Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez out a while longer as CT scan reveals another “small crack”

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On the list of guys who you should feel bad for regarding this season, Brook Lopez has to be one of the bigger candidates. Imagine if your job kept working with you to get you back at work from an injury, but you knew the only reason they were is that they want to use your efforts as part of a deal to acquire someone else to do your job. So you’re injured, trying to get back to work, and yet all of your efforts are only considered assets to be used to acquire your replacement. That’s just not cool.

But it’s the situation for Brook Lopez and on top of all that, the guy just cannot get healthy. After suffering a fracture in his foot that kept him out for most of the season, Lopez then went down with an ankle just days after he returned. Now, when he should be getting back after ducking being sent to Orlando or a third team in a move for Dwight Howard, a CT scan found another “crack” or “line” (read: fracture” that was caused during his sprain. From the New York Post:

Additional tests on the Nets center, who has missed all but five games this season, found a small line or crack resulting from the ankle sprain he endured after coming back from a broken foot. Lopez’s return to active duty was immediately pushed back at least two more weeks. General manager Billy King said Lopez would be evaluated at that time.

“Brook had another CT scan and in looking at it, the doctors noticed a little line that’s healing, but hasn’t completely healed, and so we’re going to keep him out for two more weeks and re-evaluate then,” King said. “It just hasn’t completely healed.

“He has no pain whatsoever.’’ … He has no pain whatsoever but it’s just we’re protecting a young fella that has a long career ahead of him.’’

via With Brook Lopez sidelined at least another two weeks, the New Jersey Nets fall to the Atlanta Hawks, 93-84, on Friday night – NYPOST.com.

Nets Daily points out that this wasn’t part of the original fracture but instead part of his sprain. So that’s great, right? … Sigh.

The Nets honestly need to shut Lopez down for the rest of the season. Not only does he need to get healthy, not only will it help with any deal they sign to keep him as a restricted free agent (which they’re going to need in any trade for Howard and especially need if they can’t get Howard), but they need to tank out this season. And not like Golden State or Portland need to tank. Those are “it would be for the best to tank.” The Nets, because they traded a first-round pick for Gerald Wallace, need to drop into the top-three so the protections on the pick allow them to keep their first-rounder.

So to review:

Their franchise center who they wanted to use to acquire the best franchise center is out two more weeks at least due to a fracture found after a sprain after a foot fracture, which is OK because they need to tank in order to keep their pick they sent to Portland for Gerald Wallace in a deadline panic trade after the franchise center they really want decided to stay with his team for another year.

/Clown music plays.

I really hope next year is an All-Star year for Lopez. He deserves it after all the crap he’s had to put up with this season.

Report: Heat complained to ‘highest levels of the league office’ about favorable calls for Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) is congratulated by Jeremy Lin (7) after making a basket against the Sacramento Kings in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The Hornets won 127-122 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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The Heat and Hornets are clearly tiring of each other, six games of testiness culminating with Game 7 today.

One particular battle line being drawn is over Jeremy Lin (6.3) and Kemba Walker (5.5), who lead players in this series in free-throw attempts per game.

Marc Stein:

ESPN sources say that one of the factors that ramped up the tension between the teams stems from Miami complaints to the highest levels of the league office after Game 4 about what the Heat deemed to be favorable officiating for Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker.

Lin and Walker relentlessly driven to the basket. That’s why they’ve attempted so many free throws. If Miami wants to keep them off the line, trap them harder on the perimeter.

That said, this is part of playoff gamesmanship. If the Heat plant a seed with referees – through the league office or otherwise – that Lin and Walker are drawing too many fouls, maybe that affects a call today. With the margins so narrow, every little bit helps.

Watch LaMarcus Aldridge drop 38 on Thunder

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Oklahoma City has more than a few adjustments to make after a brutal defensive effort in Game 1 of their series against San Antonio, but at the top of the list is sticking with LaMarcus Aldridge on defense.

He was killing them from the midrange, and more than half of his looks were uncontested — the Thunder know he can knock down that shot, right?

It was a fantastic performance from Aldridge; we’ll see if he faces tougher defense in Game 2.

NBA: Trail Blazers scored after uncalled illegal screen by Trail Blazers in final minutes

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Should we be preparing for Game 7 of the Trail Blazers-Clippers series today?

If the officials had called the final minutes of the last game correctly, maybe.

Portland won Game 6 to take the series 4-2, but a missed call a key missed call helped clinch.

With 1:45 left, Mason Plumlee got away with offensively fouling Jamal Crawford, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Plumlee (POR) sets the screen on Crawford (LAC) without giving him room to avoid the contact.

A correct call would’ve meant a Trail Blazers turnover. Instead, Damian Lillard ended the possession with two made free throws.

Portland’s advantage when the Clippers began intentionally fouling: two.

Would the Clippers have won if the refs called Plumlee’s offensive foul? Impossible to say. The final 1:45 could’ve played out much differently.

But this missed call, the only error in the Last Two Minute Report, certainly boosted the Trail Blazers’ odds.

Four Things to Watch in two Game 7s Sunday

during game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 29, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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It’s what the playoffs are all about — win or go home Game 7s. Pressure, drama, unlikely stars Sunday is going to have it all. Here are a few things to watch:

1) Can Miami’s jump shooters have another hot game? Dwyane Wade got the headlines (and he earned them) for his Game 6 performance (everyone except purple shirt guy was impressed), but the real key for the Heat to force a Game 7 was they were hitting their jumpers — or at least enough of them. In their three losses, Miami shot 33.7 percent from 3 feet out to the arc, but in Game 6 the Heat shot 43.5 percent in that range, plus knocked down eight threes. The Hornets have packed the paint all series, when the Heat hit their jumpers they win. It’s that simple.

2) Does Kemba Walker have one more big game in him? Walker was fantastic in Game 6 (37 points), and he’s been very good in the Hornets’ victories. He’s going to penetrate and get some shots inside eight feet, but will he be able to finish? And, more importantly, will he hit his threes when they pack the paint on him? If Walker has a huge game, Charlotte very likely moves on.

3) Is Toronto too far into their own head? No team has more pressure on them to advance out of the first round than Toronto after two previous years of getting bounced in the first round, and they will feel that weight at home in Game 7 against Indiana. Will Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan step up with big games in the biggest moments of their careers, or will they succumb to the moment and the Pacers defense? For all the Xs and Os that do matter in this game, how the Raptors handle the pressure will be key.

4) Can the Pacers again get a few quality minutes when Paul George sits? In the Pacers comfortable Game 6 win, George got a rest in the second quarter and the Pacers were +5 while he sat. That was a huge step up from Game 5, where the Pacers were -18 when he was out for less than 7 minutes. If Indiana — by playing some starters such as Myles Turner — doesn’t have a huge bench drop off when George rests a few minutes their odds of winning go way up. We know Paul George can handle the moment.