The big winners?
Here are the All-NBA teams (first-team votes, second-team votes, third-team votes, total voting points):
G: James Harden, Houston (100-0-0-500)
G: Damian Lillard, Portland (71-24-5-432)
F: LeBron James, Cleveland (100-0-0-500)
F: Kevin Durant, Golden State (63-37-0-426)
C: Anthony Davis, New Orleans (96-4-0-492)
G: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (24-63-13-322)
G: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto (2-39-38-165)
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee (28-71-1-354)
F: LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio (2-68-22-236)
C: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia (11-78-5-294)
G: Stephen Curry, Golden State (2-39-37-164)
G: Victor Oladipo, Indiana (0-24-33-105)
F: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota (1-8-52-81)
F: Paul George, Oklahoma City (0-4-42-54)
C: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota (0-18-45-99)
Other players receiving votes with point totals: Chris Paul (Houston), 54; Rudy Gobert (Utah), 51; Kyrie Irving (Boston), 42; Ben Simmons (Philadelphia), 36; Al Horford (Boston), 32; Nikola Jokic (Denver), 28; Andre Drummond (Detroit), 7; Clint Capela (Houston), 6; Draymond Green (Golden State), 6; Kyle Lowry (Toronto), 3; Steven Adams (Oklahoma City), 2; Donovan Mitchell (Utah), 2; Klay Thompson (Golden State), 2; Trevor Ariza (Houston), 1; DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans), 1; Dwight Howard (Charlotte), 1; Kevin Love (Cleveland), 1; Kristaps Porzingis (New York), 1
- Most underrated by this voting: Chris Paul
- Most overrated by this voting: DeMar DeRozan
- Anthony Davis clinches he’ll be eligible for a designated-veteran-player extension in the 2019 offseason, but only from the Pelicans. Will that keep him in New Orleans?
- Who the heck voted for Trevor Ariza? That had to be a submission error, right?
- Here were my picks.
It might have already cost Joel Embiid.
The 76ers center made just the All-NBA second team, landing behind the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. Davis surged after Cousins went down, earning overall credit from All-NBA voters, who were also increasingly likely to view him as a center rather than just a forward.
As a result, Davis made the All-NBA first team at center – costing Embiid about $29 million over the next five years.
Embiid’s contract extension, which kicks in next season, calls for his starting salary to be 25% of the salary cap (the typical max for a player with his experience level). If he made the All-NBA first team, his starting salary would have been 30% of the salary cap .
Though the exact cap won’t be determined until July, here’s what Embiid is projected to earn on his standard max and what he could’ve earned on the super max (with 8% raises in both cases):
Obviously Embiid will still earn a lot of money, and he and Philadelphia have a bright future.
But it’s hard not to think, if Cousins didn’t get hurt, Embiid would be even richer.
At least the 76ers have more cap space to pursue their big goals.
HOUSTON (AP)– The Houston Rockets will wear patches on their jerseys to honor the victims of the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
The patches will read: “Santa Fe HS.” It’s one of several tributes the team plans following Friday’s shooting. Eight students and two teachers died at the school, located 30 miles from downtown Houston.
The school’s high school choir will perform the national anthem. There will be a moment of silence and a video tribute before tipoff.
Santa Fe’s senior class and administrators have been invited to attend the game as guests of owner Tilman Fertitta. The Rockets also will honor first responders on the court.
Proceeds from Thursday night’s charity raffle will go to the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.
Despite trailing 2-1 as the top seed in the Western Conference finals in a season his star deemed “the year,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni claimed all the pressure was on Warriors in Game 4.
Of course, nobody believed D’Antoni.
D’Antoni didn’t even believe himself.
He played P.J. Tucker 44 minutes, James Harden 43 minutes, Chris Paul 42 minutes and Trevor Ariza 41 minutes in Houston’s win. That was the first time four teammates played 40 minutes in regulation of a non-elimination playoff game in a half decade.*
*The Pacers gave 40 minutes to Paul George, George Hill, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson in Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. After that win, Indiana lost to the Heat in Game 7. Since, only the Warriors – who used Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in Game 7 of the 2016 Western Conference finals against the Thunder – have played just seven players in a playoff game.
D’Antoni’s rotation revealed his desperation to win Game 4. And who could blame him? A 3-1 deficit to this mighty Golden State squad would have been nearly insurmountable.
Not only did D’Antoni lean heavily on his top players, he didn’t even spread around the remaining minutes. Just seven Rockets played in Game 4 – Tucker, Harden, Paul, Ariza, Eric Gordon, Clint Capela and Gerald Green.
How fatigued will those players be in Game 5 tonight?
In the last 20 years, teams have used just seven players in a playoff game 28 times. In their following game, those teams went 10-15. (Two were eliminated.)
Here are the full results:
Teams have used so few players just twice in the previous decade, but the super-shortened rotation was once a D’Antoni specialty. The practice only waned while he was mostly missing the playoffs with the Knicks and Lakers. In fact, 14 of the last 18 times a team used just seven players in a playoff game, D’Antoni did it.
The most recent previous example came in Game 5 of last year’s Rockets-Spurs second-round series. Houston lost by 39 and got eliminated in the next game – which became known for Harden running out of gas.
Will the result be different this time?
The Warriors have their own physical-readiness issues. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are banged up. Golden State coach Steve Kerr should probably tighten his rotation, especially removing Nick Young. It’s not as if the Warriors gave up on Game 4, either. Draymond Green played 45 minutes, Kevin Durant 43, Klay Thompson 39 and Curry 39.
These conference finals are shaping up to be a great battle. It might be one of attrition.