The Spurs played their regular starting lineup in their season finale against the Suns on Wednesday, after resting four of the five in the team’s game the night before in Los Angeles. Two minutes and 14 seconds into the game, it’s quite possible Gregg Popovich may have regretted that decision.
Manu Ginobili went down hard after colliding with Grant Hill, and stayed down while clearly in pain and clutching his right elbow. Ginobili remained lying on the court through a full timeout, while a member of the team’s medical staff attended to the injury.
Ginobili briefly headed to the team’s bench, before heading back to the locker room. After further examination, the team announced that Ginobili’s injury is a hyperextended right elbow, with X-rays negative, and an MRI scheduled for Thursday when the team returns to San Antonio.
The decision to play the starters in the Spurs’ final game is mildly questionable, because if the team truly had its eyes on the league’s best record, it wouldn’t have rested its stars Tuesday against the Lakers. But having a final tune-up before the postseason with the number one unit is as good a reason as any, and Popovich, being one of the league’s most tenured and well-respected coaches, clearly knows the risks.
Just as we did with Andrew Bynum’s knee injury on Tuesday, we’ll hope for the best for Ginobili, and that he’ll be able to be back at 100 percent and ready to go when the playoffs begin this weekend.
Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.