Dan Feldman

Jakob Poeltl gets pushed by Blake Griffin then dunks on Andre Drummond (video)

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Blake Griffin pushed Jakob Poeltl after a whistle late in the Raptors’ win over the Pistons last night. Fred VanVleet stood up for his Toronto teammate by getting in the face of Griffin, who – very much in character – denied the push. VanVleet received a technical foul.

The ball shed light on the truth, as Griffin missed the technical free throw. But Poeltl got his own revenge by dunking on Andrew Drummond on the next possession.

Cavaliers ban fan who shouted racial taunts at Patty Mills at least one year


The Cavaliers were trying to identify the fan who shouted at Spurs guard Patty Mills, a black Australian who wears his hair in dreadlocks, “Hey, Jamaican dog. They want their bobsledder back. Hey Mills, Jamaica just called. They want their bobsledder back.”

Apparently, the Cavs found him.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:

That punishment seems about fair.

Mavericks snap 35-game losing streak by bottom-nine teams against rest of NBA

AP Photo/Ron Jenkins
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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talks about tanking a lot for someone in his position, to the point he got fined $600,000 by the NBA.

But he can point to Dallas’ 109-103 win over the Pacers last night as proof his team isn’t completely devoted to losing.

There’s a clear line in the NBA standings between competitive and uncompetitive teams. Those beneath the line:

  • Suns (18-44)
  • Hawks (18-43)
  • Kings (18-42)
  • Magic (18-42)
  • Grizzlies (18-41)
  • Mavericks (19-42)
  • Nets (20-41)
  • Bulls (20-40)
  • Knicks (24-38)

The worst team above the line is the 26-34 Lakers, who don’t have their own 2018 draft picks and have enough talent to put up decent fights. Brooklyn also already traded both its own 2018 draft picks, but the Nets’ roster is so lacking, they resemble tankers.

Those bottom nine teams had lost 35 straight games against the rest of the league before the Mavericks’ victory. The last win had come more than two weeks earlier, when the Hawks beat the Pistons.

Expect much more losing from the bottom group. The incentive is high leading up to what appears to be a top-heavy draft. The lottery standings are so tight, each win could be detrimental. This is the final year before the NBA evens lottery odds in an attempt to dissuade teams from chasing the absolute basement.

The Kings lost to the Timberwolves later last night, which could start another streak. The Bulls (at Hornets), Nets (at Cavaliers) and Kings (at Trail Blazers) are all on the road tonight.

Cavaliers investigating racial taunts of Spurs’ Patty Mills


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers are investigating whether they can identify the fan who racially taunted San Antonio guard Patty Mills.

Mills is black and from Australia with an Aboriginal heritage. He was at the foul line in the fourth quarter Sunday when a male spectator can be heard on the ABC broadcast yelling, “Hey, Jamaican dog, they want their bobsledder back. Hey, Mills, Jamaica just called, they want their bobsledder back!”

Mills posted a message on Twitter following the game thanking a fan who tweeted a clip of the taunts:

A Cavaliers spokesman said Monday the team is reviewing the matter.

Mills was not asked about being harassed following the Spurs’ 110-94 win.


Report: Ersan Ilyasova to sign with 76ers

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Marco Belinelli got bought out by the Hawks then signed with the 76ers.

Ersan Ilyasova got bought out by the Hawks then… will sign with the 76ers.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Ilyasova and Belinelli provide a much-needed infusion of shooting to the 76ers. A stretch four, Ilyasova plays good team defense, but he’s not athletic enough for some matchups.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Ilyasova, who began last season in Philadelphia before getting traded to Atlanta. He should hit the ground running for a team jockeying for playoff position.