Wittman says John Wall is “weeks” away from practicing

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The original timeline had John Wall back on the court for the Washington Wizards somewhere around Thanksgiving. Now we are getting to the point you need to start your Christmas shopping and he is not on the practice court, he’s not running, he’s nowhere near back.

When the Wizards are asked about a timeline, they say there is none. But speaking with reporters about possibly bringing in a free agent point guard (because backup A.J. Price injured), Wizards coach Randy Wittman let it slip it could be a while. From CSNWashington.com.

“We’re going to look at a lot of different things,” Wittman said. “John’s bearing doesn’t play with that because John’s still some weeks from getting on the floor and practicing. So if we were really strapped we’d bring someone in.”

There is no basketball reason for the Wizards to rush Wall back at this point. The season is lost. Sorry to say that so early in a season, but at 2-15 they are done. What is the point of pushing Wall now? The Wizards aren’t doing that, and frankly if Wall ends up missing most of or all of the season, so what? It’s not a great draft but better to get a quality player for the lineup than to push for a playoff spot and just hurt your draft stock.

As for bringing a player in, don’t be shocked if the Wizards go with a forward. Trevor Ariza and Travis Booker are both out for a few more weeks, getting some production out of that spot may be the bigger key.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

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?