Author: Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

Portland’s Chris Kaman shoves Chris Paul to ground, starts altercation (VIDEO)


This all happened just as the Clippers were starting their comeback that would eventually turn into a high scoring win for Los Angeles, 126-122, behind 41 points from Chris Paul. In fact, this helped fuel that comeback.

Just as the third quarter was winding down, Portland’s Chris Kaman pulled down an offensive rebound only to have Chris Paul take it away from him, and in the process Kaman got an inadvertent shot to the family jewels.

In frustration, Kaman shoved Paul out of bounds. That earned Kaman a flagrant one foul and also will earn him a healthy fine (maybe a suspension, although not likely, it’s just hard to predict the league’s justice system). The regular foul and flagrant turned this into a four-point swing for the Clippers.

The other part of this that the referees looked at was LaMarcus Aldridge knocking “Big Baby” Glen Davis down, but this was a good no call by the refs. Davis started to go after Kaman after the shove; Aldridge was trying to step in between and keep him away, Davis was a little off balance and went down pretty easily. This wasn’t a shove or an escalation.

In the end, the Clippers will take the win because it improves their chances of having home-court advantage in the first round.

For fun, listen to the difference in how this was called by the two announcing teams. Above is the Clipper call, here is the Trail Blazers’ call.

Report: Murray State guard Cameron Payne could enter draft

Cameron Payne

When Cameron Payne came out of high school in Memphis he had options, he led a well-respected AAU team, and in the end he chose a well respected mid-major program at Murray State.

Now after a couple years there, the point guard who led the Racers to being a bubble team to make the tournament this year is thinking of entering the NBA draft. That’s what Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports wrote about recently.

Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne is leaning toward entering the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Although Payne has yet to formalize his decision, indications are strong that he’s played his final game in college, sources said. Payne, 20, and his family are hosting presentations from several major NBA agents in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., this week, sources said.

Payne is considered a bubble first/second round pick if he comes out. If it’s about the NBA he needs to think about this — second round picks do not have guarateed contracts. He could be cut during or before training camp. However, if he’s comfortable with time in the D-League or overseas then this may be the right call.

Here is what Rob Dauster of our sisters site CollegeBasketballTalk said about Payne as a prospect:

“At 6-2, Payne doesn’t have great size for the one. He’ll need to add some strength as well, and those expecting a freak athlete the likes of Damian Lillard or Russell Westbrook will be disappointed. But Payne has an elite feel for the game. He knows how to use change of pace to get into the lane, and he can find open teammates when he draws help. He’s got three point range and he’s gotten better at finishing in the lane with floaters and short jumpers, but he doesn’t have the vertical explosiveness to finish at the rim. He might be able to work his way into the back end of the first round, but likely projects as a backup point guard at the next level.”

Heat’s Shabazz Napier out for season after sports hernia surgery

Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat

Shabazz Napier’s up-and-down rookie season has come to an end.

The rookie point guard who appeared in 51 games, but had seen few minutes as of late, is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia, the team announced Wednesday.

Napier, the Heat’s first round pick last draft, averaged 5.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds a game this season. He was given a larger role backing up Goran Dragic after the trade deadline, but quickly fell out of favor and had appeared once in the Heat’s last dozen games (he battled what was termed a hip injury in that time as well).

Napier was the Heat’s first round pick — remember he is the guy LeBron James said he wanted. So they got him. And LeBron left anyway.

Injuries have decimated the Heat this season. Their max contract player Chris Bosh is out for the season. Thier biggest free agent acquisition Josh McRoberts is out for the season. And now their first-round draft pick.

Miami is battling to hold on to one of the final two playoff slots in the East, it is the current seven seed but is just one game up on the nine seed. The loss of Napier will not impact that push much at all. However, down the line he could develop into a point guard that would fit in a quality rotation.