Yi Jianlian battling inflamed Achilles

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Thumbnail image for yi_jianlian_china.jpgThings have been looking up for Yi Jianlian.

He is out of the swamps of Jersey (and into the swamp that is Washington D.C.). He will play in an up-tempo offense next to John Wall, which could put his athleticism to use. He has been working out with David Thorpe. He has been looking good as the leader of a Chinese national team that advanced to the knockout phase (despite a 1-4 record in group play).

But now he is battling and inflamed Achilles tendon.

He sat out the final game for China in group play, had an MRI on his leg, which found nothing serious. He is expected to be out there Tuesday when China takes on Lithuania.

None of this should carry over to the season, he would have a few weeks to rest and recover. And the Wizards will be careful with him during camp, because they don’t want this to be a lingering thing.

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.