It was tied and tight at the end, with the feel of a playoff game between Memphis and Houston. Both teams went to their stars at the end to get the win.
Houston isolated James Harden, who drove around his defender into the trees of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol but didn’t the call he was hunting (Randolph got away with a reach).
Marc Gasol didn’t go hunting. Through the key stretches of the game, Kevin McHale had Terrence Jones on Gasol, and while Jones had a fantastic game (again) that is a tough matchup for him. The play was Gasol isolated (it was supposed to be at the elbow, but he was almost out to the wing), he drove and Jones couldn’t stop him.
If you’re wondering “how do the Grizzlies win close games in the playoffs without a superstar” go watch that video again. They have the guys.
(Sorry that this video has the homer Rockets announcers on it. They certainly can make a case Harden deserved that late call, that’s how fans should react, but that’s also far from the only reason the Rockets lost the game.)
Watch Carmelo Anthony’s first bucket as a Trail Blazer
That Carmelo Anthony started the first game he played for Portland speaks to why they signed him in the first place — this team is so shorthanded along the front line that the guy they just signed got thrown into the fire.
Anthony responded with a solid level of play. His first bucket was a wing three where both defenders went to CJ McCollum and left ‘Melo wide open.
Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.
On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.
“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.
It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.
“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”
Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.
If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!
Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon
At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.
Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:
He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.
Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.
This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.
Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).
Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity