Two minutes into the Trail Blazers ugly loss to the Washington Wizards Tuesday, LaMarcus Aldridge went up with a turnaround jumper, Trevor Booker stepped out to contest it and in doing so slid his foot under Aldridge, and the result was a painful looking sprained ankle. (Watch the video below.)
X-Rays came back negative, but Aldridge did not travel with the team to Golden State for Wednesday’s game, reports Blazers Edge. They also return home for a third game of a back-to-back-to-back and get the Clippers Thursday night, and I wouldn’t expect to see him lace it up for that one either. This looked pretty severe.
Which is rough — Portland has lost four of its last five and is playing its worst ball of the season by far. They need to change their fortunes, and that just got a lot harder to do.
A quick look at the five-man lineups so far this season for Portland show not a lot of minutes and even less success for units that did not have Aldridge in them (from Basketballvalue.com). He is their All-Star big, their anchor and lynchpin. They need him right, but they need him back soon.
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.