Dan Feldman

Philadelphia 76ers v Sacramento Kings

Kings at 76ers delayed due to slippery floor

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The 76ers and Kings both had games postponed last season due to snowstorms.

Tonight, their game in Philadelphia is delayed due to… unseasonably warm weather.

James Ham of CSN California:

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

I don’t believe in “Basketball Gods.” But a game between the team residing in basketball hell and undertook unprecedented levels of tanking being delayed due to weather?

That sounds like a disaster of biblical proportions.

Report: Pistons’ Reggie Bullock out 2-4 months

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Reggie Bullock #25 of the Detroit Pistons celebrates after hitting a three point shot during the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. 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 Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Reggie Bullock
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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The Pistons are desperately looking for a reliable backup wing.

Stanley Johnson, Reggie Bullock, Darrun Hilliard and even second-round rookie Michael Gbinije have gotten turns.

But Bullock, who has probably played the best of the bunch, has fallen from the in-season competition for a while.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

This is a blow for Bullock, who will be a free agent next summer. In his fourth season, the 25-year-old former first-round pick still looks like a potential 3-and-D contributor. Yet, due to limited opportunities and not taking advantage of the ones he’s had in four NBA seasons, Bullock still hasn’t put it all together.

Even though Bullock was earning his way into the rotation, the Pistons should be OK. They have numerous other options, and Johnson – the No. 8 pick just last year – remains the most desirable. Getting the high-upside Johnson to shake his sophomore slump remains option A.

But Detroit loses a little margin for error if that doesn’t happen quickly – or happen at all.

Tyronn Lue addresses ’embarrassing moment’ and awkward interview with J.R. Smith, who sheds more light

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after shooting a three-pointer against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Verizon Center on January 6, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Cleveland Cavaliers won, 121-115. 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 Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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J.R. Smith had a what-the-heck-are-you-doing moment last night, when he ceded an open layup while hugging Jason Terry near the Bucks’ bench:

Then, Smith compounded the confusion with another what-the-heck-are-you-doing moment, wearing a balaclava during his postgame interview and pretending not to recall the play:

What was Smith thinking?

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had to meet with Smith to find out.

Lue on the play, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“It was embarrassing moment,” Lue said. “Me and J.R. talked about it. We’re just going to move forward. We had a discussion about it, he felt embarrassed about it. It was an embarrassing play. We talked about it. We’re moving on.”

Lue on the interview:

“It wasn’t right,” Lue said. “I talked to him about that also. There’s no need for that. Just address the media in the right way, move on. We got our butts kicked (Tuesday) night. Give Milwaukee credit, they came out, they attacked us, they beat us. Now we’ve got to move on.”

Lue even prompted Smith to address the play:

“Obviously we both know it wasn’t intentional, but it was just a lack of focus,” Smith said after practice Wednesday. “One of the multiple things that compounded onto the loss was just as a team we haven’t been as focused as we previously were. Winning and being who we are has a lot to do with that, but we’ve just got to overcome that and be better as a whole. It starts as individuals and then we can collectively become a group and team and have that mindset.”

And the first interview:

“I said it more in a joking manner because you can see what happened,” Smith said. “Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention. For me to just sit there and tell you I wasn’t paying attention makes it plain and boring somewhat, especially when you’re asking a question you already know the answer to. But at the same time, I still have to give that boring answer, for whatever reason.”

Here’s the thing, J.R.: Reporters didn’t know the answer to the question, because nobody had seen anything like that before. Nobody had any idea how a player could wander to the opponents’ bench to greet another player during a live ball. So, the question had to be asked.

And I’m still not sure how this happened nor do I understand the joke behind Smith’s press conference. But a loss of focus can sometimes be inexplicable, and humor doesn’t always translate.

Lue’s plan to move on is probably the best option. What other choice does anyone have?

Report: Knicks haven’t ruled out Derrick Rose extension, but haven’t talked to him about it

rose
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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The Knicks might have given up the most valuable player in the Derrick Rose trade, Robin Lopez. New York might have fooled itself into believing Rose could rediscover his MVP form.

But the one valid explanation for last summer’s blockbuster deal was that Rose is on an expiring contract. No matter what happens this season, the Knicks would have a chance to reevaluate in the offseason.

Unless Rose’s contract becomes no longer expiring.

Rose is eligible for a contract extension worth up to $73,925,049 over the next three years (based on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new CBA could loosen extension rules, though it’s unclear when those new rules would take effect).

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

According to an NBA source, the Knicks have not approached Rose about an extension, but have not ruled it out for late in the season. The Knicks apparently want to make sure his body holds up across a full season and would be willing to pay more this summer if they had to.

“I haven’t talked to them about it,’’ Rose told The Post. “It’s been more about winning games. We’ll see. I’m more concerned with trying to win games, but it’s something I’d have to talk about with my family and team.’’

I’m going to give the Knicks credit here – maybe too much, given Phil Jackson’s record. I can’t see them seriously considering extending Rose.

Nothing about Rose’s status will change until July 1. He’ll be extension-eligible through June 30. There is literally no benefit to ruling out a Rose extension now. None. No matter how far-fetched it seems, why not leave the option on the table. It’s better than closing your eyes to the possibility.

A tiny benefit to leaking that you haven’t ruled it out showing your faith in Rose, making him feel more confident in a way that might translate into greater on-court production. Then, you can always just let his contract expire.

Rose continues to look like the average-ish player he’s been since his injuries. There should be no rush to lock him up long-term. Plus, given his health history, he might desire taking less money annually to secure a four- or five-year deal in free agency.

I’d be shocked if this is anything more than the Knicks responding to a reporter’s question with an insignificant fact: Something possible is possible (ignoring any comment on the remote likelihood).

Report: Grizzlies interested in Norris Cole after Mike Conley’s injury

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 27:  Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat drives past Tayshaun Prince #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies during a game at American Airlines Arena on December 27, 2014 in Miami, Florida. 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. Mandatory copyright notice:  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Where do the Grizzlies turn after Mike Conley suffered a devastating back injury?

Rookies Wade Baldwin and Andrew Harrison are the only other point guards on the roster.

Memphis could be soon eligible to add a 16th player, allowed when at least four players miss three straight games and will continue to miss time. Brandan Wright, Chandler Parsons and James Ennis have already missed more than three straight games. Saturday, the Grizzlies will play their third without Conley.

A potential free agent addition? Norris Cole.

Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders:

https://twitter.com/MikeAScotto/status/803697026861039616

Cole signed in China. It’s unclear whether he has an NBA out.

The Pelicans relied on Cole extensively the last couple years – to their detriment. But the situation in Memphis is so dire – the Grizzlies are getting outscored by 13.8 points per 100 possessions without Conley – Cole might be the answer.

The key is timing. Once once of the their four injured players returns, the Grizzlies would have to drop back to 15 players. So, Cole might not be the solution for the entirety of Conley’s absence (which might limit Cole’s willingness to return stateside).

But Cole could give Memphis a chance to stabilize after Conley’s crushing injury.