On eve of elimination game vs. Lakers, Houston guard Danuel House ejected from the NBA bubble

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In the playoffs, you need all the help you can get.



a man holding a football ball: Houston Rockets’ Danuel House Jr. (4) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


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Houston Rockets’ Danuel House Jr. (4) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

So on the eve of an elimination Game 5 against the Lakers, the Houston Rockets got unfortunate news: Danuel House, one of their key rotation players, was forced to leave the bubble after an NBA investigation concluded he had breached health protocols by inviting an unauthorized guest to his room.

The Rockets played the last two games, both losses, without House (11.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg in the playoffs) after the league launched an investigation into a Sept. 8 encounter with an unauthorized guest, reported by The Athletic to be a female subcontractor, in his room in the Grand Floridian Hotel for multiple hours. The Rockets are the only team occupying the hotel, which also is a quarantine site for some player guests.

House won’t play again for Houston this season, which now that the Rockets are down 3-1 is looking perilously short. Houston did not hold a media availability ahead of Saturday’s Game 5, tipping at 5 p.m. PDT.

It’s the first violation of bubble protocol that has resulted in the player having to leave. Richaun Holmes and Bruno Cabaclo (who is also on the Rockets) received additional quarantine after violating the required boundaries for food pick-up. The Clippers’ Lou Williams had to quarantine for additional time after it was revealed he visited an Atlanta strip club during an absence from the team for personal reasons.

House had played in nine games for the Rockets, starting four in place of Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have capitalized on the shortened rotation with their depth, even throwing rookie Talen Horton-Tucker at them in the last game. But Danny Green, a winner of two titles in San Antonio and Toronto, cautioned against complacency.

“Elimination games are always hard regardless of what round it is,”  he said. “They’re always hard. It’s the hardest game to win. A team has nothing to lose and they’re fighting for their lives.”

The Lakers are largely occupied off court with their families from when player guests were let into the bubble a week-and-a-half ago. Coach Frank Vogel said he’s not concerned about his team making the same mistake as House.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like our group has to have that talk,” Vogel said. “Our guys are really locked into the task at hand. Obviously the situation is a reminder, they’re seeing it on their phones. Obviously we don’t want to do that.”

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Garden Report: Celtics vs. Raptors Game 7 PREDICTIONS

Game 7 is here at 9 p.m. EST tonight. What means more with one neutral site game remaining, the Celtics’ blowout wins in Game 1 and 5, or Toronto’s late game exploits in Games 3 and 6?

The Celtics and Raptors both expended their starters for more than 50 minutes less than 48 hours ago in a NBA Playoff classic. Stamina and recovery will play a factor, particularly for Serge Ibaka who played hurt on Thursday, though that game came down to Toronto’s small ball lineup versus the Celtics starters.

Scroll below for previews and a look back at Game 6 from CLNS Media’s post game coverage team.


The Garden Report —

Celtics or Raptors? NBA Playoffs Game 7 PREDICTION

The Celtics and Raptors cap a long, hectic, series of swings with a Game 7 at 9 p.m. EST on Friday. Sierra Goodwill, Josue Pavon, Jimmy Toscano and Bobby Manning weigh in on the series one more time, and I’m sure you can guess who’s taking who in this decisive game.

Are Refs to Blame for Celtics Game 6 loss?

The Celtics and Raptors Game 6 packed plenty of drama including a few controversial calls by the referees down the stretch. From the no-call on a Kemba Walkers last second layup, to a timeout awarded to the Raptors in the closing seconds of regulation.

The Celtics found themselves on the wrong side of the whistle more than once. But are the refs really to blame for the Celtics inability to close out the series?

Celtics Fall to Raptors, 125-122, in Double Overtime Classic

In an epic Game 6 Thursday night, the Boston Celtics came up short against the Toronto Raptors 125-122 in double overtime. All Star point guard Kemba Walker was once again a no-show for his team. Walker was just 2-for-11 from the field with three turnovers. Sierra Goodwill, Jimmy Toscano, Josue Pavon, and Bobby Manning break down Game 6 and discuss what went wrong for the Celtics.


Twitter Reacts —

Game 6 Post Game Show

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Subscribe to The Garden Report on iTunes and Stitcher, as well as CLNS Media’s YouTube and Dailymotion pages for more Celtics playoff coverage.

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Rockets ‘not optimistic’ NBA will have ruling on Danuel House probe before Game 4

The Rockets were “not optimistic” Thursday that the NBA would reach a final decision on its probe into whether forward Danuel House Jr. violated the health and safety protocols on the league’s Florida campus in time for Game 4, but House has continued to insist he did not break the rules being investigated, a person with knowledge of the situation said.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


The league has information that one of its contracted COVID-19 testing employees entered the Rockets’ Grand Floridian Hotel late night on Monday and has based its investigation of House on “door data” which showed House’s hotel room door opened sometime in those hours.

The woman, however, implicated Rockets center Tyson Chandler and another player and not House, the individual said. Chandler was cleared by the NBA investigation on Wednesday. The information on the other player was deemed not credible.

House has been “adamant” throughout the process that he was not involved in the violation, the person with information about the investigation said. There was no immediate indication beyond the “door data” that implicated House.

House and Chandler missed Game 3 of the Rockets’ series against the Lakers for what the Rockets, under the league’s direction, termed “personal matters.” House is listed as out for Game 4.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the ongoing investigation could jeopardize House’s potential return to the Western Conference semifinals. Yahoo Sports reported that the investigation centers on allowing a female testing official into his hotel room.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, when asked on Wednesday if House could be available on Thursday, said, “We haven’t heard, yet.”

House, who has been the Rockets’ first substitute off the bench since Russell Westbrook returned from his injury in Game 5 of the first round series against the Thunder, had scored 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots.

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The Game Has Changed for Madison Square Garden, but Don’t Count It Out Yet

I honestly don’t know if New York City returns to its former glory or not; I’ll leave that to folks like James Altucher and Jerry Seinfeld who had a very public difference of opinion on the matter, as well as Real Money contributor Jim Collins. All of them have lived there, know the issues first hand, and are better equipped to opine than I am.

What I do believe, however, is that New York City real estate has lost its luster, at least into the foreseeable future. I’ve always been enamored with real estate owned by publicly traded companies, and have owned names over the years, such as Saks and the former Madison Square Garden company (now Madison Square Garden Sports (MSGS) , which spun off Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp (MSGE) this past April) due in part to their New York real estate holdings.

But the game has changed as folks flee the city due to a combination of factors such as crime, high taxes, the pandemic and uncertainty. You’ve also got to wonder whether commercial real estate will recover, now that many have learned that they can indeed do their jobs from home. The companies realize that too, and what a way to cut overhead for businesses that lend themselves to work from home.

Despite my growing skepticism over certain areas of real estate, I was still somewhat surprised to see Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp pop up in my screen for triple-nets, or companies trading at between 2x and 3x net current asset value or NCAV. I actually did not believe my own eyes, and realized that it may have been a data lag (current market cap coupled with older fundamental data). Sure enough, the company’s 10K just came out, data that was indeed not reflected. However, I crunched the numbers anyway, and as of Tuesday, MSGE does indeed trade at about 3.13x NCAV, very close to triple-net territory. That is quite shocking.

Not surprisingly, the company is not currently profitable due to pandemic-related shutdown of venues, the crown jewel of which is the Madison Square Garden complex. Fourth-quarter revenue and full-year revenue were down 96% and 27%, respectively, and the company lost $4.74 per share for its latest quarter. Yet, the stock price has held up fairly well since the spinoff, closing at $88.51 on its first day of trading (it opened at $100) on April 9, and closing at $77.64 on Tuesday.

It’s the current strength of the balance sheet and potential value of the underlying assets that is supporting the share price. The company ended its fiscal year with $1.244 billion, or nearly $52 a share in cash and short-term investments, and $34 million in debt (there’s also $228 million in operating lease liabilities). MSGE currently trades at just 0.64x book value.

The current fiscal year does not look good for the company, with consensus estimates calling for a loss of $13.15 a share, followed by a loss of $3.35 next year. The company

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Game Ideas For Your Next House Party

The next New Year's Eve is to be celebrated at your place, and you want to throw one remarkable party, a night to remember forever! If you are new to throwing house parties and cannot think of the best party games your guests will cherish, here are some tips that could help you get on with the house party planning, and the games (including drinking games) to select.

The Planning

You are the host, so it is up to you to choose what games would be played by your guests. The sooner you finalize, the longer you have to plan and shop. Firstly, know your guests. If your house party is for a group of close friends that prefer to stay up till dawn holding glasses to their lips, drinking games are the way to go. Otherwise, if they are teetotalers, some fun board games such as "Taboo" or "Pictionary", or conversational games such as "Dumb Charades" or "Truth or Dare" are best chosen. Either way, decide ahead of time, and shop ahead for what you need.

Finalizing the Game (s)

The main purpose of playing games at a party is to have a common source of fun, rather than people breaking into smaller groups for private conversation. It is also a game-changer, pun intentional, for guests with diverse backgrounds, or those who do not know each other very well. Whatever be your reason, some fun drinking games and non-drinking games are listed here to help you zero in. Of course, you can choose more than one.

Drinking Games

A handy tip for selecting drinking games is to choose on the kind of liquor. For example, "Beer Pong" would go down well with your guests only if they are beer lovers. If your guests are not particular about what they drink, go with other games such as "Never Have I Ever" or "Flip Cup". Word of caution – do not choose drinking games that require shots if there are only scotch lovers around.

Non-drinking Games

For a more formal house party, or one with children, board or conversational games are your best choice. Choose from the more popular games such as "Dumb Charades" or "Pictionary". You might also explore lesser known options such as "The Book" or "Dictionary Game".

On the Day

Now that you planned, shopped, and decorated, your actual test as a host comes on the day of your party. As your guests start trickling in, let them settle down. Do not jump into games right away, make them at home first. Once you start the games, try to stick to your plans, but be open to improvisations if things get boring. As the host, you need to strike a balance between having the final say and being courteous. Most importantly, throw conversations in between, be perfect about your supply of food and drinks, and blend in with all guests equally.

Rock the next party, and do not stress out over throwing one. Have fun!

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