Kurt Helin

Celebrities Attend Vancouver Canucks Vs New York Rangers Game - February 19, 2015

Report: Phil Jackson to get fined for innocuous comment on Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell

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“He’s a great-looking kid. Great prospect.”

That’s all Phil Jackson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer about Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell.

But that’s enough to get the NBA to fine Jackson for talking about a draftable player. Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports had the story.

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson will likely face an NBA fine for publicly commenting on Ohio State freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The NBA forbids league officials from making public comments on draft-ineligible players, and sources told Yahoo Sports that the league office was beginning to look into the matter Friday morning.

Is it silly? Yes. Welcome to the NBA’s fine structure. I know the NBA will argue a slippery slope — “if we let one GM comment on a prospect…” — but if you can explain the rhyme and reason behind who the NBA fine structure you can win a Nobel Prize. The why, the how much often seem out of proportion.

Jackson had come to watch Russell — a potential Top 3 pick — play. The Knicks are likely to have a top three pick (at worst top four, as the standings would sit right now).

Russell is an offensive-minded guard with a lot of potential to develop. At the worst, he’s going to score at the next level, and it’s possible he can round out his game into something special. He’s the kind of player the Knicks should be looking at closely.

The challenge is Jackson just can’t sneak into a building. If Sixers GM Sam Hinkie or Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan walk into that arena to check out Russell, only a few die-hard fans will recognize them. Jackson is a celebrity. If he walks into an arena, everybody knows. So then reporters are going to ask questions.

And no answer can be innocuous enough to make the NBA happy.

Derrick Rose expected to return in 4-6 weeks. In time for playoffs.

Chicago Bulls v Houston Rockets
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Doctors completed the surgery and the news is good for Bulls fans who wanted to see Derrick Rose back for the playoffs this year.

From Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, quoting Bulls GM Gar Forman.

Rose had part of his meniscus removed, which allows for quicker recovery but has more issues down the line because the knee goes bone-on-bone.

The question about which Rose the Bulls will get when he returns for the the playoffs is a valid one. Following previous surgeries he was slow to trust that knee again, it took a while for him to regain form. Having to find your groove going against John Wall or some other quality point guard in the first round of the playoffs is a tough route.

Plus, if the Bulls don’t get back to playing Tom Thibodeau lock-down defense consistently it will not matter if Rose is back or not.

But with him this team is potentially a real threat in the East. And he will be back.

Draymond Green drives for dunk, Timofey Mozgov isn’t going to stop him (VIDEO)

draymond green
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Draymond Green can finish.

The Cavaliers’ rim protection has been infinitely better since the arrival of Timofey Mozgov, but he wasn’t stopping Draymond Green on this one. That is powerful.

The Cavaliers still picked up the statement win.

Warriors fans. If you live in the Bay Area and are a Comcast subscriber, you can watch a live stream of the Warriors game against the Raptors on Friday afternoon (4 p.m. Pacific start). Just follow this link.

Kyle Lowry on his game of late: “I’m trash.”

Raptors DeRozan and Lowry against Hawks
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The Toronto Raptors are 4-5 since the All-Star break and the reason is their offense, which is scoring just 98.3 points per 100 possessions in that time, 24th in the NBA.

What’s wrong with the offense? The head of the snake is in a slump. All-Star starter Kyle Lowry is shooting just 33.3 percent in his last five games and 26.1 percent since he played on the big stage in New York. He’s also been turning the ball over a little more. And it’s not just him, DeMar DeRozan is shooting 36.4 percent since the All-Star break and 16 percent from three.

To their credit, Lowry and DeRozan owned up to their poor play speaking to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

Asked to describe his game at the moment, Lowry had a quick response: “Me? I’m trash,” Lowry told reporters. “I’m trying to figure it out right now, to be honest with you. I don’t know (how to fix it), that’s why I’m in here, working hard and trying to figure out what to do to get myself back on track.”

DeRozan did not duck away from that assessment of the status of his own game.

“Right next to the trash can (that Lowry’s) is. Both trash,” DeRozan told the Sun, matter-of-factly as he signed merchandise following his media scrum.

Slumps during a season happen to everyone. Toronto is solidly in the playoffs out East and is likely ending up the two or three seed (Chicago isn’t catching them without Derrick Rose), so the first round is at home. This isn’t damaging them.

But if the Raptors are finally going to get out of the first round and making an even deeper playoff run, they need the Lowry that played so well fans voted him an All-Star starter. That he recognizes the problem and is working on it means you can bet it will be solved.

New Derrick Rose Powerade ad is fantastic

Derrick Rose
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I loved this.

Derrick Rose may not be on the court for the rest of the season (this ad clearly was shot before the latest knee injury), but Powerade released this ad and it’s quality.

The voice over is from Tupac’s “The Rose That Grew from Concrete:”

We wouldn’t ask why a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals, in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun, well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals, dont ask me why, thank god, and ask me how.

Hat tip to Ananth Pandian at Eye on Basketball.