In an effort to avoid going from the worst defensive rebounding team in the league to the worst defensive rebounding team in the league by an even bigger margin (it’s already pretty sizable), the Phoenix Suns have signed free agent big man Earl Barron to fill in for injured center Robin Lopez. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported that Barron will be available for the Suns’ four-game road beginning tomorrow.
Barron played most of last season for the D-League’s Iowa Energy, but became a bit of an underground sensation for his seven-game stint with the Knicks at the end of last season. Barron averaged 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for New York over that stretch, including a monster 17-point, 18-rebound effort against the Boston Celtics. Barron had four double-digit rebounding performances in his seven NBA games last year, and while his career rebounding rate is significantly lower than his rate with the Knicks, Barron will still grab some boards for Phoenix if only due to the lack of intra-squad competition. It’s not like Hedo Turkoglu, Channing Frye, or even Hakim Warrick will beat Barron to a rebound, after all.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
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
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin 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