The Timberwolves have been completely ravaged by injuries recently, perhaps more than any other team can claim less than three weeks into the season. But for at least one of their players, some missed time was to be expected.
That’s the word from David Kahn and Rick Adelman, at least as far as Brandon Roy goes. Roy has missed the team’s last three games, and will also be out for Friday night’s contest against the Warriors. But the organization says this doesn’t come as a bit of a surprise.
From Dana Wessel of 1500ESPN.com:
Roy is an optimist and said he tried not to think about whether or not there would be any setbacks on his road to returning to the NBA after sitting out last season because of his degenerative knees. But both general manager David Kahn and coach Rick Adelman were both more realistic about the comeback attempt.
“Absolutely (we expected bumps in the road),” Kahn said. “We were very clear last summer that we didn’t expect everything to be issue-free. We didn’t expect the opposite. We went into it not knowing what to expect. So, I don’t think that anything that has occurred up to this point could be considered surprising.”
Added Adelman, “I always thought there would be times like this. You didn’t know what was going to come. He was doing pretty well until he got his knee bumped in that exhibition game and that kind of has given him some problems.”
Roy was a gamble worth taking for this Wolves team, particularly before so many of its other players became unavailable due to a variety of injuries. But his production hasn’t exactly been stellar in the time he has seen the court, where Roy has managed to post averages of just 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game in 24.4 minutes of action.
Now that the team needs a healthy body that can produce with so many of its players sidelined, that roster spot given to Roy doesn’t seem like the best decision.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.
LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.
“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”
LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.
But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.
The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.
It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.
Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.
So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.
Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.
Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.
Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.