John Wall out two months with stress fracture in patella

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This is not good. In a lot of ways.

Wizards point guard John Wall will be out about eight weeks with a stress fracture discovered in his patella (his kneecap), the team announced Friday. This means he is likely off the court until around Thanksgiving.

The good news is it is something they discovered early, there will be no surgery and he should be available for most of the season. The bad news is it’s a stress fracture in the knee of a 22-year-old. That’s not a good sign.

And it certainly does not help the Wizards goal of making the playoffs this season.

Wall is at the heart of the Wizards chances of making the playoffs — they have made good additions to the roster with Nene, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and just drafted Bradley Beal, but Wall is the key to the team. He is the potential superstar, the speedy point guard who can score and set up teammates. He is the guy that has to elevate his team.

Look what he told Michael Lee of the Washington Post earlier Friday.

 

Now, he has to wait, his team has to wait, we all have to wait.

“My teammates and I are all excited to build on the improvement we made at the end of last season, and I know they will continue to make great progress while I get through this setback,” Wall said in a released statement by the team. “I will work extremely hard to make sure I get back as soon as possible so I can re-join them and help our team continue to improve.”

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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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

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in 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

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?