Eric Gordon

Is there friction between Eric Gordon, Hornets about his knee?


We told you today that the Hornets Eric Gordon is out indefinitely with a bum knee, which means he will be sitting when the Hornets tip off the season Wednesday night against the Spurs. That is the same knee he missed most of last season with following surgery, the one that has slowed him all preseason. The same knee that the Hornets ignored when giving Gordon a max $58 million extension this summer.

What exactly is the problem with Gordon’s knee? Therein lies the rub.

Hornets GM Dell Demps was pretty vague about what is going on. Or when we might expect him back. Or anything Gordon related. From the Times-Picayune (as pointed out by Deadspin):

“He’s processing some information right now and he doesn’t have any comment,” Demps said, without discussing just what that information was. “We don’t have any comment right now. We’re processing information and we will, at the appropriate time, give a statement.”

Okay… “processing some information.” Not sure what that means exactly, but the tone was pretty terse. Coach Monty Williams, you want to shed some light on how Gordon is feeling and what is going on?

“He probably does feel pain; that would be the only reason why a guy can’t play,” Williams said. “For me to try to read an MRI … I’ll find out more as we go forward. I try to not get into all that because that would just make me upset…

“I’ve checked with Doc,” Williams said, “but for him to explain to me what’s going on with his body and then have Eric feel a certain way doesn’t matter. You know what I’m saying? If Doc says one thing and the guy is feeling another, then you have to . . . what am I supposed to say?

“I’m sure it’s got to be medical. A guy just can’t not play. It’s got to be medical. At this point of the year, everybody is excited to play. I’m sure it’s medical.”

It sounds a whole lot like the Hornets doctors say Gordon is ready to go and he says he still has pain and is not. The problem is only the player really knows what he’s feeling. And like Williams said, it’s hard to imagine Gordon just sitting out because, that’s really not who he is. He’s a competitor.

But there seems to be a lot of friction between the Hornets and Gordon over how much friction is in his knee.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.