Author: Kurt Helin

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets

P.J. Hairston with hysterical flop right into Gregg Popovich (VINE)


Best. Flop. Ever.

What is there not to like about Charlotte’s P.J. Hairston on this play. First, there is the delay — he makes contact with Tony Parker, beat, then he just goes flying. With arms flailing. To the ground.

Then he rolls all the way over into Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

After missing 21 games, DeMar DeRozan returns to Toronto lineup

DeMar DeRozan; Luc Mbah a Moute; Michael Carter-Wiliams

The Toronto Raptors started the season 13-3 and looking like a real threat in the East.

Then DeMar DeRozan went down with torn tendon in his groin — it’s as painful as it sounds and it’s not quick to heal. He missed 21 games, and while the Raptors went a respectable 12-9 without him they were not the same team, including losing five of their last six.

Wednesday night against the Sixers DeRozan was back. In fact he stepped right back into the starting lineup. He was even the Raptors’ leading scorer in the first half, putting up seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.

DeRozan averaged a team high 19.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in those first 16 games and adds another real scoring threat to one of the NBA’s top offenses. Plus, he’s a solid defender.

The Raptors need him to secure a top four seed in the East, have home court advantage in the first round and advance past that to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Lance Stephenson returns to Hornets lineup after 14 game absence

Lance Stephenson

The last time Lance Stephenson suited up for the Charlotte Hornets, it was Dec. 17. You were just starting your Christmas shopping.

Now, after missing 14 games he is back from the pelvic strain that sidelined him that entire time. He has come off the bench for the Hornets against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Just don’t expect to see a lot of him at first, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“He’s not going to play a ton of minutes these first few games,” (Hornets coach Steve) Clifford said at shootaround. “He did a good job with his rehab, but by the nature of that injury he was limited in how much cardio he could do.

“So just like Al (Jefferson) last year, we’ll just play him as he can. He’s not ready for a lot of minutes.”

Stephenson struggled to integrate to the Hornets, averaging just 10.2 points a game on 38.6 percent shooting, with a PER of 10.6. His numbers were down, he just looked out of place next to Kemba Walker. The issues were serious enough that the Hornets tested the trade market for him — and with him back on the court that will pick up again.