Archive for the ‘ NBA Playoffs Blog ’ Category

It was a play added to the Washington Wizards’ offense a day earlier, and it was drawn up for a guy, Paul Pierce, who’s been doing this sort of thing for the better part of two decades.

With three defenders near him, Pierce made a fallaway, 21-foot jumper that went in off the backboard at the buzzer to lift the Wizards over the Atlanta Hawks 103-101 on Saturday night, despite playing without John Wall and after letting a 21-point lead evaporate…

Schroder and Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 18 points apiece. … Paul Millsap was out of the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms and looked lethargic once he was on the court. He had eight points and two rebounds.

– Associated Press

Glen Davis fined for flopping

Big babies sometimes fall down. It happens.

Glen Davis fined for flopping

Los Angeles Clippers forward-center Glen Davis has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 3 of the Clippers’ Conference Semifinals series against the Houston Rockets.

The incident occurred with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 124-99 victory over the Rockets last night at Staples Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

Look. In games, players fall. And when that player has the ball, sometimes another player tries to grab it. These things happen. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Grizzlies guard Mike Conley and Warriors forward Draymond Green:

Mike Conley not mad at Draymond Green

In the days following Mike Conley’s Game 2 brush with Warriors’ power forward Draymond Green, the Grizzlies’ point guard has gone from “no comment” to “it is what it is” to forming an opinion.

“At the end of the day, I think Draymond Green is a phenomenal player,” Conley said before Friday’s practice. “He’s a competitor. In the heat of the game, things happen. Guys get hit. Guys bring a lot of passion to the game. I have no opinion other than that. I think it was just basketball.”

Conley was driving through the lane when he got tied up by Green and Klay Thompson midway through the second quarter. He recovered the ball with 4:58 remaining and called a timeout while lying on his back with the ball near his chin. Green reached in to try to grab the ball and bumped Conley in a mask designed to protect surgically repaired facial fractures.

Officials reviewed the play as a potential “hostile act” and didn’t call a foul, but that hasn’t changed the opinion of the Grizzlies’ fans. Green said he’s gotten Twitter hate and warnings about coming to Memphis.

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Matt Barnes fined for cursing at a fan

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been fined $50,000 for directing inappropriate language at a fan, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The “fan,” it turned out, was the mother of Houston Rockets star James Harden.

According to the Houston Chronicle, “Barnes said today that he didn’t know it was Harden’s mother and that he has spoken with her twice since the incident. Barnes also said reports of what he said aren’t accurate. “We’ve spoken twice since the incident,” Barnes said. “She said something. I said something back. I spoke to her at halftime and after the game. “What I said was said, what she said was said. It doesn’t matter what was said, we both said something. “What’s crazy is fans can say anything and everything. Things about our wives, our kids, anything. We say one thing, and they run and tell, and next thing you know (I’m fined)…”

The incident occurred during the Clippers’ 115-109 loss to the Rockets on May 6 at Toyota Center.

Joakim Noah fined $25,000 for pushing a fan

Joakim Noah fined $25,000 for pushing a fan

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been fined $25,000 for pushing a fan, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred at halftime of the Bulls’ 106-91 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 6 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on John Wall, who has multiple hand and wrist injuries and is still presumably done for the playoffs:

Slight hope that injured John Wall can return during these playoffs

While the end appears near for John Wall this postseason, he’s not giving up hope that he could actually play again in this series with the Atlanta Hawks that is tied 1-1 with Game 3 Saturday at Verizon Center. Or at some point in the playoffs if the Wizards can advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Friday, he avoided giving any specifics on a timetable for his return from a left hand and wrist that has five non-displaced fractures.

“It’s moving better but there’s still pain there,” said Wall, who led the Wizards to a 104-98 win in Game 1 with 18 points and 13 assists. “I haven’t tried dribbling again so I’ll probably try it tomorrow. Just the same pain has been there even if the swelling goes down a little bit.

“I have no idea (if I can play again). Depends on my swelling and how all the pain goes away. I finished Game 1 with it not knowing I had anything wrong and then I came back and got evaluations so I have no idea.”

Matt Barnes says Chris Paul will play Rockets-Clippers Game 3

Here’s ESPN LA quoting Matt Barnes on Chris Paul:

Matt Barnes says Chris Paul will play Rockets-Clippers Game 3

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul plans to start Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets on Friday, according to teammate Matt Barnes.

After going through an on-court workout on Thursday and a shootaround on Friday, Paul told teammates he plans to play in Friday’s game.

“He said he’s playing tonight,” Barnes said Friday after going through shootaround with Paul. “You just hope that he’s ready. His game is so much stop-and-go, and he’s such an integral part of our team. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the game because we’re going to need him for this run.”

Chris Paul making progress, may play in Game 3 vs Rockets

The Clippers stepped up without Chris Paul in Game 1 but could have used him in Game 2. And need him back as soon as possible. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Chris Paul making progress, may play in Game 3 vs Rockets

The Clippers left Houston with a win, plenty of confidence and homecourt advantage. But the biggest, most important thing leaving town with the Clippers was a point guard who wasn’t any more injured.

Chris Paul, the man whose last-second shot sent the NBA’s defending champions packing in Round 1, didn’t have to push it in Houston. He didn’t need to try and play to prove the Clippers can be competitive.

Instead, he rested. He healed. He put himself in position to possibly come back.

Paul went through a comprehensive workout on the court Thursday, giving him his best chance to play Friday in Game 3.

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, who returned to action and helped his squad beat the Warriors in Golden State to tie their second-round playoff series at one win apiece:

Mike Conley returns, helps Grizzlies beat Warriors in Game 2

After his fearless performance in a Game 2 win over Golden State on Tuesday night, the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley admitted that he was getting pushed and pulled in different directions as to whether he should play so soon after a serious facial injury.

The push was likely coming from some teammates, who sorely missed their point guard’s presence in a decisive Game 1 loss. The pull was coming from his parents, who believed that the 27-year-old should wait a little longer before putting himself at risk again.

A game-high 22-point effort, including nine first-quarter points and a key three-pointer in the closing minutes, and Conley’s parents are probably just fine with their son’s gutsy decision.

“I had to tell my mom and dad, no, I’m playing regardless,” Conley said. “But, I think they’re happy at the end of the day. They support me.”

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

With Chris Paul out, it was the Blake Griffin show even more than usual yesterday. And he stepped up in multiple ways. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader

Blake Griffin has always been a quiet leader.

When Chris Paul is yelling instructions or screaming for his teammates to huddle, Griffin can usually be found standing beside the rest of his teammates listening.

“I’m not ever one of those guys that’s going to yell at guys,” Griffin said. “It’s about helping them out.”

On Monday, Griffin helped out the Los Angeles Clippers by morphing into the vocal leader they were missing. With Paul sidelined for the game with a strained left hamstring, Griffin took over and made sure his play, and his voice, were heard loud and clear in leading the Clippers to a 117-101 Game 1 win over the Houston Rockets.

Griffin notched his second straight triple-double — and third in his past eight postseason games — with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. He became the first player with back-to-back triple-doubles in the postseason since Jason Kidd accomplished the feat in 2002 and just the third non-guard with back-to-back triple-doubles in the postseason since John Havelick in 1967 and Wilt Chamberlain (twice) in 1968.

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

Pau Gasol is rocking, Derrick Rose looks like D-Rose again and the Chicago Bulls, playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers (no Kevin Love, no J.R. Smith) took a 1-0 lead in their second round playoff series. Here’s the Bulls.com blog:

D-Rose helps Bulls take Game 1 vs Cavs

The Bulls Monday didn’t slay the giant, though their 99-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal was complete, efficient and impressive.

Derrick Rose had 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, Pau Gasol added 21 points and 10 rebounds, 13 points in the third quarter when the Cavaliers rallied back from a 16-point deficit, and Jimmy Butler added 20 points and a clinching, driving bank shot with 30.6 seconds left.

The wire-to-wire victory gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the series with Game 2 in Cleveland Wednesday.

But it takes four whacks to slay a giant in these things, a giant who has stolen the Bulls championship hopes and dreams the last five years, twice even after losing the first game of a playoff series. Maybe it’s different this time, and perhaps he’s not quite the fearsome giant.

“It’s not a point about looking in the past or talking about the past,” said Rose, who had a late scare with a shoulder “stinger” that apparently proved no problem. “The teammates I have on my team right now, like I said, I’m grateful. I’m so fortunate to be playing with them. I think we can be a dangerous team.

“The way I used to play back in the day is totally different than the way I play now,” added Rose. “I can’t think about the past or even put in my head (losing playoff series after being ahead 1-0). I can only have positive thoughts; just trying to lead my team in a positive way. You can’t think of how many times he beat us in the past; it’s over. We’re in the present now.”

Warriors take Game 1 vs Grizzlies

Warriors take Game 1 vs Grizzlies

Stephen Curry had 22 points and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors wore down the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies in a 101-86 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday.

Klay Thompson added 18 points and Draymond Green scored 16 to help the top-seeded Warriors roll to their 21st straight victory at raucous Oracle Arena. They led by nine at the half, 20 late in the third quarter and never let the Grizzlies build any momentum in the fourth.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Oakland.

Marc Gasol had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for a Memphis team missing point guard Mike Conley. He sat on the bench in a suit, his left eye still swollen, as he continues to recover from surgery to repair broken bones in his face.

– AP

Wizards take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks

Wizards take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks

The second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs began today with a road win by the Washington Wizards in Atlanta. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:

The Wizards repeated the feat Sunday, rolling off the Atlanta Hawks’ explosive punches to erase a 12-point third-quarter deficit and stun the hosts, 104-98, and seize control of another series at Philips Arena. With the victory, Washington improved to 8-1 on the road in the playoffs the past two seasons under Coach Randy Wittman. The Wizards are the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1s on the road.

Bradley Beal headed the effort with 28 points but sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter. He returned but was held scoreless the rest of the way. John Wall played through a left wrist injury he suffered in the second period to post 18 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

DeMarre Carroll erupted for 21 points in the first half — the most a Hawks player has scored in a half this season – but was held to just three in the second half. His 24 points led five Hawks in double figures. Al Horford (17 points and 17 rebounds) and Paul Millsap (15 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists) each registered double-doubles but Atlanta was held to 35 points in the second half after recording 37 in the first quarter alone.

Cavs set to resume play after long layoff

You remember the Cleveland Cavaliers, right? They swept the Boston Celtics and have been sitting and waiting to begin the second round. They’re without power forward Kevin Love for the rest of the playoffs, though. And without shooting guard J.R. Smith for a couple of games. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

By sweeping the Boston Celtics out of the first round of the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers saved themselves the stress that comes with an elongated series but gave themselves a new challenge to think about: How will they respond as a team to having eight days off in between Game 4 against Boston and Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls on Monday?

“It’s a concern,” Cavs coach David Blatt said Sunday after his team’s final practice before it opens up the second round, “and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because that’s a long time, and our opponent obviously played games during that time.”

The Bulls, who beat the Milwaukee Bucks by 54 points in a close-out Game 6 on Thursday, should be coming into the Eastern Conference semifinals with some semblance of game rhythm. The Cavs, meanwhile, practiced five out of the seven days they’ve had to wait since finishing their first-round series.

“I hope we respond well,” Blatt continued. “Exactly what that’s going to look like initially, it’s hard for me to say.”

Mavs players decline to share playoff money with Rondo

If Rajon Rondo wasn’t going to share his heart or talent with the Dallas Mavericks, the Mavs players apparently didn’t want to share their playoff bonus with him. Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting:

During their exit interview with the media Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks players made all of the politically correct comments when asked about wayward point guard Rajon Rondo.

But when it came time for the 14 players to vote on whether or not to give Rondo a share of the pool of money they earned for qualifying for the playoffs, the Mavs players voted not to give him a share, according to multiple sources.

For participating in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs earned a total of $208,940. Shared equally among the other 14 players, that’s an estimated $14,924 per player.

Doc Rivers fined for public criticism of officiating

Doc Rivers fined for public criticism of officiating

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Rivers made his comments following the Clippers’ 111-107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, April 28, at Staples Center.

Tyson Chandler denies throwing a punch at Dwight Howard

Here’s the Houston Chronicle clearing up something you may have heard about but probably didn’t because it didn’t actually happen. Not the Chronicle’s fault. They’re simply clarifying what’s up. Here is the report:

Tyson Chandler denies throwing a punch at Dwight Howard

Dallas center Tyson Chandler said he had no idea there were rumors that he might face suspension for an altercation between he and Rockets center Dwight Howard in Game 4 on Sunday.

On Monday, a video of a play where Chandler and Howard were tangled up and both called for technical fouls floated around social media. In some angles, it looked like Chandler might have thrown a punch, which according to NBA rules would have left him with a one-game suspension.

Chandler said he hadn’t heard any of that speculation until shoot around before Game 5 on Tuesday.

“That is the first time I heard that,” Chandler said. “I didn’t throw any punches. I wouldn’t throw a punch at Dwight.”

Kevin Love injury update: Out for second round, perhaps longer

nba blog

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love sustained a left shoulder dislocation during the first quarter of yesterday’s game in Boston vs. the Celtics. His shoulder was assessed, reduced in the locker room, immobilized and he did not return to the game. X-rays and a MRI have been performed, as well as further evaluation at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health today by Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard D. Parker and Dr. Mark Schickendantz.

Evaluation and imaging have defined the extent of the injury: an acute anterior inferior glenohumeral dislocation with the corresponding ligament/labrum tearing and humeral head bone bruising. Currently, Love is undergoing training room treatments while additional opinions are being obtained and treatment options being explored.

Love will be unavailable for the Cavaliers’ upcoming Conference Semifinal playoff series and an update regarding his status beyond that will be determined over the next several days.

J.R. Smith and Kelly Olynyk suspended, Kendrick Perkins fined

J.R. Smith and Kelly Olynyk suspended, Kendrick Perkins fined

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been suspended two games without pay and Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk has been suspended one game without pay for their roles in separate incidents during Cleveland’s 101-93 victory over Boston on April 26 at TD Garden, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations. In addition, Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins’ second quarter Flagrant Foul 1 has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 and he has been fined $15,000.

Smith’s incident, during which he swung his arm and made contact with the head of Celtics forward Jae Crowder, resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and his ejection at the 10:24 mark of the third quarter of the game. Smith will serve his suspension in Games 1 and 2 of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals when the Cavaliers host the winner of the Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks series.

The incident involving Olynyk, in which he became entangled with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and yanked his arm down, occurred with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter of the game. Olynyk will serve his suspension in the first game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

The incident involving Perkins occurred with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter of the same game.

To view the plays, click on the following links:

J.R. Smith

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/originals/2015/04/27/jr-smith.nba/index.html

Kelly Olynyk

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/originals/2015/04/27/kelly-olynyk.nba/index.html

Kendrick Perkins

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/originals/2015/04/27/kendrick-perkins.nba/index.html

After sweeping Pelicans, Warriors get time to rest

One really nice thing about tossing an opponent out of the playoffs as quickly as possible is that the winning team gets to relax and heal up before the next round begins. After sweeping the New Orleans Pelicans, the Golden State Warriors get to recover physically and study who they face next.  It’s a luxury. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

During the next week, the Warriors want to mix rest with repetitions, treatment with training and all-out scrimmaging with sit-down studying. It’s a delicate balance that Kerr observed a handful of times in winning five championships as a player with the Bulls and Spurs.

But the Warriors might actually have a head start on some of those teams. They’re pretty healthy and rested already.

Point guards Stephen Curry’s arms are scratched and bruised from being held and grabbed, and power forward Draymond Green rolled his left ankle a couple of times in the series. But the only player to miss any time during the first round was reserve forward-center David Lee, who has almost fully recovered from a lower back injury.

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