Playoffs? Let's scan the rest of the NBA instead
Brooklyn, Toronto, Washington, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston and Detroit all feature, along with the Clippers, in the long-awaited return of our weekly assemblage of TWIB notes
The first week of the NBA playoffs frankly hasn't been the funnest.
Injuries and officiating controversies are a prime (and noisy) feature of every single postseason, but we've regrettably been immersed in little else for days even though the tournament only just got started.
Memphis' Ja Morant missed one full game and Game 1 crunch time because of a worrisome hand injury. Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) and the LA Clippers' Kawhi Leonard (knee) have missed two games each. Philadelphia's Joel Embiid (knee) was forced to sit out the 76ers' sweep-clinching Game 4 victory Saturday in Brooklyn and, according to Sixers coach Doc Rivers, might not be recovered in time to for the opening tip of Round 2.
Yet again we say: Injuries suck.
All of those health setbacks, furthermore, were sustained just since the playoffs began on April 15. It's a dispiriting list that didn't even include Miami's Tyler Herro (lost for at least six weeks with a broken right hand sustained in Game 1 that required surgery) and teammate Victor Oladipo, whose left knee buckled on a ghastly drive to the bucket late in Saturday's Game 3 victory over the Giannis-less Bucks to leave the Heat's bench visibly shaken as the No. 8 seeds were moving into a 2-1 series lead.
All of those hits were likewise piling up amid nonstop debate about Draymond Green's suspension for Game 3 of the Golden State/Sacramento series after Green stomped on the chest of Kings big man Domantas Sabonis ... and Embiid's non-suspension for Game 4 after he kicked out in the general crotch direction of Brooklyn's Nic Claxton … and then the league’s decision Sunday to pass on tacking on an additional penalty for Memphis’ Dillon Brooks after Brooks was ejected from Game 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers for a backhanded swipe to LeBron James’ groin. (Please don’t poke the bear there, Dillon.)
In addition to using words that may or may not exist, like funnest, I feel the need to take a brief detour from the playoffs and these draining storylines until the Monday Musings to talk about other stuff. We're overdue for some around-the-league notes ... This Week In Basketball-style.
Read on for the latest out of my notebook.