Draft ties broken, let Lotto fever begin

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Parity, pretty cool when you flip on League Pass and know that just about any team can beat just about any other team in the NBA that night.

Pain in the, um, rear when figuring out lottery odds. A host of NBA teams ended the season tied, so a bunch of coins had to be flipped to determine an order of finish. That order impacts lottery odds or draft position after the lottery, depending on how bad a team was last season.

From the NBA, here is who called tails and won (because it never fails, never):

* Golden State (26-56) won a tiebreaker with Washington, so the Warriors get the four-spot odds, the Wizards fifth.
* Philadelphia (27-55) won a tiebreaker with Detroit and will get the six spot odds, and the Pistons are seven.
* The Los Angeles Clippers (29-53) won a tiebreaker with New York so the Clippers will be in the eight slot, and the Knicks still will not draft because Isiah Thomas traded this pick away to the Jazz. Franchise killer, that man.
* Memphis (40-42) won a tiebreaker with Toronto, which means the Grizzlies are in the 12 spot and Miami in the 13 spot because Toronto traded its pick. Not like they need it.
* A three-way tiebreak at 50-32 now goes like this: Boston drafts at 20, San Antonio at 21 and Oklahoma City at 21. Don’t you have the feeling that the Spurs and Thunder will still make better picks?
* Utah (53-29) would draft 23, if they had not traded their pick to Minnesota (not that it matters since the Jazz have that aforementioned Knicks pick), Atlanta will draft 24, then Denver would have been at 25 but they traded their pick to Memphis.

Okay, time to start lighting candles at your lottery alter. I’m looking at you Timberwolves fans, you know you’ve go one.

Luka Doncic fined $10k for kicking ball into stands (video)

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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.

NBA release:

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.

Mike D’Antoni: Not right NBA wouldn’t allow Rockets to trade Carmelo Anthony yesterday

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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.

Stephen Curry slips and falls on wide-open fastbreak, gets ball back, air-balls 3-pointer (video)

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See, the Warriors are fallible.

Though Stephen Curry‘s mishaps coming during a blowout win undercuts the point.

Jaren Jackson Jr. bullies Nikola Mirotic with dunk on him (video)

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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.