December has hit and with it came another interesting week in the NBA. We’ve got our second coach fired, refs power tripping and more injuries to star players. Take a look at my top ten newsworthy moments from the past week.
1) Memphis coach David Fizdale fired
Well this was inevitable wasn’t it. Benching franchise star Marc Gasol, paired with a long losing streak, almost guaranteed Fizdale’s short tenure would come to an end. While the Grizzlies misfortunes of late weren’t entirely his fault, the coach is generally the first to go. If the losing continues, look for Gasol to be on the trading block.
2) Shaun Livingston-ref-headbutt incident
If you asked me to name a player who would be ejected for going head-to-head with a ref, Livingston wouldn’t be in my first 100 guesses. Livingston is a solid vet who seems to never lose his temper, so seeing this was incredibly odd. The ref appeared to be a good part of the incident as well, but Livingston should know to control his anger better.
3) LeBron ejected for the first time in his career
Speaking of referees, LeBron was just one of many stars to be ejected this past week. LeBron’s was the most significant though as it was the first ejection of his NBA career. The refs need to come off their high horses, they’ve been injecting themselves into the game far too often this season.
4) Blake Griffin sprains MCL
The Clippers sad season continues with news that Griffin will miss up to 8 weeks with a sprained MCL. Not good for a guy with multiple knee issues over his career. The losses are going to continue to pile up in L.A., and their narrative now is solely focused on who stays the longest; Doc Rivers or DeAndre Jordan.
5) Brandon Ingram is actually good
Yeah, I’ll admit it, I completely wrote off Ingram. But lately he’s had Most Improved Player type production. The Lakers are still terrible, but at least Ingram showing All Star potential gives hope that other All Stars will want to don the purple and gold in the coming years.
6) Cavaliers win streak hits 11 games
So LeBron is all of a sudden a good shooter? His teammate Kyle Korver sure seems to think so. The Cavs have proved they can turn it on whenever they like, now their focus will be to keep winning and wait for the return of Isaiah Thomas.
7) Annual Anthony Davis injury
Now it’s not a big injury, simply a shoulder injury that’s listed Davis as day-to-day. But it’s not what the Pelicans like to see. The big man pairing of Davis and Cousins appears to be Playoff bound, but if Davis can’t stay healthy then they’ll probably be on the outside looking in.
8) Donovan Mitchell drops 41
Mitchell has to be seen as the Not-Ben-Simmons-Rookie-of-the-Year. He’s second on the Jazz in points per game and is starting regularly at shooting guard. Mitchell is seriously impressive, just check the bounce on his alley-oop against the Clippers.
9) Jamal Murray dribbles around Lonzo
I’m sure the Canadian meant nothing by his move of dribbling around Lonzo while running out the clock, but it received a fair response from Ball’s teammate Julius Randle. Randle took exception to the move by fouling Murray with just mere seconds left and was clearly pissed. Maybe next time Murray, just stand still and dribble the ball.
10) Drake doesn’t know how a microphone works
For a guy that’s been a part of what must be a thousand interviews in his career, it appears that Drake doesn’t know how microphones work. When interviewing Kyle Lowry after a game, Drake held the microphone in front of himself while Lowry answered his question, the audience could barely make out what Lowry was saying. Instead of clearly hearing the answer, we got a muffled, intelligible response while Drake stood there looking stupid.