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Watch 76ers drop, clean up confetti during loss to Celtics (video)

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76ers guard Marco Belinelli made a game-tying jumper at the end of the fourth quarter against the Celtics on Saturday – not the game-winning 3-pointer some thought it to be.

Unfortunately, among those who misjudged Belinelli’s distance from the basket was the man in charge of the confetti in Philadelphia.

Even more unfortunately for the 76ers, after a delay to clean up the mess, the Celtics won in overtime to take a 3-0 series lead.

Apparently, the man responsible wore a very fitting shirt.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Report: New Rocket once told by teammate he must pick side between James Harden and Dwight Howard

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There was plenty of discord between James Harden and Dwight Howard when they played for the Rockets together.

Just how bad did it get?

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

Back then Houston’s locker room was divided along the fault line separating Harden and Dwight Howard, and factions were so pronounced that one veteran told a new acquisition, “When you come here, you have to pick your side.”

That fun trip down memory lane is part of an excellent feature on the current Rockets I suggest reading in full.

Houston obviously chose its side correctly. Harden will win MVP this year and is leading the Rockets in the second round. Howard has declined considerably, and his Hornets didn’t make the playoffs.

Harden’s relationship with Howard was one reason for concern with the Rockets adding Chris Paul. But Harden has clearly learned from that time, and he and Paul seem to get along well.

Report: Significant angst within Timberwolves organization

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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The Timberwolves just ended a 13-year playoff drought. They have multiple stars in Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. Tom Thibodeau is making headway in remaking the franchise, as he was hired to do.

So, everything is rosy in Minnesota, right?

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN:

Being at Games 3 and 4, I found it interesting, fascinating, however you want to describe it, the amount of people that sought me out, within the organization, to just spew whatever. Put it this way: To suggest it’s a cohesive bunch, that organization, to think that they’re holding hands singing Kumbaya, is laughable. There is a lot of disconnect. Now, where do you want to begin on that? Should Tom Thibodeau know the names of people on the business side, on the marketing side? There may be some people listening say, “No. Why? Win games. He won games. Who cares?” But there are people upset that he alienates himself. There’s a big wall up. He’s got his guard up constantly. He always appears to be grumpy.

You get to 47 wins. You sell out the building 16 times. The TV ratings go up 78 percent. And, again, that’s from rock bottom a year ago, but still. The TV ratings go up 78 percent. There should be a ton to celebrate, right? Just on the surface. You look at those things. But I’m telling you, there is so much angst, and I’m telling you, disconnect behind the scenes.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Thibodeau have different sensibilities. Thibodeau focuses on winning, no matter how many feathers must be ruffled in the process. Taylor prefers a more genteel approach.

There are real questions whether they can coexist long-term.

This is why it was so fascinating Taylor hired Thibodeau as president-coach in the first place. Thibodeau showed his coaching acumen with the Bulls. But he also did so in a hard-driving way that suggested trouble transitioning to the wider perspective necessary of a team president.

Debate how involved Thibodeau should be in the business side. If Taylor wants him to be more cordial to people on the business side, that alone makes it an issue.

Thibodeau’s on-court success will buy him time. Winning cures most ills.

But expectations are only increasing after Minnesota lost in five games to the Rockets in the first round. Thibodeau’s style – which includes a stubbornness that makes him unlikely to change that style – could give him less margin for error.

Goran Dragic endorses Donovan Mitchell for Rookie of the Year after Ben Simmons’ awful game

AP Photo/Joe Skipper
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Many current NBA players have taken a side in the heated Rookie of the Year debate between Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell’s supporters have had numerous opportunities to state their case. Even though it’s a regular-season award, after any of the Jazz guard’s superb playoff games would have been a good time to deliver a pro-Mitchell message.

But Heat guard Goran Dragic didn’t do that. He waited until Ben Simmons had a dud – one point on 0-of-5 shooting with seven assists, five rebounds and five turnovers, -23 – in the 76ers’ Game 2 loss to the Celtics last night.

Dragic:

This probably has little to do with Mitchell, nicknamed “Spider.”

Simmons campaigned publicly for an All-Star spot that went to Dragic. The point guards got into it multiple times during Philadelphia’s first-round win over Miami.

This is such a petty retaliation by Dragic – and I love it.