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Dwight Howard cited for speeding, has car towed on night Hawks eliminated

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Well, that was a crappy day.

Back on April 28, the Washington Wizards went into Atlanta and beat the Hawks, ending Atlanta’s playoff run and season. Dwight Howard had an uninspiring nine points, seven rebounds, and five turnovers. After the game, he was frustrated about how he was being used. Or something.

He decided to get those frustrations out with a long, fast drive. Except, that didn’t go so well either, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Just a few hours after that loss, Howard was pulled over by police in Dunwoody. A few minutes later, an officer had the eight-time NBA All-Star’s car towed.

A police report states that Howard, 31, was pulled over for speeding in the wee hours of the morning on April 29. Police found that he was driving on a suspended registration and without insurance.

Ouch.

Howard got off fairly lightly for going 95 in a 65 zone, according to the report the AJC saw. Howard was given a ticket for not having insurance but a verbal warning for speeding and the lack of registration. The vehicle was towed, Howard got in the black SUV of his bodyguard (who had followed Howard while he was driving/speeding).

It’s going to be an interesting off-season for Howard, who has two-years and $47 million left on his contract. Depending on who the new head of basketball operations for the Hawks turns out to be, and what direction he takes the roster, Howard could find himself on the trade block. Not that he would fetch much, as the playoffs showed the game is moving in a direction that doesn’t fit with Howard’s game anymore.

Draymond Green on Cavaliers in East: “When you watch them, you watch one team playing good basketball”

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Draymond Green is talking a lot lately.

On the day he made pot-calling-the-kettle-black comments about Boston’s Kelly Olynyk being a “dirty” player, Green decided to take shots at every team save the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference when asked about Cleveland’s romp through the East.

Via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“I thought teams would compete a little harder,” Green said after shootaround on Monday. “I just watched San Antonio-Houston. I like to watch good basketball. When you watch Cleveland play, you’re only watching one side of the good basketball. That’s kind of weak.

“I like watching a good game, not even necessarily that it’s going to be a close game. I like to watch teams playing good basketball. When you watch them, you watch one team playing good basketball and everybody else do something. I don’t know what that something is.”

Some quick thoughts here.

• Green is right, nobody was terribly impressed by Indiana in the first round, then again nobody was impressed by Portland either.

• In the second round, the Cavaliers played better defense, exploited mismatches, and dismissed the 51-win Raptors with ease. The Warriors are up 3-0 heading into Monday night’s game with the 51-win Utah Jazz. While I would argue the Jazz are better built for the postseason than the Raptors, it’s not like the Warriors have had a difficult path through the playoffs.

• It’s not the Cavaliers’ fault that the rest of the East does not have a true contender among them. If anything, teams on the rise in the East are trying to make their peak a couple of years from now when, in theory, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have started to fade. Right now, Cleveland is a juggernaut in the East.

• LeBron has been the best player in the playoffs, and most concerning to Golden State should be his 46.8 percent three-point shooting in the postseason. Golden State’s go-to strategy against LeBron is to go under the pick and dare him to beat them with his jumper, because that’s less dangerous than him on the drive, but if LeBron is knocking down those shots a Finals rubber match just got a lot more interesting.

Shaquille O’Neal will be on cover of NBA 2K18 Legend Edition

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He is the MDE. The Diesel. The Big Aristotle. The Big Cactus. Superman. Shaq Daddy.

He’s also a Hall of Famer and still one of the faces of the NBA.

And Shaquille O’Neal will be on the cover of NBA 2K18 Legend Edition when it comes out this fall, 2K sports announced today.

“I want to thank NBA 2K for their continuous support of my basketball and broadcast career,” O’Neal. “I’m excited to be on the cover of the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition and I hope my fans have a blast playing it up big man style and re-creating my most legendary in-game moments!”

This is Shaq’s third time on an NBA 2K cover, for those of you counting such things. If you’re trying to get people’s attention on the cover, hard to go wrong with this call.

Gamers who pre-order the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition will receive special Shaq memorabilia, in-game content, and Early Tip-Off Access beginning September 15, 2K announced.

The best way to keep up with the latest on NBA 2K18 is to follow @NBA2K on Twitter, or if your older you can do it on Facebook.

It was raining threes again and Rockets blow past Spurs 125-104, even series 2-2

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Coach Mike D’Antoni’s formula for Houston to win in this series is pretty simple: The pace has to be up, the threes have to fall, and the role players — particularly off the bench — have to step up with big games.

Game 4 saw the Houston back to running and gunning. The Rockets hit 19 threes on 44.2 percent shooting from deep, ( well above the 30.8 percent they shot in Game 3). All those threes falling forced the Spurs to extend their defense, then the Rockets started putting the ball on the floor and blowing by them in what felt like a layup line at points.

And the Rockets got help for James Harden. Ryan Anderson had 13 points (up from 2 in the previous game), and the Houston bench had 50 points, well ahead of the 10 last game. Eric Gordon led the way with 22.

The result of all this was a 125-104 win for the Rockets at home, evening the series at 2-2 heading back to San Antonio for Game 5 Tuesday.

“Several guys stepped up tonight,” James Harden said after a 28 point, 12 assist night (eight of the 12 dimes were for threes). “Ryan, Lou, Eric, Trevor, Pat, and if we’re going to have a chance at this series they’re going to have to make plays, and they did tonight.”

The Rockets did all this without Nene, who suffered a groin injury two minutes in and could not play. His status for the rest of the series is up in the air.

Patrick Beverley was the inspiration for Houston, on the day he lost his grandfather he played fantastic ball, scored 10 points and that included hitting the first three of the night.

“As always, he’s probably the heart and soul, the guy, he’s just incredible,” D’Antoni said postgame.

“So much adversity through his life that he’s had to go through to get to this point,” Harden added. “He’s just a fighter.”

The real story of this game was pace — the Rockets were running again, and the Spurs again got sucked into playing fast for stretches. They also didn’t slow the Rockets transition game.

“For us, our Bible begins with transition defense, and if it’s not there we’re just not ready to go,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “If you’d seen the clips of our transition D you would have traded all the players and fired me at the end of the game. It was that bad. But they were that intense, they were that focused and professional, and we were not.”

One key to the pace this series has been rebounding. The Rockets had been killed on the offensive glass the last couple games and that slowed down their attack. The Spurs grabbed the offensive board on 32.8 percent of their missed shots in Game 3, but in Game 4 that fell to 24 percent, which allowed the Rockets to get out and run more.

With that pace and space, the shots fell — the Rockets even shot 62 percent on the shots contested by the Spurs (according to NBA.com). In addition to Harden’s 28 points and Gordon’s 22, Trevor Ariza had 16, and Lou Williams pitched in 13 off the bench.

Jonathon Simmons led the Spurs 1ith 17 points off the bench and he played well. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 32 points on 27 shots. They will need to play better at home if the Spurs are to take control of this series again.

More importantly, the Spurs will need to control the pace of Game 5 to get that crucial win.

Check out the best assists from the regular season (VIDEO)

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What else have you got to do on a lazy Sunday morning?

Spend 13 minutes or so enjoying the best assists from last season in the NBA. There’s plenty of James Harden, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard and other stars, but also a few from unexpected sources. And ones you saw back in January but forgot.

It’s a great way to prep for a triple-header of games Sunday.