Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:51 pm

Robin Lopez suspended one game

By Matt Moore

The NBA suspended Phoenix center Robin Lopez one game Wednesday for illegal contact with an official during the Suns' Tuesday night loss to the Raptors. From the Arizona Republic
The suspension will keep Lopez out of the Suns' Friday night game at Portland.

Lopez's temper was stoked when he missed a post-up attempt against Toronto's Andrea Bargnani and felt he was fouled on the second-quarter play. Lopez raced back on defense and needlessly reach in to foul big man Linas Kleiza about 40 feet from the basket before turning his ire and glare toward Mott.

A time out whistle stopped play. As Lopez walked toward the Suns bench, he brushed Mott with his left shoulder as Mott backed away. Lopez did not appear to make an attempt to avoid Mott, who then ejected Lopez. The three game officials had a brief conference and the decision stood.
via azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Orange Slices - PaulCoro - Suns center Robin Lopez could be suspended.

NBA rules and regulations state that the player will automatically be suspended for at least one game for any illegal contact with an official. So not a huge deal. Lopez continues to ride a rollercoaster in Phoenix. He will not be extended by the Suns despite being a part of the class up for the big pay day. Marcin Gortat continues to take up most of the minutes at center.

So, yeah, not a great week for Robin Lopez.  
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:20 pm

Cousins to rejoin Kings as trade offers pop up

By Matt Moore

Update (9:45 p.m.): Cousins issued a statement via his agent and SI.com has the details. "I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."

In other words, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. 


As the fallout from the Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins home following what Paul Westphal publicly described as a trade demand continues, teams are circling even as the Kings continue to say they are not trading the volatile young big man. 

SI.com reports that the Nets have expressed interest, and the Washinton Post says the Wizards have called to inquire about pairing Cousins with his Kentucky teammate John Wall in Washington. Both teams believe the Kings are following through on their refusal to trade him.  

In the same vein, Yahoo Sports reports that Cousins is going to joing the team on its road trip, effectively ending his suspension-that-isn't-a-suspension, or his grounding, or whatever.

If the Kings aren't going to trade him, and they were going to let him back on the team, then why announce to the world his situation? Westphal actually took a measured approach Sunday, saying that the reason was because one way or another the media would be asking about it. Still, it seems like throwing Cousins under the bus for very little gain. Expect the Kings to continue to receive offers, albeit low ones, to try and get the talented powder keg.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 2:11 pm

Matt Barnes suspended from Pro Am league

By Matt Moore

Ths is the most Matt Barnes story you will read this year. 

Barnes punched a player last week in a Pro Am league he was playing in, then owned up for it and didn't back down at all from the act. Now he'll face the "devastating" consequences. Barnes was suspended by the Pro Am league for Game 1 of their playoffs Monday, according to ESPN Los Angeles who found the posting on FaceBook.  

Barnes spoke with the local CBS affiliate Channel 2 after the event

Barnes prides himself for being tough and scrappy, but at some level, he's an NBA player. He should be above this kind of stuff, if only to protect his image. Maybe he doesn't care, anyone that gets elbowed in the face is going to get mad, is likely going to retaliate. It just would have been less embarrassing for himself and the team which is currently not paying him to force him into a paycut if he had just apologized and moved on. Getting suspended from a Pro Am just isn't a good look.
Posted on: April 23, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2011 3:18 pm

Pachulia, Richardson suspended for Game 4

Jason Richardson and Zaza Pachulia suspended for Game 4 Sunday in Hawks-Magic series. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA Saturday suspended both Jason Richardson and Zaza Pachulia for Game 4 of the Hawks-Magic playoff series Sunday in Atlanta. In the fourth quarter of Game 3, Pachulia became entangled with Dwight Howard, and swung an elbow to get him off. Richardson took umbrage, Pachulia then got into Richardson faced and headbutted him (slightly), drawing the suspension. Richardson then shoved Pachulia in the face, which is why he'll be missing Game 4's festivities. Good times all around. Here's video. 

Pachulia's impact would seem to be the lesser, as he's a bench player with little offensive skill, and with the Hawks' depth at center. But as Kevin Pelton as Basketball Prospectus notes, Pachulia's impact overall may be greater. 
The last two games, the Hawks have been more effective with Pachulia in the middle. During his 26 minutes of action on Friday, Atlanta was +7. Without Pachulia, Larry Drew will be forced to choose between putting Horford back at center and risking foul trouble or running out the sorry group of backup big men (Hilton Armstrong, Josh Powell and Etan Thomas) that Howard abused in Game One.
via Basketball Prospectus | Playoff Prospectus: Winning Formula.

Richardson is the Magic's best perimeter scorer outside of Jameer Nelson, but along with the rest of the Magic, he's struggled in this series.  He's shooting 27 percent from 3-point range in this series, and that's been particularly harmful to the Magic's offense. Without him, Quentin Richardson will likely get more time, and he's played well in the first three games for Orlando. This could be a blessing in disguise for the Magic if it lights a fire under the Mgic's perimeter offense. 

Pachulia is the person you can most easily point to to disprove the "soft Euro" theory. Three years ago, he got into it with Kevin Garnett, and he's been known to start conflict with anyone who wants it. He's representative of the Hawks in this series. Willing to battle with anyone from the Magic who are looking for a fight. 
Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:31 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 10:45 pm

Kobe Bryant's 15th technical rescinded

Posted by Matt Moore

Kobe Bryant has picked up his fair share (more than, really) of technicals this season. But as he inched closer to a one game suspension (with only two games remaining), he's been granted a step back that will ensure he won't be missing those final games... at least, against his will. ESPN LA reports that the league has rescinded Bryant's 15th technical issued Sunday night during a scrum with Kendrick Perkins.  Looking at the play, it's pretty easy to see why. 

Perkins was sending a message to Bryant, but Bryant can't be blamed for retaliating in that situation. The only way Bryant would have to serve a one-game suspension on Wednesday versus the Kings is if he were to pick up two technicals against San Antonio... which is not entirely out of the question, but still pretty unlikely. 

Bryant at once skates away with too much in terms of his reaction to calls and contact, and also takes more than his fair share of abuse that goes uncalled. In the playoffs, he'll need to maintain composure, as sometimes it fires up his team, and sometimes it just, you know, costs them a point. On the other end of it, keep an eye out if Perkins and Bryant meet in the playoffs. 

Los Angeles entered Monday night tied with Dallas for the second seed, and just a game above OKC in the fourth seed. So they could probably use Bryant at least versus San Antonio. But then, the Lakers may rest him anyway, making the whole question moot. 
Posted on: March 29, 2011 1:43 am
Edited on: March 29, 2011 1:46 am

Howard fouls out vs. Knicks, picks up 17th tech

Dwight Howard picked up his sixth foul against the Knicks Monday night on a questionable call and then picked up his seventeenth technical. Was it a phantom call?
Posted by Matt Moore

You know, if Dwight Howard's going to pick up technicals, he really should try to at least get his money's worth and pick it up while he's still actually in the game. 

With 1:20 left in overtime of the Magic's loss to the Knicks Monday night, Jason Richardson launched a corner three. Dwight Howard smartly maneuvered to the far side to attempt to grab the offensive rebound. Chauncey Billups and Amar'e Stoudemire positioned on either side of him. Howard, being significantly taller and longer than both players, tapped the ball up in the air, and after contact from all three players, Howard grabbed the rebound to allow the Magic another chance to tie or take the lead. But then, tweet. An offensive foul, Howard's sixth. After the foul, Howard objected to the call (shocking, I know), with an expletive, and then threw the ball across court. And again, tweet. Howard's seventeenth technical of the season, bringing him within one more T of his second suspension from technicals this season. So what gives? Was Howard right to contest the foul? Let's take a look. 

Okay, a lot of contact there. Let's take a look at a few key frames. First, here's what happened on the way up for the tap: 

First thing you'll notice is Chauncey Billups' contact on Howard's outstretched arm. That's pretty clearly a foul. Unfortunately, you'll notice Howard also placing contact on Stoudemire, partially inhibiting Howard's ability to reach up to contest for the rebound. But you could definitely argue that nothing should have been called from that image. What about on the way down? 

Okay, well, Billups is definitely holding Dwight a bit there, or at least is making contact. Unfortunately, you see that tangle of limbs and goggles caving in and falling backwards? Yeah, that's Amar'e Stoudemire, caving under Howard's arm coming down. That's pretty obviously a foul. But hey, maybe it just looks that way from this angle. What about another angle? Zach Harper of ESPN provides a little clearer view of what was going on down there from another broadcast angle. 

You can definitely argue that Howard is being fouled simultaneously by Chauncey Billups. But you can't argue that that's not a foul on Howard for shoving Stoudemire in the face, just as you can't argue that MVP's should be picking up technicals which can result in suspensions during the stretch run to the playoffs, just as you can't argue Howard should be surprised at this point by either the officials' calls or their reaction to his protests over their calls. 

It wasn't a phantom foul. Stan Van Gundy and Howard have a legitimate case that Howard doesn't get the calls he should during the game, but it's impossible to argue that Howard didn't commit a foul on this play. A tough break for the Magic on a night full of them. 

For more on the Knicks' win over the Magic, check out Ken Berger's report on how Melo took the Knicks out of their misery. 
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 5:06 pm

DeMarcus Cousins to re-join team in OKC

Posted by Matt Moore

Well that didn't take long. Just two days after being told to leave the team plane and being listed as inactive against Phoenix, DeMarcus Cousins is rejoining the Kings in Oklahoma City, via Sam Amick of NBA FanHouse who has been on top of this since the beginning, and confirmed later in a Kings press release:

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins is headed for Oklahoma City to join the team, according to a source close to the situation.

So instead of missing the entire three-game roadie, he misses one game, then rejoins the team. The decision is likely to increase scrutiny over the Kings' handling of Cousins. Some will argue he should be punished more severely for fighting with a teammate in the locker room, while others will wonder if he really did do enough wrong, why no formal suspension was levied and why he only sat a game. It's pretty much a no-win for Sacramento. 

The Kings did release a statement on Cousins featuring the following quotes from General Manager Geoff Petrie and Cousins: 
“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose an appropriate fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.” “I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation between teammates,” Cousins said. 
“I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best and a great player in the NBA.”

The fine's not out yet, but we're sure it'll get leaked soon enough. The Kings have to kind of hope to put this behind them as soon as possible and that they can essentially stay on top of Cousins long enough for him to work through his immaturity. It's a gamble, but with his talent, its' really the only option they have.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 3:21 am
Edited on: February 13, 2011 3:39 am

DeMarcus Cousins suspended by Kings

DeMarcus Cousins was suspended by the Kings late Saturday night following a locker room incident involving Donté Greene.
Posted by Matt Moore

DeMarcus Cousins is arguably already the league's most volatile player. Prone to fights with opponents and even his own coaches, it would seem his frustrations have now boiled over into conflict with teammates. FanHouse reports that Cousins has been suspended for at least the upcoming three-game roadtrip following a locker room altercation with Donté Greene that came to blows. Perhaps most stunning is the source of the argument. Cousins has reportedly become increasingly upset about Tyreke Evans' late game decision making and the coaching staff's reaction, culminating in Cousins yelling at Evans following the Kings' loss to the Thunder Saturday night, "from (the) tunnel to the locker room." 

Cousins has already been fined by the coaching staff, kicked out of practice, and benched for a premature choking gesture. In-between he's averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds, grabbing 17% of all available boards, shooting 44% from the field (a huge blemish) and has a league-average-ish PER of 15. He's a player with tremendous upside and ability, who just wants to win. But there are ways of dealing with that kind of passion, and Cousins has expressed all the wrong ones. 

The Kings have to find a structure to rebuild around, and if Cousins and Evans are incompatible, that's going to have to be established early. GM Geoff Petrie was right to act quickly and try and snuff this but furthermore, if the Kings decide Evans is the future and they can't rectify this rift, one of them will have to go. Furthermore, Paul Westphal and Petrie will have to figure out if the kid is worth the considerable headache he's providing them by continually being this much of a pain.  Good teams can't afford distractions of this magnitude, especially out of a rookie, let alone struggling squads like the Kings. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com