Kurt Helin

harden bogut

No fines, no suspensions from NBA in wake of Rockets vs. Mavericks game

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Eight technical fouls. A couple of flagrant fouls. A chippy game that felt more like the playoffs than December, and one the referees couldn’t control.

The Rockets vs. Mavericks game Tuesday saw Andrew Bogut dropping James Harden with a screen (and getting a flagrant for it), it saw Trevor Ariza waiting outside the Mavs locker room to confront Salah Mejri, and it saw a lot of talking.

What it will not see is fines or other measures from the NBA.

That’s the correct call to me. The game was chippy, the referees looked like those teachers you had in high school who couldn’t control the classroom despite handing out detention slips like candy, but nothing rose to the level of deserving a fine or suspension. Nobody crossed that line.

But when these teams meet next, you can bet on one tightly called game.

Check out the top 10 circus shots of 2016

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It’s that time of year, when we start looking back on 2016. Which as a year pretty much sucked, but it did give us some quality basketball highlights.

We’ve already covered the biggest bloopers of 2016, courtesy the folks at NBA.com, and now we have the 10 best circus shots. You’ve got some Jeremy Lin, some falling-yet-scoring Brook Lopez, a Paul George prayer being answered, and Andre Iguodala on the top of the list.


Report: George Hill to return to Jazz Thursday night vs. Sixers

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This season, the Utah Jazz have been 11.7 points per 100 possessions better with George Hill on the court. Averaging 20 points a game, he’s been a perfect, versatile fit for their needs with the ability to be a playmaker, shooter, perimeter defender, whatever is called for.

However, the Jazz have been without him for the past 13 games with a toe injury. That’s about to change Thursday night against Philadelphia, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Hill will not be officially cleared until after his pregame warm-up routine but intends to play, barring a setback, according to a source. He went through a strenuous Wednesday workout to test his left big toe, which he sprained during a Nov. 29 win over the Houston Rockets.

Utah went 8-5 without him in this run, but Hill has missed 21 of Utah’s 32 games this season due to a variety of injuries.

MacMahon also says Alec Burks is getting close to a return, which would add quality wing depth and shooting to the Utah rotation.

The Jazz are 19-13 and one of the few teams with a top 10 offense and defense statistically — they’ve been good, but if Hill can get back to being a regular part of the rotation, and the rest of the team can stay healthy, Utah can climb the standings and be a threat come the playoffs. This is a potentially dangerous team with that defense and the guys who can help them get buckets are getting healthy.

Add Stephen Curry to list of people praising high schooler LaMelo Ball for calling his shot


By now you’ve probably seen the video, UCLA-bound high schooler LaMelo Ball calls his shot: points to halfcourt as he walks the ball up, then pulls up and drains the shot.

The current master of the long-range bomb Stephen Curry was impressed. He was asked about it postgame and said this, via Let’s Go Warriors (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“That was some confidence right there. The fact that he made it. I wonder if he’s done it before and missed it. It’s the highlight-driven generation, so that right there was pretty unbelievable, though. For him to call his shot like Babe Ruth and knock it down and act like nothing happened. So shoutout to him.”

Ball has done it before, the guy has crazy range, plus knows how to share the ball. Whether he can translate this success to the college level (or beyond) remains to be seen, but Ball certainly has gotten everyone’s attention.

Today in NBA history: Michael Jordan dropped 51 points at age 38


I have tried to repress the memory of Michael Jordan’s Wizards years, preferring the memory of him walking away from the game after pushing off Bryon Russell, draining a title-winning shot, and putting on a new ring.

But there were some highlights.

Like Dec. 29, 2001, when at age 38 Jordan dropped 51 on the team he now owns, the Charlotte Hornets. Enjoy the trip down memory lane, and the post up fadeaways (which are nothing like LeBron James‘ version).