<span class="vcard">Dan Feldman</span>

Clippers coach Doc Rivers: Blake Griffin’s 4-6 week timeline ‘unrealistic’

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In a statement attributed to Doc Rivers (and Steve Ballmer), the Clippers said Blake Griffin would miss 4-6 weeks after throwing a punch.

A couple hours later, Rivers contradicted that.

Rivers, via Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

OK then.

If Griffin is suspended by the NBA, the Clippers are incentivized to say he’s healthy as soon as possible. Suspensions typically begin only once a player is ready to play.

Rivers’ comments, while probably honest, make it more difficult for the Clippers to have Griffin’s injury-caused absence and suspension to overlap.

NBA: Hornets’ Troy Daniels got away with travelling before game-winning 3 against Kings, but…

Charlotte Hornets guard Troy Daniels, second from left, who made the game-winning 3-point basket, is congratulated by teammates, P.J. Hairston, left, Marvin Williams, third from left, Kemba Walker, fourth from left, and Nicolas Batum, of France, right, after the Hornets beat the Sacramento Kings 129-128 in double overtime in an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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Hornets guard Troy Daniels hit the second biggest shot of his career last night, a game-winning 3-pointer in double overtime against the Kings.

One problem: He should’ve been called for travelling.

NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Daniels (CHA) moves his pivot foot prior to releasing the jump shot.

A correct call would’ve given Sacramento the ball with a two-point lead and 11.5 seconds left. The officials’ error probably determined the game’s winner.

But before the Kings grab their torches and pitchforks, they ought to realize they might not have even held that lead without other blown calls.

With Sacramento down two late in the first overtime, Cousins drew a Frank Kaminsky foul with P.J. Hairston also defending the Kings center. But it shouldn’t have been a foul, according to the NBA:

Kaminsky (CHA) maintains legal guarding position and legally contests Cousins’ (SAC) layup attempt. As Cousins attempts the layup he initiates any contact with Hairston’s (CHA) arm.

Cousins made a pair of free throws to force a second overtime.

Daniels missed a 3-pointer early in the second overtime, but the NBA ruled Rajon Rondo should’ve been called for a shooting foul:

Rondo (SAC) walks under Daniels (CHA) and does not allow him the room to land following his jump shot attempt.

The Hornets came up empty on that possession. Surely, three free throws from Daniels would’ve netted more points.

To be fair, a fourth missed call in the final 12 minutes went in Charlotte’s favor.

Later in the second quarter, Willie Cauley-Stein was called for offensively fouling Kemba Walker. The whistle was incorrect, according to the NBA:

Hairston (CHA) pushes Cauley-Stein (SAC) as he attempts to set the screen causing him to continue moving into Walker (CHA).

A correct call would’ve given the Kings another chance to score against Charlotte’s defense, but that’s all. This one doesn’t rate as nearly as impactful as the missed foul call on Daniel’s 3-pointer.

You could argue how to spin these admissions from the league.

It would have been hard for the Kings even to reach the second overtime – let alone build a two point lead with 11.9 seconds left – if this game were called correctly.

But, once the game progressed that far, it would’ve been even harder for the Hornets to win if Daniels’ travel were whistled.

Carmelo Anthony out against Thunder

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony battles for position against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant in the second half in their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City.
REUTERS/Bill Waugh
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If Carmelo Anthony is recruiting Kevin Durant to the Knicks, he’ll have to do it from the sideline tonight (not that Durant is talking free agency anyway).

Lance Thomas will start for Melo.

The Knicks already faced an up-hill battle to beat the Thunder. New York, 0-4 without Melo this season, is in an even tougher spot now.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal breaks nose, concussed against Celtics (video)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal sustained a broken nose and a concussion after getting hit in the face by Boston Celtics forward Marcus Smart and will miss Tuesday night’s game at the Toronto Raptors.

The team listed Beal as day-to-day.

Beal took a forearm to the face from Smart midway through the second quarter of Boston’s 116-91 victory Monday and left the game. He did not return.

In accordance with the NBA’s concussion policy, Beal will begin the mandatory return to participation exertion protocol and be cleared to play once he’s symptom free during each step of the process.

The 22-year-old is averaging 18.5 points a game this season.

If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Washington, you can stream tonight’s Wizards-Raptors game here.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: ‘I’m just glad my general manager wasn’t in the locker room’

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Cavaliers general manager David Griffin was reportedly in the locker room when Cleveland followed a Christmas loss to the Warriors with a 29-point beat down at the hands of the mediocre Trail Blazers. He was reportedly in the locker room after the Cavs’ second straight win since a 34-point loss to Golden State and noticing a lack of excitement over the victory.

So, Griffin fired David Blatt.

Let’s go to Gregg Popovich, whose Spurs lost by 30 to the Warriors last night.

Popovich, via Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News:

“My opening comment here will be,” he said, “I’m just glad my general manager wasn’t in the locker room, because it might have gotten me fired.”

Told of that, R.C. Buford had his own line:

“We’ll see how Wednesday goes.”

This is Popovich’s dry sense of humor at its best.

He’s also truly trying to make a point. It’s typical for NBA coaches to defend each other. See Rick Carlisle and Stan Van Gundy on Blatt.

But I wonder what Popovich would say if Griffin fired Blatt without having first-hand insight into the team dynamic.