Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

Steve Blake says he’ll be back for the Lakers this Tuesday


The lack of depth at the point guard position is pretty far down the list as far as reasons the Lakers have had trouble stringing together a series of wins this season.

Nevertheless, any help would be more than welcome at this point, and it appears that some will be on the way early next week.

Steve Blake expects to be back with the team Tuesday when L.A. hosts the Hornets. He broke the news himself in a post to his official Twitter account on Saturday.

Blake has been sidelined since Nov. 11 with an abdominal strain that required surgery, followed by dealing with pain in his groin that required special plasma and cortisone shots to the area to relieve the discomfort.

Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t confirm that Blake would be ready to return on Tuesday, but did say that at least he’s got a shot.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

“He’s going to play pretty soon,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said when asked about Blake after practice. “I don’t know when that is, but he’s working his way back. I think he wants to get in some running (Saturday) so we’ll see how that goes. Everyday will be a test for him. If he keeps passing those barriers, then you’ll see him on the court pretty soon.”

Blake has played in only seven of his team’s games this season, while averaging 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 26 minutes per contest.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.