An MRI machine is an insanely expensive piece of equipment, but the Portland Trail Blazers certainly are getting their money’s worth out of theirs this year.
The latest news to come out of the machine is good for Portland — Nicolas Batum did no serious damage to his shoulder in game two of the series with Phoenix, according to the Oregonian. It is just a strain, and officially it is a game-time decision as to whether he plays tonight in game three.
He’s going to play. If this were the regular season, he’d sit. But this is the playoffs, he plays. It’s really not more complicated than that. Batum said he had a 75 percent chance of playing, that’s too low.
The injury occurred when Batum and Steve Nash collided going for a loose ball late in the third quarter. Because Batum had surgery on that shoulder earlier in the season, there was caution. But with a clear MRI, it’s time to get it on.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.