David Lee injures finger on first day of USA Basketball camp

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for david_lee.jpgUPDATE 8:09 pm: ESPN got a quote from Lee himself, and it doesn’t sound good:

“I looked down and my finger was completely turned to the side,” Lee
said. “It’s possibly a tendon or a dislocation of some sort. It’s
something I’ve got to go have looked at either way.

6:38 pm: The biggest fear for teams with players representing their country this summer in the World Championships? Injuries.

David Lee had made the Golden State Warriors new owners sweat a little. He injured the middle finger on his right hand during practice. He is on his way to the Bay Area Tuesday night to have the finger examined by team doctors, according to Chris Tomasson of FanHouse.

“I hope it’s not that serious,” said Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We’ll get him back (Wednesday) … I don’t know exactly what happened (as to how Lee got hurt). I just know the result of what happened … Something happened right here (pointing to his finger) that he has to keep it straight. And I don’t know if he’ll be able to play. I don’t know.”

The injury is to Lee’s non-shooting hand (he is a lefty).

Team USA wants him back, they are already low on big men. Amare Stoudemire backed out in the last few days as did Robin Lopez earlier in the day. The USA needs some big bodies who can bang around inside during the more physical international tournament. (International referees allow far more contact inside than NBA referees are instructed to.)

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?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”