Around the Association: Paul George Enters Protocols, Play-In Finale, Patrick Beverley Fined, Injury News, More

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Around the Association: Paul George Enters Protocols, Play-In Finale, Patrick Beverley Fined, Injury News, More

Chicago Bulls

The play-in tournament wraps up with a pair of win-and-in games tonight, but not without some drama first …

Paul George to Miss Play-In Finale

Just hours away from tonight’s win-and-in matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans, Clippers star Paul George has entered the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols. George – who returned on March 29th after missing roughly three months with an elbow injury – will now officially miss tonight’s game.

With Kawhi Leonard still sidelined and George carrying the load for the Clippers at the end of this season, there is no question this is a significant blow to Los Angeles’ chances tonight. George scored 23 points in the Clippers’ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Tuesday night’s play-in tournament matchup and has averaged 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists when healthy this season.

Joel Embiid Wins NBA Scoring Title

Joel Embiid locked up the 2021-22 NBA scoring title, finishing the season with 30.6 points per game on 49.9 percent shooting from the floor and 37.1 percent from behind the arc. Embiid has been neck and neck with fellow big man Nikola Jokic for the league’s MVP award all season, and a scoring title could certainly help his case.

Embiid averaged 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks to go along with his league-best 30.6 points, leading the 76ers to a 51-win season.

Jokic finished the season logging 27.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per contest, and he led the Nuggets to a 48-win campaign despite Denver dealing with a bevy of injuries.

Embiid takes the scoring crown, but Jokic nearly averaged a triple-double on the season and dragged an injured Nuggets team to 48 wins. I don’t know who deserves the award, but it’s been an entertaining season watching these two elite big men duke it out for the top individual honor.

Patrick Beverley Fined by the NBA

The NBA fined Patrick Beverley for his “egregious use of profanity” after the Timberwolves’ 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, according to a press release on Wednesday afternoon:

Beverley went on a bit of a tangent after the victory, dropping a few f-bombs in the heat of the moment, which is normal and perfectly fine if … ya know … you’re not recording yourself and posting it on social media. I mean, honestly, I couldn’t care less. Beverley is a passionate player playing with a big chip on his shoulder, and I’m sure that beating your old team to secure a playoff spot feels pretty darn sweet. At the end of the day, the language doesn’t offend me, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. But I guess the NBA wants to make it known that social media celebrations should be kept to a PG-13 rating moving forward.

If you missed the Beverley social media clip, here it is:

Monty Williams Wins Second Straight Coach of the Year

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has been voted the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Williams and the Suns followed up a Western Conference title last year with a 64-win campaign and the top seed in the West.

Williams’ Suns dominated from the start of the regular to the end, becoming easily a title favorite:

And Ones …

•   The NBA on ESPN crew put together their 25 under 25 this week (FWIW: No Bulls made the cut):

•   The CJ McCollum trade to the New Orleans Pelicans has been the best deal of the deadline thus far, and the team has a chance to prove that further by locking in a playoff appearance tonight:

•   Steph Curry is on track to make his return for Game 1 of the Warriors’ first-round series with the Denver Nuggets this weekend. Curry has been sidelined since March 17 with a ligament sprain in his left foot.

•   In other injury news, Shams Charania has reported that, unlike the Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks will not get their star player back in time for Game 1 of their first-round series this weekend. Doncic is expected to miss at least the opening game of Dallas’ series with the Utah Jazz on Saturday night as the Mavericks’ star deals with a strained calf that he suffered in the regular season’s final game. Charania has the Mavs treating this as a day-to-day injury for now, but this will be something to monitor throughout the series.

•   Get your popcorn ready!

•   The NBA put together the best finishes of the 2021-22 season (and I think you can guess which Bull made the cut … twice):

•   Kevin Durant was a cheat code in 2010!

•   Fun with Numbers, 2021-22 NBA regular-season edition:

•   The top three-pointers of the 2021-22 regular season:


•   I’ll leave you with some of the top slam dunks of the 2021-22 NBA season. Enjoy the play-in tournament action tonight and the start of the playoffs this weekend!

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.