Leandro Barbosa not yet ready

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barbosa.jpgLeandro Barbosa — the only Brazilian athlete with two names — will not be on the court to torch the Lakers wretched point guard defense tonight. And he told the Arizona Republic he’s not sure when he will be back.

“No, I’m going to wait,” he said. “I don’t know how many games. I’m not strong yet with the (right) hand. It’s still a little bit weak. I can’t pass the way I want to pass. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. I’m excited and wanted to play, but I want to make sure I get back right.”

“The flexibility is good, but it’s just when I dribble the ball the arm is a little bit weak,” Barbosa said. “I haven’t done many things with the upper body so I think that’s the reason, It still feels good. A little stiff. I’ve been shooting every day, so I think it’s normal.”

Barbosa had surgery on his right wrist to remove a cyst.

His absence has given Goran Dragic the chance to keep proving he should have Steve Nash’s job some day (and Dragic will be back from his right ankle injury tonight). Dragic continues to be solid with spots of very good play. He keeps the ball moving — 5.7 assists to 1 turnover per game in his last three. He is fine as long as he doesn’t shoot to much — he is shooting just 23% from three and not a ton better everywhere else in his last 10 games. He will have the occasional good shooting game but is not consistent.

The Suns have not missed Barbosa all that much. When he does return, he’ll have something to prove.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.