NBA Playoffs Celtics Magic Game 3: Celtics somehow manage to outdo themselves

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Rondo.jpgThere is no point in playing Game 4. None. If there was any way, I think the Magic would actually be okay with a mercy rule and just calling it a three game sweep. Because they clearly have no interest in trying at all.

It’s a struggle to find a hook to explain this game. The Celtics were better. Are better. Are superior in every way. Smarter, stronger, more aggressive, more physical. The Celtics shot better, rebounded tougher, made smarter plays, kept with it, executed, and totally dominated the Magic 94-71 in Boston to take a 3-0 lead. The series is officially over, if it wasn’t after Game 2.

Paul Pierce was deadly, adding 15. Rajon Rondo was still the best player on the floor, at one point outracing Jason Williams who had a five step lead on him, taking the ball, then scoring on Williams. Glen Davis put in huge minutes, actually leading all scorers with 17 points. . Kendrick Perkins held Dwight Howard to 7 points on 3-10 shooting.

And oh, the Magic. Vince Carter was the player he’s always talked about being, in the bad way. He seemed willing to accept being just another guy on the floor. Jameer Nelson had 1 assist and 4 turnovers. The lead was 20 in the second, 30 in the fourth, and wound up as 23 from the scrubs.

The playoffs? They have sucked. Horribly. We haven’t had any competitive games and the teams that barely tried the second half of the regular season have shown they could have given us greatness and chose not to for four months. But they’re giving it now.

Game 4 is Monday. You have to wonder if Orlando will even show up. They haven’t so far.

The legacy effect of this game is that Dwight Howard is still not an elite player, despite finishing third in the MVP voting, that Rajon Rondo may be the best point guard in the NBA, that defense still wins championships, and that you have to wonder the effect of this game on Stan Van Gundy, as great as he’s been.

You can go ahead and pen over the pencil for the Celtics side of the Finals. Expect LA to finish out the rest shortly.

Report: Warriors sent in tape to complain about Patrick Beverley’s defending Kevin Durant (VIDEO)

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The saga of Patrick Beverley vs. Kevin Durant continues. The two have gone back and forth, and Beverley has gotten the best of a Durant, at least more than most would expect. The series is split between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers heading into Thursday night’s Game 3 matchup, and there is much at stake in L.A.

In an effort to curb Beverley’s comfortability with Durant, the Warriors sent in a tape to the NBA league office complaining about purported illegal defense by the Clippers guard. That’s according to a report from Fox Sports’ Nick Wright.

Speaking on “First Thing’s First”, Wright said the Warriors wanted the NBA to see the tape before tip for Game 3.

Via Fox Sports:

The Warriors team — the organization — sent the NBA a bunch of clips leading up to Game 3 of what they think is Patrick Beverley holding, clutching, grabbing… pushing.

For some this may be too rich coming from the Golden State organization. The team has made a living getting away with moving screens as a major part of their offense for years, and indeed on split cuts they certainly seem to grab a lot of jersey as a means to get some momentum started. Remember, this is the team with Andrew Bogut on it.

That said, teams sending tapes to the league office happens almost as often as a Kardashian is annoying. It’s a daily thing, and in the playoffs teams ramp that up. What the Warriors did is not unusual.

This kind of in-your-face play is something that happens during every single NBA game, and if you had to be defended by a NBA player you would be surprised by how much physical contact they get away with that is not called as a foul.

Are the Warriors whining or are they simply trying to get a leg up on their competition? We will have to wait until these teams go after each other again on Thursday to see how — or if — the referees officiate Beverley differently.

Nets fans post ‘missing’ posters of Ben Simmons before Game 3 (PHOTO)

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Ben Simmons did not perform well in Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets. The Philadelphia 76ers star posted a stat line of just eight points with seven rebounds, three blocks, and three steals.

More concerning was Simmons’ apparent lack of desire to shoot. He seemed to fade in the big moments of the game, and scorn came swiftly for him social media after the 76ers loss. Philly fans even booed the Sixers on the court, which angered Simmons.

But Game 3 is upon us, although Joel Embiid is not playing,  and the series has shifted back to New York. As expected, fans in Brooklyn are doing their best to troll the Sixers.

Via Twitter:

We will see how Simmons responds after all of the back and forth about booing, not to mention his whole thing with Jared Dudley. If Simmons wants to be a star, now is the time to step up for his team with Embiid out.

Joel Embiid out with left knee soreness for Game 3 vs. Nets

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid on Thursday night as they take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of their first round series.

Embiid is battling left knee soreness and although he had a statistically-important performance as the Sixers took Game 2, it was obvious he was in some kind of reduced state of ability.

Veteran center Greg Monroe will start in Embiid’s place, but it will be hard for the Sixers to match Embiid’s production. The Cameroonian star is Philadelphia’s best player, and the 76ers are a hot and cold team.

Not having Embiid on the floor will seriously alter how they respond to the spunky Nets, who already took Game 1 from the higher-seeded Sixers.

The fact that Embiid needs to rest is also drawing some ire from folks on social media. The question is why Embiid did not rest earlier in the series — or even the end of the regular season when he was in and out of the lineup — and prepare for the coming playoff run?

However things go on Thursday, folks around the league will have their eyes glued to the injury report to see updates on Embiid’s status.

Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson undergoes thoracic outlet decompression surgery

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Kyle Anderson was playing a solid role off the bench for the Grizzlies this season, 8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, serving as a secondary ball handler and shot creator. Slo-mo was doing his thing.

However, by the end of January, the pain radiating from his shoulder — something he now says he had been playing through for a couple of years — got to be too much. He never played another game after Jan. 30.

Thursday he had thoracic outlet decompression surgery to relieve the problem. Anderson is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go next training camp.

For comparison, this is the same surgery the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram had.

Anderson is on a very reasonable contract, three years and $28 million remaining. He can be part of what is going to be built in Memphis going forward, but if they are tearing down and rebuilding — meaning a summer trade of Mike Conley — he could bring back assets in a trade.

Either way, he should be healthy and ready to go next summer.