Report: Amare Stoudemire may need offseason back surgery

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For now, Amare Stoudemire is having non-surgical procedures done for the bulging disc in his back — including an epidural — in hopes he can come back for the playoffs with the Knicks.

But come this summer he may need surgery after all, reports the New York Post.

It is a possibility he will need surgery in the offseason to avoid this from becoming a continuing problem, according to sources.

(The current plan of treatment) is a temporary solution, though surgery would cause him to miss the playoffs, too. Wellington Hsu, an orthopedic surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, said the injection will reduce inflammation around the nerve root — not the bulging disk itself.

“Even temporary relief from such an injection is enough for the player to return to the court,’’ Hsu said.

I’m far from convinced Stoudemire will be back for the playoffs, but even if he does return what kind of impact is he really going to have? After weeks off, playing through a back that is not really better just numbed? The Knicks need to prepare for the playoffs as if they will get nothing from Stoudemire, that way anything they do get is a bonus.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.