Brandon Roy has knee surgery, likely done for playoffs

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The basketball gods are not just frowning on Portland, they are going Book of Job on them.

There had been hopes that Brandon Roy could return for part of the playoffs, but that seems out the door on reports by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he will have surgery to repair the meniscus tear in right knee.

Officially, the team is saying he is out only for the Phoenix series. First off, without Roy it’s hard to picture the Blazers having a series after the Suns. Tempo is going to be one of the biggest telltales in this series — Portland plays at the slowest pace of any team in the league, the Suns one of the fastest. Without Roy to settle down and control the Blazers offense, it’s more likely they will get sucked into the Suns game. If they do they lose, Portland needs to be slow and physical. It’s Andre Miller versus Steve Nash at point guard, and that is a big advantage for Phoenix. The Blazers are going to try to be physical but they need to hope they get refs who let them play that way. Things will be tough for the Blazers in this one without Roy.

But if they do win, it’s still not likely he is back for future rounds. Fast healers take a month to get over this surgery, a few more weeks to get up to speed. That would mean returning deep in the playoffs and being up to speed for the Finals.

It’s much more likely he’ll hit the ground running next season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?