Archive for May 10th, 2008

I’m watching Game 3 of the Celtics-Cavaliers series, in Cleveland, and as the Celtics came up the court Kevin Garnett got called for an offensive foul call, as he bumped into Delonte West but possibly appeared to shove him in the process, causing West to fall down. It possibly should have just been a no-call. It certainly wasn’t a charge.

Anyway, mere seconds after the call, referee Bennett Salvatore called a technical foul on Celtics coach Doc Rivers. I absolutely hate that sort of call, when a tech comes that quickly. Players and coaches should be allowed to vent for a few seconds, or even longer, without fear of the ref responding by doing something that hurts their team and possibly gets them thrown out of the game.

This all came at around 3:42 in the first quarter with the Cavs enjoying an early 18-8 lead.

New Knicks coach is Mike D’antoni

The New York Daily News (Frank Isola) reports: The Knicks gave their head coaching job to ex-Suns coach Mike D’Antoni on Saturday. D’Antoni built an offensive powerhouse in Phoenix with two-time MVP Steve Nash and now replaces Isiah Thomas on the Knicks, inheriting his mess in the process. Mike D’Antoni averaged 58 wins over his last four seasons with the Phoenix Suns and was the architect of one of the NBA’s most exciting offensive teams. Of course, he also had Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion executing his game plan. Now, he’ll presumably be working with Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph.

Keon Clark still in legal mess

The Toronto Sun  (Frank Zicarelli) reports:  Of the many characters to play in Toronto, few could match Keon Clark, whose demons continue to haunt him. On Thursday, Clark was convicted on a misdemeanour weapons charge stemming from a March 2006 incident at his Danville, Ill., home. He faces a year in prison. The ruling follows Clark’s bench trial for possession of a firearm without a valid card. Yesterday, he was scheduled to stand trial on disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in January 2007; criminal damage to property over $300 US in September and three driving infractions stemming from two incidents in March 2007 and one in July.

May 9: Jazz 104, Lakers 99

The AP reports: So much for Carlos Boozer’s slump and the Lakers’ unbeaten run through the playoffs. Boozer scored 27 points and tied a career playoff-high with 20 rebounds to lead Utah to a 104-99 victory Friday night, cutting Los Angeles’ lead in the Western Conference semifinals to 2-1. The Jazz handed the Lakers their first loss of this season’s playoffs and got back into the series by doing at home what they couldn’t do on the road. The Jazz hit exactly half their shots and forced the Lakers into 18 turnovers, looking very little like the team that stumbled through two straight losses in Los Angeles to open the series… The Jazz took the lead early in the second quarter and never gave it up. Utah held off a late push by the Lakers and league MVP Kobe Bryant, who had 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds but could not carry the team alone. Nobody else scored more than 13 points for Los Angeles… Utah’s offense was stagnant in the first two games, but on Friday the Jazz started hitting from the outside and moving the ball around enough to clear the inside for the layups their offense is designed to create. Boozer started slowly, but finished 12-for-21 and had 11 points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter.

InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Jazz shot 50.0%, the Lakers 48.5%. Both teams struggled from three-point range, but the Jazz were slightly better (and Mehmet Okur hit four threes). The Lakers were better at the free throw line, going 30-of-37, the Jazz 20-of-28. Rebounding was close, but the Jazz had 21 assists, the Lakers 14. And the Lakers threw the ball away more.

For the Jazz, Boozer had 27 points and 20 rebounds. Mehmet Okur (8-of-14, 4-of-7 threes) had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, but 5 turnovers. Deron Williams (6-of-12) had 18 points and 12 assists. Andrei Kirilenko (5-of-9) had 12 points and little else. Matt Harpring (4-of-8) scored 12 off the bench.

For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant on just 20 shots had 34 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists (4 turnovers). Lamar Odom (3-of-3) had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Derek Fisher (3-of-6) had 13 points and 3 steals. Pau Gasol (6-of-10) had just 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, but 5 turnovers. And Luke Walton scored 11 with 2 steals off the bench. Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic combined to go 0-for-9 for 0 points.

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