Happy Monday, everyone. Hopefully Mother’s Day was enjoyable for all.
In Sunday’s playoff action, the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder kicked away an enormous first half lead and fell late to the Clippers, 101-99, due in part to another horrible bout of clock mismanagement by head coach Scott Brooks.
With a differential of just over 3 seconds and the Clippers with possession of the ball and holding onto a two-point lead, the Thunder refused to foul. And of course, they were (once again) without timeouts. Just an inexcusable mistake to make twice in a span of six playoff games. Their fate was sealed, and they fell by that same two-point margin.
In the evening tilt, the Indiana Pacers pulled out a 95-92 victory on the road to pull ahead in the series against the Wizards by a comfortable 3-1 tally with Game 5 coming up Indianapolis. Frank Vogel’s squad shouldn’t have too much trouble finishing the series off in the next contest.
Elsewhere, ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson reports that the Wolves may have significant interest in signing Shaun Livingston over the summer when he hits free agency. He’s on a minimum contract this year but will likely command a slightly larger amount in 2014-15, and the Nets will likely not be in a position to do so. Wolfson cites Livingston’s history with Flip Saunders, but hopefully Flip keeps in mind that despite starting 54 games for a playoff squad this year, he’s still a marginal rotational player.
I’d be okay with Livingston at a reasonable price, but the Wolves need to be careful about adding too many guards and wings that don’t shoot the three-ball well (or at all, for that matter). Corey Brewer was the first, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is another. That’s fine, but if we throw in Rubio’s shaky perimeter game and Livingston’s non-existent one, well, it gets dicey pretty quickly.
At any rate, Livingston is a great story and would be a useful rotational player in all likelihood. Of course, his season isn’t even over and he’ll no doubt be a veteran that a number of playoff contenders look to add in the off-season.
Lastly, the NBA pre-Draft combine is this Wednesday in Chicago. This is nothing like the NFL Scouting Combine, of course, at least as far as star-power and popularity go. Huge names and likely extremely high draft picks like Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, and Andrew Wiggins are all rumored to be skipping the combine. ESPN reports that Julius Randle and Dante Exum are both likely to attend, however.
The most useful thing about the combine is generally the number of rumors that surface, from trade ideas to free agency leanings to head coaching preferences for teams with vacancies. We’ll keep our ear to the ground and have any pertinent information here at DWW as the week progresses.
In the meantime, enjoy Monday night’s playoff contests as the Brooklyn Nets look to extend their series against Miami even further and the Portland Trail Blazers try and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Spurs.