If you want to know how much the Utah Jazz miss Derrick Favors, watch Chris Paul’s layup that gave the Clippers the lead for good on Monday night. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are good players, but Favors provides athleticism on the defensive end they do not. And that the Jazz miss.
And Utah may be miss that a while longer — he was diagnosed with the foot injury plantar fasciitis, reports the Deseret News. An MRI confirmed what was long suspected. Plantar fasciitis is an irritation of a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, making it painful to do things like run and jump. Which are things kind of important in basketball.
Favors is averaging 9.3 points and 7.5 assists per game for the Jazz off the bench, doing that in minutes limited because with Jefferson and Millsap the Jazz have a loaded front court.
This may be a mild case, but the problem is plantar fasciitis can linger. And the only real cure is rest. The Jazz need to give him enough time off, not rush him back (or let him rush himself back) and make sure this heals and they are not dealing with it in February.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.