Knicks Jason Kidd out again Wednesday, maybe much longer

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Jason Kidd didn’t play for the Knicks Monday night in Brooklyn due to a bad back. Now he has been officially announced out for Wednesday night’s game in Milwaukee.

We shouldn’t be shocked Kidd misses a few games, he’s not young. It feels like his rookie season with the Mavericks Mark Aguirre was in the backcourt with him.

But it could be a while before Kidd is back on the court if you read the tea leafs.

For one, Kidd has back spasms but that generally is a symptom of a larger issue. Also, if Kidd could have come close to playing he would have suited up Monday to take on the Nets, his former team. But he couldn’t even make it from Manhattan to Brooklyn for the game. Then there is what Tyson Chandler said about Kidd, via the New York Post.

 

“It’s about getting healthy,’’ Chandler said at Bradley Center during the morning shootaround. “It’s a long run. We’ll win our share of games. If he ends up being out longer, we’ll be fine….

“We need him to be healthy for the long haul. I’m looking for this year to be a long one. I’m looking for him to be with us down the stretch. It’s more important he’s healthy than (playing) in November, December.’’

Through the first dozen Knicks games Kidd was giving the team 26 minutes a night, 8 points per game on 51 percent shooting, and most importantly the ball movement was just better when he was on the court.

Officially Kidd is listed as day-to-day. Remember last year when Jeremy Lin was out for an extended period of time, Mike Woodson called him day-to-day at first, too. Same with Amare Stoudemire. Which is to say, you can’t trust what the Knicks are saying.

Maybe Kidd will be back sooner rather than later, but Knicks fans may want to watch this more closely.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.