It’s another non-news update for Andrew Bynum. You think we all would be used to that by now, but Bynum himself had said a new MRI and meeting with a specialist afterwards on Thursday would give some direction to what was next.
That update is Bynum can start to increase his activity level, however there is no timetable for his return, Sixers GM Tony DiLeo told the CSNPhilly.com (and other media) on Friday before the Sixers hosted the Hawks.
“His knees are healing. He is improving,” DiLeo said. “He has been approved to increase his activity level. Still there is no timetable. A lot depends on how Andrew reacts and his body reacts to the increased activity.”
DiLeo called it good news but admitted it is possible that Bynum doesn’t play a game this season for Philly.
Merry Christmas, Sixers fans.
What the latest MRI means rather than just swimming for conditioning he can start to ride a bike and do the elliptical machine. DiLeo called Friday’s news the first step of a six-step process to him playing again. Bynum might progress well through the steps but he is not close to getting back on the court right now.
Philly traded Andre Iguodala to get Bynum last summer as part of the Dwight Howard trade. It was a big-time move, going for what they thought could be a franchise-changing center to be a power big man in conference where a lot of teams (Miami, Boston) were going small.
But after a healthy season last year, Bynum’s knees are back to being trouble. And if there are any more setbacks, Bynum — who is a free agent next summer — looks like he could be franchise changing but not in the way the 76ers pictured.
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.
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?
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.”
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.