Kurt Helin

Rockets’ Clint Capela dunked all over Brandon Knight (VIDEO)

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We’re a little late on this highlight from last night, but it was too good to ignore.

Houston’s Clint Capela is building off his strong playoff showing last season by impressing during the preseason this year — the athletic Swiss center looks like a guy who deserves more run. He is strong on the pick-and-roll, and the man knows how to finish.

Just as Brandon Knight after Tuesday night.

Or you can ask Spencer Hawes or Lou Williams from last season. There’s a pattern here.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Utah’s defense means playoffs?


I’ll admit it, I’m on the Utah Jazz bandwagon, I have them making the playoffs as the eighth seed in the West.

And as I discuss in this latest PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado, that happens because I think the Jazz have a top five defense this season, anchored by Rudy Gobert.

Can Gordon Hayward make the All-Star Game? Maybe, if the Jazz are playing well he could get in on the coach vote, but he’s on the bubble. Gobert could sneak in too if there are injuries to other centers in the West. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Rajon Rondo on relationship with Karl: “It’s not been going too well”


This was Rajon Rondo back in July, talking about his relationship with Sacramento Kings coach George Karl: “I think it’s a great fit. So far. We haven’t played any games, coach Karl hasn’t kicked me out of any practices yet, so we will see how it goes.”

Well, now they’ve played some games and already in the preseason the headstrong Rondo and his coach are in conflict. In an interview Tuesday with Cowbell Kingdom after the Kings beat the Lakers in an exhibition game in Las Vegas, Rondo said this about his relationship with Karl (you can see the video above):

“It’s not been going too well. We got into a couple arguments the last couple of days. Hopefully, we continue to talk, and it will get better.”

Karl said over the summer he expected some of this, that he knew Rondo was willful and that he would challenge the coaching staff at times. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in limited doses — you can be sure Chris Paul challenges Doc Rivers at points, same with Russell Westbrook and any coach who tries to reign him in.

The question is how it is handled and how the relationship evolves. Rondo challenged Rick Carlisle in Dallas last year and that relationship deteriorated to the point the Mavericks were better with Raymond Felton on the floor, and Rondo wasn’t around for the end of the Mavericks’ playoff series.

Rondo didn’t seem angry in this interview; he appeared to take this in stride as part of the process. The Kings are a combustible mix of players — to use Karl’s words — and that makes this relationship one worth watching.

Complicating matters for the Kings, their other point guard Darren Collison has played well this preseason in Karl’s system. Rondo and Collison are going to split time at the point, but if things continue as they have been the scales (and minutes) could tip toward Collison.


Harrison Barnes suffers sprained knee in exhibition loss

DeMar DeRozan, Harrison Barnes
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This is not what a guy still trying to negotiate a contract extension wants to see happen.

Midway through the second quarter of the Warriors preseason, Barnes collided with a Nuggets player and left the floor not to return, reports Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com. The Warriors have officially called it a sprained right knee.

After the game there were not a lot of details, although interim coach Luke Walton called Barnes “day-to-day,” reports Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News.

“We obviously won’t rush him back,” Walton said.

Barnes started 82 games last season for the Warriors and it doesn’t sound like he will be out an extended period of time, although we should get more details on Wednesday.

With Barnes out, Andre Iguodala will slide back into the starting lineup. He’ll be just fine with that.

NBA family reacts to news of Lamar Odom hospitalization

Kobe Bryant And Phil Jackson Address The Media

I’ll admit my bias up front: Lamar Odom is one of my favorite people I have had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know while covering the NBA. He is sensitive, funny, genuine, and had gone through so much grief and pain during his life. When the microphones were off and he was just talking, he was engaging.

It’s not just me that feels this way. In the wake of the news of his hospitalization and life-threatening illness, the NBA family has expressed both shock and poured out its heart. Here is a sampling.