Author: John Krolik

LeBron James, Kane Fitzgerald

Shane Battier would welcome anti-flop regulations, but wants offensive floppers penalized as well


A lot of NBA fans hate “flopping,” or the practice of a defensive player falling back like he was knocked clean out after an offensive player so much as touches him, with a passion. There has even been talk of passing some rules that would penalize a “flop.” Shane Battier, who is among the league leaders in charges taken, has some thoughts on anti-flop penalties, and they’re not exactly what you think they might be. Hoopidea’s Tom Haberstroh has the story:

You might be surprised to find out Battier’s stance on anti-flop regulation:

He’s all for it.

But there’s one key stipulation: offensive floppers would need to be called, too.

Battier joked that offensive flopping is “the silent killer” of the league. Sure, charge-takers might exaggerate the impact of a collision, but offensive players aren’t exactly innocent either. In Battier’s mind, an anti-flopping measure would need to be implemented on both ends of the floor.

“As long as they have the same penalty against offensive floppers – guys who drive through the lane and throw back their head and flail and cry – then I’d have no problem with it on the defensive end,” Battier said.

Battier singled out long-haired former teammate Luis Scola for using his hair to draw whistles, and he does have a point about “offensive flopping” — it’s become completely ordinary to see players fly back when they get bumped dribbling on the perimeter, jerk their head back in the way Battier described when going to the rim, and shout “and-1!” every time they put up a layup attempt in traffic.

The league has already tried to crack down some on “cheap points” by officially eliminating the “rip move” this off-season, but Battier would apparently be in favor of doing something like fining offensive floppers or making an “offensive flop” a turnover, which would deny the chance for an offensive rebound. Flopping is and always will be extremely hard to regulate, but it’s always fun to see a smart guy like Battier discuss some potential rule changes.

(By the way, my two cents on flopping: if referees were willing to call offensive fouls when a defender has good position, gets run into, and stays on his feet while trying to contest the shot, we might see less guys sliding across the floor when an offensive player’s move to the basket generates a slight breeze. Just a thought.)

Jermaine O’Neal to undergo season-ending wrist surgery

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks - Game Three

From the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett:

Jermaine O’Neal will have season-ending surgery on his left wrist.

The 33-year old Boston Celtics center was once considered one of the game’s best big men, but O’Neal, who was drafted out of high school, aged quickly, and has not been a truly effective center for some time, although he has been able to provide size and decent defense in spot minutes over the last few seasons.

This season, O’Neal has averaged just 5 poins per game on 43.3% shooting, but was still thought of as a potentially attractive post-deadline buyout candidate for a team that needed a backup center, namely the Miami Heat. However, the chances of O’Neal actually being bought out were slim to none, and this will officially keep his name out of any further buyout speculation.

Kings buy out J.J. Hickson

Hickson Kings

From Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:

JJ Hickson has completed a buyout with the Kings, league source tells Y!

The 23-year old Hickson was drafted 19th overall by the Cavaliers in 2008 after his freshman year at North Carolina State. Hickson is a tremendous athlete, showed flashes of brilliance with Cleveland, and even started for the Cavaliers before the team traded for Antawn Jamison at the 2010 trade deadline, but never quite put it all together in Cleveland.

This off-season, the Cavaliers traded Hickson for Omri Casspi and a protected 1st-round pick, and Hickson proceeded to have an abysmal season for the Kings. He averaged just 4.7 points on 37% shooting for the Kings this season, and the Kings bought him out after finding no takers for him at the trade deadline.

Hickson is still very young and very athletic, so the chances that a team will take a flyer on him are decent, but Hickson clearly has a ways to go before becoming an effective NBA player.

Chris Bosh starts talking to himself again, has big game

Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat

FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson has the story:

MIAMI  Chris Bosh was talking Sunday night and nobody was answering. That’s the way his teammates like it.

You see, the Miami forward speaks to himself during games. And one of the apparent problems during his recent slump was he hadn’t been chattering enough.

“Somebody said I wasn’t talking to myself when we played in Chicago,” Bosh said, referring to Wednesday’s loss and his disastrous 3-of-15 shooting.

So it was Chatty Chris on display in Sunday’s 91-81 win over Orlando at AmericanAirlines Arena. He listened to what he was saying, scoring 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

“I have conversations all day in a non-crazy way,” Bosh said.

“Chatty Chris” wasn’t just on his game offensively against the Magic: he held Orlando’s Ryan Anderson to just 5 points on 2-6 shooting.

Bosh can have trouble getting involved in the Heat offense when both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade are on the floor because both players, especially Wade, tend to play like big men. LeBron will often look to distribute from the perimeter, but Wade doesn’t take catch-and-shoot threes, loves to cut to the rim off the ball, and has been destroying teams from the low-post this season.

Wade’s unique game often relegates Bosh to the role of a catch-and-shoot player, which sells him short: Bosh is a very good mid-range shooter for a big man, but he can’t knock down threes like a Kevin Love or a Ryan Anderson, and he’s at his best when he’s attacking the rim, making layups, and drawing fouls. When Bosh, Wade, and James are all aggressive, the Heat are nearly unstoppable: as the Heat Index’s Tom Haberstroh pointed out last night, Miami is 15-2 this season when Bosh scores 20 or more points, so Miami is likely hoping that Bosh will continue to have discussions with himself as the season goes forward.

Larry Drew: Horford out for regular season, may return for playofffs

Al Horford
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From Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

#Hawks coach Larry Drew says @Al_Horford“definitely out for reg. season” and possibly could return for playoffs.

The 25-year old Horford has not played since tearing his pectoral muscle on January 11th. The ultra-efficient Horford was averaging 12.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game before he got hurt. If the season ended right now, the 22-15 Hawks would finish with the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.