Storyline: Chris Paul Injury

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D’Antoni, whose offense was second only to the Warriors last season, has entrusted that end of the floor to assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik since last season. But Paul’s view, on that topic and many more, is being heard. “He’s seeing things where we can get better, what we need to do,” D’Antoni said. “A lot of (his feedback) is personnel driven. He knows the league really well, and what works with guys. We talk about plays. We talk about everything. It’s more or less, well ‘We can definitely do this,’ so you file that away. Or ‘we can do that,’ or ‘we need to pick our pace up, and to be able to do that then we can do this…’ We just more or less talk.”

Rockets guard Chris Paul said he still did not have a timetable for his return from a bruised knee, though he did not disagree with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s guess that Paul could be back roughly Nov. 16, if not a game sooner or later depending on how quickly he progresses once cleared to practice. “Shoot, Coach told me I was going to play tomorrow,” Paul said. “I don’t know. I’m working, getting there. Very tough (to be patient,) very tough. I can only go as fast as they’ll let me.”

“It wasn’t responding as quickly as we wanted,” D’Antoni said. “I’m thinking he could be back next day, next day and it wasn’t that way. Right now, day-to-day, week-to-week, whatever you want to call it. “We’re going to hold him out until it’s completely well. There really is no timetable on it. We’re going to make sure it’s 100 percent well. It hard to put a timetable on it. If it is (a month-long absence) it is. We’re equipped to win, anyway. Obviously, we want him back as soon as he can, but we’re not going to bring him back until he’s completely healthy because we don’t want him limping or not feeling it later on.”

“It’s going to be hard on some of them,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The guy that played the minutes before was Austin, he played those (40-minute games). We don’t want to do that. That’s probably why we didn’t play as hard, because guys were playing too many minutes. I think J.J.’s minutes have to go up a little bit, Jamal’s minutes will have to go up because we don’t want to tax Raymond and Austin to the point that they’re not doing what they do well. Raymond’s a great ball pressure guy. If you start playing him 38 minutes, his ball pressure goes down.”

Clippers guard Chris Paul sprained his left thumb with 3:04 left in the second quarter of Monday night’s 120-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and was ruled out for the rest of the game. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but further tests need to be done to determine the extent of the injury. “We don’t know yet,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “The original X-ray was negative on his left thumb. They’re going to do an MRI tomorrow, so we’ll know more. I didn’t see [what happened]. I guess they said [Russell] Westbrook came down on [Paul’s thumb]. But whenever you see a guard pull their hand out, you pretty much know what just happened.”
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November 23, 2017 | 2:19 am EST Update

League to fine Damian Lillard?

After voicing his displeasure, Lillard was well aware his criticism would draw the ire of the league office and perhaps result in a fine. But he didn’t seem to care. When his postgame interview was over, he turned to CJ McCollum at the locker next to him and offered the following: “Go ahead and fine me,” he said. “I’ve got the check ready to go.”
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Lillard scored 30 points, making 11 of 27 field goals, in the defeat. But despite his high volume of field goals, he attempted only three free throws, a fact that left him incredulous as he left Wells Fargo Center. “I got to the rim a lot,” Lillard said. “And I’m getting smacked in my head, smacked on my shooting hand when I’m going to the basket. Guys (are) knocking me to the ground every other play. Like hard. And (officials) know I’m trying to score. It’s impossible for me to shoot two or three free throws. It’s impossible. As much as I got to the rim and as much as they know that I’m trying to score, it’s impossible for me to get the (crap) beat out of me as often as I do.”
When asked if he felt he had earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt from officials at this stage of his career, Lillard scoffed. He said a foul is a foul, no matter who you are, and he simply wants officials to do their jobs. “I don’t want to look at it like, I’m this person or I’m that (so) you’re supposed to call these fouls,” he said. “I think a foul is a foul. I know it’s tough. They’ve got a tough job, man. But I’m not one of these guys out here trying to sell them on every call … I’m playing to score the ball. I ain’t trying to be out here hitting the ground every other play, because that’s not what I’m going out here trying to do. I’m not going to be falling out the air to get two free throws and hitting the ground the way I’m hitting the ground. I’m getting hit. I don’t want to keep doing it.”
The Sixers (10-7) scored the game’s first 16 points en route to their 101-81 decision Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center. The Blazers (10-8) posted season lows in total points and field-goal percentage (33.7). The Sixers allowed their lowest point total this season. “I thought our offense was a C-minus,” Brown said. “I thought our defense was an A, and we are looking for two As.” But he’s still going to cherish this victory. “I thought at times our offense was sloppy,” Brown said. “But we beat the fourth-best team in the West by 20 points. I’m greedy, but I ain’t stupid.”
Westbrook led the Thunder with 34 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Durant finished with 21 points and five rebounds. First, Durant and Westbrook appeared to exchange some words during the second quarter of OKC and Golden State’s first meeting of this season. After Westbrook forced a turnover, he was shown on the broadcast saying something as Durant walked away and laughed. Per reporters at the game, the Thunder guard made KD laugh by shouting or shaking his head “No” at the crowd.
Storyline: Durant-Westbrook Relationship
Late in the second quarter, Westbrook denied a post entry into Durant and the ball sailed out of bounds. Westbrook turned to the Warriors’ bench and yelled, “No!” Durant pointed at Westbrook while just smiling. Westbrook was then fouled on the other end by Draymond Green. Green didn’t like the call, and he began clapping in the vicinity of Westbrook, and the reigning MVP began clapping back at him. The two had a few words before Westbrook went to the foul line to take his shots.