Last week the Celtics had put a nice little run of wins together — they were back, baby! Fear them come the playoffs.
Today, they are bums. They can’t beat the Thunder at home.
That’s the fan roller coaster ride for contending teams with questions — you can also take this ride in Los Angeles and Orlando as well right now.
Well stop the ride, Doc Rivers wants to get off. From the Boston Herald:
“You don’t have to be (optimistic) because I am,” he said. “I look at our team, and we played one bad night. We were playing great up until two games ago. Were you optimists three games ago?
“Either you’re on the bandwagon or you’re off,” Rivers continued. “I tell guys that all the time. That’s the way I think, and that’s how our team should think. I’m not going to spend time trying to convince you to dislike us or like us. Our team just has to keep working.
“Should I worry about a team where you guys don’t think we can win anymore?”
Rivers is right about this — it’s the body of work over the course of a season that tells you about a team, not just one game. Fans do tend to overreact to one regular season loss.
But the body of work for the Celtics is troubling. Have they really looked good all season? The inability of Kevin Garnett to show out on the pick then recover and protect the rim anymore is brutal when a guy like Durant comes to town, and the Hawks have guys like that. The fact that Rajon Rondo has to take over games late — and if you can force him into jumpers you are in good shape — is troubling. The list keeps on going, but do I really need to go into it all?
Fans shouldn’t stop rooting for their team to win. But they are allowed to be realistic, Doc.
Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic got ejected a few days ago for kicking the ball into the crowd, his second technical foul of the game.
That outburst also got him fined.
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić has been fined $10,000 for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Dončić was assessed his second technical foul and ejected, occurred with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 111-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19
Players usually get fined $25,000 for throwing something into the stands. But sometimes, they get just a $10,000 fine for that, seemingly if it appears they didn’t intend for the object to reach the crowd.
Did Doncic mean to kick the ball as far as he did?
Who knows? But it seems he got the benefit of the doubt here.
The Rockets signed Kenneth Faried, importantly to them, before their game against the 76ers yesterday. With Clint Capela injured, Houston needed another big against Joel Embiid.
But the Rockets had to open a roster spot for Faried. Their clear preference was trading Carmelo Anthony. Failing that, they’d release James Nunnally.
Houston agreed to deal Anthony to the Bulls but couldn’t complete the trade because the league office was closed, as is the norm on weekends and holidays (in this case, Martin Luther King Day). So, the Rockets dropped Nunnally, eating the remaining salary on his 10-day contract, increasing their luxury-tax bill and costing him the opportunity to play for a team that could use him.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“I don’t think it’s right,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of having to terminate Nunnally. “There’s ways (the league) could have facilitated it.”
What happened to the Rockets was fair in that the rules were clear and applied equally to each team.
But I agree with D’Antoni. Games don’t stop for weekends and holidays. The league office shouldn’t, either.
Teams should have more ability to change their rosters on the fly, because games come so quickly. Halting business for weekends and holidays is antiquated. This is a global, multi-billion-dollar operation now.
The NBA can afford to employ enough people who review trades not to overwork any of them. It’d create a better product and make the sport operate more smoothly.
See, the Warriors are fallible.
Though Stephen Curry‘s mishaps coming during a blowout win undercuts the point.
Yes, the Grizzlies lost to the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans by 20 last night. Results like that are why there’s thought Marc Gasol could leave Memphis.
But at least plays like this Jaren Jackson Jr. dunk on Nikola Mirotic provide hope for the Grizzlies’ future.
Jackson is a skilled 3-point shooter and rim-protector. Add a mean streak inside offensively, and the rookie could really take off.