Goran Dragic will miss the Suns game on Friday in Indianapolis against the Pacers, and is questionable for the team’s next one in Minnesota, thanks to a nasty fall he took late in the first half of Wednesday night’s loss to the Knicks.
Dragic suffered multiple injuries on the play, including to his elbow, wrist, and tailbone. But the hip bruise is still problematic, and is what is still keeping him sidelined, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
The fall occurred thanks to an irresponsible foul from J.R. Smith — one that was ruled a flagrant at the time, but didn’t come with it an ejection or any further punishment from the league a day later in the form of a fine or suspension.
As Dragic streaked down the court for a fast break without a defender in front of him, Smith caught him from behind while Dragic was in mid-air, causing him to twist awkwardly before crashing hard to the floor.
Dragic didn’t return to the game, but Smith was allowed to play on, and buried the Suns with a game-winner at the buzzer.
It’s unclear what the referees saw, or what the league didn’t see while determining that there should be no additional consequences for Smith’s action. There was clearly no legitimate basketball play to be made from his angle, and the fact that Dragic was injured as a direct result of Smith’s decision to hit him from behind should have warranted more than a simple flagrant foul at the time.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.