New Jersey Nets forward Outlaw celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Raptors during triple overtime in their NBA game in London

The Nets want more Travis Outlaw? Probably not.


As a dad, I totally get the wanting and expecting the best for your kids. I understand thinking they are the best ever. Mine (all under 8) will all grow up to be doctors or the lead actress in Broadway musicals. I have no doubt.

That side of me can see where Travis Outlaw’s dad is coming from, that big things are expected in Outlaw’s second year with the Nets after a tough first season.

But the side of me that watched a lot of Nets basketball doesn’t see what he told the Starkville Daily News he heard (via Ball Don’t Lie).

Travis’ father John expects better things from his son as his career with the Nets enters a second season.

In conversation with New Jersey head coach Avery Johnson, John overheard that the coaches would like for Travis to put up at least 17 shots per outing.

Even though Travis felt there weren’t the opportunities to take that many shots last year, things may be different moving forward.

“(Johnson) said, ‘I want you to put up those 17 shots’ so this year, Travis said it’s on,” John Outlaw said.

Outlaw took 8.9 shots per game last season — and as he shot 37.5 percent from the floor he should have taken a lot fewer. Brook Lopez (who has a good inside offensive game) took 16 per game, Deron Williams 14.1. You think Avery Johnson wants Outlaw to take more shots than them? Johnson is a smart man. He wants his best players shooting more.

Outlaw lost his three-point touch last season, hitting 30.2 percent of his threes after hitting 37.8 the previous season. He has to find that groove again, be a stretch four. Then the shots will come.

But not 17 a game. Not ever.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

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:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

Derrick Rose
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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.