There was some optimism (or at least some wishful thinking from Lakers’ fans) that Steve Nash, Steve Blake, or both would be healthy enough to play Tuesday against the Pacers.
Well, it looks like Mike D’Antoni will go (at least) another game without his top two signal callers. Both Nash and Blake have already been ruled out by the Lakers:
The Lakers have been compensating for missing their top two point guards by having Kobe Bryant take over a majority of the ball handling duties while Darius Morris and Chris Duhon split minutes as the PGINO (point guard in name only).
This tactic has gone relatively well as Kobe has balanced good playmaking ability with his scoring, while Morris (good defense and ability to push the ball) and Duhon (outside shooting) have brought their skills to the table without taking much off it. It’s been a workable solution, though not ideal.
In the coming days, Nash will start to ramp up his rehab by doing non-basketball drills while Blake will continue to receive treatment on his abdominal strain. The team (especially Kobe) hopes that both will be back relatively soon, but Blake is still listed as day to day (aren’t we all?) while Nash is out indefinitely.
After a game heavy holiday week that saw them play five games in seven days, the Lakers play only three contests this week with games against the Nuggets on Friday and the Magic on Sunday after Tuesday’s Pacers game.
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.