Up until last night against Miami, Mayo had been starting with Carter-Williams out, technically as a point guard but working more off the ball as a shooting guard (and serving as one of the better Bucks perimeter defenders). Giannis Anteteokounmpo has been playing point forward with Khris Middleton as the two guard thriving next to him (Jabari Parker and Anteteokounmpo have developed some chemistry as well). Mayo had been out there, too. Against the Heat Wednesday Jerryd Bayless started with Middleton in the backcourt (and it worked, the Bucks won the game).
Mayo had been averaging 7.8 points per game, shooting just 37 percent from the field (32.1 percent from three). He had a dismal PER of 7.7.
Mayo is a free agent this summer. This doesn’t help his cause.
Kings suspend DeMarcus Cousins one game after he berated head coach George Karl
On the court, DeMarcus Cousins is the only thing keeping the Sacramento Kings from total embarrassment.
But off the court, he’s never been easy for coaches or management trying to keep him in line/control. And if Cousins feels he’s been wronged — by a coach, a referee, whomever — he does not let it go.
He felt frustrated and wronged by George Karl during the Kings’ eventual loss to the Cavaliers Wednesday night and was seen yelling at the team’s coach during a timeout (Karl and Cousins have had a rocky relationship from the start). According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports, Cousins felt Karl was not sticking up enough for him to the referees. Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo stepped in between the two to make sure the incident didn’t escalate. However, after the game the arguments continued in the locker room with Karl and GM Vlade Divac, according to reports.
There has been tension around the Kings this year because meddling owner Vivek Ranadive was demanding a team that would make the playoffs in the West — the Kings are opening a new building next season and had missed the playoffs for the nine seasons before this one. Ranadive wanted momentum entering the new arena. What he’s gotten instead is inconsistent performances from a roster not built to play Karl’s preferred up-tempo style (the Kings play at the fastest pace in the NBA). Still, the Kings were hanging around the playoff picture until winning just one of their last eight games; now they are all but officially out.
No, this does not mean the Kings are going to trade Cousins this summer. First, Cousins wants to make it work in Sacramento, and he knows there will be a new coach this summer. Second, Cousins is a top 10 NBA player, the best traditional big in the game, he’s on a great contract, and Ranadive loves him as a cornerstone. If you’re a value, and the owner loves you, then you don’t get moved. Third, and most importantly, as mentioned above the Kings open a new building next season — you don’t trade away your best and by far most popular player when you’re trying to sell sponsorships and luxury boxes in a new building.
Kevin Love four-point play is dagger in Cleveland win in Sacramento
The Kings had made it a game in the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run, and with 1:40 left it was just a three-point Cavalier lead. Cleveland’s answer was certainly nothing special — they isolated Kyrie Irving on the left wing and let him drive into the teeth of a defense that thought it was prepared for him (and better teams would have been). But Irving’s skill got him deep into the paint and drew seemingly every King defender, so he kicked it to the opposite corner where Kevin Love was all alone.
Well, not entirely alone because Darren Collison came rushing over to contest, but in the process fouled Love and made this a four-point play that sealed a Cavaliers win.
Five Takeaways from NBA Wednesday: Durant, Westbrook don’t let Thunder blow this lead
Just a reminder for those of us dads, we may not be perfect, but we could be worse. For the dads who missed the NBA games Wednesday night, here’s what you need to know from around the Association.
1) Thunder hang on to lead this time, beat Clippers at home behind video game Russell Westbrook. This was cathartic for Oklahoma City and its fans — it was what they should have done a week ago. OKC took a double-digit lead against the Clippers into the fourth quarter and held on for a comfortable win, 120-108. Yes, the OKC stars put up serious numbers — Kevin Durant had 32 points, and he described Russell Westbrook’s night of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists as being like NBA2K on rookie mode. That’s 11 triple doubles this season from Westbrook, and he has become a beast in the post. But what sealed the win for the Thunder was their defense — they held the Clippers to 46 second half points, after allowing 62 in the first 24 minutes. And underrated performance came from Andre Roberson, who stuck with J.J. Redick as well as anyone has this season (Redick still had 22 points, but for stretches the Clippers couldn’t go to him).
This does not wash away the last couple weeks of the Thunder’s play, but it’s a step in the right direction (and it keeps them alone as the third seed). OKC had big games against San Antonio and Portland coming up where they can prove they are again back to being a real threat in the West.
2) Memphis’ Mario Chalmers went down with an injury that looked bad. Non-contact injuries are the worst, and this one looks bad. Grizzlies’ point guard Mario Chalmers tried to plant and take a step forward and just collapsed on the floor in pain in a game against Boston. He had to be helped back to the locker room and was done for the night, officially with a foot injury (he left the arena in a wheelchair). I hope I’m wrong, but this looked like an Achilles injury. He’ll have an MRI on Thursday. Memphis is already without Mike Conley for a couple of games with a foot injury (not to mention Marc Gasol is done for the season, Zach Randolph is out, and frankly we don’t have the space here to list all the Memphis injuries).
3) Warriors get a team win, but Stephen Curry did drain another half-court buzzer beater. Stephen Curry was human for a night, with 12 points on 12 shots. Of late that has meant trouble for the Warriors, but for the first time in a little while they responded with their most balanced team game of the season, beating Utah 115-94. It was the kind of win the Warriors need more of. That said, after the game all everyone wanted to talk about was another Stephen Curry 55-footer — Curry is now 5-of-13 this season on “heaves” from beyond 39 feet. That’s 38.4 percent. For this one he had to shake Trey Burke then just drained it like it was nothing.
4) Kemba Walker scores 30+ for fourth consecutive game. When we talk about the top point guards in the NBA, Kemba Walker’s name needs to come up. He scored 35 points on 18 shots — draining five threes and getting deep into the paint for his other looks — to lead the Hornets to a fifth-straight win, 122-113 over the New Orleans Pelicans. When New Orleans made a run and made it a game early in the fourth, Walker responded with six straight points to spark the Charlotte run that kept them in front. Anthony Davis dropped 40 for the Pelicans and did what he could, but it was not going to be enough against Walker and a Hornets team that knocked down 15 threes on the night.
5) Chris Paul may get a fine for smacking Kevin Durant in the, er, “groin.” Chris Paul is the master of making this look incidental, but it happens too often for that to be the case. In this instance, we’ll see if the NBA hits him with a fine. But when he cuts to open space and swings his arms, CP3 has found a way to slow his defender that is effective.
Another day, another Stephen Curry 50-foot buzzer beater
He hit another ridiculous buzzer beater from beyond halfcourt Wednesday night.
Curry did not have a great shooting night, scoring 12 points on 12 shots. However, Klay Thompson had 23 and the Warriors played good defense on their way to a 115-94 win over Utah at Oracle Arena. That makes 46 consecutive wins at home for the Warriors.