Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

MRI negative for Tyreke Evans’ foot, Kings still can’t be happy

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Tyreke Evans was scheduled for an MRI Friday, and the fear being whispered about was the dreaded “stress fracture.” A tiny crack in the bone is extremely painful, hard to heal, and could keep him out for months. Kings fans waited with baited breath to find out if their franchise player was done for a significant amount of time, which would annihilate any hope of a turnaround. The answer, if you please, Mr. Sactown Royalty:

Tyreke Evans underwent a precautionary MRI on his left foot, according to the Kings, and the results found no evidence of a stress fracture, just the previously diagnosed plantar fasciitis.

via Tyreke Evans’ MRI Results: No Stress Fracture, Just Plantar Fasciitis – Sactown Royalty.

So all he has is one of the most painful and difficult conditions for a basketball player to play through. Well, then. that’s much better.

Evans has struggled this season, as all the Kings have. But Evans was a transcendent star last season, with a historic season. His fall back to Earth is crushing for a franchise that looked to have turned the corner in it’s rebuilding process, from tearing down the structure to laying the foundation. A season lost to frustration, slumps, and injuries just sends the franchise that much further back.

Especially damaging is that the condition affects a player’s touch by distracting him when he tries to explode off the foot. It messes with the jumper as it did with Tony Parker, and it messes with your explosion. Evans is still shooting the same percentage as last year at the rim, but from inside ten feet and 11-15 feet, he’s struggling severely. If the condition clears up, the Kings might be able to make a push for some respectability as the year goes on. The same can’t be said for DeMarcus Cousins’ condition: immaturity.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.