Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns

Grizzlies Rudy Gay out for season, needs shoulder surgery

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That sound you hear was the hopes of Grizzlies fans to be a real threat in the playoffs deflating.

Rudy Gay, Memphis’ dynamic wing player who signed a max contract last summer, will need season ending shoulder surgery reports the Commercial Appeal. Gay has been out for a month since injuring his shoulder against the Sixers, but a second opinion recently from everyone’s favorite orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews (what, you can name another one off the top of your head?) changed everything.

“I’ve never really been hurt. I’ve never had anything shut me down,” Gay said. “There’s really no brace or anything I can wear to make it better. I have to have the surgery.”

Gay was the slasher and scorer from the wing that the Grizzlies need to balance out Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in the paint. He was averaging 19.8 points per game shooting a career-best 47.1 percent this season before the injury.

Memphis has played well without Gay, having gone 8-6, including wins over San Antonio and Oklahoma City. They are currently holding down the eighth playoff spot in the West. But for them to do damage to an elite team in a seven-game series without Gay will be a much, much taller mountain to climb. More like K2.

No date has been set for the surgery. He should be good to go next season (whenever that starts) but will not be part of the Grizzlies playoff run.

Zaza Pachulia lays out Russell Westbrook, stands over him (video)

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Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.

Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.

Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.

Report: 76ers’ Ben Simmons sitting entire season still on table

TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 07:  Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2016 NBA Rookie Photoshoot at Madison Square Garden Training Center on August 7, 2016 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?

It just won’t die.

Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.

Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.

76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.

It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.

Roy Hibbert passes ball into hoop, reacts with perfect facial expression (video)

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The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.

Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).

Dario Saric blocks back-to-back Raptors dunk attempts (video)

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Norman Powell – get out of here.

Jared Sullinger – get out of here.

Dario Saric blocked consecutive dunk attempts in the 76ers’ 94-89 win over the Raptors. Philadelphia has won seven of nine and looks suddenly revitalized.

The best part of all this? Saric’s teammates’ reactions – though the actual blocks were pretty great themselves.