Dwight Howard fined for hard foul on Matt Barnes
The NBA announced today that they have fined Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard $15,000 for making contact above the shoulders with Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes in Rockets-Clippers Game 4 on May 10.
Howard’s actions occurred with 9:21 remaining in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 128-95 win over the Rockets on May 10 at Staples Center.
The Clippers currently lead their second round series with the Rockets three games to one.
Hopefully people can handle the truth
Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on Paul Pierce, who as a member of the Washington Wizards is currently making life difficult for the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs:
Someday, Pierce may have to deal with deals of his own. He won’t be through with basketball when he’s through playing, and, yes, he’d very much be interested in returning to the Celtics to work and learn under Ainge when he’s done bedeviling younger opponents.
“Truthfully, I love the game,” he said. “I want to have my hands on some aspect of the game, whether it be management, ownership. I don’t know right now about coaching. I’m not sure yet. But I definitely want to be involved with the game in some form or fashion.
“It’s definitely a tough business,” he added. “It’s definitely hard work that Danny has to do. He has to think about so many things that come into play when you’re a GM. It’s the relationship you have with the players, it’s the future, it’s about the money and the salary cap. You’ve got to make difficult decisions all the time. And as bad as he wants to win, he understands it’s a building process also, until you can make your move.
“It’s like playing chess. You know, sometimes you’ve got to play your pawns, like he did in ’07, until he made his big move to make the trades. . . . Sometimes it works, and sometimes it don’t.”
Asked if he could see himself in that job, Pierce grins. “I think I’m a fairly good chess player.”
DeAndre Jordan sets a free throw-related NBA record
If you watched yesterday’s Game 4 between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers, your main memory may be that of a tall dude standing still at a line while missing free throws. Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting:
What a long, strange trip to the free-throw line for DeAndre Jordan. Again and again.
The Clippers center is now in the NBA record books, though not for a reason he’d ever envision, after taking 28 free-throw attempts in the first half of the Clippers’ playoff game Sunday.
The Houston Rockets kept fouling him intentionally, so Jordan kept going to the line, eventually passing Shaquille O’Neal’s 27 free-throw attempts for the Lakers against Portland in the second half of a 2000 playoff game.
“That’s crazy,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. “I’ve never witnessed that or experienced that. For us to just maintain our composure … we just grinded it out.”
All in all, Jordan made 14 of 34 free throws in the Clippers’ 128-95 victory over Houston in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Kyrie Irving struggling, playing with foot strain
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving looks like a shade of his former self lately as he struggles to play through injury. Would taking a game off to recover help? Problem is, there’s no margin for error left. The Cavs and Chicago Bulls are tied 2-2 in their very gritty second round playoff series. Both teams are two losses away from elimination. Tough situation, especially with the Cavs already missing injured forward Kevin Love. Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting:
It’s been a frustrating last few games for Irving, who has been diagnosed with a right foot strain. He gave everything he had on Sunday, but the three-time All-Star still couldn’t prevent the thoughts from creeping into his head: He started to feel like he had a question for his teammates.
“I asked them if they still wanted me out there,” he revealed after Cleveland’s 86-84 Game 4 win against Chicago.
This is not the same unstoppable offensive force who stunned San Antonio for 57 points in March; or the player who exploded for 30 points in his playoff debut against Boston, squashing any talk about his readiness for the NBA’s biggest stage.
This is a wounded youngster who scored 12 points on Sunday and is now averaging 11.5 points on 5-of-23 (21 percent) shooting in the last two games. But his numbers, while they are well below Irving’s standards, don’t seem to matter to his teammates. One of them, Iman Shumpert, didn’t hear Irving’s pointed query, but there wouldn’t have been much to ponder.
“I definitely always want him out there if he can go,” Shumpert said after the game. “We will be hurt after the season. Right now we have to get wins.”
No Dirk Nowitzki retirement plans yet
Here’s SportsDayDFW.com reporting what aging Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki recently said on KTCK-AM 1310:
On possibly retiring this offseason:
Dirk Nowitzki: “No. I definitely want to fulfill my contract. I signed on for three years last summer and I’m not going to retire after the first year. If I commit to something, I commit to it fully. I’ve got two more years and hopefully make it count, make it good ones. Hopefully deep playoff runs, that’s what we wanted this year. We wanted homecourt advantage to set us up for a nice little run, we just weren’t consistent enough to really get there, so, we’ll see how the next few years play out.”