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Saturday, February 24, 2018


Zaza Pachulia dismisses claims of him being dirty as ‘childish’

Zaza Pachulia Russell Westbrook

Zaza Pachulia dismissed claims made by the Oklahoma City Thunder after Saturday night’s game of him being a dirty player as “childish.”

Pachulia was seen diving on top of Thunder star guard Russell Westbrook late in the third quarter. Pachulia’s dive on top of Westbrook appeared to be completely unnecessary.

After the game, Westbrook said he thought it was intentional.

“Obviously it was intentional. Nobody touch me, he fell over my leg, tried to hurt me … that’s how it go,” Westbrook said of the play.

Asked if he thought Pachulia was a dirty player, Westbrook said, “Yeah, for sure.”

Westbrook’s Thunder teammate, Paul George, agreed that Pachulia fell on Westbrook intentionally.

Pachulia was confronted with the claims made by Thunder players that he is dirty. He dismissed it all as “childish” and said he wouldn’t respond.

Pachulia doesn’t want to respond because he knows it’s true.

His list of offenses is long.

– He took a groin swipe at Iman Shumpert in the NBA Finals
– He stepped under Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference finals and injured him
– He smacked Luke Babbitt in the face
– He also has a history with Westbrook

Here is all the evidence you need to see to know about Pachulia:


Carmelo Anthony spikes headband after foul from Draymond Green

Carmelo Anthony headband

Carmelo Anthony got upset with Draymond Green following a foul late in the third quarter of Saturday night’s Golden State Warriors-Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Anthony was looking to drive to the basket on Green, who went for the block. Green hit Melo in the head after going for the block, which upset the Thunder forward. Melo spiked his headband in disgust and then had words for the Warriors forward:

Melo was in the middle of a lot of action on Saturday night. He also got into it with Kevin Durant earlier in the game:

Both Anthony and Green had already been called for technical fouls earlier in the game but avoided them this time.

Latvian national team shows support to Kristaps Porzingis with unicorn T-shirts

Kristaps Porzingis

Latvia’s national basketball team is rallying around their injured countryman.

In a post to Twitter on Saturday, the team shared images of unicorn T-shirts that they recently wore in support of New York Knicks big man and famous Latvian Kristaps Porzingis, who is nicknamed “The Unicorn.”

The 22-year-old Porzingis tore his left ACL during a game against Milwaukee on Feb. 6 and is now facing a lengthy recovery period. He has featured prominently for the Latvian team in NBA offseasons past (most recently during 2017 EuroBasket), so the shirts are definitely a thoughtful gesture.

H/T NBA Reddit

Jimmy Butler to undergo surgery, could return in 4-6 weeks

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler’s absence from the Minnesota Timberwolves with a right knee injury may not be prolonged.

According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Butler is expected to undergo surgery on his right knee in the coming days. He then reportedly could return in four to six weeks.

Butler exited Friday’s game with a right knee injury on a non-contact play late in the third quarter. He underwent an MRI on Saturday that showed a meniscus injury, but luckily his ACL was not torn, which would be a much more severe injury.

A four to six week timetable for a return means Butler might be able to return right at the end of the regular season, or perhaps the playoffs. Minnesota’s last regular season game on April 11. The Timberwolves entered Saturday as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference with a 36-26 record.

Jimmy Butler has meniscus injury in right knee

Jimmy Butler locker room

Jimmy Butler underwent an MRI on Saturday to evaluate the extent of his right knee injury. According to what the team said in a press release, Butler suffered a meniscus injury.

The Timberwolves provided an update on Butler’s injury but did not share a recovery timetable:

Butler suffered the injury on a non-contact play late in the third quarter of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ game against the Houston Rockets on Friday night. He was helped off the floor and underwent X-rays, which were negative. Saturday’s MRI was used to determine the further extent of his injury.

NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported late on Friday night that there was optimism that Butler had avoided an ACL injury, and based on Charania’s reporting, it seems like that was the case.

The Timberwolves entered play on Saturday fourth in the West at 36-26.

Chandler Parsons, Marc Gasol got stuck in Miami elevator at 4 AM

Chandler Parsons Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are stuck near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and now they are getting stuck in other places too.

In a post to his Instagram Story early on Saturday morning, Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons revealed that he was trapped in a hotel elevator in Miami with teammate Marc Gasol and assistant coach Nick Van Exel as the clock neared 4 AM. The team is in town for a weekend game with the Miami Heat.

Here is footage of the entire ordeal from Parsons, per Jordan Heck of Sporting News (but beware of some foul language in the clip):

The 18-39 Grizzlies just came off a blowout loss to Cleveland at home on Friday night, and now they will play the Heat in Miami less than 24 hours later. Thus, these elevator troubles could not have been timed any worse. At least one of Parsons and Gasol’s other teammates can empathize though.

Report: Optimism that Jimmy Butler avoided torn ACL

Jimmy Butler locker room

There appears to be some more positive news about the status of Jimmy Butler.

NBA.com’s David Aldridge reports that there is some optimism that Butler avoided a torn ACL.

Butler left Friday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves-Houston Rockets game late in the third quarter with a right knee injury. X-Rays on his leg were negative, which was a good sign.

Butler is still set to undergo an MRI on Saturday which will help give a better idea of the extent of his injury.

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