the court overshadowed the Nuggets’ 127-124 win over the Thunder last night.

It’s a shame.

Oklahoma City erased a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter, tying the game on a Paul George 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.

But Denver answered with an incredible final play. With his five seconds to inbound the ball ticking down (really, probably already run out), Jokic whipped a pass to the opposite wing. Gary Harris raced to receive it then nailed the game-winning 3-pointer.

During his on-court interview after the game, Jokic – who’s coming into his own – even threw shade at Westbrook:

They played really good defense. They didn’t let the guy go to the top. And I think Russell fell asleep, and just Gary slide and knock down the 3. That’s probably one of the best assist of my life.

To be fair, Westbrook was effectively guarding two players after Jerami Grant fell due to a collision with Wilson Chandler. Westbrook stuck closer to Chandler, who was closer to the basket, then closed as hard as he could on Harris.

Harris just made a heck of a shot from distance.

Report: Warriors discussed chasing LeBron James in 2016 free agency

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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The Warriors beating the Thunder, losing the Cavaliers, signing Stephen Curry to a cheap contract extension years prior and seeing a massively escalating, unsmoothed salary cap all conspired to allow Golden State to sign Kevin Durant in 2016.

But the Warriors could have used their flexibility to pursue an even bigger free agent that year – LeBron James.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:

Of course the Warriors discussed it. They at least discuss pursuing every star. It’s what smart, ambitious teams do.

But Golden State was wise to focus on Durant, who was far more attainable. LeBron wasn’t leaving the Cavaliers after delivering Cleveland its first championship in decades. That would have tarnished a legacy-defining victory. And it’s not as if Durant is a big downgrade.

Maybe the Warriors could unite both next summer. LeBron is reportedly willing to meet with Golden State if it clears max cap space.

I still think that rumor is mostly about LeBron trying to pressure the Cavs into doing more to win this season. But this revelation about 2016 at least slightly hints the Warriors would be open to it, though it’s important to remember there’s a huge difference between shedding Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut rather than Klay Thompson or Draymond Green to clear cap space.

Lou Williams on two girlfriends: ‘More players do that than you know. I was just the first person to have it mentioned on a song’

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Lou Williams has developed into a very nice NBA player, and the Clippers guard even earned serious All-Star consideration this season.

But he’s still better known in many circles for simultaneously having two girlfriends who knew about each other and even shared time together with Williams – a fact immortalized in Drake’s “6 Man,” which opens:

Boomin’ out in South Gwinnett like Lou Will
6 man like Lou Will, 2 girls and they get along like I’m… (Louuuu)
Like I’m Lou Will, I just got the new deal

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated

Life after Rece and Ashley would never be the same. “I hear about it every day,” Williams laughs. “Every single day. More players do that than you know. I was just the first person to have it mentioned on a song.” Williams is still seeing Rece, but is just friends with Ashley, dishing news that will undoubtedly level the league.

The NBA, ladies and gentlemen.

Goran Dragic replaces Kevin Love in All-Star game

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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The Heat (29-22) were the NBA’s best team without an All-Star.

That non-problem has been remedied.

Goran Dragic will replace injured Kevin Love in the All-Star game.

NBA release:

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Kevin Love on Team LeBron in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game

According to NBA rules, when an All-Star is unable to participate, the commissioner shall choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced.  Love and Dragic both play for Eastern Conference teams.  Dragic received the most voting points from NBA head coaches among Eastern Conference players who were not selected as reserves or already named as an injury replacement.

This is Dragic’s first All-Star appearance and a nice honor for someone who has been borderline deserving for so long.

But the Hornets’ Kemba Walker deserved this spot.

He’s just the better player, and he’s proving it this season. Per team possession, Walker shoots more often and more efficiently and assists more often while turning the ball over less. In these two pairs of tradeoff stats so important to point guards, Walker leads in every category.

Dragic was selected due to his team’s success. Miami is far better than 21-29 Charlotte.

But the Hornets outscore opponents by 5.8 points per 100 possessions with Walker on the court. The Heat get outscored by 3.7 points per 100 possessions when Dragic plays.

Charlotte’s poor record is due almost entirely to what happens in the brief periods Walker rests. Miami definitely isn’t winning despite Dragic, but the Heat’s depth shines. It’s absurd to reward or punish a player individually for how his team performs while he sits.

There should be nothing wrong with acknowledging Miami is winning with a team full of sub-stars and quality coaching. Heck, it should be celebrated.

Just not in the All-Star game when a better choice was available.

Blake Griffin: ‘Tough’ to learn of trade from Twitter, not Clippers

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Blake Griffin said he doesn’t regret not pushing for a no-trade clause in the contract he signed last summer, which allowed the Clippers – mere months after touting his significance to the franchise – to deal him to the Pistons.

But Griffin isn’t completely satisfied with how the Clippers handled the trade.

Griffin, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:

“Basketball is a business, the NBA is a business, and they made a decision,” Griffin told ESPN. “The only thing I just wish I had known or had the opportunity to talk to somebody beforehand. Finding out through Twitter, through other people is a tough way to find out when you’ve been with a franchise for so long. But at the end of the day, basketball is a business, and I want to play where a team wants me. And that’s why I’m excited about being here.”

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

How quickly it came together was unusual. It went from no deal on Sunday to getting serious on Sunday night to the framework of a deal by Monday.

And I know this: I know Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president, sat down with Blake Griffin earlier in the day on Monday when Blake started to get word that something may be in the works. And I was told that Lawrence Frank sat down with him at the Clippers facility and told him that, “There is a possibility that we may trade you. We don’t have an agreement yet.” And then, once they had the agreement, they let Blake know that there was a trade.

And at that point, we were very shortly after that reporting terms of the deal.

Maybe the Clippers were up front with Griffin about the possibility of him getting traded, but he saw the completed deal first on Twitter, even if they told him directly after. That’s a narrow needle to thread, but it’s one that should exonerate the Clippers. Completing a trade, especially one of this magnitude, involves many people – including from the other team. It’s not necessarily fair to blame the Clippers that someone leaked it before they could inform Griffin directly.

But this mostly sounds like a he-said, he-said situation. Is Griffin or Wojnarowski’s source more trustworthy? I have no idea. But I at least appreciate Griffin, even if scorned, putting his name behind his side of the story.