Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 2:10 pm

Villanueva loses it in confrontation vs. Cavs

Confrontation between Charlie Villanueva and Ryan Hollins ends in double ejection, before Villanueva attempts to charge Cavaliers' bench, then break into locker room to continue altercation.
Posted by Matt Moore

Update: Villanueva after the game on why he went "bonkers": "You've got to be careful with the quiet ones, right?" The word you're looking for is "Yikes." 

Charlie Villanueva lost it on Monday night versus the Cavaliers after a confrontation with center Ryan Hollins. Hollins and Villanueva became entangled in your protypical tussle during a screen, resulting in Hollins shoving Villanueva in the face, and Hollins swinging at Hollins. The two were separated by teammates, and that's when things got weird. 

It was announced that Villanueva was ejected, and at that point, Charlie V. went nuts. He started to charge the Cavaliers' bench to get at Hollins, and had to be held back and pushed towards the back by an assistant coach, and Rodney Stuckey, who was hanging off the power forward trying to avoid a scary incident. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer cites a Pistons reporter who says Villanueva was saying he was "going to kill that dude (Hollins)." On his way out, Villanueva motioned for Hollins to meet him in the back.  The weirdness doesn't end there. 

Once back in the locker room area, Villanueva had to be restrained trying to get into the Cavaliers' locker room, presumably to get to Hollins, who was also ejected. 

If I may, that story is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. 

During the ejections, the Pistons P.A. announcer took the time to remind the fans not to throw anything and to stay in their seats. Gee, I wonder why

Considering the fact that Villanueva didn't react this way when Kevin Garnett may or may not have called him a cancer patient, you have to wonder what Hollins said to Charlie V. 

Here's footage of the incident: 

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: January 4, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 11:31 pm

Bizarre coaching events abound

Strange coaching occurrences in New York, Miami.
Posted by Matt Moore

Two strange pieces of coaching news occurred in the NBA Tuesday night, one in Miami where two techs does not equal an ejection, and one in New York, where the fat lady didn't sing, but it was over anyway apparently.

The Heat came back from a halftime deficit, again, to beat the Bucks 101-89. Scott Skiles was whistled for your run of the mill technical foul for getting all Skiles-like on the sideline in the first half. In the second half, Skiles accidentally made contact with a player on the floor, earning him a second technical. So two techs equals an automatic ejection, right? Except the officials ruled that the second technical was not on account of "unsportsmanlike conduct" which is requisite for an ejection, and therefore Skiles got to stay. Very strange all around. Not as strange as the continuing collapse of the Bucks after such a great 2010 season, but still pretty odd.

Even more bizarre, however, was Gregg Popovich's decision to pull his starters with 3:13 remaining in the 4th down by only 10 to the Knicks. The Spurs' defense was horrific all night to be sure, allowing over 100 points in three-quarters. But the Spurs were still hanging in a very Spurs way, when suddenly, apparently Popovich had seen enough from his team and pulled Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Richard Jefferson. The Spurs' offense featured Chris Quinn, Gary Neal, and Ime Udoka down the stretch. In shocking news, the Knicks hung on over that mighty lineup, 128-115 .

Some speculated that Popovich was merely resting his starters for Wednesday night's game against the Boston Celtics.  But judging from the behavior of Manu and Parker on the sideline, Pop was making a point. I guess at 29-45, Pop felt he could spare a win in order to make a point. Either way, New York managed to hold on against a playoff contender at home.

In other news, Kevin Durant missed a three-pointer to tie, the lion laid down with the lamb, and a bad moon is rising. Run for your lives!
Posted on: October 22, 2010 12:07 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 12:35 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Contraction, Horford, Melo

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger discusses contraction , Denver trades, and the upcoming season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Posted by Matt Moore

Each week we'll be bringing you five questions for our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the inside happenings of the league. This week, Ken talks about the contraction issues , Denver's objectives in trade talks, and what he's looking forward to this season. You can email your questions to the Friday 5 With KB at cbssportsnba@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba .

1. Your report on the CBA discussions sent shockwaves through the blogosphere as you reported the league is considering contraction as an option. But with small-market owners Peter Holt and Glen Taylor as powerful as they are, aren't they two guys that would deeply oppose this concept?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Yes and no. In Taylor's case, I believe he'd oppose it only if his franchise were being eliminated. But business would be better for him if another struggling franchise were axed. In Holt's case, remember that the profitability challenge isn't about market size. It's about revenue. Yes, there are big and small markets, but that's not the point. The point is, there are high-revenue teams (such as the Lakers, who rake in nearly $2 million at the gate per home game) and there are low-revenue teams (such as the Grizzlies and Timberwolves, who make $300,000-$400,000). There are small-market teams that generate at or close to $1 million per home game (Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Utah), and there are teams in large metro areas that struggle (Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia). What the league has to constantly look at is, are the low-revenue teams doing as well as they possibly can in the markets where they're doing business? If the answer is yes, there are three ways to deal with it: 1) enhance revenue sharing to the point where those teams can compete and profit; 2) relocation; or 3) contraction. No. 3 is clearly a last resort, but you'd have to be the most rose-colored-glasses type in the world not to see that the NBA would benefit immensely from getting rid of two teams. The league as a whole would be more profitable, and the product would be better.

 2. Let's turn to our best-selling show, "As Melo Turns." You reported this week that Denver's exploring a series of one-on-one deals. We have serious questions about how good of a deal this is for Denver, particularly the whole "Anderson 'Flopsy' Varejao" angle. So what positions do you think they're aiming for with these one-offs? Or is it just any upgrade they can get?

KB: Denver's top priorities remain as follows: draft picks, young players, and cap relief. In recent weeks, after the four-way fell apart, they've added something to the list: getting rid of Kenyon Martin and/or J.R. Smith in the deal. Executives familiar with their strategy say the Nuggets appear close to abandoning another component of their wish list: a veteran player who is a decent replacement for Anthony. The thought being, if you're getting worse in the short term without Melo, why not go all the way and set yourself up to rebuild the right way? Why not "be Sam Presti," as one exec put it to me. So the long answer to your question is that the Nuggets' approach is in flux on every level, but there are certain things they feel they have to get out of this: draft picks, young players, and cap relief. If they decide to go ahead and move K-Mart and J.R., and give up the notion of trying to patch the hole with, say, Andre Iguodala, they'd be in a position to get more of all three.

 3. This week you saw a big peelback of the number of technicals compared to last week. It seemed like both sides were starting to find that "middle ground" you talked about last week. Do you think this is going to be a non-issue or do you think the union really is going to get involved legally?

For once, I agree with David Stern. Cooler heads will prevail, and the union will realize that this isn't a battle they want to wage. (Better to save their time, lawyers and money for the real fight over the CBA). Stern even budged a little Thursday when he admitted that some officials have overstepped in the enforcement of the new policy, and that they'd have to adjust. So as you and I have said from the beginning, that's what's going to happen. The players will back down a little, the refs will give them a little more leash, there will be marginally more techs doled out early in the season, and then everyone will move on.

 4. Al Horford, Jamal Crawford. Clock's ticking, at least on Horford, and we don't hear anything. What's the lastest on that front?

The Hawks have until June 30 to extend Crawford, so there's no rush there -- despite Jamal's understandable desire to get it done now. But with regard to both Crawford and Horford, Hawks GM Rick Sund has a long history of not doing veteran extensions. This was his approach in Seattle with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, and he did the same with Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams, Zaza Pachulia and Joe Johnson in Atlanta. (Note: Johnson was the only one of those players who got a max deal from Sund.) The point is clear: If this has been your philosophy in the past, early or mid-way through collective bargaining agreements, then it will most certainly be your strategy in the last year of a CBA. You can't 100 percent rule out Horford getting an extension by the 31st, but I doubt it. Unless the Hawks are getting a home-team discount, what's the incentive for them to pay Horford now when they don't know what market value will be under the new deal?

 5. Okay, Ken, last Friday 5 before the start of the season. We know you're least looking forward to the LeBron show. But what are you most looking forward to as the season starts Tuesday?

  I'm not least looking forward to LeBron at all. I was least looking forward to "The Decision" and its aftermath. I'm very much looking forward to watching him play alongside Dwyane Wade. It will be compelling theater, everywhere they go. Aside from that, just to mention a few things on my radar: I'm interested in seeing how Kobe Bryant's knee holds up; whether Kevin Durant and the Thunder are ready to take the next step; whether Amar'e Stoudemire will bring the buzz back to Madison Square Garden; whether Dwight Howard is as determined to dominate as he says he is; my first chance to listen to Stan Van Gundy eviscerate someone in a pre-game diatribe; my next chance to hear Howard imitate Van Gundy; the first of a million times this season that Jeff Van Gundy says, "I just don't understand that;" where and when Carmelo gets traded; and LeBron's first game in Cleveland Dec. 2.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com