Author: Kurt Helin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers

Pacers’ Roy Hibbert ejected after pulling Gorgui Dieng to court (VIDEO)


I don’t think Roy Hibbert was doing something malicious here — he was trying to prevent Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng from going up for the easy putback two.  He wanted to foul Dieng.

But the way he did it put Dieng in risk of injury.

For that reason, after reviewing the foul Tuesday night, the referees called the foul above a flagrant two and ejected Hibbert, sending him to an early shower. Honestly I think it’s a borderline ejection but I don’t think it was a bad call. Hibbert’s play was not malicious but it was careless.

From the locker room Hibbert could watch on the monitor as Mo Williams dropped the rest of his 52 on the Pacers, leading Minnesota to the win. Indy could have used Hibbert out there, not that anyone was stopping Williams Tuesday.

Report: Celtics negotiating buyout with Tayshaun Prince

Memphis Grizzlies v Cleveland Cavaliers

Clearly an almost 35-year-old wing with diminishing skills was not going to be part of the Celtics rebuilding future. And a guy like that wants to play for rings anyway.

So when Boston traded for Tayshaun Prince as part of the Jeff Green deal with Memphis, you had to know a buyout was likely. The only details to be worked out is how much of his $7.2 million he would offer as a discount to get out of the contract.

There seems to be some common ground to get the deal done, reports Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

What will be interesting is to see what teams come calling if/when Prince is a free agent. The Clippers are looking for wing players and depth, they seem a likely candidate, but other teams may pick up the phone as well.

Prince isn’t the player he once was but he brings some skills, for example his length and IQ means he’s still a decent defender. On offense he has the bad habit of settling for the long two (31.1 percent of his shots this season were from 16 feet out to the arc) so teams help off him, but he can hit the three and in a limited role he will not hurt on that end.

Still, he will land somewhere on a winning team.

Kobe Bryant will play Tuesday vs. Heat

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

This was expected but now it is official:

Kobe Bryant will play Tuesday night for the Lakers vs. Miami. Bryant had missed three of the last four Lakers games but had practiced on Monday and seemed likely to go. Coach Byron Scott confirmed it before the game, reports Baxter Holms, among others.

Scott also said he would keep Bryant in the 30-32 minute range.

On Sunday night Scott admitted that he had played Bryant too many minutes the first 27 games of the season — with too heavy a workload when he was in the game — and that led to Kobe missing so many games lately.

“I thought his workload was too much,” Scott said. “He had a (minutes) number, my number was higher but his number was right, you know, when I look back at it. We cut those numbers down and I think his efficiency has been so much better, in terms of how he’s been able to play…

“You may think it’s not a lot — if it’s a minute or two or three minutes, it doesn’t make much of a difference — but in the long run it does.”