Your Lakers injury update. You’re going to need time to get through all of it.

15 Comments

I strained a hamstring just watching the Lakers lose to the Spurs Wednesday night.

Like Odysseus just trying to get home, the basketball gods are not done throwing obstacles in the Lakers way. And obstacles in this case are more injuries.

So here is a rundown of the Lakers injuries as of postgame Wednesday night. Make yourself comfortable, this could take a while.

• Steve Nash. Well, he played 31 minutes Tuesday. But he moved like a guy older than his 39 years and by the fourth quarter had a noticeable limp. After the game it was announced he would get an epidural and with that will try to go in Game 3.

• Steve Blake. The guard that largely carried the Lakers perimeter game at the end of the regular season checked out in the fourth quarter with an injured right hamstring. He will get an ultrasound on Thursday and his status for Friday will be based on that.

• Jodie Meeks. He tried to warm up and give it a go but couldn’t play. He’s got a sprained ankle and will have an MRI on Thursday to see the extent of the damage and if he can go.

• Jordan Hill. Well, he returned from hip surgery that was supposed to keep him out through the playoffs, but Mike D’Antoni didn’t let him test it until the final six minutes of the game. Obviously, there will be a lot of rust and conditioning issues.

• Kobe Bryant. Do we really need to go there? He’s out. And he’s off twitter during games.

• And just a note to Shaquille O’Neal and the Inside the NBA crew — all those injuries above are part of the reason Dwight Howard isn’t getting the numbers you think he should. You can’t establish an inside game without the threat of an outside game to keep teams from packing the paint.

What’s more the game has changed and the rules have changed — you can’t just dump the ball in the post and have the guy go at it in isolation anymore. The changes to allow zone defense means the help to double a big in the post is much closer than it was at Shaq’s peak. It gets there faster and because teams overload the strong side they cut off the obvious pass out. The only way you get room to operate down there is to have shooters that make teams pay for those doubles after a couple passes. The Lakers don’t have that now. Not close.

Warriors complained of no water in showers in Cleveland

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.

Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.

“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.

No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.

That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.

Giannis Antetokounmpo assists fastbreak dunk with football-style long snap (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.

Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.

In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.

NBC Sports Washington:

Report: James Harden, Chris Paul and Gerald Green were holding back Trevor Ariza in back hallway

4 Comments

Rockets players James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green and Chris Paul reportedly went through a back hallway to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room after last night’s game.

That’s one version of the story, at least.

But it apparently isn’t the only one – at least when it comes to Harden’s, Green’s and Paul’s involvement.

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

A hallway runs between the Clippers locker room and the visitors locker room, where players from opposing teams often see each other and catch up. According to a Rockets source, Ariza was waiting on Griffin, and when the game ended he charged from the hallway into the Clips locker room. When Rivers spotted Ariza near the entrance, according to the source, he said: “Let his b—– a– come in.” Ariza then turned his attention to Rivers.

ESPN reported that Ariza was flanked by three teammates—Harden, Paul and Gerald Green—but their purpose was unclear. “They were holding Trevor back,” the source said.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Harden was sitting out his seventh straight game with a strained hamstring on Monday night, and Rockets sources believe that he’ll be ready for a return to the lineup on Thursday night against Minnesota.

Austin Rivers challenging Ariza is juicy, but the type of thing people say during altercations. The rest of this sounds like the Rockets trying to position themselves ahead of the NBA handing down punishments.

If they were just trying to restrain Ariza, then Harden, Paul and Green shouldn’t be fined or suspended. But if Harden is suspended, he could serve his penalty Thursday – even if the Rockets are fibbing about him being ready to play (though they at least previously laid the groundwork for that one).

There’s a lot for the league to untangle.

Russell Westbrook ejected (video)

1 Comment

Russell Westbrook jumped from fifth to second in the NBA in technical fouls in about two seconds.

The Thunder star received two technical fouls and an automatic ejection late in Oklahoma City’s win over the Kings last night, leaving his nine technical fouls behind only Draymond Green‘s 11.

Westbrook got hit in the face on a drive, but instead of a foul being called on Sacramento, Westbrook was whistled for travelling. That’s quite a turnaround from the expected call to the actual call, so I understand why Westbrook was so upset. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook said something that warranted ejection. Thunder coach Billy Donovan also got a technical foul in the sequence.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

The league used to crack down on that more with public fines, but the Thunder have skirted the rule this season.