Roy Hibbert Receives NBA Officiating Memo, Plans To Be “On Point”

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Mike Bantom, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, is cracking down on a very specific point of contention.

The issue at hand? Verticality.

Secondary defenders are permitted to challenge an oncoming offensive player so long as they stay “vertical.” However, according to a memorandum sent to all owners, general managers, coaches and officials over the weekend, there has been a noticeable increase of players bending, if not breaking, the rule.

We have noticed that defenders have been turning sideways when jumping to defend
an oncoming offensive player on drives to the basket. This is illegal and referees are
being instructed to call this a blocking foul.”

The memo contained links to videos showcasing examples of rule violators, including Spencer Hawes, Jonas Valanciunas, Greg Monroe and Jared Sullinger. It also contained one linked example of a slight turn which is deemed legal, as illustrated by Alexis Ajinca.

In addition to those addressed in the memo, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was also a recipient.

May: The Future of Four Floundering Flagship Franchises

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We are about to witness what may be a first in the long history of the NBA. For the first time, four of the JacksonKnicksleague’s flagship franchises could well be out of the playoffs.

OK, the Knicks aren’t technically out of the race in the Hindenburg Conference, but they have a lot of ground to make up on Atlanta – four games in the loss column with 13 to play. The Celtics, Lakers and 76ers all are making plans for the 2014 draft lottery and the riches it may (or may not) provide.

Twenty years ago, the Celtics, Lakers and Sixers all missed the postseason, but the Pat Riley-coached Knicks made it all the way to the NBA Finals, losing in seven games to the Houston Rockets. That remains the best Knicks’ playoff run since the 1973 championship season (moreso than their surprising appearance in the 1999 Finals, where they were decided underdogs to the Spurs and lost in five.)

But at no time since 1949, when the Lakers entered the NBA in Minneapolis, and the 76ers came in as the Syracuse Nationals, have all four of these marquee teams been on the outside looking in when the playoffs arrived. (The Celtics and Knicks started in 1946.)

SH Blog: How Curry could have been traded to Suns, Crawford says Jordan should have been an All-Star

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Steph CurryWhen Stephen Curry signed a four year, $44 million contract with the Golden State Warriors last season, some wondered if the money was worth it for the oft-injured point guard.

Fast forward to present time: Curry will be in his first All-Star game this weekend as a starter voted in by the fans. Safe to say, the money was worth it — and then some.

So in honor of his accomplishments this season, lets take a look into his past and see how he got to this point, and what could have prevented him from being in the situation he is in today.

First, here is a detailed article from Tim Kawakami of Mercury News explaining how the guard could have ended up in a different uniform on draft night:

Durant Named Player of the Week for Fifth Time This Season

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Kevin DurantThe Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 3, through Sunday, Feb. 9.

It is the fifth time Durant has won the award this season.

Bernucca: Handing Out Our Midseason Awards

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Martin Luther King Day is more than  a day of celebration and reflection for the NBA, which probably has done MLKmore positive things for race relations than any other sport in the Civil Rights Era.

It also has become the unofficial midway point of the season. By the completion of Monday’s action, more than half of the league’s 30 teams will have played half their games.

With that in mind, we present our midseason awards with this reminder from the bookie of hopeless degenerate James Caan in the grossly underrated 1974 film The Gambler: They don’t give out no prizes at halftime.

However, with our midseason awards, we do give out snarky remarks.

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