Kurt Helin

Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis with steal, spin, breakaway dunk (VIDEO)


He’s not exactly John Wall fast with the ball, but he got the job done.

Knicks’ rookie Kristaps Porzingis had the steal, spin move, and breakaway dunk all in slow motion against the Hawks on Thursday. It’s about the one Knick highlight out of the night (Porzingis had 10 points on 10 shots).

The speed of Jeff Teague (23 points) and Dennis Schroder (13 points) was too much for the Knicks, who were out of this game the entire second half as the both teams moved to 1-1 on the young season.

Three Takeaways from an NBA Thursday: Blake Griffin is attacking again

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NBA Thursday night was back and Kenny, Charles, Ernie, and Shaq were in midseason form. Oh, and there were three games as well (only one of which was interesting). In case you were out at a concert, here are three things you missed.

1) Blake Griffin is attacking the rim like old times. Last regular season, Blake Griffin seemed to fall in love with his jumper. The best finisher in the game took 32.8 percent of his shots at the rim (0-3 feet) and 37.8 percent on long twos (16 feet out to the arc). He can hit that midrange now (he shot 40.4 percent on those long twos) but he wasn’t attacking the same way. At least until the playoffs. Through a dozen Clipper postseason games, he was arguably the single best player in the playoffs, and 40.1 percent of his shots came at the rim while 21.5 percent were long twos. He was attacking (and playing better defense). He admitted he had held something back during the season to be fresh for the postseason.

It’s just a couple of games into the season, but Griffin isn’t hesitating this season, he’s getting to the rim. Check out his shot chart from dropping 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting on the Mavericks Thursday (he grabbed 10 boards, too).

Griffin shot chart vs. Mavs

Griffin should pick his spots this season, get some rest, make sure that by the playoffs his batteries are fully charged. But he is attacking early, not settling, and he is 25-of-37 shooting (67.6 percent). And the Clippers are 2-0.

2) Steve Ballmer and Mark Cuban were on the kiss cam together. Well played, Clippers staff.

3) Indiana still has a lot to figure out. Entering the fourth quarter Indiana was up two on Memphis, but one thing became very clear in the second half of that quarter — Memphis has an ingrained identity, they know exactly who they are; Indiana is still trying to figure it out. The result was Memphis putting up 39 points in the fourth quarter, Marc Gasol looking like a stud, and the Grizzlies winning 112-103. Paul George put it this way, via the fantastic Candice Buckner of the Indy Star.

“That’s the biggest problem we’re having,” Paul George said, “just the inconsistency of who we’re playing with. Trying so many different groups, we got to establish an identity, and we have yet to do so.”

Indiana looks far more like a work in progress than some thought, but it will be interesting to see what this team looks like come December.

One Pacer that impressed was rookie big man Myles Turner. In 18 minutes off the bench he had a good outing with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, showed some range, had four rebounds, and most importantly brought a combination of aggressiveness and energy the team needed. Keep playing like that and the rookie will get more run.

Sefolosha: Lawsuit against NYPD right move, hopes for change

Thabo Sefolosha

NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha says he thinks about the confrontation with New York police that left him with a broken leg “almost daily” and is filing a civil suit because “they have to be held accountable and be smart about how to interact with people.”

Sefolosha still isn’t fully recovered from the injuries in April that ended his season. He sat out Thursday night against the New York Knicks after playing in Atlanta’s season opener on Tuesday.

He was acquitted earlier this month of charges stemming from the arrest outside a nightclub and says he understands police have a difficult job. He calls the lawsuit the “right move” and hopes it will lead to further discussion and changes.

Sefolosha was in New York for the trial when tennis player James Blake was taken to the ground by an NYPD officer and wrongly arrested after he was mistaken for a fraud suspect. Sefolosha says it’s “terrible that something like this happened and keeps happening.”

Pacers’ Paul George fined $10,000 for criticizing referees

Paul George
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“We felt like there were a lot of bad calls. Close games like that, let us play. You’ve got a guy like (Kyle) Lowry who’s down on one end doing what he wants and then on the other end, he gets touched and the whistle’s getting blown. We (were) frustrated. We (were) very frustrated.”

Paul George has been around long enough to know a fine was coming after he said that following the Pacers’ 106-99 opening night loss in Toronto opening night. George was fined $10,000 for these comments, the league announced Thursday.

In its review of calls, the NBA admitted that there were two calls in the final two minutes that were wrong — but both were wrong in favor of Indiana. There was a bad no-call on a three second violation that should have gone against DeMarre Carroll, but that didn’t swing the game.

The bottom line is simple, if you criticize officials you get fined. The NBA is consistent on this. Welcome back to the NBA Paul George.

Austin Rivers fined $25,000 for throwing seat cushion that hit fan

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

During a raucous fourth quarter in Sacramento Wednesday — where there was no love lost between the Clippers and KingsAustin Rivers threw a seat cushion into the crowd during a fourth quarter timeout. Apparently he was frustrated.

That cushion caught a fan in the face and it’s going to cost Rivers some cash.

The NBA has come down Rivers with a $25,000, the league announced Thursday.

You had to know this is coming. For one thing, Players have control your emotions no matter what a fans says. For another, there is already is a precedent for this — “Big Baby” Glen Davis was fined $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion into the crowd at Boston Garden when he was a Clipper.

Rivers played 16 minutes and had three points, one assist, and a couple of steals against the Kings. While he made some nice defensive plays, including a key late steal, his offensive decision making was not pretty.