Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Lakers second ugly loss to start the season, Steve Nash and Blazers rookie Damian Lillard collided and Nash was clearly hurt, heading to the locker room.
He came back out for the second half, but it quickly became clear that he was not right and he played just 1:16 before heading back to the locker room.
The Lakers are calling it a shin contusion and saying they don’t know if this will keep him out of Friday’s game against the Clippers. Nash will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
Nash said he wants to play but even he has no idea, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“I guess I wouldn’t want to say right now (whether he will play) but I’m definitely hopeful,” Nash told reporters after the game….
“It was sore but I went out to try and play and then I planted on it and it just kind of gave out on me,” Nash said. “It was sore and functionally I couldn’t plant on it, or push off on it, or accelerate.”
Nash had only 2 points and 4 assists in his limited play. While it didn’t seem like it to Lakers fans, the offense actually was better Wednesday night, putting up 106 points and scoring 113.1 points per 100 possessions. That will get you wins most nights… if you play any defense. But that has done the Lakers in two games in a row now — the Lakers gave up 108.7 points per 100 possessions to Dallas and then 113.1 to Portland. Keep playing like that over the course of the season and it would be one of the very worst defenses in the NBA (Charlotte was worst in the league at 110.4 last season).
DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.
Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.
Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.
Justin Verrier of ESPN:
Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.
Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.
Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.
That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.
Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.
Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.
Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.
There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.
But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.
Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.
In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.
Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.
Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:
“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”
Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?
Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.
Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.
Could Anthony be at peace with that?