Warriors, Clippers Exciting Game 1 Reactions

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The NBA Playoffs have started.

The first game of the day on Saturday saw the Toronto Raptors give the Brooklyn Nets a 1-0 lead in the series between the 3- and 6- seeds in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors committed 17 turnovers in a seven-point 94-87 loss. It was a physical contest, marred by 42 total fouls.

However, if you thought the officials let loose with the whistles in the first game, you may have missed the second game.

Game 2 of the day featured the Golden State Warriors in Staples Center to face the 3-seed Los Angeles Clippers—two teams that don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. The officials were all over the place, with four players having three or more fouls in the first half. Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala were both limited to 19 and 20 minutes respectively, both fouling out in the fourth quarter.

There were 51 total fouls called in the Western Conference showdown that saw Golden State walk away with a 109-105 victory. For as many calls that were made, there was plenty of physical play—much of which could have merited another blown whistle.

A prime example of a non-call, Chris Paul’s sixth and final turnover, which enabled Harrison Barnes to, in turn, get fouled and make 1-of-2 free throws to stretch the Warriors’ lead to three. Paul was clearly fouled by Draymond Green as he rounded the elbow, the resulting contact caused him to lose control of the ball as it went out of bounds.

Over the course of the final 13 seconds, Golden State missed 3-of-4 free throw attempts, Los Angeles just couldn’t capitalize. It was a compelling and exciting game to watch.

Many in and around the league were watching as well.

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SH Blog: Stoudemire wants to win multiple championships with Knicks, Nash ready to play on Friday

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amare_stoudemireFor power forward Amare Stoudemire, the past few years in New York have been nothing short of a dreadful nightmare.

After reviving the New York Knicks with dominant play in his first season and leading them to the playoffs for the first time in a decade, it has been just about all downhill for the former All-Star.

To recap some of the things that have gone wrong since that glorious year: he nearly destroyed his hand after slapping a glass casing surrounding a fire extinguisher out of frustration during a playoff series, has suffered through multiple knee surgeries, became a backup to – gulp – Andrea Bargnani, has seen limited playing time due to medical restrictions, and never truly got comfortable playing alongside Carmelo Anthony. 

Tweet of the Day: Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento Kings Agree To Buyout

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Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors

Two days after celebrating his 25th birthday, point guard Jimmer Fredette will soon be celebrating a new opportunity in his young NBA career.

Thursday afternoon, he and the Sacramento Kings agreed to a buyout that will enable him to sign with any team for the remainder of the season—so long as he clears waivers and signs with said team by the March 1 deadline (for playoff eligibility).

[Schlomo Sprung: Free Agency Update]

Fredette, the 10th pick of the 2011 NBA draft, was in the last year of his rookie contract. He is garnering interest among some playoff contending teams—and respectfully so, he is shooting over 49-percent from three this season.

An all-around class act, he made sure to thank everyone in Sacramento for his time there.

Rudy Gay Changing His Reputation With Improved Play For Kings

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CaptureOnce you have a reputation in the NBA, it’s extremely difficult to change it. Rudy Gay is among the players who best understands that.

Known as an inefficient, overpaid player the last few seasons, Gay is now with the Sacramento Kings and has won over his coach, teammates, fans and even critics with improved play since his departure from Toronto in December in a seven-player trade.

Evening News: Landry out for 3-4 months; Kobe could “probably” play today if it were playoffs;

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In today’s news, Sacramento was dealt a major blow to its frontcourt depth and Kobe Bryant shared insight on how soon he expects to return to the court.

Carl Landry out 3-4 months with torn hip flexor

Realgm.com reports Carl Landry will miss three to four months as he recovers from a torn hip flexor injury that he suffered during a recent practice. 220px-Carl_Landry_-_Kings

Landry will undergo surgery for the tear in the coming days.

The Sacramento Kings signed Landry to a four-year, $26 million contract this summer.

The 29-year-old was an impact reserve for Golden State last season. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds as the Warriors’ seventh man in 2012-2013.

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Although Landry’s injury will undeniably impact the roster, the team still has power forwards Patrick Patterson, Jason Thompson and Chuck Hayes under contract and ready to contribute.

Kobe Bryant says he could “probably” make an impact today

According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Kobe Bryant is confident that he is close to returning to NBA action in the near future.

Last week, Bryant reportedly went to Germany for a preventative procedure on his knee.

Since then, Bryant has been making steady progress in his return from a torn Achilles tendon and plans to test himself on the court in an upcoming team practice. Kobe Bryant

In fact, Bryant said that if it were currently playoff time, he would probably be suiting up to play right now.

“If today was a playoff or NBA Finals, could I play? Probably,” Bryant said. “I’d get out there and do something. I feel pretty damn good, so I’m going to get out today and try to move around on the court.”

When asked to specify the state of his injury, Bryant clarified that the pain is completely gone.

“I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever,” he said. “It’s kind of a flexibility thing, and getting the range of motion back – feel like you can bend without having to lift the heel up. After months of the tendon being compressed, now you have to work to stretch it out a little bit.”

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