Time for a look around at what’s happening today in the NBA. We’ll be doing this every day from now on, right around 7-8 p.m. EDT.
- Doc Rivers was irate for receiving a technical foul in Game 1 against the Miami Heat for simply saying “Come on Eddie” to referee Ed Malloy, and rightfully so. From Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston: ”I know mine wasn’t (deserved). I can tell you that much,” said Rivers, whose team got hit with three individual technicals, a delay of game and an illegal defense call. “I don’t know how long I’ve been in this league, but that has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had. I would have loved to earn it. ”We should never get them anyway. I told our guys that. But everybody has to keep their composure. Not just the players and coaches.” Chris Sheridan discussed the issue today on KOA radio in Denver with Dave Logan and Dave Krieger. Click here to listen.
- For his honesty, Rivers will likely end up getting a fine because that is the way the NBA works under commissioner David Stern. Bad-mouthing referees in any way, shape or form – no matter how wrong they may be – always comes at a cost. While Kirk Minihane of WEEI Sportsradio understands that it is foolish to blame the Celtics’ loss on the officiating, he also believes NBA referees, for the most part, are thin-skinned, paranoid, tone deaf, incompetent and, remarkably, seemingly free of punishment for their blunders.
- Ray Allen has simply not been himself in these playoffs due to bone chips in his right ankle, and that notion was perfectly evident when he missed four of seven free throws in Game 1. It may force Rivers to consider sitting out the sharp-shooting guard: “It’s a tough call with him,” Rivers said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re trying to figure out a different minute rotation for him, maybe that will help him. We’re even considering sitting him for a game, getting him a longer rest and then playing him, and then sitting him for a game. We don’t know what the right thing is.”
- In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, James Harden was noticeably absent in making plays for his team in the fourth quarter. Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman details the results of failing to better utilize the bearded one : In the final 12 minutes, Harden initiated and orchestrated just three plays in the halfcourt. The first two came in the first 1 minute, 14 seconds of the fourth quarter. The last one was drawn up for Harden with 1:11 remaining. During that 9 minute, 35 second gap, the Thunder went from being up seven points to down seven points. “I think this entire postseason, even in the regular season, the fourth quarter, the majority of the time, I have the ball in my hands and making plays,” Harden said. “Hopefully, we’ll get back to that.”
- Much has been made of the fact that Serge Ibaka played only 21:41 minutes in Game 1 against the Spurs. Coach Scott Brooks says Ibaka will play more the second time around: “I think every decision you make, if it doesn’t work out, you say, ‘Why’d you do that?’ and I’m right (there) with you on that,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the morning after. “I wish I would have played Serge last night.”
- “I want some nasty” has become a marketable trademark for the Spurs, and they may run all the way to the NBA Finals, according to Jeff McDonald of San Antonio Express-News: “If there’s one thing the Spurs took from Monday’s film review of their 101-98 win, it is this: Passive won’t get it done against the young and hungry Thunder. Nasty is the way to the NBA Finals. “Being nasty, I think a lot of people took it a lot of different ways,” said forward Stephen Jackson, the Spurs’ Mayor of Nastiness. “We knew exactly what he meant: We have to play hard and be more confident in ourselves.”
- Many recognize the similarities between Manu Ginobili and James Harden as they face off in the Western Conference Finals, and Coach Nick of Bballbreakdown breaks down their games brilliantly.
- Be excited Clippers fans, because news broke out today that the cost-conscious Donald Sterling has picked up the option on coach Vinny Del Negro’s contract, assuring that there will be no Stan Van Gundy-Chris Paul marriage any time soon. The signing will have an impact on some other coaches as well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski: With Del Negro staying, Scott Brooks has lost a great deal of leverage in contract talks with OKC. Wizards likely to keep Randy Wittman.
- With the draft lottery coming up on Wednesday night, our editor-in-chief dives into 10 fun facts about the draft lottery. Here is one of them: How often does the favorite win the lottery? This is a question of particular concern to Bobcats fans, who have a 25 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 64.19 percent chance of landing in the top 3. Since the current lottery format was adopted in 1994, the No. 1 pre-slotted team hasn’t retained the No. 1 pick since Orlando did it in 2004. The No. 1 pre-slotted team has dropped out of the top three 11 times, most recently in 2009 (Sacramento).
- On Memorial Day, Metta World Peace tweeted “Happy Labor Day… enjoy it”. Of course, he has since taken down that ignorant tweet. It doesn’t mean the fun is over, as he decided to make some crazy video to promote … mental health. Because World Peace, of course, is the perfect figure to promote that kind of stuff.
James Park is a regular contributor and blogger for SheridanHoops.com. You can find him on twitter @nbatupark.