According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Bulls center Joakim Noah will undergo thumb surgery and could be out of the lineup for as many as 10 weeks. From Johnson’s report:
Noah played with the injury Wednesday night against the Raptors after team physicians determined he could do no further damage to the injury. Noah first got whacked on the thumb in late November and then aggravated the injury in early December. He has been playing with his hand taped at times. The Tribune first reported the severity of Noah’s injury late Tuesday. The determination for surgery was made Wednesday.
Tough break for Chicago, especially considering the limited amount of time that Noah, Derrick Rose, and Carlos Boozer have had to play together this season. That impressive core could take the Bulls a long way this season (which is to say nothing of Chicago’s versatile supporting cast), but Rose and Boozer will be without their big man complement for a spell.
In the meantime, the Bulls shot defense and offensive rebounding — two Chicago strengths and not coincidentally, two of Noah’s strengths — will regress toward the league average, a down note for a team that has played some pretty solid ball this season. The Bulls are currently tied for third in the Eastern Conference with the Magic and Knicks, with the Hawks just a single game back. Throw in a Bucks team that’s starting to figure a few things out, and the Bulls seem likely to stumble a bit in the standings. Noah’s eventual return should still give Chicago plenty of time to rebound, provided there aren’t any complications with his procedure or recovery.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.