Kurt Helin

Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets

Kyle Korver breaks nose, does not return to game for Hawks

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The Atlanta Hawks were already resting Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague — three quarter of their All-Stars this season. It was just against the Lakers, after all.

Then Kyle Korver broke his nose.

It was an innocent second quarter play where he collided with Ed Davis’ shoulder, but it broke his nose and he did not return to the game (the Hawks confirmed the diagnosis during the game).

This ended Korver’s streak of 51 consecutive games with a made three (his personal and NBA record streak is 127). Here’s a gif of the play that ended his night.

The Hawks held off a late rally from the Lakers and picked up the win despite their four top players sitting out.

Korver — averaging 12.6 points a game and who is key to the Hawks offensive spacing shooting 50.4 percent from three this season — will be out Monday night when the Hawks take on the Kings in Sacramento. As noted above, he already was expected to miss that game for rest. The question is will he be ready to go on Wednesday night for a showdown against the West-leading Warriors in the Bay Area.

Corey Brewer dunks on Blake Griffin, lots of posturing ensues (VIDEO)

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers
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Corey Brewer has been the second scorer the Rockets have needed lately. He scored 17 straight points for the Rockets late in a close loss to the Blazers earlier in the week, when Portland’s defense had taken James Harden out of his game.

Sunday, he dunked all over Blake Griffin.

Credit Griffin for coming in and going for the block, but Brewer got up and made the play.

After the play, Brewer gave a little “get off me” push to Griffin, who retaliated with a push of his own, which Brewer tried to sell flopping back into the stanchion. The referees called a double technical, which is the right thing to call if you were going to call anything in this situation. (Although, I thought the refs let the game get away from them and get very chippy late. Questionable calls both ways. That said I agreed with the Griffin charge call at the end.)

Nerlens Noel block leads to Robert Covington dunk for Sixers (VIDEO)

Philadelphia 76ers V Brooklyn Nets
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The Sixers are a young team that can make some plays.

Like a Nerlens Noel block of Brook Lopez that becomes an off-the-backboard alley-oop for Robert Covington. Noel had 17 points and showed a little offense as well, such as finishing his own alley-oop.

The Nets still picked up the win behind 21 points and nine rebounds from Thaddeus Young — a win the Nets needed to help keep their fading playoff dreams alive.

Charles Oakley says NBA has “more bad games than good games” now

Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat
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The NBA today is a very different place than the one where Charles Oakley mugged and banged his way to an 18-year NBA career. Just after he left is when the NBA changed the rules allowing zone defenses, plus they changed the enforcement not allowing hand-checking on the perimeter. It took time, but that has led to less isolation basketball (you can’t really do that against a Tom Thibodeau-style defense) and a less physical game, one where players can show off their athleticism rather than just get mugged play after play.

Oakley isn’t a fan.

Oakley was in Toronto for Charles Oakley bobblehead night Saturday and said he can barely watch the NBA these days, as reported by James Herbert of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball.

“Who do I like watching? It’s hard to watch,” said Oakley, 51. “I don’t know, it’s just, it’s a different game. It’s some good games and a lot of bad games. More bad games than good games.”

“I don’t know what it is. They just roll you out there like a basketball. That’s why … you see the same teams in the finals or winning 55 games. Strong teams, strong-minded coach. Just the players, they don’t think it, they don’t know how to play together,” he said. “So that’s one of things I see the weakness is: Communication, the guys don’t love the game. They play the game, but they don’t play with their heart.”

Oakley will get a lot of support from some fans who see it that way.

Personally, there were a lot of guys in the 1990s playing just for the checks, too, and to remember it any other way is to put on rose colored glasses. Which we all tend to do about the past and eras we love. We remember the passion with which Michael Jordan played and the way the Knicks physically intimidated and tried to knock him down, and recall that that as representing an era. However, the same year Oakley was an All-Star (1994) the Mavericks won 13 games with some ugly, dispassionate hoops, while the Pistons and Bucks won 20 each and were hard to watch. There was bad basketball then. It wasn’t all passionate team play. People just don’t remember that now.

My opinion is I’d rather watch today’s style of game, where the court has opened up, more threes are launched, and teams have to move the ball to get a good shot against these modified zone defenses than the slow, grinding, muggings that became basketball in the 1990s. Oakley clearly sees it differently.

To each his own.

 

John Wall drops 31 as Wizards rally past Kings (VIDEO)

Sacramento Kings v Washington Wizards
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Don’t look now, but the Wizards have won three straight.

Washington trailed by 21 early in the third quarter but the Kings fell apart while John Wall went off, helping lead the comeback and finishing with 21 points and 12 assists.

Washington seems to have found itself again, and Wall is leading that charge. The Kings… George Karl has some work to do.