You might have surmised the New Jersey had mentally packed it in for the season by their six-game losing streak, but they are also are physically beat up and now coach Avery Johnson is talking about shutting guys down for the season.
We know Kris Humphries and Damion James are out. Anthony Morrow didn’t practice because of left knee tendinitis and Deron Williams only went through the non-contact part of practice.
At this point, Brook Lopez is the only Net sure to start against Minnesota when they try to end a six-game losing streak.
Since the Nets are down so many bodies, Williams could continue to play for a little longer, but it would be surprising if he ended the season on the active roster. The same goes for Humphries and James.
“Both of those guys my idea was if they’re not back by Friday then we’ll have to take a long look at not bringing them back,” Johnson said.
Just remember that as part of the Williams trade, the Jazz have the Nets first round pick this year. So rack up the Ping-Pong balls for the Jazz, guys. (Yes, I know they don’t use lottery/Ping-Pong balls anymore, but “rack up a better percentage for the random number table used” doesn’t have the same ring.)
Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim
It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.
Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).
The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.
With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.
The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.
It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.
Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors
Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.
Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.