If Blake Griffin makes All-Star Game, expect him to miss Rookie Challenge

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Blake Griffin is on the bubble for being selected to play in the All-Star Game as a rookie (we have him in, but mostly for the entertainment factor). Everyone (including the Clippers) will find out Thursday.

If he does make the cut to play the game in his home arena, expect him to skip out on the Friday Night rookie/sophomore game, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro suggested Wednesday night. Also, he expects Griffin to make it.

“I don’t expect that,” Del Negro said before the Clippers took on the Bulls. “I was talking to Neal (Olshey, Clippers GM), hopefully, because he’s in the Dunk Contest, if he’s selected (to the All-Star Game), which I think he is, there’s only so much energy the kid has. We (will be) coming off a tough road trip, with all the All-Star his schedule is pretty busy, but we’ll work that out as we get the final decision on what his weekend is going to entail.”

I’m not sure I totally buy the energy argument because we’ve seen how hard guys really play in the rookie challenge and the All-Star Game itself. Plus, Griffin is 21, at that age nothing should wear him out.

That said, with him on the bigger stages it makes sense to let another rookie have his place if he does get an invite to the big dance. Then again, if it means we miss John Wall lobbing ally-oops to Griffin, I’m not sure I can support the move.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks firing David Fizdale ‘inevitable’

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Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire coach David Fizdale.

One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.

Coaches are hired to be fired, but this sounds far more urgent than that.

As long as Fizdale has his job, he has a chance to save it. If the Knicks start playing better, they could keep him.

But that seems unlikely with this underwhelming roster.

Which is why New York is reportedly also considering a front-office change.

Austin Rivers calls for Doc Rivers to get technical foul (video)

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When Doc Rivers coached Austin Rivers on the Clippers, accusations of favoritism ran rampant. Playing with the Rockets against the Clippers tonight, Austin showed where his loyalties lie.

Not with his father.

The Clippers were letting the game (an eventual 102-93 Houston win) get away from them when Doc argued a call. Austin stood nearby and urged the referee to call a technical foul. The official eventually obliged and ejected Doc.

That’s when Austin really hammed it up – waving off Doc then making the call-me gesture. The disrespect!

Ja Morant hits game-winner in Grizzlies-Hornets (video)

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Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant has had a game-saving block and game-winning assist.

Now, he has the glory of a game-winning shot.

Morant sealed the Memphis’ 119-117 win over the Hornets with a driving scoop in the final second tonight. He led Memphis with 23 points and 11 assists.

P.J. Tucker misses open fastbreak layup, trips on stanchion (video)

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I want to give P.J. Tucker a break. He’s the Rockets’ most (only?) reliable defender. He has such a heavy burden covering for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just generally undersized lineups.

But this missed layup was so bad. And that stumble over the stanchion really seals the goof.