Author: Kurt Helin

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers’ Arron Afflalo out 1-2 weeks with shoulder strain

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It didn’t look like much when it happened; it was just Portland’s Arron Afflalo fighting for post position with Golden State’s Stephen Curry. But it ended up being fairly serious.

Afflalo left the game at the time with shoulder/triceps pain, and today’s MRI did not bring great news.

That means Afflalo’s regular season is done. However I’d expect to see him back when the playoffs start in just more than a week (April 18). Guys play through pain when the postseason starts. That said, this likely doesn’t impact the Trail Blazers much in playoff positioning, they are pretty locked into the four seed (as winners of the Northwest Division they can fall no lower) but will not have home court in the first round.

Afflalo has been starting with in place of the injured Wes Matthews. With him out expect C.J. McCollum to start and get a lot of run, with Allen Crabbe and Alonzo Gee getting some run.

Stephen Curry says James Harden “might have been a little aggressive” with MVP comments. Really?

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors

This is the time of year everyone seems to be campaigning for the MVP Award. LeBron James would vote for himself. Kevin Love would vote for Russell Westbrook. Mark Jackson would vote for James Harden.

James Harden would vote for himself, as well.

Somehow Harden saying that rubbed Curry the wrong way, reports Monte Poole

Informed of Harden’s comments after leading the Warriors to a 116-105 win over the Blazers, Curry merely shrugged as he strolled toward the trainer’s room.

“Ahh . . . that might have been a little aggressive,” the point guard told CSN Bay Area.


First off, on the Dan Patrick Show Curry admitted he would vote for himself if he could (Curry said if he couldn’t vote for himself he’d vote for LeBron). How is that different than Harden?

And if that’s not over the top, what about the PR staff for the Warriors personally calling all 177 media members with award votes to campaign for Curry? (Only 125 have MVP votes, broken out by region.) That’s happening according to the report. Is that not aggressive?

Everyone is campaigning for their guy, Curry and the Warriors are no exception. Own up to it.

John Wall to rest Friday night, nice break for Brooklyn

Philadelphia 76ers V Washington Wizards
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The Brooklyn Nets could really use a win Friday night — they are currently tied with Boston for the 7/8 seeds in the East, just one game ahead of Indiana and a game-and-a-half over Miami.

The Nets are catching a break Friday night — Washington without John Wall. This will be his second game missed in a row.

Washington could use a win too — they are currently the five seed, just a game back of four seed Toronto and home-court in the first round — but Wall chose to rest himself looking at the big picture, reports J. Michael of

“I’m just resting tonight,” Wall said. “I’m just getting extra shots up and just trying to keep my rhythm and shape doing extra running.

“Just give me time to let my body heal, my ankles heal, my (right) knee heal and see these guys come out with a lot of confidence and build their confidence, build their rhythm these last couple of games.”

Wall has been playing through minor injuries much of the second half of the season. This is about him trying to be healthy and right come the playoffs, which is what he should be doing this time of the season. Whether his coach loves it or not.

The Wizards won the last game without Wall, but that was against the lowly Sixers. Wall being out is a break for the Nets as Wall is the focal point of the Washington offense and without him they can struggle to score. Ramon Sessions will get the start for Wall.

What this means for the Nets is more room for Deron Williams to operate. Although, what has driven the Nets recent run is the play of Brook Lopez, the two-time Eastern Conference player of the week.

Nene went through shootaround for the Wizards and is expected to play. He and Marcin Gortat have their work cut out for them containing Lopez and his versatile offensive game.

PBT Extra: Why will there be NBA Players’ Choice Awards? Will people care?

BBVA & BBVA Compass With Kevin Durant And James Harden Ring The NYSE Opening Bell

Kevin Durant made the sentiment public — players don’t like that the media gets to vote for MVP and other awards — but he is far from the only person to think it.

In steps Michelle Roberts, the new head of the players’ union, with the Players’ Choice Awards — NBA players are going to vote their own MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and so on.

The first question may be will anyone care? However, I think the bigger point here is this is another step in Roberts trying to ingratiate herself with the rank and file players (and particularly the big stars) because she’s going to need them to have her back when the 2017 lockout turns nasty.

If there’s a hole in the plot, Rajon Rondo walks out of the movie

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers

Part of the movie going experience is to suspend belief and jump into the world of the characters, of the film maker. We believe that there is a matrix. We don’t question how in Ocean’s 11 (the George Clooney/Brad Pitt one) they get all those fliers down into the vault that get carried out as the fake money. We just let things go.

Not Rajon Rondo.

In a fantastic story for ESPN about how Rondo’s mind works — and questioning if you can build a team around that — Baxter Holmes gets Rondo talking about movies and how he can’t just suspend belief. (Hat tip Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie.)

Provide him with bad information? “Your credibility is shot,” Rondo says. And if he doesn’t buy the narrative, even off the floor, he’ll bail, he’ll disengage, as he does on movies whose storylines stray from logic, even for a moment. His last theater walkout: The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington. “I didn’t understand how he got the cop’s number,” Rondo says, referencing a certain scene. “It was just too much.” He recently watched the movie again to see if he could stomach it. He couldn’t.

Picking apart the flaws of the Equalizer is a Homer Simpson level mental challenge. Can’t blame Rondo here, and at least he gave the film a second chance.

Rondo’s confidence and his unshakable belief in what he sees as the right way to do things makes him difficult to play with, but also makes him like some of the greatest players of all time (Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, etc.). The question teams need to ask themselves during free agency this season, is Rondo’s talent level worth that locker room challenge? More than a few teams will answer that it will. Is Dallas one of those?