Anthony Davis, Marcus Thornton

Anthony Davis tweaks knee near end of Hornets loss, apparently okay

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New Orleans fans were holding their breath near the end of the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

With 5:45 left in the game Anthony Davis — the former No. 1 overall pick and promising rookie — tried to draw a charging foul as Marcus Thornton drove the lane. The resulting collision had Thornton falling on and injuring Davis’ left knee. Davis was in a lot of pain and needed help off the court.

But apparently some ice and rest helped a lot and things do not appear to be serious, reports Jason Reid at the Times-Picayune.

“I think he’s OK, but I don’t want to jump the gun,” Hornets Coach Monty Williams said. “I didn’t see the play yet, but he said Marcus landed on his knee. He said he’s a little sore.”

Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, is expected to undergo an MRI test on Thursday to determine if he has any structural damage. He was not made available to the media after the game. On his way to the team bus, however, Davis was limping noticeably.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t a buckle or a ligament or anything like that,” Williams said.

Officially this is listed as a sprain right now. The MRI will determine that for sure, but this sounds like the kind of thing that could keep Davis out a few games — which would be the rest of the season at this point — but would not be a long-term injury.

Which is good. Hornets’ fans already went through that with Eric Gordon and didn’t really enjoy the experience.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.