One year ago this week was the best time in Tyler Hansbrough’s life. He was sitting on top of the college basketball world, leading a North Carolina Tar Heel team that would go on to win the NCAA Championship. He was a legend, a guy who will be mentioned along with Jordan and Perkins in North Carolina basketball lore.
This year, he sits around and plays a lot of video games while doctors try to figure out what is wrong, according to the Indianapolis Star. They can’t.
His latest problem — an inner ear infection and/or possible concussion — has kept him sidelined for most of the past two-plus months. The Pacers aren’t expecting him to return this season.
“It really is miserable for me to be dealing with this injury,” Hansbrough said recently. “I’ve never had an injury like this where it’s kept me out a long time. It’s something I’m trying to get over and get healthy.”
Hansbrough’s current diagnosis remains a mystery. The team has been calling it an inner ear infection since late December. Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said two weeks ago that it possibly could be a concussion, caused when Hansbrough took a hit in a game in Boston in late December.
Hansbrough played solidly in 29 games for the Pacers, coming off the bench. He was playing 17.6 minutes per game and giving Indiana about eight points and five rebounds. He was not blowing anybody away, but he was solid, especially for a rookie.
Now he’s playing solid ball on NBA2K10 and that’s about it. He hasn’t seen the court in 2010 and will not this season.
Now he will start over — likely Summer League then basically a second rookie season. He will not be an Indiana legend, but the second time around can’t be worst than the first/
A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to be finished soon, but with months until the current deal expires, both the owners and players can afford to take their time and get the details right.
Both sides reportedly agreed to keep the age minimum – which requires players to be 19 and one year removed from their high school class’ graduation – in place.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Other issues, like the age limit for players entering the league, are still on the table. The league has long sought to increase the age limit from its current 19, and at least one year removed from one’s high school class, to at least 20 years of age. The union has talked about a “zero and two” setup, similar to that used by baseball — players can enter the Draft out of high school, but if they choose to go to college, they have to stay in college at least two years (in baseball, it’s three years) before declaring for the Draft.
The union wants to lower the age minimum. Adam Silver wants to raise it.
Most likely, the current one-and-done rule remains in place.
But a zero-or-two setup could be an interesting compromise. That would allow players certain they’re ready for the pros out of high school to declare for the NBA draft. In all other cases, Silver would get his wish.
Again, the status quo likely remains in tact. But it’s good both sides are discussing the issue to see whether there’s a better solution.
Take comfort, chairs and staffers.
The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.
Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:
This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.
Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.
The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.
This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.
Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.
But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.
The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.
Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.