Baron Davis has torn ACL and MCL, this may be it for him

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There were times when Baron Davis was as good a playmaker, as entertaining a point guard in the NBA — remember how he played when he led Golden State to the first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007? He had the gift of court vision, and even in his frustrating later years on the nights he showed up physically and mentally right he could be magical. I’ve seen few players be able to light up a crowd like he could on the right night.

We may never see those days again.

The Knicks have announced that Baron Davis’ knee injury is much worse than we thought. And anyone who saw the video thought it was bad. Here is the announcement from the New York Knicks:

Injury Update: MRI on Baron Davis’ R knee revealed partial tear of the patella tendon & complete tears of the ACL & MCL.

Davis will have surgery later this week but would be age 34 when trying to make a comeback from this. A guy who has struggled to come back from injuries in recent years such as the herniated disc in his back that has limited him these playoffs.

Davis, when he was going right, was always one of my favorite players to watch. Too often, due to conditioning and more, we only caught glimpses of what he was capable of — in transition he could dazzle. Too many days he settled for threes (early in the clock), but when he attacked he could score or dish with the best, his feel for the game was incredible.

He’ll try to come back, but it’s hard to be optimistic. I’ll miss him. I’ll miss Boom Dizzle. I’ll miss the beard.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

AP Photo/Phil Long
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Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

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The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

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Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

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In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.