Some picks vanish in their first year because they were never that talented to begin with. Others because their coaches are the basketball equivalent of Dr. Doom, burying them in pursuit of their master plan. Some just don’t “get it” yet.
And then there’s Tyler Hansbrough.
One of the most celebrated players in college history entered the league with the Indiana Pacers, a development most simply nodded at, as if to say “Tall white player with college assets? Of course Indiana drafted him.” Many expected him to fail at the pro level. But when he managed to get past injuries and get on the floor, he showed some promise. He really looked like the kind of guy you wanted on the floor.
But Hansbrough has been hit with an inner ear infection which has kept him out of all but 29 games. In some ways, it seem like bad luck. A freak ailment that has submarined his first pro season seems like bad luck. But when compared to any long-term knee injury, shoulder-injury or foot injury, it’s at least something that can be moved on from permanently, once healthy.
Still, via the Indy Star, we get more unfortunate news for Hansbrough. Coach Jim O’Brien told reporters he doesn’t expect Hansbrough back this season. Might be for the best. Get him healthy as possible, keep developing him in the locker room, and start over next season when the team might actually be able to be relevant again.
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.
Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.
Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.
Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.
When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.
Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.
It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.
Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.