INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich did not make the trip to Indianapolis for Monday night’s game against the Pacers because of a family medical situation.
The team did not provide details about the situation.
Popovich will be replaced for the next two games by assistant coach Ettore Messina, who told reporters before the game that the team knew of Popovich’s plans before leaving for Indy.
The Spurs play at Minnesota on Tuesday before returning home to play Chicago on Thursday. Popovich is expected to make his return against the Bulls.
The Washington Wizards are 1.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the East, but with an easier schedule than the teams they are chasing the Wizards still have a shot at the postseason. They just need things to go their way and get on a little run.
This isn’t going to help — Bradley Beal is out, at least, the next three games, reports J. Michael at CSNMidAtlantic.com.
Bradley Beal didn’t travel with the Wizards when they left this morning for a three-game road trip that begins Tuesday vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, a team official told CSNmidatlantic.com.
The Wizards (30-32) held out hope that Beal, who exited in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers with a pelvic sprain, would make the trip that ends with games Friday at the Utah Jazz and this Saturday at the Denver Nuggets.
Expect a lot of Garrett Temple in his place, and Temple has played solidly this season.
With Chicago still battling injuries and Detroit still trying to get used to its new rotations after the trade deadline, it feels as if one of these three teams would just get on a run for a couple of weeks they could separate themselves and lock up a playoff spot. It also feels like that’s not going to happen.
Well, this is not good.
Jimmy Butler was back exactly one game after missing the previous 11 with a knee issue, before that knee problem showed itself again. Butler is out Monday night against Milwaukee because that knee has flared up again, reports Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.
The Bulls went 3-8 without Butler in the lineup (other guys were out in that stretch as well) and have slid into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with Detroit (and Washington is just 1.5 games back and with a soft schedule).
It’s unclear how long Butler will be out, but the Bulls can’t afford it to be very long.
Nobody saw the Lakers beating the Warriors. Nobody is quite sure what LeBron James is tweeting. Nobody is quite sure what Ty Lawson will bring to Indiana. Nobody is quite sold on the up-and-down Rockets.
There’s a lot to talk about in NBA as teams gear up for their playoff runs, and Kurt Helin and Sean Highkin of NBC Sports get to it all in this latest podcast. There’s also some talk of the playoff battle in the East, and how a healthy Bulls team may be tough to get past.
As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes, download it directly here, or you can check out our new PBT Podcast homepage, which has the most recent episodes available. If you have the Stitcher app, you can listen there as well.
With just less than two minutes left in the third quarter of the Knicks vs. Celtics Sunday, Marcus Smart made a cut across the lane to try to get post position but was called for a terrible foul. Knicks’ point guard Jose Calderon knew he couldn’t hold Smart off in the post and got tangled up with him and sold the foul, and the official bought it.
Smart got called for the bad offensive foul, then got a technical on top of it for arguing the call.
As part of that, out of frustration, he made an obscene gesture that on Monday earned him a $15,000 fine from the NBA. And this will get you the fine every time.
Chalk it up to a learning experience for Smart. Not that there was much of a lesson here other than official made bad calls.