It looked bad. Any time you can’t walk off the court and they take you directly to the hospital it’s scary. Doing so in a foreign country — in this case China — adds to the tension.
But it turns out J.R. Smith’s knee injury is not that bad.
In fact, he played in the team’s second game of the season Tuesday evening in China, reports nba247365.com. Smith did not start but did come off the bench in the second quarter and seemed to be moving well.
Here is what Smith himself told Sina Sports (via nba247365.com, although this is not a perfect translation):
After knowing this result, JR Smith also indicated during the interview: “I felt that now was much better, doctor told me, my injury is not very serious, I felt that I…can restore very quickly… Then I will return to Zhejiang immediately with the team…, I hope that will continue to [play] this season for Zhejiang.”
Smith’s father spoke with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and said Smith was “walking around and just sore.”
That is a huge break for the NBA free agent to be. A lot of dollar signs had to flash in front of his eyes when he went down, Smith will be the best swingman on the market when he returns to the NBA (sometime after the Chinese season ends in March). He apparently has patched things up with his new team — Chinese teams don’t like guys going off to get their own medical opinion.
So it was all a scare over nothing. But you can bet it got some other NBA players thinking about the risks of going overseas.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.