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.
Sixers big man Nerlens Noel — who has looked much improved this season once Ish Smith was feeding him the rock on offense — sat out the Sixers game Wednesday night due to tendonitis in his right knee. After he missed his rookie season with knee issues, you can understand why the Sixers want him to be cautious.
Noel is going to sit out All-Star Weekend as well — he had been scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, but he is going to sit that out and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns will take his place, the league has announced (Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic broke that story).
Booker has been one of the few bright spots for the Suns this season, averaging 10.6 points a game and shooting 40.3 percent from three.
He will play for the USA in the World vs. USA format of the Rising Stars Challenge (the former rookie/sophomore game, featuring first and second year players).
Out: Defending champion Patrick Beverley.
In: Emmanuel Mudiay Emmanuel Mudiay.
The NBA confirmed the Rockets guard would miss the Skills Challenge and that Mudiay would replace him. The league also release the bracket:
- Isaiah Thomas over C.J. McCollum
- Anthony Davis over Draymond Green
- Isaiah Thomas over Anthony Davis
Hassan Whiteside lost his cool and elbowed Boban Marjanovic in the head Tuesday.
The Heat center received a flagrant 2 and an ejection, and now he’s getting the rest of his punishment.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game without pay for throwing an elbow and making contact with the head of San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Whiteside was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected, occurred with 9:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 119-101 win over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Feb. 9.
Whiteside will serve his suspension when Miami plays the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 19 at Philips Arena.
The suspension will cost Whiteside $8,921. As a result, the Heat – in line to become the first team in NBA history to pay the repeater luxury-tax rate – trim their impending tax bill by $24,534.
More importantly for Whiteside, this will be a strike against him for teams considering offering him a big contract in free agency this summer.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s shoulder injury?
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s shoulder injury?
Kidd-Gilchrist tore his labrum in the preseason, and the injury was expected to sideline him for the year. But he returned a couple weeks ago and helped Charlotte go 5-2.
Now, another setback. This is just awful news for Kidd-Gilchrist and the Hornets. He had worked so hard to get back.
Hopefully, this injury isn’t as severe and Kidd-Gilchrist can play again this season.