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

DeMarcus Cousins tried helping up Rajon Rondo by grabbing Rondo’s leg (video)

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Getting ejected was not the most ridiculous thing DeMarcus Cousins did in last night’s Warriors-Kings game.

That’d be trying to help up a fallen Rajon Rondo by grabbing Rondo’s leg.

How did Cousins expect this to work? Was he just going to set Rondo on his head?

Was this revenge for Rondo leaving Cousins hanging?

(hat tip: Whitney Medworth of SB Nation)

Eric Bledsoe out rest of Suns’ season

during the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 20, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  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.
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The Suns are in trouble.

They’re 12-21 and have lost five straight – four to teams with losing records. Jeff Hornacek’s job is in jeopardy, and they’ve already fired two assistants. Markieff Morris appears disgruntled.

And now they’ve lost their best player – Eric Bledsoe – for the season due to injury.

Suns release:

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe today underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. His prognosis is for a return to full playing status for the start of training camp next fall.

Bledsoe had been struggling before going down against the 76ers. So, it’s not as if the Suns are losing their lone bright spot amid a tough stretch. Bledsoe, potentially due to health, had very much contributed to their problems.

This is Brandon Knight‘s show now, as he’ll move from a secondary point guard to the clear lead ball-handler. Knight is capable, but the odds are stacked against him leading Phoenix back into the playoff hunt. He’s a little too prone to sloppy passes and streaky shooting.

T.J. Warren and Devin Booker will also likely get more minutes on the wing without Knight playing shooting guard.

For Bledsoe, this is his second major knee surgery, one on each knee. He played like a star earlier in the season, showing major improvement on his jumper. That could help him if his athleticism has waned upon his return. But Bledsoe puts his athleticism to good use, getting to the rim and defending.

This injury raises major questions about his future – and the Suns’ present.

Vlade Divac says DeMarcus Cousins didn’t do anything wrong, but expects suspension

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DeMarcus Cousins got ejected last night for demonstrably arguing a foul (that he clearly committed).

His punishment might not end there.

Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee:

Kings general manager Vlade Divac said he expects the league to suspend Cousins, but if he isn’t suspended, there will be no discipline from the team.

After the game, Divac met with Cousins near the exit for the team bus. Cousins did not speak to the media.

“He said he understands what he did but he didn’t do anything wrong in my opinion,” Divac said.

Unless an angle of the Cousins’ arm wave shows him contacting the official – which I have yet to see – I don’t think he’ll be suspended. I’m not even sure he’ll get fined. Two technicals and an ejection seem like a fair penalty.

So, Divac is dead wrong about Cousins not doing anything wrong.

Cousins lost his temper, costing his team points and its best player. Just because his actions don’t necessarily rise to the level of fine or suspension doesn’t mean he’s in the clear.

The Kings are wise to build around Cousins, a young star on a relatively affordable contract. But he’s not a finished product. He must exhibit more maturity to hit the next level, and it’s Sacramento’s duty to help him get there.

I don’t see how covering for these errors does anything but enable him to make more.

Report: Jimmy Butler was ready for Bulls to fire Tom Thibodeau

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When Jimmy Butler said Fred Hoiberg didn’t coach the Bulls hard enough, the reaction of many:

How badly does Jimmy Butler miss Tom Thibodeau?

At least three Chicago starters reportedly ripped Thibodeau during exit interviews before the Bulls fired him. Butler might have been one of them.

Nick Friedell of ESPN on the Posting Up podcast with Tim Bontemps:

I can’t stress this enough. In talking to players, in talking to people within the organization…

The relationship was broken. It was gone, and I’ve been told repeatedly – even recently, Tim – that Jimmy was one of those guys who was like, “Hey, you know what? I’m done with this I’m done with this.”

And I think they have a nice relationship, Tom and Jimmy, now after some time has passed.

Why this is important: If he has issues with Hoiberg, Butler can remind himself – or the Bulls can remind him – he was ready to move on from Thibodeau. Using someone’s own statements is a powerful way to convince him of something.

The grass might not be greener on the other side, but it also might not have been as green on the first side as Butler remembers it. Thibodeau would have coached the Bulls better in some ways than Hoiberg has so far, but playing for Thibodeau was no treat. His intense personality rubbed some the wrong way, especially over time. Butler can romanticize how hard Thibodeau coached the team, but the star guard should also remember why he was ready to move on.

Clearly, change has not gone as smoothly as the Bulls hoped. Their offense is lagging, and Butler’s transition to team leader has been far from smooth.

Butler might not have chosen Hoiberg, but Chicago needs Butler to consider why he was ready to move on from Thibodeau. That’ll only work toward Butler giving Hoiberg, a first-year NBA coach, the patience he needs.

Jeff Hornacek blames Tyson Chandler’s illegal screen on Matthew Dellavedova, who wasn’t even on court

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Brandon Knight‘s go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of last night’s Cavaliers-Suns game was waved off due to Tyson Chandler‘s illegal screen.

After the 101-97 Cleveland win, Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek blamed Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova for the key call.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

One problem: Chandler screened Iman Shumpert. Dellavedova wasn’t even on the court.

That’s Dellavedova circled:

image

Coaches sometimes recall the wrong names, and Hornacek has a lot on his mind. But this wasn’t a mere mix-up. Hornacek really went after Dellavedova.

Dellavedova has a reputation for dirty play. Some of it is deserved. Some of it is not.

But for anyone arguing he’s unfairly scrutinize, this should be Exhibit A.