Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game One

DeAndre Jordan isn’t changing his free throw form

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Insanity has been defined as doing something over and over and expecting a different result. (That’s not an Albert Einstein quote, by the way.)

Enter DeAndre Jordan. He shot 39.7 percent from the free throw line last season, and he is the worst free throw shooter in NBA history through age 26. This leads to some ugly Hack-a-Jordan stretches in Clippers’ games. Beyond that, it has teams willing to foul him every time he gets the ball near the basket, rather than letting him take a shot.

So what’s he going to do about it? From Ben Blotch of the Los Angeles Times:

Jordan does practice free throws, a lot of them, and his form is not terrible. He just misses them — usually short and to the left. He changed his foot position at the line, but that had no impact. The standard line is the problem is a mental block, that is up for debate without a way to seriously verify it, but it seems to make more sense than anything else.

Fortunately, the Clippers have a lot more depth on the roster this season, so Doc Rivers has options if teams go to Hack-a-Jordan, like bringing in Josh Smith

Oh wait, maybe not.

Watch Harrison Barnes almost drop Larry O’Brien trophy

Harrison Barnes Attends Parade with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy
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Well, that was close.

Harrison Barnes and fellow Warrior James Michael McAdoo both attended North Carolina, and both were honored at halftime of the Tar Heels football game Saturday vs. Delaware. They brought the Larry O’Brien trophy out with them. Barnes owned up to what happened next on Twitter:

Why do I feel like if they had dropped it on Barnes’ head, McAdoo would have taken the blame for it?

(Hat top Eye on Basketball)

DeAndre Jordan: No rift, dissension in locker room

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers
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Problems? What problems?

During the DeAndre Jordan flip-flop drama this summer, reports surfaced about tension in the Clippers locker room — Chris Paul wasn’t dishing out enough high fives, and Jordan didn’t feel involved enough in the offense. He reportedly felt he was the third wheel behind CP3 and Blake Griffin.

Now, like every other aspect of this deal, the Clippers are trying to play down the drama. Here is what the Clippers said on their media day Friday at UC Irvine, via the Los Angeles Times, starting with Jordan.

“I think that there was forced tension because of everything we all heard that we said about each other, which was not true at all,” Jordan said at Clippers’ media day on Friday. “It was just the outside, and we never asked each other about it.

Blake Griffin added:
“There’s one thing that I will say about this situation: There’s never really been a tension. There’s never been a moment where I felt, like, ‘Oh man, this isn’t good. I don’t feel comfortable in this situation.’

“I tell people this all the time: The person I’m closest with in life is my brother, and my brother and I bump heads all the time. Growing up, we used to fight, but that didn’t mean that we don’t love each other and that doesn’t mean we weren’t always there for each other. I’d take a bullet for my brother.”

Okay, but the tension — or whatever you want to call it — was real enough that Jordan said he would play for the Dallas Mavericks. If everything were puppy dogs and rainbows in the Clipper locker room (and with the pecking order), we would not have had all the drama this summer. That doesn’t mean that things were bad, or that DJ and CP3 don’t get along, but there was something going on.

But the Clippers have put that behind them. They will not have to talk about it again… until they struggle at some point this season. Then watch the rumors fly again.

Chandler Parsons says plane emoji tweet that started war wasn’t about DeAndre Jordan

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks
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Remember the emoji “war” from this summer?

Reports had started to leak out about DeAndre Jordan changing his mind. He had verbally committed to the Mavericks but as the end of the moratorium was coming and it was time to officially sign Jordan was leaning toward going back to the Clippers (which he eventually did).

That’s when Mavericks lead recruiter Chandler Parsons tweeted this:

It was taken as a sign he was on a plane to Houston (where Jordan lives) to talk him into staying with the Mavs. It also led to a series of emoji responses from the Clippers players, such as:

Then it just started to get funny.

The funny thing is, Parsons said in a radio interview on KRLD-FM it was a big misunderstanding. Here’s his comments as transcribed bySportsDayDFW.com (hat tip Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie):

You know what’s funny? Actually, when I tweeted that plane emoji, I was leaving LA and going to Vegas for my girlfriend’s birthday. I wasn’t even going to Houston. I didn’t even think about it initially, then it started blowing up, and obviously the timing of it was perfect and then it just kind of took off with J.J. [Redick] tweeting the car and [Chris Paul] and everybody — I saw the Dodgers, the Warriors, Kobe, MJ, everybody started tweeting it so that was more funny than ever. At that point, it was already over and he was going back to the Clippers, so might as well make light of it.

Oh. Well then, in the words of Emily Litella, never mind.

Bulls’ Dunleavy out 8-10 weeks after back surgery

Los Angeles Clippers v Chicago Bulls
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It is the big question for the Chicago Bulls this season: With a more reasonable minutes distribution under Fred Hoiberg, can the team stay healthier?

This is not a good start.

Starting small forward Mike Dunleavy is out 8-10 weeks following back surgery, the Bulls announced late Friday. Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com confirmed the report. Here is what the Bulls said in their press release.

Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy successfully underwent a low back microdiscectomy procedure earlier today at Rush University Medical Center. Dunleavy had experienced some occasional back discomfort over the summer which had recently worsened. Conservative measures failed to satisfactorily resolve his symptoms, therefore, the decision was made to perform the surgery. The timing is unfortunate, but it was imperative that all conservative measures were exhausted prior to making this decision.

Based on the Bulls’ announced timeline, this means a return around Thanksgiving.

Dunleavy — who signed a three-year extension with the Bulls this summer — and his ability to hit the three is key to the floor spacing for the Bulls. Expect this to thrust second-year man Doug McDermott into the spotlight in Chicago.

This is not how the Bulls wanted the Hoiberg era to begin, but if they can keep the other key players healthy and get Dunleavy back it’s far from a devastating blow. It’s just going to make it a rougher start to the season.