Chicago Bulls forward Gibson drives against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Collison during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City

Taj Gibson reportedly didn’t tear MCL

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Taj Gibson recently injured the same knee that kept him out 10 games earlier this season, but the Bulls received some good – or at least non-terrible – news. Nick Friedell of ESPN:

An MRI on the left knee of Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson showed no tear of the same sprained MCL that caused him to miss 10 games earlier this season, and he will be re-evaluated on Thursday, a source said.

It’s uncertain how long Gibson will be out, the source said.

Gibson is very important to the Bulls’ defense – they allow only 97.4 points per 100 possession with him, the team’s best on-court number – but he’s also essential to keeping one of Chicago’s top offensive players on the court.

Gibson has played more minutes with Nate Robinson than any other teammate (69 percent of Gibson’s minutes). For all his defensive strides, Robinson is still limited on that end by his height, but Gibson is one of the league’s best at protecting his guards defensively.

Robinson is the only Bull with an effective field-goal percentage above 50, and considering Chicago ranks 29th in that stat (ahead of only the Bobcats), Robinson needs minutes. He’s a fearless scorer on a team that often struggles to make shots. Those minutes will be much smoother if they’re with Gibson.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: