Hampton v Duke

Kyrie Irving says if not for Tournament he would have returned to Duke


Kyrie Irving is just over a week away from being the No. 1 pick of the draft and having unrealistic expectations heaped upon him in Cleveland.

Irving is the Duke point guard who played eight games to start the season before a toe injury sidelined him. Until NCAA Tournament, when he returned and almost instantly was back in charge of the Duke offense.

If it hadn’t been for those extra few games, he would have returned to Duke, he told Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

“Those eight games (before the injury) just weren’t enough,” he said. “But playing in the tournament gave me a chance to prove to all the naysayers about my durability.”

So, three games made all the difference? Apparently. Duke beat Hampton and Michigan the first weekend but fell to Arizona (led by soon to be No. 2 pick Derrick Williams) in the Sweet 16. Irving had 28 points in the loss on 9-of-15 shooting in that loss. Irving said he was about 70 percent for those tournament games but is 100 percent now.

Of course, the only team that got to see him at 100 percent this summer was Cleveland, the team with the No. 1 pick is the only one Irving has worked out for.

And apparently the only reason they got to see him was three more games in March.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.