We know that once players reach the Finals, no one is playing at 100 percent. But while some are merely trying to get through what Shaquille O’Neal used to refer to as “knick-knack injuries,” others are dealing with things much more serious.
Kendrick Perkins falls into the latter category, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via EOB):
Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins played the final three playoff rounds with a partially torn groin, league sources tell Y! Sports.
A report from the Oklahomanstates that the injury occurred in Game 4 against Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, and has been a problem ever since.
This revelation will only have fans questioning Thunder head coach Scott Brooks’ plans in these Finals even more. He’s been consistently killed for his rotations, and Perkins was largely ineffective the entire series.
Perkins is as tough as they come, so it’s no surprise he tried to gut it out with the injury. But knowing what we know now, the question of why in the world Brooks would rely on him for over 23 minutes per game in the Finals — including 34 minutes in Game 3 — is one that, at some point, he should probably have to answer.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim