When Pero Antic arrived at training camp for the Atlanta Hawks, he was their fourth-string center. The 31-year-old rookie from Macedonia was behind former All-Star Al Horford, veteran Elton Brand and journeyman Gustavo Ayon in the pecking order. Even on the NBA’s smallest team, the 6-11 Antic didn’t figure to play much. And he didn’t. Even with Ayon sidelined by a shoulder injury suffered early in camp, Antic had 11 DNPs in the first 22 games as new coach Mike Budenholzer relied
Is Carmelo Anthony reaching his breaking point? Throughout a remarkably frustrating season for the New York Knicks, Anthony has pretty much kept his cool. He hasn’t questioned management or ownership, thrown any teammates under the bus or purposely extended the narrative about his future. Anthony also has played very well – nearly as well as he did last season, when the Knicks won 54 games and he was a legitimate MVP candidate. His points (26.3 ppg) are down, but so are his
NBA referees have had better weeks. On Thursday, the league admitted that Blake Griffin should not have been given a technical foul – his second of the game, resulting in an ejection – in the Christmas matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. On Tuesday, the league announced that Dallas forward Shawn Marion should have been called for a foul on his “blocked shot” on Minnesota’s Kevin Love at the end of Monday’s 100-98 win by the Mavericks.
Amid its myriad injuries, its dozen teams below .500 and its 44-98 record against the Western Conference, there is a looming question regarding the Eastern Conference: Can the East even field an All-Star team? A year ago, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, Kyrie Irving, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday were among the East’s All-Stars. You can make the argument – irrefutable in some cases, strong in others – that none of those players should be invited back
Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum was suspended indefinitely Saturday morning for “conduct detrimental to the team.” The announcement was made by Cavs GM Chris Grant in a news release that also said Bynum did not travel with the team Friday night for Saturday afternoon’s game at Boston. Bynum will not participate in any team activities until further notice. The timing of the suspension could dramatically impact Cleveland’s payroll. Bynum signed a two-year, $24.5 million contract with the Cavaliers in the offseason, but “only”
Previously indestructible Russell Westbrook had another arthroscopic procedure on his right knee Friday – his third surgery in the last eight months – and is out until after the All-Star break. The Thunder made the announcement in a press release that included a quote from GM Sam Presti. “Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling,” Presti said.
Zach Randolph wasn’t happy about the officiating in Thursday’s Grizzlies-Rockets game. The NBA wasn’t happy about Randolph’s opinion of the officiating. Randolph was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for his postgame comments about the referees, whom he called “horrible” and “awful.”
The NBA admitted Thursday that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from Wednesday’s LA Clippers-Golden State game. “After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement. “A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut