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Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Billy Donovan Fined $15,000 for Critical Comments of Officiating

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Russell Westbrook, Paul George and coach Billy Donovan were each fined $15,000 on Wednesday for critical comments of officiating after the Oklahoma City Thunder’s loss Sunday to the Portland Trail Blazers.

After Carmelo Anthony was controversially ejected for a flagrant foul 2 in third quarter — a call the league upheld after further review — Westbrook, Donovan and George all gave thoughts about that play, as well as a play moments before that was not reviewed after Westbrook was caught in the face.

“I just think they don’t referee the same way all the time,” Westbrook added. “They pick and choose when they want to do it, which is not fair, in my opinion. I’ve been in this league for a while, and I’m able to see it and understand it and see what’s right or what’s wrong, but I can see it’s blatant, s— that’s not getting looked at, in my opinion. Get hit, you need to look at it. You look at everything else, you need to take a look at it.”

During the third quarter against Portland, Anthony attacked the basket and collided with Nurkic midair, double-clutching a layup attempt. Anthony caught Nurkic with an elbow to the face, before finishing an and-1. After review, the and-1 was wiped out and Anthony was assessed a flagrant 2, resulting in an ejection.

The league said on Wednesday the play remains a flagrant 2.

Donovan didn’t directly criticize the officials about Anthony’s ejection, saying only that he had never seen a player thrown out for an and-1, but he was fined for answering a question about Westbrook’s free throw struggles by pointing out an overall free throw discrepancy on the season.

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Dirk Nowitzki: ‘It’s looking like’ a Return Next Season

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Losing is no fun for Dirk Nowitzki. But waking up and going to the gym still is.

Heck, even watching film? Still is.

While the losses have mounted in a season that has been hard to watch at times, but promising at other moments, Nowitzki opened up on Thursday and said that the 8-20 record going into Thursday’s game at Golden State has not dampened his enthusiasm.

Not for this season. Or next season.

“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back — but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks had a morning walk-through at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco. “I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at [age] 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.”

Source: Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News 

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Jahlil Okafor: ‘I feel like I got drafted all over again’

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Jahlil Okafor understands the importance of timing.

It’s been a year since he’s had consistent playing time, but appreciates the patient approach the Nets staff is taking towards getting him acclimated with the team. The former No. 3 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft explained that it’s on him to show that he’s ready to contribute.

“Just preparing as hard as I can, working as hard as I can, so I know when my time comes, I’ve prepared in every way,” Okafor explained on Wednesday after practice. “It’s kind of a mental thing, you feel good about yourself. You feel good about the work you put in. Hopefully, that translates to the floor.”

“I feel like I got drafted all over again,” he said. “They’re really invested in me. That just makes me feel wanted, it makes me feel a part of this team.”

Source: Brooklyn Nets

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Report: Mirza Teletovic Out Indefinitely with Pulmonary Emboli in Both Lungs

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic will be sidelined as a result of pulmonary emboli in both lungs. Teletovic’s condition was discovered when consulting with Bucks team physicians after he experienced unusual fatigue earlier this week. Following a 10-day rest period, Teletovic will begin his supervised rehabilitation program and updates on his condition will be provided when appropriate.

Teletovic, 32, has missed the last 16 games, including 10 after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the supervision of Bucks team physician Dr. William Raasch.

In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range.

Source: Milwaukee Bucks

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