Derrick Rose will see a specialist Monday for back spasms he’s had for weeks. Wait, what?

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Derrick Rose missed Sunday’s game against the Bulls with back spasms he’s been dealing with. But the bigger concern may be why they haven’t gone away. So Rose will be seeing a specialist on Monday, he told reporters before Chicago’s game against Boston. Via CSN Chicago:

Rose will see a specialist Monday when the Bulls return to Chicago, but wouldn’t speculate on whether he’d play in the team’s next game, Tuesday against Sacramento at the United Center.

“Probably go see some people tomorrow, have them look at it. But I don’t know yet,” he said. “I can’t say I’m going to be out. If I feel good tomorrow, I’m definitely going to play then, but I don’t know yet.”

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who started C.J. Watson in Rose’s place, indicated that the organization would be cautious with Rose.

“It’s not cleared up as much as we would like right now. He still has a little bit of stiffness, so we decided it’s better to sit him out of this one,” he said. “Once we get back home, we’ll have a chance to go see a specialist and we’ll go from there.

“Well, you’re always concerned. It’s something that he’s had before. He had it when he was in high school, so we’re hopeful it gets cleared up shortly, but we want to make sure.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

So that’s not good. Rose is pivotal to the Bulls’ chances, but at least they’re invested in getting him right for the playoffs. The rest of the team is good enough behind Tom Thibodeau’s defense to sustain without Rose, and having him healthy for the playoffs needs to be the priority. So this is a good move.

But where was it a few weeks ago when Rose was dealing with various injuries including an ankle issue? Here was a particularly interesting quote from CSN Chicago:

“It was the whole trip, but I just played through it. The more I played through it, it tended to get worse after every game. At the time, I was really worried about it, but just tried to stay positive and hopefully I’ll be all right.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

Am I the only who, if my MVP was having the sniffles, if he had any hitch in his giddy-up, if he had Carpal Tunnel, I would keep him out as long as I had a top five seed in the East? This is a season about survival. It got worse every game… and yet he’s playing. And not just playing, playing heavy minutes.

There’s trusting your player, and there’s doing what’s best for your team. Rose needs to go down for a long stretch of time to get completely healthy. The Bulls are gambling with chips they’re going to need in three months.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.

PBT Extra: Can Boston hang on to the No. 1 seed in East?

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In an unexpected twist as the season winds down, the Cavaliers have stumbled — 8-11 since the All-Star break — while the Celtics have just kept on winning. Suddenly the Boston Celtics are on top of the East with the best record.

Can they stay on top through the rest of the season?

Does it matter to the Cavaliers?

I cover all this ground in the latest PBT Extra.

Draymond Green on Raiders move to Las Vegas: I won’t attend another game

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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The Raiders are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Draymond Green — whose Warriors also play in Oakland is not pleased.

Green, via Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

I wouldn’t attend a game. I won’t attend a game.

“And I’m not a diehard Raiders fan, but I support the city of Oakland. It ain’t for me and I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just don’t do that. Come on man, that’s ridiculous.”

“If I were the fans, I wouldn’t attend a game for the next two years. But that’s just me. That’s ridiculous. No way I’d pay my money to attend a game.”

 

Um, does Green realize the Warriors are also moving from Oakland (to a new arena in San Francisco)?

Green:

“It’s one thing if you’re moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something,” Green said of the Raiders. “To Las Vegas?

OK, that’s Fair. I am just being pedantic. I don’t actually see moving across the bay as similar to the Raiders moving hundreds of miles away.

Green:

“That’s like moving the Dallas Cowboys or moving the Packers,” he said. “Moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams. Ain’t many fan bases like the Raiders fan base. That’s like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from LA.

“You just don’t move certain franchises with the fan base they have.”

But seriously this time: Someone tell Green that the Raiders have already moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland — hundreds of miles each way and a ridiculous drive in traffic.

I get that Green — who grew up in Detroit Lions territory, roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is pictured above in a San Francisco 49ers jersey — just wants to connect with Oakland fans, but this argument is just intellectually dishonest.

Lonzo Ball: I’m better than Markelle Fultz

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
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Who should go No. 1 in the 2017 NBA draft?

A pair of Pac-12 freshmen point guards, Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, lead the discussion.

Fultz looks like the leading contender, but Ball doesn’t buy into the conventional wisdom.

Ball, via ESPN:

“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him,” said Ball, who led the Bruins to a pair of blowout victories over Fultz’s Huskies this season.

“I think I can lead a team better than him,” Ball added. “Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

This will get spun into a discussion of Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball. But, without digging deeply, D'Angelo Russell, Shabazz Muhammad and Enes Kanter each claimed to be the best player in their respective drafts. Look further, and there are many more examples.

Reaching Lonzo Ball’s level usually comes with supreme confidence. This is normal — not a cause for concern about the influence of his boastful dad.

And for what’s it’s worth, I’d favor Ball over Fultz right now, though there’s still more information to gather in the draft process.