Over the course of Wednesday night’s full slate of NBA action, it appeared there might still be a bit of hangover left from New Years, both on the part of players and referees — and Kevin Durant’s first career ejection was just a warm-up to the weirdness. We start our journey in Houston, where the Rockets’ Greg Smith decided to take a perfectly-timed break from game action (you know, while his team was running a half-court set) in order to tie his shoe. Only one problem: both of his feet were firmly planted in the paint. The officials don’t take too kindly to that, and Smith was promptly called for a three-second violation, much to the bewilderment of head coach Kevin McHale.
Next, we head north to Toronto, where the Raptors’ Amir Johnson got away with the most egregious double-dribble in the history of basketball — and proceeded to jog back down the court with glee, knowing full-well about his good fortune. Ultimately, the non-call didn’t matter, as the Raptors crushed the visiting Trail Blazers 102-79. But still, c’mon ref, you gotta call that!
Next up is the highlight of the night, from the high-octane night cap featuring two of the hottest teams in the NBA — the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors laid a sound thrashing on the Clip Show, who are suddenly on a two-game losing streak after winning 17 in a row. The capper for the Clippers came halfway through the third quarter with the shot clock winding down, when Blake Griffin (2-11 on the night) had the misfortune of being firmly planted in place for a corner three. To say Griffin is a liability from
three-point range would be equivalent to saying Steve Urkel is a liability to Carl Winslow’s house. Blake had a little time — not much, but he was able to square up — and plenty of space. After what transpired next, it’s safe to say Blake Griffin isn’t exactly the next Bruce Bowen:
Now, we’re not so great at geography, but if he missed by a few inches more, the ball might have landed across the Bay in San Francisco. And don’t think for one second that Griffin’s brick-laying prowess was lost on the Warriors’ bench:
Some would call the missed three, and subsequent Warriors beat down, karma for this.