UPDATE 11:41 pm: Durant left the arena wearing a protective boot on his ankle, but that was primarily for precautionary reasons and he said the injury was not that serious, according Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.
“Just a little tweak,” he said. “I did it before. Just gotta see how I feel in the morning.”
Durant said he hopes to play Friday in Atlanta for the Thunder. You can bet there will be plenty more medical tests before that happens.
10:54 pm: Kevin Durant — the NBA’s leading scorer at 28.5 per game and current Golden Boy, in case you forgot — turned his ankle badly Wednesday night, forcing him out of the game against the Pacers. He did not return.
There is no word yet on the severity of the injury, but watch the video, it’s not good. That looks like the kind of ankle sprain that has you missing a few games at first glance.
With 2:44 left in the third quarter Durant tried to drive from the left elbow area and Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough slid over to cover him. Durant stepped on Hansbrough’s foot and twisted his ankle. He stayed in to shoot his free throws then left the game.
Two trainers had to help Durant to the locker room, but we await word still on the severity of the injury.
Clearly, any lengthy injury to Durant would severely hurt the Thunder as they try to ramp up heading into a playoff stretch drive.
The Thunder were up 21 at the time of the injury and went on to win 113-89.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.