2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Friday And-1 links: Injury updates for Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• The good news is the Hornets’ Anthony Davis is on the court and running. He went through the walkthrough with the starters. But he has yet to be cleared for contact. So, not exactly close to a return, but he is getting there.

• While we are in New Orleans, Eric Gordon is “making progress” but there still is no timeline for his return to the Hornets.

• Timberwolves GM David Kahn rejected the idea that he is involved in Pau Gasol trade talks saying he hasn’t spoken with the Lakers since July. The Lakers are not trading Gasol in the short-term anyway, they want to see him paired with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard all at once. They want to se what they have before making a rash decision. But if that doesn’t work out and the Lakers do shop Gasol, Minnesota might well be near the front of the line if they are willing to offer Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams (plus likely Luke Ridnour). But we’re a long way from there right now.

• The Lakers as a team went to see the movie “Lincoln” and Kobe poked some fun at his teammate’s expense.

• Here is a great look from Zach Lowe at Grantland at what is wrong with the Heat defense.

• Davis Stern talked about Kobe Bryant being on Michael Jordan’s pedestal. That will piss a few of you off.

Lawrence Frank wants more consistency from rookie Andre Drummond in Detroit. Frank know’s he’s a rookie, right?

• If you’re wondering why you didn’t see Roddy Beaubois playing for Dallas Thursday night, it’s because he has a dislocated finger.

• Michael Beasley may be about to lose his spot in the Suns starting lineup. Stunning. Who could ever have seen that coming?

• The Portland Trail Blazers have had more top executives leave. There is a changing of the guard with that team’s management right now.

• Finally, for you Friday afternoon amusement, a guy trying to dunk over a basketball rack and failing. Spectacularly. (Hat tip The Big Lead.)

Kevin Love unsure about opening-night return

Kevin Love
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He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.

Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”

Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.

“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”

At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.