Fouling Out in the NBA

By Blaidd Drwg

The Lakers managed to invoke a little known NBA rule last week in their game with the Cavs. They came into the game with only 8 players dressed. Two of them got injured and one fouled out, leaving them with just 5 players for the 4th quarter. With 3:32 left, that is when it got really bizarre. From

Sacre committed his sixth foul with 3:32 remaining but stayed in the game because D’Antoni was out of healthy bodies. The Lakers were assessed a technical foul.

“That was just crazy,” Sacre said. “When I got my sixth foul, I was just like, ‘Oh, dang!’ Then I got to come back in, so I thought it was something special. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Each side has to have five players on the court at all times during an NBA game. With the Lakers down to five healthy players, D’Antoni was informed by the officials that he could leave Sacre on the floor and any additional foul on the center would also result in a technical.

I really wonder what would have happened if someone else got hurt. Would they just leave the lifeless body lying on the floor? In case you were wondering, the Lakers ended up winning the game by 11.

Chris Bosh, Rocket Scientist

By Blaidd Drwg

With the Heat facing elimination at the hands of the Spurs, Miami is changing its game-plan to try to stop Danny Green and his 66% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Bosh’s comments:

“He has a knack for shooting, but he won’t be open tonight,” Bosh said Tuesday. “We’ll see how he shoots with somebody always on him.”

Congratulations, Chris Bosh, it took you and your coaches 5 games of getting lit up to finally figure out what a casual basketball fan could tell you – if you let a guy who regularly shoots 43% from long distance have open shots, he is going to kill you.

Shane Battier was much more articulate in his comments:

Most of [Green’s] shots come off of defensive breakdowns on our part. So it just goes into our overall game plan of playing with a sharper, clearer mind and just doing our job.

“He’s done a good job of watching our guys who are ball-hawks. We have a tendency to do that. He just goes to the open space. He utilizes the oldest trick in the book: the old blind spot.”

So the Heat’s plan is to not collapse on Tony Parker to try to cover Green. I just don’t see this ending well for the Heat.

The Dwight Howard Trade, Or, Be Careful What You Wish For

by A.J. Coltrane
Dwight Howard finally got what he wanted. Out.
I think there’s a broad public perception that Howard is the best center in the league right now, and by extension that makes him one of the All Time Greats. What’s the reaction going to be when he’s exposed as not really being at that level? He’s not Kareem or Wilt or Shaq… Dwight is basically Patrick Ewing minus some offense, and Patrick wasn’t quite good enough to bring a title to New York. Will Lakers’ fans turn on him in three years when they haven’t won a championship? At that point Kobe and Nash will be retired or nearly so, and Gasol will be pretty old. Then what?
A more immediate concern:  Dwight, Kobe, Nash, Gasol — who is the Lakers’ best player and who takes the shots when it matters? Kobe is still going to be the alpha dog, and I’m going to bet he continues to take the shots for the next couple of years, though I don’t think his body will allow him to “finish” games at an elite level; I think those days have already come and gone. Who’s going to take the blame when the Lakers can’t quite get there? It won’t be Kobe.
There’s also the little issue that the Lakers’ have a really old backcourt. Who guards Russell Westbrook? Or Derrick Rose? Or Chris Paul? Or Dwayne Wade? Or…
What it comes down to (and this is what Carmelo Anthony is running into in New York), is the question:  “With Dwight Howard as your best player, can you win a championship?” The jury is still out on Carmelo (though I’m of the firm opinion that the answer is “No”.) 
I think that the answer for Howard is “no” as well.
Item That Really Only Fits As Sort Of A Postscript: 
I think it’s interesting that nobody wanted to join Howard in Orlando. Why do you figure that is?
In other news:  Finaaallly, the trade is done, and we can talk about something, anything, else.
Bill Simmons, of course, has this terrific take on it. He’s more of the opinion that it’s a huge win for the Lakers, though he also includes this bit:
“…In April, after the Lakers win 65 games and everyone is getting psyched for a Heat-Lakers Finals, nobody will care that Howard acted like such a big baby. We’ll be busy with crap like ranking him against the other great Lakers centers of all time. That’s just how sports works.
(Well, unless the 2013 Lakers don’t realize their potential. And then? Get ready for chaos.)”
[There are some similar thoughts to mine in the Simmons piece. fwiw – I wrote my bit, then read his.]
[Late edit:  Vegas loved the trade too — the Lakers leapfrogged the Thunder and into the second best odds of a 2013 championship, behind only the Heat.]