Kurt Helin

Jeff Green dunks, also hit shot to force OT for Grizzlies Monday (VIDEO)

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When good Jeff Green show up for a game, he is so much fun to watch.

That Green turned up Monday for Memphis, and they wouldn’t have gotten the win over a feisty Orlando team without him.

That starts with hitting the runner/hook shot in the lane that sent the game into overtime (video above). That’s a tough shot but the Magic had defended the play pretty well, Green just nailed it. Good on Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger here not calling a timeout (which lets the defense set itself, too) and trusting his players to do the right thing. It worked. Then in overtime, Mike Conley scored five points to lead the Grizzlies to the 108-102 victory.

Earlier in the game, Green got up and put Jason Smith in a poster.

Report: Even with fractured finger, Pelicans may try to trade Eric Gordon

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Pelicans GM Dell Demps is in a challenging spot. What is clear is that the New Orleans roster needs an overhaul. What is rumored is that Demps’ job is in jeopardy (and Joe Dumars is waiting in the wings to take over this summer, at the behest of Mickey Loomis). In this spot, a lot of GMs go for quick-fix moves trying to bring in guys that can help the team win now and maybe save their jobs, even when the better play for the franchise are deals looking farther into the future.

Whatever direction Demps goes, expect the Pelicans to be active around the trade deadline. There are a lot of Ryan Anderson trade rumors out there. But that’s not the guy the Pelicans want to move — even with a fractured finger that will sideline him until around the Feb. 18 trade deadline, New Orleans wants to shop Eric Gordon, reports John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Before the injury, sources say the Pelicans were exploring trade offers for Gordon. There is still a chance the Pelicans could look to trade Gordon before the Feb. 18 deadline if they can find a willing team. Gordon was the only Pelicans’ player to start 40 of the first 41 games before getting injured.

The Pelicans still harbor playoff dreams this season, they are four games back of current eight-seed Sacramento. In a vacuum that could be made up, but leaping past Portland and a getting healthy Utah is going to be much more difficult. The Pelicans need to make moves thinking about this roster for next season, and the seasons beyond that, not fighting to be the eight seed so they can see how good Golden State is firsthand. The big picture is what matters.

Moving Gordon (and Anderson) could be part of that, depending upon what comes available in return. Something to watch as we move toward the trade deadline.

Manu Ginobili on Warriors: “At this point, they are better than us”


It was pretty obvious to anyone watching, considering the score and just the way the game played out — Golden State was the better team and completely dominated the Spurs and went on to win by 30 Monday night. The Warriors defense forced 25 Spurs turnovers — 15 of those steals — which allowed the Warriors to get out and run, playing the entire game at their tempo, while the Spurs’ stars could get little going (LaMarcus Aldridge had five points on nine shots). The Warriors looked like champions; the Spurs lacked the poise we have come to expect from them.

Manu Ginobili owned up to all that, via Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News.

“At this point, they are better than us. I’m not embarrassed to face it. They were much better, they wanted it more, they were playing at home, they were fired up, and we couldn’t get anything going.”

Ginobili went on:

“They outplayed us in every single aspect of the game,” said Manu Ginobili, who finished with eight points in the loss. “Aggression was one, shooting was another, defense, everything. It was the whole package. I don’t think there was one area in which it was close. They just outplayed us in every aspect. We were slow, not very sharp. It was no game.”

It’s a very Spurs thing to own up to this rather than break out a “we didn’t have Tim Duncan” or whatever lame excuse they could try to trot out. This was a beatdown, they owned up to it.

The good news for the Spurs is that this is one regular season game, if/when these teams meet in May this game will have no bearing.

It did lay out what San Antonio will need to do to hang with Golden State in a seven-game series — take care of the ball, slow the game down, and Aldridge is going to have to score on Draymond Green more efficiently. If you don’t think the Spurs are capable of that kind of turnaround, well, have you even watched the Spurs in the past 15 years? Count this team out at your own risk. You can be sure Steve Kerr knows better.

Report: Blake Griffin broke hand hitting Clippers’ equipment staffer


It was curious that the description of how Clippers’ All-Star Blake Griffin broke his hand was an “undisclosed team-related incident.” That’s vague and led to a lot of speculation about who Griffin may or may not have punched, or what else might have happened.

Now we get some details from ESPN’s Michael Eaves — who if you didn’t know worked on the Clippers broadcasts in Los Angeles for years until his recent move to ESPN. Arash Markazi of ESPN adds some details, saying both parties have been sent back to Los Angeles.

If this is true, it’s embarrassing for Griffin — who was not even suited up and playing for the Clippers in Toronto (he was expected to return Tuesday from his injured quad, but now will be out at least a few more weeks). I don’t what the two were fighting about, but apparently they two get along (as evidenced by the fact they were out to dinner together), according to Arash Markazi of ESPN.

Not knowing the details, I will still say this: There is a pecking order around an NBA locker room, and it falls on the guys at the top of that to be generous of spirit. Griffin is an NBA superstar making $18.9 million in salary plus wheelbarrows full of cash from Kia and other endorsers, while team equipment staff have a low-paying job literally picking up the sweaty underwear of player — not to mention wet towels, smelly socks and the rest of it — off the floor. Then they do Griffin’s laundry for him. I’m hard pressed to have much sympathy for Griffin here, who needed to be the bigger man and walk away, or deal with this in a way that is not a major setback for himself and the Clippers. Griffin can’t put himself in a position to let this happen.

Bulls’ Derrick Rose exits with back, hamstring injuries

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CHICAGO (AP) — Bulls guard Derrick Rose has left Chicago’s game against the Miami Heat with lower back and right hamstring injuries.

Rose, who scored four points in 13 first-half minutes Monday night, did not start the second half. The Bulls announced early in the third quarter that he would not return.

Aaron Brooks took Rose’s place with the starting unit.

The Bulls were already playing without backup guards Kirk Hinrich (bruised left quadriceps) and E'Twaun Moore (right hamstring strain).