Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets - Game Two

Joe Johnson will play in Game 6; Hinrich status up in air


Joe Johnson and Joakim Noah should get together at mid court during warm-ups Thursday and swap recovery from plantar fasciitis tips. The two are battling through the painful foot injury these playoffs to be out on the court.

Johnson, who had 22 points in Game 5, will be out on the court for a huge Game 6 Thursday night — Chicago leads the series 3-2 but if they don’t close it out with this game the two teams will head back for Game 7 in Brooklyn on Saturday with the Nets having all the momentum.

Johnson didn’t sugar coat his situation.

Johnson has averaged 16.2 points a game on 44.7 percent shooting (but just 29 percent from beyond the arc) in this series. If the Nets are going to force a Game 7, they are going to need a good game from him.

No official word on the biggest injury news of this series — Kirk Hinrich’s calf. The Bulls guard who made life difficult for Deron Williams (the key to the Bulls three wins) did not practice on Wednesday but was out of the walking boot he had been in the last couple days.

Still doesn’t look good for him to play, or if he does play to have the same impact he did on D-Will. And that would be a huge boost for Brooklyn.

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.