CONGRATULATIONS weren't necessary and not accepted, at least not by 76ers guard Lou Williams. Shortly after he came in second to Oklahoma City's James Harden for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, Williams kiddingly tossed aside any type of congratulations given to him.
"Congratulations? For what? For coming in second? Maybe to you that's a reason to get congratulated, but for me it's not," said Williams, who got three first-place votes and 231 total points. Harden garnered 115 first-place votes and 584 total points to run away with the hardware.
For Sixers coach Doug Collins, the fact that Harden and Williams finished 1-2 was thrilling.
"It's great, tremendous," Collins said. "He had a great year for us obviously, he was our leading scorer, we won four more games this year than last year [the team was four games over .500 this year after going 41-41 last year]. He was obviously a huge part of that. I'm very happy for him.
"James Harden is a young guy who is very dear to my heart. When I was at Arizona State, I worked with him for 2 years. To see that guy's development and see the player he's become is exciting, too. Really, with James the 2 years spent with him at Arizona State and the 2 years I've spent here with Lou . . . I wish Lou would have won it, but the fact that James won it, I've got a lot of love for him. He's a great kid and he's worked very, very hard."
Noah a decoy?
A little more than an hour before Game 6, Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah took the floor to test his injured left ankle, which he gruesomely rolled in Game 3. He missed Games 4 and 5 and people courtside were wondering if he could test out the ankle for Thursday's crucial game.
Noah was able to take a bunch of standstill jumpers and run back and forth in a straight line a little bit. But he showed no ability to move laterally and grimaced once when trying to attempt a defensive shuffle.
He did come out for warmups and participated in the layup line, but many times while running back to his spot in line he skipped on one foot.
Forward Taj Gibson also was labeled a game-time decision by Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau. Gibson twisted his right ankle late in Game 5 and hobbled to the locker room but returned a few minutes later. He took his normal spot in the rotation and didn't appear to be bothered by the injury.