UPDATE 5:26 pm: The Thunder have announced that Eric Maynor is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate that will require surgery. After watching the video below, that should not seem like a huge shock. It was nasty.
This is a blow to the Thunder. Sure, Russell Westbrook is young and can play a few more minutes a night at the PG, but even he eventually will wear down. The Thunder made a big push in the draft to get Reggie Jackson out of Boston College — they made an early promise and he stopped working out for other teams — and now he is going to be put to the test. He’s played 14 minutes all season, but they are going to need him to step up and be solid every night now.
12:30 pm: The Thunder are one of the best teams in the West for a reason. It’s not just their superstar power with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, or their supporting players like James Harden and Kendrick Perkins. It’s their depth, which is considerable. And that took a hit last night when Eric Maynor went down with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Maynor was a steal for OKC when they traded for him from the Jazz last year, and had a huge impact in the playoffs. No details on his injury are available yet, but if he misses time, the Thunder should be alright because Russell Westbrook can just play like 800 minutes a week and not be bothered. Such is the gift of youth. But they’ll miss Maynor’s balance however long he’s out. We’ll keep you updated.
Writer recants report of Kevin Durant telling Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with Thunder
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.
Suns add Jay Triano, Tyrone Corbin to coaching staff
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.
Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.
Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.
Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.
The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.
Report: Paul Pierce probably wants to come back and play for Clippers, but still thinking it over
Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).
Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.