Author: Kurt Helin

Kevin Love, Zach Randolph

Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Kevin Love seems to be fitting in just fine suddenly


If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while getting Waffle House food delivered to your door

1) Kevin Love looks like he fits just fine; Cleveland routs another team from the West. Tell me again how Kevin Love isn’t going to fit in with the Cavaliers. He fit like a perfect puzzle piece on Wednesday night — 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, plus grabbing 10 rebounds. Oh, and he did a quality job defensively on Marc Gasol, which was key to Cleveland picking up maybe their most impressive win of the season, easily handling the Memphis Grizzlies 111-89. You don’t want to read too much into one regular season game, but the Cavaliers looked like contenders and Love looked like a guy finding his spots in the offense. Love’s versatility was on full display as he scored inside, hit threes from the left side of the court and caused trouble wherever he was on the court.

2) George Hill hits game winner against questionable Wizards defense. Indiana was down 10 points midway through the fourth quarter against the Wizards and came back to force overtime. In OT, the Pacers had the ball and the chance to win, they isolated George Hill and…

Wow, that was easy. Too easy. Remember the Warriors Mo Speights said they knew the Wizards would quit if they got punched in the mouth, this seems video evidence of that. It was a complete breakdown defensively — after the game coach Randy Whittman said the Wizards were supposed to trap the ball right when Hill first caught it. They didn’t. Nene got burned off that pseudo pick. But Whittman didn’t have Marcin Gortat in the game for that final play to protect the rim. Why? It’s all just very Wizards.

3) DeAndre Jordan was dunking all over the Knicks. The Clippers big man didn’t get to compete in the Dunk Contest when the All-Star Game came to New York this February. So Wednesday night he decided to put on a dunking exhibition all of the Knicks to show fans what they missed. (Yes, I know the Dunk Contest took place at the Barclays Center, work with me here.)

4) Dwight Howard is back, that didn’t slow James Harden one bit. Dwight Howard was back on the court for the Rockets Wednesday, something they will need come the playoffs. But he was being eased back in, playing four-minute spurts at the start of each quarter, finishing with four points and grabbing seven boards. He was not changing the game. That was left to James Harden, who had another impressive game of 25 points and 10 boards as the Rockets hung on for a 95-93 win over the Pelicans. (New Orleans closed the game on a 12-3 and made it interesting, Anthony Davis finished with 24 and 14). Houston just keeps on winning.

5) Lionel Messi, rest of Argentinian national soccer team, show up to support Luis Scola. The most famous athlete in the world — sorry LeBron, that’s Lionel Messi — was in attendance in Washington to watch the Pacers take on the Wizards. Why? Luis Scola, why else? Either way he got to see an entertaining finish.

Kevin Hart’s Saturday Night Live audition included an Avery Johnson impression (VIDEO)

New Orleans Hornets v Dallas Mavericks, Game 4

This is brilliant. Admittedly, the audience for it may be a bit small, still it is fantastic.

Comedy superstar — and four-time NBA All-Star weekend celebrity game MVP — Kevin Hart once auditioned to be part of the Saturday Night Live cast. He missed out. Which in hindsight seems a huge miss, but Hart said he understood why he missed out.

Because he did an imitation of Avery Johnson during the audition. The little general. Former NBA player and Spurs coach. While Avery Johnson’s voice is actually pretty funny, you are aiming at a pretty narrow demographic. And Lorne Michaels isn’t in it.

Still, pretty good impression.

Hat tip to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie.

It’s official: Dwight Howard will return to Rockets’ lineup Wednesday

Dwight Howard

We knew it was coming; now it is official.

Howard has played just 32 games for the Rockets this season; it has taken all of James Harden’s will — and ability to draw fouls — to keep the team in the top three. Howard’s return should help the Rockets up front, especially with Terrence Jones out with a partially collapsed lung. Howard’s rim protection is needed as the Rockets head to the playoffs.

This stat may be the real key: Houston is 9.8 points per 48 minutes better when Harden and Howard are on the court together. That is what they need come the postseason.

Howard and Harden had a long talk in Denver — with Jason Terry in attendance — where Howard told Harden not to let up when he returns. Keep attacking. It’s on Howard to adjust to what is working, not Harden to change that. If Howard is true to his word, the Rockets just became a much tougher out