Do you feel like you missed out on something in the NBA? Don’t worry, we have you covered in a week which featured some in-game fireworks, an NBA legend getting his jersey retired and a pair of brothers who could be living in the same house while playing for rivals. Let’s start there:
Big Brother: Live From Los Angeles
On Friday, Markeiff Morris agreed to a buyout with the Pistons clearing the way for him to sign with the Lakers. His brother, Marcus, plays for the Clippers after the franchise acquired him in a three-way trade at the trade deadline. Apparently, the two brothers are likely to live together.
Lakers Waive DeMarcus Cousins But He’ll Stick Around
The Lakers have waived DeMarcus Cousins, who is still recovering from a torn ACL. The move was necessary to accommodate the Markieff Morris signing. However, they will allow Cousins to remain with the team in the facility as he recovers.
Miami Heat Retire Dwyane Wade’s Jersey
No. 3 will never be worn again by a member of the Miami Heat, as the franchise raised his jersey into the raptures on Saturday night. Dwyane Wade, who was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2003, was the eighth and final member of the Heat to rock the No. 3 jersey.
Air Bradley Putting on a Show
Bradley Beal has been on an insane tear since being snubbed from the All-Star game. He’s helped elevate the Wizards into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, a surprise no one saw coming entering the season. Beal took elevating to another extreme on Friday night, posterizing Andre Drummond.
The Cavaliers got the last laugh as they came back to win the contest. They took their first lead with just six minutes remaining in the game, ultimately winning the contest 113-108. But hey, at least the fans in Washington got to witness Beal’s dunk and they’ll also get free Chick-Fil-A courtesy of Collin Sexton missing a pair of free throws.
New Coach, Who This?
J.B. Bickerstaff—Cleveland’s new coach after John Beilein and the team parted ways—is being tasked with the impossible: fixing the Cavaliers. He got off to a good start, getting the win over the Wizards on Friday night.
Prior to making his head coaching debut, Bickerstaff stated that he was unafraid to experiment with lineups. That was on display on Friday night in Washington when Kevin Love and Andre Drummond saw under 22 minutes each. Tristan Thompson got 26 minutes and he looked dominate in the contest, scoring 10 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Love-Drummond pairing wasn’t a disaster in the team’s first game out of the All-Star break (Love didn’t play in Cleveland 2nd game at Miami due to an Achilles ailment). However, Bickerstaff scrapped it completely in favor of Thompson and Larry Nance to close out their win in Washington.
Jayson Tatum Becomes Youngest Player to Score 40 points in Celtics-Lakers Rivalry
While the Celtics couldn’t pull out the victory against the Lakers on Sunday, Jayson Tatum gave Boston more reason to be optimistic about the future. Tatum became the youngest player in the history of the league to score 40 points in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.
“That kid is special,” LeBron James said of Tatum. “Obviously, that’s the reason he’s a first-time All-Star. He’s been special all year.”
Mavericks Protesting Loss To Hawks
Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have filed a protest to the league office regarding their loss to the Hawks on Saturday. Dallas is citing a “misapplication of the rules.”
The play in question was on a Trae Young layup. Dorian Finney-Smith was called for goaltending, though while that was going on John Collins grabbed the rebounds and converted the putback. The officials reviewed the play to find that the goaltend shouldn’t have been called and they award Collins two points. Atlanta went on to win by a score of 111-107.
Grizzlies’ Big Man Jaren Jackson Jr. Sprains Knee
The Grizzlies are in the midst of a remarkable season where they are in good position to make that playoffs. However, Jaren Jackson Jr., who is a key member of the present and future of the franchise, suffered a sprained left knee after falling on the court late in contest against the Lakers on Friday. JJJ is expected to be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Giannis Outshines Joel Embiid
The Bucks dismantled the Sixers on Saturday night, winning 119-98 in a game where Ben Simmons left early because of a back ailment.
Philadelphia had no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 31 points, 17 rebounds, and eight assists. Joel Embiid previously expressed that he felt like he was the best player in the world and Giannis let his action speak louder than his words on Saturday night. He did say that he had no issue with Embiid’s claims.
“At the end of the day, I feel like Joel is a great guy. Obviously, when I go on the court, I’m going to go as hard as I can, but off the court, I like him. I like his personality; he’s a down-to-earth guy,” Antetokounmpo said of Embiid (via ESPN). “We were good teammates in the All-Star Game. But at the end of the day, every player in the NBA should feel like he’s the best player. Like who am I to tell him he’s not the best player in the world? Who are we to tell him that he’s not the best player in the world?
“Everybody should feel that way. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to go on the court, and if you feel that way, you’ve got to show it; so there’s nothing wrong with Joel feeling like he’s the best player in the world.”
Ben Simmons’ Back Injury Could Be Serious
There’s concern about Simmons’ back injury being serious, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The All-Star guard will not play Monday against the Hawks and he’ll undergo further testing this week to see how long he’ll be sidelined.