February 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Giannis Antetokounmpo After Win In Toronto: Last Year's Playoffs Were 'Definitely On My Mind'

Feb 26, 2020 1:55 AM

Giannis Antetokounmpo said he still remembered how the Milwaukee Bucks struggled the last time they played in Toronto following their 108-97 win over the Raptors.

The game was the first time the Bucks returned to Toronto since losing in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

"You always remember the last time you play here, the problems you had. It was definitely on my mind," said Antetokounmpo after finishing with 19 points and 19 rebounds in 38 minutes. 

The Bucks outscored the Raptors 45-20 from the 2:58 minute of the second quarter to the end of the third.

The Bucks also improved to 8-0 on the second night of back-to-back games.

"We have a winning culture. So it doesn't matter if you are hurt, it doesn't matter if you are tired -- the next guy up is ready to go. Everybody wants to play, everybody wants to win, and that's why we win games. Sometimes on a back-to-back you lose because you're tired, right? And you give up. But this team doesn't do that. So I think that we really don't think about, 'Oh, it's a back-to-back. We are going to win it.' We just have to go out there and do our job, which is to just win games," added Antetokounmpo. 

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Doc Rivers Says Clippers Are Not A 'Flip-The-Switch Team'

Feb 25, 2020 1:47 AM

Doc Rivers addressed how injuries have shaped the Los Angeles Clippers' season, forcing him to use 28 different starting lineups.

Their win against the Grizzlies on Monday night represented only the fifth time this season that the Clippers had their entire roster available.

"That has been the hand we've been dealt. And we have to play that hand and we can play that hand and still win it," said Rivers before the Grizzlies game.

Rivers reasoned that the Clippers could still win the title despite their injuries, using the Warriors as an example. 

"I don't think we are a flip-the-switch team. I would say anyone who says that doesn't know what they're talking about. Because flip-the-switch teams are teams that have been healthy all year and just have chosen not to play. But when you are out of sorts with different lineups, that's different. I would say it is dangerous [to do that] but teams have done it. Golden State, by the way, did it a couple of times and won titles. You can do both."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Joe Lacob: Kevin Durant Leaving Warriors For Nets 'Made No Sense'

Feb 24, 2020 3:08 PM

The decision Kevin Durant made to leave the Golden State Warriors left Joe Lacob bewildered. 

"I can't get mad when Kevin Durant -- who I felt pretty close with -- decides he's going to leave. Which to me, made no sense," Lacob said Monday morning on 95.7 The Game. "You're (with) the best organization -- I hope he thinks -- in the world.

"Winning, other great players, the new arena. To me, there was every reason in the world to stay. But I'm not gonna be mad at him because it's his life and he earned the right. And for whatever reason, he decided he wanted to leave.

"I can't control that. I tried (laughing)."

Drew Shiller/NBC Sports

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Mavs File Protest Over Loss To Hawks, Want To Replay End Of Game

Feb 23, 2020 8:07 PM

The Dallas Mavericks have filed a protest to the NBA office over their 111-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The protest focuses on John Collins' putback with 8.4 seconds, which lead to Mark Cuban criticizing the state of the league's officiating on Twitter following the game. 

The Mavs want the game to be replayed before the incorrect goaltending call. The game would then resume with a jump ball with 9.7 seconds left and the Hawks up by 2.

Adam Silver has five days after receiving evidence regarding the issue to decide whether the final sequence will be replayed. 

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Russell Westbrook On Being Guarded By Rudy Gobert: You Can't Scout For Speed

Feb 23, 2020 11:43 AM

The Utah Jazz attempted to guard Russell Westbrook with Rudy Gobert during a 120-110 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Westbrook finished the game with 34 points, pulling the Rockets even with the Jazz for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

"I get what I want, get whatever I want. Get to the basket and shoot, drive and kick, pace and speed. It's something you can't scout for. You can scout moves, you can scout for all that, but speed you can't scout for. And that's what I've got to my advantage," said Westbrook after the game.

Westbrook, who is shooting 40.9% on midrange jumpers this season, went 7-of-13 in the game. 

Gobert said that he would do the strategy over again despite Westbrook's success. 

"I think I would do it again. Having Russ being guarded by one of our guards is a mismatch. When I'm guarding him, at least he doesn't get to the rim. He's going to miss shots, he's going to make shots, but at least he doesn't break us down and bring the double team and find his teammates. We make him work. That's pretty much it. We make him work, and he's able to make those shots sometimes, and sometimes he's not. We've got to live with that and do what we do," said Gobert.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Rudy Gobert, Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Mark Cuban Criticizes Officiating Following Loss To Hawks

Feb 23, 2020 1:23 AM

Mark Cuban went on Twitter to criticize the level of NBA officiating following the Dallas Mavericks' 111-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Cuban was upset by a play late in the game in which John Collins putback Dorian Finney-Smith's block shot. The initial goal-tending call on Finney-Smith was overturned after a review, though the refs counted Collins' shot due to an "inadvertent" whistle.

"So they call a goaltend. They literally blew the whistle that it was a goaltend. There was a putback after the whistle. After review they said no goaltend but count the basket? WTF is that? That's NBA officiating," tweeted Cuban.

Cuban then criticized the system for producing what he perceived as incompetent refs for 20 years.

"Refs have bad games. Crews have bad games. But this isn't a single game issue. This is the same s--- that has been going on for 20 years. Hire former refs who think they know how to hire, train and manage. Realize 2 years later they can't. Repeat." Cuban added.

Crew chief Rodney Mott explained the call after the game. 

"The ball was blocked and reviewed. The ball hit the rim, so it was deemed an inadvertent whistle because it was ruled a good block. By rule, it's an inadvertent whistle. It's Rule 2. Because he (Collins) was in his shooting motion when my whistle blew, it's deemed a continuation, so therefore, the basket counts," said Mott. 


Tags: Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Kawhi Leonard Says 'The Time Is Now' For Clippers To Put Winning Run Together

Feb 23, 2020 1:04 AM

Kawhi Leonard said it's time for the Los Angeles Clippers to put together a winning run following their 112-103 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

The Clippers are on a three-game losing streak.

"The time is now. Just got to keep getting better. But it doesn't matter what seed you are. Just got to keep fighting. It is about the right team peaking at the right time. I don't think we have even got there yet. It feels like we are getting close, but we just need guys to get healthy," said Leonard.

The Clippers were without Paul George and Patrick Beverley, and used their 28th different starting lineup of the season.

Doc Rivers added that it was difficult for his team to find a rhythm due to the injuries.

"We didn't have rhythm before, so when you're bringing in new guys with other guys who probably don't have great continuity, as well, [there's no rhythm]," said Rivers.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Joe Harris Says He Wants To Re-Sign With Nets This Summer

Feb 22, 2020 1:46 PM

Joe Harris said that he wants to return to the Brooklyn Nets next season.

Harris, who will be a restricted free agent after this season, is currently making $7.6 million.

“Definitely! Why wouldn’t you? Obviously those are guys who I’ve gotten close with now that I’ve been with them this past year. They’re obviously incredible players. You see what they’re able to do when they are healthy and playing. I don’t think there’s anybody in the NBA who wouldn’t want to play with those guys," said Harris of his desire to play alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Irving has been ruled out the rest of this season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Harris said that the Nets were never able to reach their full potential this season due to injury. 

"We never truly had a healthy roster. I’d venture to guess it’s probably less than five games where everybody that was supposed to be playing this year was all fully healthy.”

Brian Lewis/New York Post

Tags: Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Lakers-Clippers Game Rescheduled For April 9th

Feb 22, 2020 1:23 AM

The postponed game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will now be played on April 9th at 10:30 PM ET.

The game will be televised on TNT.

Three other games were rescheduled in the process. The Bulls and Clippers game, originally scheduled for April 8th, will be played on April 6th. 

The Warriors and Lakers game, scheduled on April 9th, will now be played on April 7th.

The game between the Bulls and Lakers, originally scheduled for April 7th, is moved to April 8th. 


Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Joel Embiid Declares Himself 'Best Player In The World'

Feb 21, 2020 10:57 AM

Joel Embiid has declared himself the best basketball player in the world and expects the aggression he played with during the All-Star Game to carryover.

"For sure," Embiid said. "The All-Star Game was fun. Being there in the fourth quarter, doing my thing at the end of the game, I thought it was great.

"But the All-Star Game, just proving I'm here, I belong, and being the best player in the world, I just intend to keep coming out every single night and just play hard and trying to get wins and just go out and try to win a championship."

Embiid is averaging 23.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this season with the seventh best PER at 25.35.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

NBA Expected To Use Target Score In Next Year's All-Star Game

Zach Lowe/ESPN

NBA Ratings Down 13% On Local RSNs, Warriors Viewership Down 66% On NBC Sports Bay Area

Joe Lucia/Awful Announcing

Adam Silver Senses 'A Return To Normalcy' In Relationship Between NBA, China

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Joel Embiid Says Sixers' Offense Is 'Definitely Going To Be Better After The All-Star Break'

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Jimmy Butler Says Heat Are 'Not Where We Want To Be At, Just Yet'

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Evan Turner To Workout With Clippers

Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports

Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant Named As Finalists For Class Of 2020 Hall Of Fame

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Lakers, Bucks Favorites To Win NBA Title

David Purdum/ESPN

Celtics To Retire Kevin Garnett's Jersey Next Season

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Mike Miller Could Remain With Knicks Outside Of Coaching Role

Ian Begley/SNY

Knicks Distance Team From Steve Stoute Comments About Coaching

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Paul George Says 'There Was Some Home-Court Cooking' Following Clippers Loss In Philadelphia

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

William 'Worldwide Wes' Wesley Not Expected To Join Knicks

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Jrue Holiday: I Feel Like I'm Built For This Pelicans' Team

Jasmyn Wimbish/CBS Sports

Nick Nurse After Raptors' 15th Straight Win: 'We're Getting Everybody's A-Plus Game'

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

MacMahon: Whole Point Of Rockets Trading Clint Capela Was To Maximize Russell Westbrook

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Warriors View Next Two Seasons As Window 'Before They Hopefully' Re-Sign Stephen Curry In 2022

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

Joe Lacob Believes Warriors Will Contend For Title Next Season

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

Darren Collison To Remain Retired Amid Interest From Lakers, Clippers

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Malik Beasley Following Timberwolves Debut: 'I'm Pushing To Get Into The Playoffs'

Chris Hine/Star Tribune